Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Thursday, August 21, 2003 Short-Timer
I’ve been at my job for nine years. Nine years and one week, as of Friday. That’s longer than I’ve ever gone to any place every day. That’s longer than I was in elementary school and junior high combined, unless you count kindergarten. It's longer than anyone in my department, and longer than all but four or five people in the building. It’s a long-ass time. Changing my daily routine at this point is probably going to go about as smoothly as it did for Rain Man.
But there’s stuff I won’t miss.
For instance, the company that bought us out isn’t providing us with coffee any more. This would probably bother me if I were a coffee drinker. It bothers me enough that they’re also no longer stocking the break room with napkins, paper towels, plastic utensils, or a water cooler. I still hadn’t fully recovered from when they raised the price of a can of soda from a quarter, and that was like five years ago. I won’t miss that. I don’t know how I missed the change in the first place. I finally asked one of the managers what was going on and she confirmed it.
“Jeez,” I said, “what am I gonna do now?”
“I guess you’ll have to quit,” she said.
I also won’t miss having to wait through six red lights every day to get outside a five-block radius of my office. Especially since one of the roads I take every day has been temporarily narrowed to one lane and a 4-way stop sign dropped into the middle of the block for no discernible reason.
I won’t miss getting locked out of the office every time I forget my security badge, or getting locked in once I do gain admittance.
I won’t miss being mistaken for the receptionist. I’ve got nothing against receptionists, of course; they do a great deal of necessary work that I would suck at. That’s why I’m not one. But a lot of people come into the building for the first time, see this big round desk through the glass wall, and assume I’m their first point of contact. Never mind that I’m behind a security door and the actual receptionist’s desk is visible from where they’re standing. They’ll stand there and tap on the glass like I’m a zoo animal until I get up and walk over and poke my head out and point them thirty feet to their left. People who are coming in for job interviews are especially guilty of this. I always tell the managers not to hire those people because they’ve already exposed themselves as morons.
I won’t miss fiddling around with Excel reports for a week and a half of every month. Playing with spreadsheets used to be my favorite part of the job, but that was seven years ago, before I got promoted, and the other part of my job was getting yelled at on the phone. Even Excel becomes less magical and enchanting when you do it for most of a decade.
I won’t miss being locked out of the majority of the Internet just because. I won’t miss the inability to check and respond to my personal e-mail during the day. I won’t miss getting kicked out of the network altogether every hour or so. I’m not assuming to much. These problems might exist at the new place, or they might not, but either way I won’t miss them.
What else won’t I miss? I know there’s something I’m forgetting. Wait, I know—the feeling that I’m missing my calling, the guilt of feeling like I should be looking for paid writing gigs every spare minute of the day, the knowledge that I’m supposed to be doing something else with my life, the nagging and growing sense that I’m going to be sitting up at that podium until I’m seventy years old, hoping to die before the next month’s reports are due. I won’t miss that so much.
So what will I miss? We’ll get into that tomorrow. That’ll probably be a much longer entry, so I figured I’d give you the whole weekend for that.
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I want to congratulate a couple of our friends who graduated from childlessness yesterday. Mom, dad, and baby are happy and healthy, as they say. It’s also convenient for me because I’ll always be able to remember the kid’s age; he was born the week before I started my new job. Just like Deniece’s age is easy to remember because her birthday is two days after mine. And, as loyal readers know, it really is all about me. Welcome, little dude.
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Trash’s coworkers celebrated my new job with me last night. It was a very moving evening, complete with a nice dinner, thoughtful presents, and musical numbers. I’m not kidding about any of that. And this was all on their own; Trash didn’t even know about most of it before the fact.
As I’ve mentioned here before, Trash’s company helps people find new jobs and make career transitions. I found their direct and indirect help invaluable. And then they were nice enough to present me with a diploma they made up naming me an honorary graduate of the program. Emphasis on “honor,” as far as I was concerned. Thank you, Trash’s coworkers. No wonder she loves working there.
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Today’s best search phrase: “glasses license floor bathroom lenses toilet case.” Wow, somebody had a rough morning. posted by M. Giant 3:21 PM 0 comments