Thursday, August 6, 2009

First crappy job 5

Let’s get this baby wrapped up and put to bed! Go over the hill and through the dell to read the other four parts.
So our adventure resumes with the heroine as she picked herself off the floor while embarrassed, sore, and embarrassed. When she finally made her blind way from the darkened depths of Storage Hell to the first floor, she realized she must have done a Rip Van Winkle because things had changed in her employment status.

Not really. I just realized that I hate writing series posts and I’m covering all aspects in this single writing. You’ll find out the reason at the end.

For the entire year, I slaved at that copier and finally my perseverance paid off. Or rather, I saved the company’s ass because I noticed a mistake in three contracts that would have made them lose mega-bucks. In gratitude, they promoted me to the . . . drum roll, please . . . ba-dada-dada-boom!

Clerical position.

Now, not only did I have my duties as copy person, file person, and retriever of paperwork, I also created spreadsheets for the monthly budget, ordered supplies, ate lunch with vendors, shopped at Sam’s Club during business hours with the assistant executive, updated the computer systems, and read through projects to make sure they were appropriate to take on, which meant skimming through the pages because EVERYTHING was an appropriate project - even the 50,000page proposal from the crazy war veteran who had crazy theories about a crazy secret government cult brainwashing the American people. He came up with this theory while sitting naked in his kitchen with two puppies licking his genitals under the table as he polished his rifles.


So who did I have to murder to get all these tasks? I’LL NEVER TELL, YOU FILTHY COPPERS! Er, I mean no one. During the year I worked at this company, we had four people quit in just our department, plus the firing: Tech guy Ralph, Manager Annie, In-house Terry, and two assistant managers when Bill got upgraded to the manager’s position. Worse, we only had two hirings - the assistant managers. The company was too cheap to get anyone for the other positions. So secretary Sara took over the tech guy’s position with my help and I took on some duties of the manager’s position.

But wait! Didn’t we already have a manager?

Yes . . . and no. Manager Bill believed that once he got upgraded he now had all the perks granted as if he had an executive job, which meant arriving late every day and taking two-week vacations when only scheduled for three-days off. Since no one knew whether the assistant managers would just off and quit, they needed someone reliable who would actually arrive at work and be coherent enough to do the tasks.

Well, at least I showed up. The coherent part was up for debate. My mind was higher than a kite at my desk every day, and I found the spacebar on my keyboard was soft enough to make the perfect pillow for an afternoon nap.

Stupid plants.

I had (have) major allergies. Hay fever. Pollen sends me into sneezing fits with a runny nose and watery eyes. Unfortunately, the second floor was the Amazon jungle. We had potted plants everywhere. They even had a miniature palm tree. And whenever someone from the other departments received a houseplant, instead of taking the damn thing home they dropped it off on our floor because we had the extra office space.

Of course we had the extra office space. People kept quitting.

So I would get off the bus in the mornings and immediately head to the nearby drugstore to pick up a bottled drink to down the allergy medication. Unfortunately, with the quirks of my body, any time I take anything in pill form I need to take a nap afterward. I’ll even sleep after swallowing aspirin.

Now, I know what my readers are thinking. Why, Michelle! You had the perfect dream job. Basically, you were the manager while hobnobbing with the executives. You got free meals from the vendors. You shopped. And you could dope up while taking naps during the day. Best of all, if anything bad happened, you could point a finger at it being the REAL manager’s fault for his lackluster performance. Why would you ever want to quit there?

Four reasons.

1: They locked me into my salary for the clerical position and they don’t offer pay incentives despite all the added tasks I took on to keep the department running.

2: I would have to technically quit and get rehired to negotiate for a higher salary, which meant having the interview with the manager Bill who KNEW the situation and didn’t want me around to eventually take his job.

3: The executives were crazy.

4: The executives were crazy.

Any management people who had the secretary/tech person check the batteries for all office equipment in the entire building to find out which types were used and how much charge was left inside each (while the secretary was on a deadline in typing contracts) were crazy. There was no sugarcoating it. At any time, on a whim, they had the people in the Promotions department doing stupid tasks. It was the reason the manager quit. Annie had better things to do than count the pens in the filing cabinets to find out how many blue ones we had versus black ones when she had a desk overloaded with proposals needing sent out. In-house Terry had better things to do than go through a box of old floppy discs to find out what was on each and make a list when her real job involved reading proposals.

And I had better things to do than work three separate job positions while only getting paid for one. So I quit.
Sorry for giving you such an untidy, unfinished post. But I have unexpected family business to attend to for several days. Be back soon! Scheduled post on Monday.

Edit to add: Silly me didn't say where it was I worked at. Well... it was a subsidy book publisher... or maybe a proctologist office? I could never figure that out.


  1. Bonjour from France, Michelle - I've been trawling (or is that 'crawling' ;-)?) around the blogosphere today & luck brought me to blog. I'd been looking for good people with interesting voices, as a bad person with a truly nasty voice has forced me to make my own blog stricly private. Pity, that.
    Yours is a great blog! And, no, I'm not being patronising. I love your post, and sympathise deeply as it definitely chimes in with my post-redundancy work experience in Britain: "You, middle-aged female temporary object = moron. So lift that barge, tote that bale, analyse that balance sheet and type up my incoherent, grammatically-incorrect correspondence." And all for just over minimum wage (despite excellent post-grad qualifications + decades of exec/management experience).
    I wish you all the best, and ... keep on keeping going. Above all, keep on writing!
    I hope you find a job more worthy of you + your talents soon, P:-)

  2. I love your sense of humor.

    And I also love the fact that you quit. I would have done the same thing (although probably earlier than you did, but I've always had a short fuse when it comes to idiotic offices.)

    Thanks for the fun read(s)!

  3. "...with the dog licking his genitals while he polished his rifle."

    Um, why is "rifles" plural in this context?

  4. True Religion: glad you stopped by...

    Phidelm: Thank you for your kind comments and for stopping by! Yes, I believe all of us have come upon a place of employment that leaves us bewildered on just how the business keeps running with the type of management that operates it.

    Suldog: I'm being extremely modest when I say I have a lot of patience with people. Maybe in this situation I shouldn't have.

    Chris: Perhaps it's a Fruedian slip on my part. I must have been thinking about the type of rifle you could shoot off... er, never mind. I'm just digging myself into a hole... er, drat!

  5. Michelle, you are more than welcome! It's been a pleasure, visiting your blog - I love your dry wit and wry, detached humour. Wish my blog weren't private; but will make a note of your URL just in case. Bon weekend!

  6. I hate that clause managers always get away with "...and other duties as assigned." Eeerrr! I'm glad you quit. They didn't deserve you.

    Hope all is well. See you on Monday.

  7. oh dear. I'm hoping you're doing okay now! The only job I've ever walked out on was a job where the owner had alzheimer's and wore a diaper. Not to make fun of the situation, but sometimes she showed up and decided to act like the owner she was. lol. during one of those times I was a part of her ownership demonstration. End result, I decided I really needed to go home and pet my cats.

    Lesson from that is, always check for diapers.

  8. Just got caught up here and read Parts 1 - 5. Oh you poor dear !!

    Glad to see that you're back from hiatus. You've been missed !

    Ruth & Glen

  9. Phidelm: Thank you! I hope to see your blog unrestricted soon.

    Theresa: The problem was there are clauses, and then there are clauses that deliberately make the minions jump through hoops for no other reason than to establish authority. That is a very fine line to tread.

    Chris: This particular job happened 10 years ago, and I only stayed a year there. So I figured enough time had passed for me to talk about it. Funny thing, out of all the jobs I had, I've never been fired. I left each for varied reasons.

    Ruth & Glen: I'm glad you could stop by!

  10. Well, it was a bit abrupt, but of course it's still fun to read through. I'm just glad you're back posting with some regularity. :)

  11. Hmm... Sounds like it was probably a subsidy book publisher. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure proctologists use latex gloves for that kind of work.

    Wonderful story, by the way!


  12. the added edit is all that is needed...egads. and the crazy guy with puppies licking his nuts.....i believe you. you just can't make that crap up!

  13. Eric: I didn't mean to make it this way. But a recent family matter forced me to post it earlier than expected. Glad you still found it a fun read.

    Tim: Latex gloves? Of crap! I knew there was a reason I found a new pair on my desk every day.

    Lime: The thing about the crazy guy was, he wrote it as nonfiction and there were things in his writing that suggested he was one of those nutcases who would actually carry out his theories using his rifle collection. And they still wanted to offer him a contract, despite still using the blanket disclaimer that they would not publish objectional content.



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