Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Poking the Crazy

LJP: So this morning MNB (My New Boss) asked me for a list of things I need her help with to complete my project. I said, "Oh, Scott (My Cool New Boss) and I have been keeping a list." Which, I knew she would hate that I brought him into it

Cimblog(tm): Heh. Don't poke the crazy!

LJP: She said, snittily, "Is it electronic or on a whiteboard?"

I said, "Whiteboard."

She said, "I need it electronic." So I talked to Scott about it. We decided which things I would send for just my list and which he would add later. I sent her the email, cc:ed him on it. Then he sent HIS email which is... are you ready? Cuz it's awesome:

A PICTURE of the whiteboard

Then he IMed me and said, "Just trying to keep it light" O:-)

Cimblog(tm): hahahahahahahahaha

LJP: We're BOTH poking the crazy

Cimblog(tm): doooooon't poke the craaaaazy

LJP: Because you know what? Leave it to me to find the crazy bosses. Jackie, Carol, Vivi -- sheesh -- I've had them. Kinda scary that the craziest ones are WOMEN.

Cimblog(tm): ha!! You. Are. A. Magnet.
Cimblog(tm): hehehe...but i love that she asked you if you need a project

LJP: Yeah, that one came back to bite me in the butt, didn't it? Sheesh!

Cimblog(tm): heeee. You should have said, "Oh, are you saying I can't talk on the phone while I'm working??"

LJP: eeeeek! That's beyond poking the crazy! That's downright shoving the crazy into a giant hole!

Cimblog(tm): "Oh,Ii didn't realize i wasn't allowed to use the phone."

LJP: This whole control freak thing though -- I can see that it's based in emotions for her stemming from ALL her insecurities.

Cimblog(tm): Yikes

LJP: Because I KNOW she was stewing about it all night and wishing she had controlled it better

Cimblog(tm): poke

LJP: Because this MORNING (you knew there was going to be a P.S.), she rattled off her list of things for me to do -- in her irritated tone of voice -- not even trying to reach for the fake happy one, then brought up the phone thing again.

Cimblog(tm): she DIIIIIIID??

LJP: Only THIS time, had a list of LOGICAL reasons as to why I shouldn't do that. So I know that she reacts emotionally, then goes and thinks about things and reasons in her mind why it was okay to react emotionally

Cimblog(tm): She reacts without thinking and then has to come up with reasons why she reacted that way

LJP: Then uses those reasons, those reasons based in emotion -- to justify her behavior and rationalize her point of view with REASONS

Cimblog(tm): What were her "reasons?"

LJP: It's distracting to other people. I was like, REALLY????

Cimblog(tm): For you to be on the phone? EVERYONE is on the phone!

LJP: Have you HEARD the riff raff around here? We have the loudest people here too --

Cimblog(tm): hahaha, totally

LJP:Yeah, so that was her reason.

Cimblog(tm): Uh...that is a bad reason.

LJP: I can use my "breaks and lunches" to take personal calls AWAY from my desk

Cimblog(tm): You should have said "that was my break. " heeee. SHOVE

LJP: Oooooh, you're digging the hole for the crazy to live in, aren't you? STOP MAKING ME POKE THE CRAZY!

Cimblog(tm): hahahahaha I caaaaaan't heeeeeeelp it

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Control Freak, Thy Name Is My New Boss

My new manager is a control freak. Not a micro-manager, but a slightly different species. I've known, and worked for, my fair share of micro-managers in my life. This one is a different creature. From what I can tell though, they are both indicators of an insecure person. Regardless, my new boss is a control freak, insecure or not.

I'll go into more fun details at a later date. For now, here's what you need to know. She got up from her desk and walked purposefully across the corridor (all four feet of it) to my cube. I should have known that she wasn't there to chit-chat. But what I noticed was the the middle button on her blouse was undone. I was getting ready to tell her that, but before I could get my mouth working, hers was open and hollerin'. She didn't like that I had been on the phone for five minutes, and her aggressive-aggressive way of dealing with that was to ask me was I bored and did I need something to do. I replied no, I was good, and she told me to get off the phone then, and stalked back across the carpet back to her cube.

I did NOT tell her about her blouse.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Being an Intern

Last week a couple of the major studios in town made the news about the layoffs they were both going through. A friend of mine at church asked me if our jobs (my two best friends each work for one of those major studios, and I used to work for one as well) were safe. I said, thinking about my new job, "Yes, I think we all made it." Then I said, "Oh, you know I got laid off, right?" She did not, so I told gave her the Reader's Digest version which is that I interviewed for a bunch of jobs, and got a few job offers, and decided to accept the one that pays the least and works me the most. She laughed and said, "Sounds like a great decision!"

My friend Qwendy (the one who lives in her own fictional universe, meaning that by extension, so do I) has defined my new job as my "internship," because she knows that I'm making about a third of what I did. Instead of running a major studio (fictional universe, remember,) I'm now sharing a cube with an intern. I don't have time to talk on the phone like I used to, and for a third of the money, I really am working about two-thirds harder than I ever had.

You caught that part about where I'm sharing a cube now, right? And it's not a cube that's meant to be shared. It's barely big enough for one person. Put two people in there, two chairs, two computer workstations, and you've got the potential for a great comedy. We both scrunch up against the desk so the other one can have room to leave as needed (even interns still get potty breaks), and so we don't slam into each other when swiveling to reach for a folder.

My cube mate is approximately 24 years younger than I am. That means that when I introduce her to my friend whom I've known for 20 years, her eyes glaze over, because she was still in her bassinette with her binky when Cim and I first met. This is not a frame of reference to which she can relate.

It also means that it's like sharing a cubicle with a cat in heat. It's not intentional on her part (I don't think), but now that's out of school and working on-site, all the young bucks have come out of the woodwork and are sniffing around. It is amusing to watch them get a little nervous trying to flirt in front of me, but other than laughing silently inside, I try to not pose a threat to them as I am not going to get a hose to separate them.

The other intern that's home for the summer has no concept of the space she occupies. She doesn't appear to have finished her teenage growth spurts, so is all gangly arms and legs sprawled everywhere. She drifts dreamily from cubicle to cubicle, leaving in her wake a trail of coffee cups (half full. Empty?), half-finished candy bars, bags of chips, energy bars and cookie wrappers. Yes, all half-finished. And since the packages are littered from here to there, so are the crumbs that inevitably are left behind the food items.

The last point that illustrates that I am truly an intern now, is this email I got from a customer today. Well, I personally did not receive it, but it was sent to our support email account, and I am one of the people who monitors that email queue and responds (prepared responses) to customer issues and questions. Sometimes they're just customer complaints. I've only been doing this for five weeks, but already have an impressive file of customer complaints. I got one the other day that is by far is my favorite one. He rambled on for several paragraphs complaining out how this company does business in this particular realm, how he doesn't agree with it, particularly the expiration policy, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It was the last paragraph that made me truly feel as though I had arrived in InternLand:

(Language has been cleaned up somewhat)"Sorry again to the person who has to read this, go take a break after this. Maybe go take a half-hour [poop] to make the company mad because, there's no doubt in my mind that they're barely paying you minimum wage to wade through thousands of emails. Actually don't do that. I don't want you to lose your job over this, I know how tough the job market is.

"Have a nice rest of the day. K.L."

I love the acknowledgment that there is actually a human being reading these emails. Yes, some of them are negative in tone, which makes it VERY easy to hit the prepared response buttons. This one started off that way, but I ended up laughing harder at this than I have any of the other ones.

For the record, I am not an intern.

I am a temp.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tappity Tap-Tap

This is my third year in a row participating in a dance recital. Yes, it's completely out of my comfort zone. Yes, I'm not that great. But YES I have, and I adore my teacher who cares about telling a story and getting the choreography right to match the story as well as our ability level so that we can look good.

Anyway, here's this year's recital. It's cut a bit at the beginning (so you miss one of my mistakes!), and the memory card ran out of memory at the very end, but all you miss there is, well, the very end, where four of us walk off stage and one doesn't.

You can listen to the words and hear the story that we're trying to tell.

Or not. Up to you.

Gravel: This Is Complicated