Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Things I hate about my J-O-B

To be clear, I have had worse jobs then the one I have now. MUCH, MUCH WORSE. I've had jobs that paid far less, jobs that required the touching of food or people's (almost) naked body parts, jobs where I had to stand or walk pretty much the entire time. I've worked for people who would cry when challenged, or people who felt it was good for the overall company if he occasionally screamed at someone until they evaporated completely. There was a fellow I worked for who seemed extremely nice on the face of things, but it turned out he enjoyed to lie, insult and finally go crazy. Which was even more disorienting because of how nice he seemed. On the face of things. See, nice guys aren't supposed to be all those evil things. It breaks the brain when they are.

What I'm saying is that the j-o-b that I currently have is not the worst there ever was, and I know this 100%. I have no confusion over this fact. It's the main reason that a job that was supposed to be temporary 2+ years ago has evolved into something a wee bit more constant -- because it was better then nothing and not too terrible a way to spend the day. And in terms of what I do it's not too hard and the expectations on me are usually not too unsurmountable.

But still I groan every weekday morning. Still I find myself repeating my morning mantra from 6th grade, when I had to get up for band practice BEFORE school: "I think I'm sick. Am I sick? I don't feel great, but am I actually sick? I should probably check my temperature, although I don't actually feel warm... I wish I could stay home." And here are the top three reasons why I'm coming down with the plague at 7am, 5 days a week:

Reason #1: I work for "The Man".
It's true, I do. And it's SO "The Man" too. It's this big corporation who's only goal is to make big money by helping other "the mans" make and keep and hoard and squeeze and bathe in big money. They're all about waste and using-up and "who cares?" and "I got mine, screw yours!" It's depressing. I feel like I need to shower and brush my teeth half-way through the day. Only half-way. There's no point in raising questions of "shouldn't we stop printing these 100-page reports every single week?" and "hey, why don't we have a recycling bin?" and "I sure do wish there was a safe place to put a bike in our parking lot so I didn't have to drive to work all the time..." because by saying these things you are a communist slacker hippy freak. And also wasting "The Man's" time. Which is someone's money. Big money. (showering now.)

Reason #2: THE MAN is notoriously stupid.
I cannot calculate how much of my sad, dirty time is spent trying to explain things to the robots working at the Home Office (nest of "The Man") things like "but if we mail this on day A, how can you expect it to be back, signed, and mailed to you and received by you all on day B? Do you know something about the magic of mail that I don't?" I actually had a conversation w/ someone at the Home Office (probably a lovely person, but one who has been very clearly trained that they follow the bouncing ball of the script and they do NOT THINK FOR THEMSELVES! EVER! ON PUNISHMENT OF BEING CRUSHED UNDER A MASSIVE PILE OF EXCUSES!!!) about how we'd sent in a form to update a client's existing bank information. H.O. drone was busy explaining to me that there WAS no existing bank information, and therefore what should she do with this replacement info? In an effort to keep making progress as I brought up the client's accounts on my end I asked her "couldn't you just set that bank information as their bank information?"

"Yeah, I could do that." silence. silence. Hey, is that a tumbleweed I hear rolling behind them on the other end of the line? Rolling by the silence?

"So, would you do that then?" I ask, feeling stupid for having to say it out loud.

"You want me to do that then?" she asks back, apparently not convinced by all that saying out loud that I stupidly did.

"Yeah, that would be --" and then I'm stuck with what to say next, because here I sit, staring at the great gobs and GOBS of existing bank information we have on file for these clients. These clients whom she called me about due to their complete lack of existing bank information. So do I say "great." so as to finish my thought and just hope she can set up bank info? Do I ask her to verify the client info again, just in case she magically pulled up clients with the same names but who live in Texas? Do I ask if I'm being punked? Candid Camera? "Hey," I finally finish up, "could I talk to a supervisor?" I figured it would be good if I freed up this person to catch all those errant tumbleweeds.

Reason #3: Red Tape, Red Tape, Red Tape...
Today, a very average, run-of-the-mill Tuesday, I processed (I kid you not) over 265 pages worth of forms, applications and other assorted paperwork. I had to call and ask some poor soul to send me an original death certificate for their late wife because WE won't take a copy, even though everyone else will. Now that is one hell of a fun conversation to have with a GRIEVING WIDOWER. "So sorry for your loss -- could you dig through your paperwork and mail me yet another piece of paper, which will look exactly like the one you already sent but be a lovely shade of blue? Thanks. Sorry. Crawling down the drain now..." And whenever I start to get the hang of how all this stuff is currently working they send word from on high (chief breeding grounds of "The Man") that they're about to change everything. Not COMPLETELY change it, but enough that nothing will be correct for about a month. This, they figure, will help to prevent any accidental progress that someone could be making.

The people I work with are lovely; bordering on spiffy. They're all good eggs who also want to do their job well. The people I work for are also lovely and seem to value me, which is a very nice feeling. But this job is burning out my inner hope and positivity. Much like boric acid. I think I need a change.

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