Sometime Saturday morning, I sat on my couch and looked out the window and thought about how happy I was. I know you don’t hear that from me very often, but you should know that it’s not because I’m never happy, it’s because the things that make me unhappy are way funnier. Being really happy is just, like, “the weather is beautiful and there’s a breeze on my face and The Cat is pleased and I am loved.” Boooring. But I’ve read a lot of Vonnegut, so I do think it’s important to realize when you’re happy and acknowledge it within yourself, which is exactly what I did.
Then Monday rolled around, and I went to work. It’s one thing to dislike your job. Practically everybody does that, at least when they’re my age. If you’re 29 and doing what you truly love (and I can count on one partially-amputated hand the number of people I personally know who are doing this), then congratulations. You are wildly, enviably, freakishly lucky and you probably did something like save the Queen in a past life to deserve this one. However, if you’re 29 and, like me, doing something because it pays the bills (mostly on a house you love, which is one thing that makes you happy), it would be a waste of everyone’s time for me to list exactly the things I hate about work. So I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll give you a brief timeline of today:
Friday afternoon: My boss tells me that we’ll be shorthanded on Monday due to a special project, and can I come in early? I say that I can, and she tells me to come in at 7am. She tells me this a total of three times, and each time I answer in the affirmative.
Monday morning: I arrive at 6:40am, which is pretty standard for me because I detest being late and also love the quiet of an empty office. While there aren’t many people around, the elevator reeks of dusty rose perfume, which, in case you were wondering, is the smell of a middle-aged vagina that doesn’t get fucked by its husband, ever.
Still Monday morning: I check the schedule and see that sometime between leaving on Friday and coming in on Monday, my boss has changed the schedule to reflect a 7:30am start time. I decide fuck it, I’m starting at 7am and leaving at 3:30pm. I can remember simple pieces of information (especially when they involve me doing a favor for someone else), and I shouldn’t be punished for that.
Yes, still Monday morning: Grandma Airplane comes in 2 hours early to make up for some hours from last week. She spends about 3 minutes arranging a nest of plastic shopping bags on her desk and then talks for 15 about how she only got 7 hours of sleep last night (which is 3 more than me, but who’s counting…except me).
Monday lunch: Some lady takes a mega dump in the work bathroom, while another one brushes her teeth at the sink. What are these women eating? I’m not talking to you, strange lady with the rapey eyes who every day eats a salad of tuna fish, cottage cheese, spinach, tomatoes, peanuts, and blueberries. I know exactly what you eat. And it’s disgusting.
Monday afternoon: Grandma Airplane gets thisclose to telling a racist joke about Mexicans to a Mexican. She stops herself midway through by saying that the joke was from the sixties and probably happened in real life, but that she doesn’t remember the rest. The Mexican IMs me with “I didn’t understand a single word that came out of her mouth.”
Still Monday afternoon: Dusty rose perfume woman (women?) has returned, this time in the vicinity of a microwave that is rank with the stench of tuna salad and recently-burned popcorn. Because, you know, microwaving popcorn is really super hard, especially when you have an entire floor of people with functioning noses to consider.
Yes, still Monday afternoon: My boss e-mails to tell me that I have to create an “action plan” for my call monitoring scores, which, for the first time this entire year, fell below 90% for the month of September. By 2.3 points. At no point is it mentioned that I completed the work of more than two people, although she does specify that she wants this action plan before I leave. I leave at 3:30. She sends this at 3:00.
3:29pm: Somehow I refrain from responding to my boss with either “not fucking happening” or “get off my nuts” or “uh, do better?”. I also don’t mention that this department has a twisted fucking definition of the word “challenge,” as they seem to think that it means “insult, harass, and belittle your best employees until they want to give themselves lobotomies because maybe then they will finally understand management’s motivations.” My response is only two sentences long, though, and alludes to the fact that we already discussed this is in person and I’m sure she has notes on the subject.
3:30pm: I get the fuck out of there because I showed up at 7am. When I was supposed to. And I’m tired and want to go home, because that it one of the few places that makes me happy.
Not a terrible day, actually, which is saying something because now that I read it, it sounds like a shitty fucking time. My expectations have been pretty much trampled into submission by something like 7 total years in that place, where there’s always some new boneheaded absurdity waiting to skullfuck your intellect, good sense, and dignity. If given the chance, I wouldn’t rail against my managers. I wouldn’t tell every idiot there how much I hate them for the way they waste my time and attention. I wouldn’t freak out at all. Instead, I would sit each of them down in their own little kindergartner-sized chair (it seems appropriate, as they’ve spent years trying to make me feel like I’m five years old), make them stick out their hands, and rap each one firmly on the fingers with a ruler while saying only one word in a loud, stern voice:
It’s the only way I can think of to appropriately punish a group of people who have developed a retarded wolfpack mentality to prey on those who make less money to do more work. That’s my action plan. Now sit in that chair and let’s get to work.