Monday, May 22, 2006

Warning: Much Venting Ahead

Morale in the office is at an all time low. People are getting impatient with the reigning confusion and tedium of our assignments. A lot of folks are sitting around talking a LOT - on cell phones or just to coworkers in the office- and some even have these little portable DVD players and are WATCHING MOVIES on them as they "work." I'm thinking, How can you be really working and watching a movie at the same time? But nobody seems to be saying anything to them about it. Whatever. It's one thing to listen to music on your headphones but...a movie? That just seems counterproductive to me.

I feel kind of like I'm in the parable of the 11th hour. Rrrr. Not a perfect analogy, I know. Pecking away at a computer in an air-conditioned office is hardly equivalent to manual labor in a sweltering vineyard and there are no temps showing up at 4:00 and getting paid a day's wages. I just try to tell myself that honesty and hard work will be rewarded, if not in this life, then in the next, and as long as I get my little denarius at the end of the week, I should be content. But not before I tell you about the rest of the outrages I suffered today.

This one ultra loud girl has moved herself into our office...I don't know why but she just plunked herself down the other day and she won't leave. She is the Queen of Talk. And not exactly wholesome conversation either. I can hardly hear myself think with her incessant racket. Even with my headphones on sometimes I can't drown her out. The worst was when she was carrying on a conversation ON HER NEXTEL PHONE in the know- those two way phones that beep. Yeah, THOSE. It's bad enough to hear one side of the conversation...Boy, I'm thinking about how at my last job, the thing that annoyed me the most about my coworkers was when they brought their dogs to work. Them were the days. The Good Old Days. I still don't get it- dogs at work- but it seems gnat-like in comparison to today's irritations. My melancholy side whispers, I suppose THESE are the good old days too...compared to some future job where there lurks something unimaginably worse than the Q o' T on her evil Nextel.

Oh, speaking of cell phones...Somebody's rang today in our office and it was just a generic little cellphone song ring...and the women in the office started saying, " Why don't you buy/download a ring?" and the guy was like, " It's too expensive." And the women, led loudly by the Queen of Talk, were saying, " Oh, it's only three or four dollars...!" And I was thinking, SO? If you don't need it and don't care about it, then three or four dollars IS too expensive. I wouldn't pay half that much for something I didn't want! It's a cell phone ring, for Pete's sake; it doesn't define who I am. In fact, I think it's super annoying when somebody has some loud rap song as their ring. What is THAT all about? It has scared me out of my skin more than once.

I didn't feel like getting into a debate with them though...I had already had one earlier - about President Bush. Ugh. The whole office was staring at me. I hate debating. I stink at it and it makes me HUGELY uncomfortable. You'd never guess that I am the granddaughter of a prizewinning national debater from Bates College. Arguments are anathema to me. As I see it, there is no point in getting into a war argument. Their minds are made up and so is mine and nothing they can say will change it. And I don't feel a tremendous responsibility to change their minds. If they're brainwashed, they're going to need a greater power than me to transform their thinking. I know what I know but I am not a great persuader and I hate being put on the spot. I am annoyed that I found myself on the defensive and that they seemed to think me an uneducated simpleton, swallowing events unquestioningly. After babbling incoherently, I told them that the bottom line was, if they were getting their information from the mainstream media, they were all off base because everybody knows that the media is biased. Somehow they actually seemed appeased by that. Weird. What a stupid argument, Claire. It's the truth but it shouldn't have satisfied them, considering their supposed position. But then they started chasing another rabbit trail about how yes, the media is stupid, especially on security issues...( i.e. they are broadcasting our plans and positions, alerting the enemy etc) I should have been pumped at my semi-success, but I was just relieved that I was out of the hot seat.

On my little break this morning I went into the upstairs part of the office. On my way, I saw my supervisor- the only other white person working on our project- taking off in his car. I thought that was weird. I came back down a couple minutes later and they told me that he had just been fired. I thought they were joking but then I remembered seeing him leave and I was like, OH my WORD. This place is the drama mill, I am telling you.

I was forced to take an hour lunch today because my new supervisors said they wanted the office empty for inventory. I was a bit steamed to find upon my return that some people had come back after only a half hour lunch and found the place empty and so they started working again. Oh well. I feared that the traffic would be drastically worse upon my exodus at 4:30 but ironically it was actually lighter. A BLESSING IN THE MIDST OF A DAY OF CARNAGE. Okay- not carnage, but...that is the only word that really quenches my need for hyperbole right now.

There have been some rumors that the company may keep on a few temps at the end of this assignment and I can't make up my mind as to whether I would say yes if the job was offered to me.

Sorry for all the raging in this post. I know you won't believe it but I keep reminding myself to be thankful for this job. In spite of all the negativity today, I must reiterate that I am grateful for a chance, however fleeting and weird, to earn some money, and brush up on my Excel skills. I know this is a bizarre way of expressing that gratitude...but I just had to vent. Sigh. Now I feel MUCH better. Three days til Florida!

I ran this post by Brad before I published and he said he had just read this morning in Colossians where it says to be abundantly thankful. Okay. I am abundantly thankful. No, really! I am! Just letting you know- this was my day.


asaphat said...


a) interesting there are Bush-haters in the South...the way some people talk (like my liberal comp. major friend who spoke at graduation), New England needs to secede from the rest of the backwards country.

b) there should be a law that forces everyone to keep their cell phones on vibrate permanently, except in their own homes. Period. End sound pollution! (that's my platform if I ever run for office)

lis said...

Feel free to vent...that's what friends are for, right? And I would be Annoyed, too...

That being said, I am abundantly thankful for you, and the humor you bring into the world.

Avalanche Cowpoke said...

Ol' 'Lanche, the Cowpoke and Mr. P. ALL SEND UP A ROUSING CHEER FOR OUR CLAIRE!!!!!

ljmax said...

Ugghh...sounds really awful. I know just what you mean about the arguing thing--esp. political stuff. It's hard but good job for at least speaking up...prob more than I would do.

Claire said...

Craig, I love that quote from Babe.

About the Bush haters- Atlanta is becoming a place where lots of people come from other parts of the country so I think it's getting more liberal than the rest of the state.

KatieM said...

Claire...having had quite a few temp jobs myself, eventually people will appreciate your honesty, integrity and hard work! Kudos to you for sticking with it.

Nick said...

Most jobs suck. Bad jobs build character. That's all you have to say to yourself to survive.

John L said...

Wow, Excellent rant! Four and a half stars (out of five). Have fun in FL.

Shari said...

I temped when I was in my 20s and while some of the jobs were incredible, others were horrible. So my sympathy is with you Claire!

You can imagine how many Bush haters are in SoCal. I don't like arguing either so I just keep my mouth shut. But I get tired of all the bashing and don't understand all of the hatred. Especially when it comes from fellow Christians.