Friday, July 25, 2003

A Day On the New Job

7:45 a.m. Arrive at work. Boss not in yet, or at least his door is closed. Not that it matters anyway – he is willing to leave me to my own devices. I’m not entirely sure yet if this is a good or a bad thing. Coming from an environment recently where I had to ask permission to blow my nose, I feel like a bit of seaweed – afloat yes, but also drifting rather aimlessly. My own devices up to this point have included trying to figure out what my day to day tasks should be. I have eliminated daily web shopping and bidding as an option since spending more online in the past 7 days than I have in several months via that venue. At any rate, it’s probably a bad habit to get into – that of checking boss’ office door for arrival times. It’s a leftover neurotic tendency from the old job where my only goal was to get in before my psychotic manager did, with the reasoning of creating the illusion of getting in before her so that I could leave before her and she would think that I had put in a full day’s work. This was complete foolishness on my behalf, though, because it never mattered what time I got in – she always left before me anyway. She was pretty strictly a 9 to 4, out the door kind of gal. With a two hour lunch thrown in for good measure.

7:46 Log onto email. Yay! Four new emails. Let’s see – one from the “word a day” daily mailer I subscribe to; one from my old job that I don’t need anymore, but open and read anyway to feel some sort of connectedness to people, because I certainly don’t here with the ice-water-in-veins group of people I work with; one from yesterday from a friend with updated web page info; and one from the VP of the entire division I work in with an invitation to a Town Hall meeting that I won’t be here for anyway.

7:47 Email checking complete, trek to kitchen to fill water bottle.

7:48 Return to desk. Check email again.

7:49 Nothing new on the email front, so open my web browser and settle in for a long day of on-line window shopping, TWoP reading and news updates.

7:54 In an effort to prolong each activity so that I can endure to the 4:45 mark (quittin’ time), begin interlacing web reading activities with giving myself a manicure. Inspect cuticles. File nails. Snip leftover bits of skin from cuticles not already removed from yesterday’s web browsing manicure activities.

8:10 Office mates begin arriving. I use the term “mate” very loosely – that would imply that I actually know and speak to these people. I don’t. There are two people who sit on the other side of my cubicle wall in the next aisle who I have not yet met. I know what one of them looks like, only because I’ve met her before, but haven’t been officially introduced to her since arriving at this location. It’s really unnecessary, at this point, to meet either one of them, as I know them already through their conversations with each other and on the phone. I also know what their office responsibilities are and who they interact with.

As sad as it is that I haven’t really had any serious interaction yet with these people who are part of my group, the eavesdropping on their lives reassures me that they’re just as not-busy at work as I am not. The majority of their time is spent on dealing with medical insurance issues, garage door opening issues, paying bills on the phone, and making vacation plans. It really is a good thing that I am not a malicious person by nature (only in my mind), because I now know their addresses, home phone numbers and social security numbers.

They really do need to do something about sound-proofing these cubicle walls. Or putting me back into solitary confinement. The bonus that solitary confinement offers is the ability to play internet games without feeling like my every move is being watched by the girl who sits kitty-corner behind me across the aisle, or anyone who walks down the aisle who can peer in and see my monitor. The way these cubes are configured, there is no good way to position my workstation to avoid prying eyes.

10:30 Begin to notice that I am ravenously hungry. Decide to finally do some real work to try and speed the time up until I can acceptably go to lunch.

10:35 Get sidetracked from doing real work by the ragged cuticle on my middle finger, left hand. Dutifully inspect other fingers for cuticles that need trimming.

10:40 Stomach growls. I notice the beginnings of a dim yet dull headache. Decide to take some ibuprofen, but wonder if that’s wise on what appears to be an empty stomach. Weigh options of headache vs. mild stomach upset, and opt for mild stomach upset. It can be remedied soon enough as I will leave for lunch as soon as possible.

10:58 Berate self for not doing any real work yet.

11:00 Bathroom break. Notice that while the heat-activated lightener I’ve put in my hair for the past three days has, indeed done a swell job of making my hair a lovely golden blonde, it has not done so much for the few gray hairs scattered throughout my pate. If anything, it has emphasized them. Or is it just me?

11:03 Really. I have got to settle down and get some work done. This is just getting ridiculous.

11:08 I have successfully written half of an outline for a proposed document layout change. Ah! This feels good! After a morning of unstimulating activity and zero brain waves being generated, I am now ready to dive in and finish this puppy. I have been unable to ignore the growling of my stomach, so will reward myself with lunch when I am done with this outline.

11:12 It’s amazing how the incentive of food fuels my energy level and typing speed. I am almost done with the outline and it’s even an almost decent time to be able to respectably go to lunch!

11:18 As excited as I am to finally be working, I must get something to eat. I must remember to evenly space out my work, and I’m sure that I’ll be able to do something productive with the next 20 minutes of work I have left to do – after lunch.

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