Manager vs makers schedules: the basic thesis being that the people who call meetings (managers) have a different type of schedule and different goals than 'makers' who see meetings as an interruption to valuable work time and/or flow. In other words it 'costs' the 'makers' more to attend a meeting than it does managers.

I'm posting this especially for Dr. T because we have talked about this subject a lot.

Perhaps this is also the reason that managers are so often viewed as antagonistic not just to the needs but the actual goals and/or productivity of workers.
We've been following Xcel Energies bird cams at work. We were all sad to see that the eaglets died of exposure during the storm this past week. Leila also lost a beloved pet. I cried over both. It struck me that so many things in this life are hard just because they're hard. You don't need evil to get suffering.

I had another disastrous interview last week. I have no problem getting an interview, but have about a 50/50 chance of flail once I land the interview. The hardest thing to understand is how to respond to open hostility. My resume is a fairly good representation of my experiences. If you don't think I'm qualified, there's no reason to be mean. Just don't call me.

And for link-of-the-day, here is a site about Plains Indian Ledger Art, which includes scans of full books. Ledger art marked the shift from hides to paper during the late 19C. These books are prized by historians. They are also worth more torn apart and sold to collectors than kept intact, so this project gives people a better sense of context and a way to enjoy the art without ripping books apart. I posted this link in a comment in someone else's journal, but thought it should be more widely available.
When I called the temp agency to let them know I'd found a job, they actually did an exit interview to see how I felt the about the agency and my various assignments. They asked specifically about the Financial Firm.

"How were the people? Did they treat you well?"

I answered that my experience was colored by the sudden termination of the assignment that had not gone throught the proper channels. They said it had also come as a surprise to them. We talked about it a little more, and they revealed that they were considering terminating the Financial Firm as a client.

"We keep sending over resume after resume and Supervisor was not getting back to us. When I finally got a hold of her, she said, 'None of them really look interesting to me, and I don't feel like interviewing right now, but keep sending them and I'll let you know if there's someone I want.' If she isn't going to bother being more clear about the kind of employee she wants, or to interview our employees, it's a waste of our time to keep sending things," the agent said. Apparently, I'm not the first temp the Financial Firm has flaked on.

I got a much clearer picture of what was going on both at the agency and at the firm. All I can say is it is good I am well clear of that mess.
Tuesday night I kept waking up thinking I heard someone crying. Then I realized it was me.

Last night I slept through the night, but I had bizarre nightmares where my last work situation was blended with a religious cult that was trying to reprogram me. (Including a long scene about appropriate spoons and their uses, which definitely has a link to class anxiety.)

Today I am turning in my re-taken, re-proofread test, and a sample blurb for a book dealing with the influence science fiction has on military weaponry development and political policy. Last week I could have cared less about the publishing job, but this week I am nervous because I am out of work again. I keep having to remind myself that they should be so lucky to have someone who has three years of publishing experience to consider for an entry level position as an editorial assistant.

Most my problems don't stem from who I am, but from trying to adapt myself to who I think people want me to be. The problem is, even when you are your most authentic self, there are still going to be people who don't like you. However, the odds of attracting the few people who actually might like that oddity are larger if they can actually see it. So I guess it's time to let my little light shine.

I suppose something about "Damn the torpedoes!" might be appropriate here, but I'm feeling tired, achy, and a little weepy today. It might be a good day to go for a walk, and then curl up with a good book.

S

Bad news

May. 24th, 2005 09:15 am
I lost my job today.
The good news: That editor I interviewed with at Rowman & Littlefield several months ago actually passed on my resume and someone contacted me about the possibility of interviewing for a different position.

The bad news: The other position is an editorial assistant position, which is a move down the ladder, (I attained Asst. Editor status at Cambridge, though it didn't come with acquisition powers, and thus was pretty much a title only,) and it would pay less (about a $1/hour) less than my current position, though it would no doubt come with benefits.

It's with the history & geography department... which at least has some room for growth and is a little less specialized that art history, where I was last.

I guess it wouldn't hurt to go for an interview.

S
I got offered a job at my favorite coffee shop this morning. I declined, telling them that after three months of unemployment, I was finally working again; but part of me wanted to do nothing more than accept a job as a barrista and tell the suits to shove it. It's not that the brokerage is especially bad, I just miss being in a job where the expectations are clear, as are the hours. My first job was in a bakery, and I always worked in bakeries as a fall back job through college. The work is hard and monotonous, but the human element keeps things interesting.

I am absolutely certain I do not want to work at a desk for the rest of my life; but until I figure it out, the brokerage seems to be the best way to pay my bills and enable me to try to get back on my feet again and resume the search for something beyond survival. Needless to say, the coffeeshop would not pay so well as the brokerage. My plan, ever since I returned from New York is to get back to basics, to make sure the foundations are strong before building my castles on top of them. Castles in the air are all well and good, but I find I am needing something more substantial.

S
I hate being this exhausted so early in the evening. I want to be out carousing not feeling like a quivering pool of jello who is ready to crawl into her pajamas at 5:00. It was a very productive day at the office today, even if I spent half of it sitting phones and stuffing envelopes. The receptionist lady is very nice, but I wish they would have warned me I was going to fill for her before I got the job. I have thus far spent lots of time learning two other people's jobs and not anytime on my own.

One of my teammates made a cake for someone in our office. It is one of the most disgusting looking cakes I have ever seen. "I hope it's okay," she said, "I didn't have a measuring cup, so I just had to guess." I was glad someone mentioned it was a cake, because on my own I would have guessed it was brownies someone had shat upon and then steamed over several times with a paver. The receiving party was kind enough to hog the cake all to himself. "I'd really rather not share," he said, "I'd like to take it home and keep it all to myself. I'll bring back the pan." He got massive points for that call. Everyone else kept going on about how impressed they were she could cook. I politically kept my mouth shut.

I know things will get easier once I've settled into a routine and actually know what my job consists of; but I am really tired and discouraged today and wonder when I will get the kind of work I can really sink my teeth into. At least the money is decent and I get free lunch. Just hold out for the money, I keep thinking. And no one is purposefully vile yet; in fact people are so frickin' nice it makes me want to cry. Even the principles stop by my desk and address me by name and ask how things are going. And all the clients come in and chat me up and wink at me. (Does everyone else get winked at, or is it just me?)

But someone announced they were quitting today, which means even more chaos, and more work; even as it also means I will not be "the new person" for long. Also, Captain, the dog seems to really like me; but I pet him and fill his waterbowl, which can inspire massive amounts of loyalty in a dog. When it comes down to it, all anyone needs is food, water, shelter, and love. I'm doing fine on the first three accounts. I'm struggling with the last... not because my life lacks love, but because I often fail to recognize it.

S
I woke up at 3:00AM from a terrible, disorienting nightmares, about sleeping through the day and finding the whole world had gone on without me, in a bad way. I have a new recurring nightmare in which I am "haunting" my own house. I'm not quite me, I'm not quite something else. I float, but in an uncomfortable, disjointing way.

I called people to try to get out of my house and as I was going to meet someone met three friends on a street corner. They'd all gone mad. One believed she was a dog, another believed she was a paper fence, and third believed she was the wind. Needless to say the combination of these three did not lead to happy results.

So, I am up, trying to shake the dream, turned on the lights and music, and am drinking soothing tea, and trying to get my mind off all that before I try to sleep again.

Yesterday was more exhausting than I wanted to admit; and as I was describing the office plan to my brother I told him there aren't any cubicals, and it's more like the open offices you see in old movies, where everyone's smoking, and talking on the phone, and typing away like mad. Things aren't that frenetic (in fact it's a remarkably serene office) but you're in everyone's face that way... thus the limited opportunities for an indiscretion.

Also, the toilet was clogged when I first went to use the restroom. Something I found deeply distressing considering my state, and also because I didn't want to be remembered as "the girl who clogged the toilet" on the first day. It wasn't me, but it doesn't matter, everyone blames the person who reports it. So I rushed out of the bathroom immediately and asked where I should address the problem. All I could think was, "Please don't let me be remembered as the girl who clogs the toilet, or the girl who vomits on the carpet." Thankfully, I think both crisis were avoided.

As I was driving home yesterday I realized two things: it was a good day primarily because I did not throw up on the carpet. And that my soul is still hungry, and a little lonely. This solitude, this contemplative life, is not a bad thing; but I don't want it to be forever.

S
I got a very bad case of the stomach something last night. It was probably food poisoning; but it was really disgusting and had me up all night. I managed to make it to and through work today, but not without some serious medication, and not eating.

Work seems like it will be okay. Heavy, intense, hardwork, and if I am careful with my boundaries, okay. There are lots of friendly people of the sort I wouldn't usually talk to; but there is only one of me, and I am a novelty, and cute. I would be worried about The Curse of the Married Men except that it's a very open office and I don't think that kind of thing goes on too much in this place.

One of my uber-bosses is an albino. And he has a black standard size poodle that he brings to work everyday. The dog loves everybody and is extremely well behaved, but spent a lot of time following me around today. Downstairs there is a golden lab. We are a very doggy building.

Wear is quite formal, but I think I'll survive. Hose are not required and apparently I can wear open toed shoes, but I'm waiting until I see someone else do it first. Denim is not allowed unless it is casual friday, in which case it has to be a skirt and not jeans. It's just as well. My last pair of jeans developed another rude hole in them.

The office has about 30 people in it. I am somewhere in the middle of the hierarchy, but am being required to learn the jobs of all the underlings so someone can fill when they're away. Today I spent several hours with the receptionist, (a nice, older, lady), learned the scanning and filing system, along with mail duties; and started into the database. There are massive amounts of information we are required to supply for the Dept. of Homeland Security. Someone could have a full time job just following up on all the things we have to provide to comply with the Patriot Act. I thought it was supposed to expire? Now I have another reason to dislike it; too much paperwork!

My brain is way overstuffed. I can't even remember anyone's names, much less what they do. I don't know how I will survive the week. But I have been granted this Thursday afternoon off after 3, (not every Thursday... but I got the feeling outside appts. and activities are my business and not subject to approval unless they severely interfere with my job) and was told to keep my hours short during training, which is a relief. As I may have said before, if I'm clear about my boundaries, it's possible this job won't eat me alive.

And my new purse arrived today. It's adorable!

S
Much to everyone's surprise, especially my own, the brokerage has offered for me. I can't believe it. I thought for sure I'd blown things at the second interview by showing up in motorcycle boots and telling them I was concerned about the length of the hours because I wanted to work for a company that "considers the health and well-being of its employees and encourages them to live balanced lives."

http://www.livejournal.com/users/zalena/108891.html?nc=2

They offered for me anyway. Which is to say it's temp-to-hire, and I don't consider the job search over, but it will mean some income (and some decent income at that) for the foreseeable future.

Now, the real challenge... going shopping for more corporate attire. (Bleagh! Hate shopping, hate corporate attire, hate that everything gaps over my well-endowed endowments.)

But thankfully, also an excuse to rent-a-car and drive 100 miles to go see one of my favorite performance artists who's currently in the state. (I'd take the Time Machine, but it's specialty is Time and not Distance.) I also think a three-martini lunch is in order at Squaresville's latest bistro.

S

P.S. How is it that an English major has ended up in the financial sector? This isn't a teller or receptionist job either, although it will involve copious amounts of paperwork.
So, I went in for a second interview today, (wearing boots and a silk scarf. I left my aviation helmet at home today,) and it went okay, but not as well as the first. They said they liked to ask back "promising candidates" for a more indepth interview. I can understand the policy, but I found it annoying, particularly as they kept me waiting 20 minutes in the lobby. (Grrr!)

"It's tax time," they apologized, "and we're extra busy."

They asked if I had any questions or concerns after the first interview. I said, "I was a little surprised about the long hours you have at your office."

"Is that going to be a problem?" they asked.

"I have the ability to work long hours," I said, "but I also want work for a company that is invested in the health and well being of its employees, and encourages them to lead balanced lives. It's very important to me, particularly as a temp who does not have the benefit of health insurance."

At which point they hemmed and hawed and said they just wanted to be sure that I understood business hours were from 8-5, but that they were in no way opposed to being flexible about coming in later or leaving earlier, and that should I need to run an errand at lunch or whatever, that would certainly not be a problem, and that yes, they take a break when catering arrives, blah, blah, yakety, schmakety.

The rest of the interview proceeded pleasantly, and I would say it went well, but I did notice the lead woman wasn't looking me in the eye by the end of our interaction. The secondary woman complimented me on my scarf and pointed out we were wearing almost identical sweaters, and that my skirt was the same color as her pants.

So, I don't know if I'll get the job, or if I want to job; but I'm proud of myself for going to the interview, and for standing up for something I think is important, and doing it in what I believe was a politic way.

S
I haven't been answering my phone today, as today is the day I'm supposed to hear whether or not I've been offered the brokerage job. To say I've had mixed feelings would be optimistic. When I was first offered the chance for an interview, I burst into tears. It's incredibly faraway from the place I want to be professionally right now, but I need money and don't have a lot of options.

The first interview was fine. I felt like I interviewed well, but felt a little like a fish out-of-water when it came to the office environment, which was definitely corporate in tone, and had something of the style of a young republicans meeting. The people seemed to be young, hip, and very into status as a style. And there were people wearing ties. I mean, sure, it's a brokerage; but this is also Boulder county where people are notoriously casual. Denim, cargos, and running shoes are par for the course.

So, as I am unsure about whether I really want the job or not, I decided I wouldn't answer my phone today. I didn't want to be put on the spot with the agent. I didn't want to have to make up my mind then and there about whether or not this was an assignment I could accept. The real kicker, aside from the line of business, and the office style, is that I was told straight up I should expect to work overtime. That people in the office worked 8-5 with no lunch (correction, lunch is catered, therefore labor laws are not violated,) and I should expect overtime above and beyond 45 hours/week.

What I was not expecting was the message I got today: "They'd like to see you for a second interview."

This should give you an indication of how tight the job market is. Temps have to go through multiple interviews for temp positions. How sick is that? Don't people have better things to do with their time? Nevertheless, I agreed to the second interview, even as I am already worrying about what I'm going to wear. I wore my more conservative interviewing outfit to the last interview. And aside from wearing it again, the only thing my closet currently offers for interviews involves a long skirt, a nice sweater, a silk scarf, and motorcycle boots. This is actually the kind of thing I feel most comfortable wearing, but it isn't exactly corporate style. Nor is it likely to gain me a job that I'm not sure I want anyway...

Oh the agony of decision making! I have a new goal I'd like to work towards in my life: the ability to making decisions and feel good about them without obsessive agonizing about whether it was the right choice either before or after the decision is made.

S
Here's another one for the irony logs:

Yesterday the temp agent called me to remind me about my interview this morning. Then she added, "If this one doesn't work out, we might have another one for you at Sopris West..."

Yeah, the position I left in December! I politely informed her that Sopris was the position from which I asked to be reassigned. She was not the agent who originally assigned me, nor was she the agent who took my reassignment request, but you'd think THEY'D HAVE IT ON FILE SOMEWHERE!

For the record, the interview this morning went well, despite the fact that the everyone in the place looked fresh out of a young republican meeting. There were even people wearing TIES in the office. I don't know if I can pass to work in a place like this. Can I still wear long skirts and motorcycle boots?

The lady I would be working for seemed nice enough, but there was a definite warning sign in the interview. She flat out said that the hours would be long, to which I replied I hoped I would be compensated for them.

"Oh, overtimes, no big deal here," she responded. "In fact your regular hours would include overtime as we don't take a lunch."

The reasoning behind this idiocy is that the markets in NY are open, so they have to be working. This does make sense, but why not go home an hour early? I mean geez, do I really want to sign up for 45 hour work weeks off the bat? Especially when it is 45 hours of detailed paperwork involving other people's money that one has to dress for despite the fact that one is not really in a position to do so?

What did Mr. Thoreau (Great American Loser) say about endeavors that require new wardrobes. "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes!" I hate shopping, so I alwasy require new clothes, but I especially hate shopping for Occasions. His advice suggests I should not only be wary of jobs, but churches, weddings, and cocktail parties. (Come to think of it, that's brilliant advice.)

I'm off to "hang out" with Marla at the coffee bar where she's spotted her latest crush. A Buddhist with a blue mohawk. Go figure.

S

"He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him..."

- Beatrice, Much Ado About Nothing, Act II, Scene 1
I haven't written anything personal in a while. Mom's in town visiting and I've been busy every day working in the garden. We rototilled the property on the side of the house where nothing but weeds grow and reseeded the lawn with watersaving grass. I'm also going to be planting a xeriscape garden in the front triangle with ornamental flowers and grasses. The whole thing is incredibly intimidating to me, because I have never been the sole responsible party for a yard. I'm still thinking about a vegetable and herb garden.

It's good to be playing in the dirt. I've been an emotional wreck since last Thursday, and lately have felt incredibly isolated, like I can't depend on people to be the friends I thought they once were. Thankfully, when we needed to borrow someone's truck to help us transport the rototiller (try fitting something that size in the Time Machine!) Chris & Vi came to the rescue. It made me feel so much better that someone was willing to help. It also doesn't hurt that I am absolutely aching from all the yard work. Physical labor definitely helps distract me from the other things going on.

Easter was okay. Xtian Easter was weird. The service was packed, but there were very few people I knew in attendance. Pagan Easter was smaller than expected. It was nice, but also strange because I've never participated in a full out ritual before. It was a little like being a Protestant at a Catholic service. I was always a beat behind the rest of the celebrants, and wondering whether or not they knew it wasn't my thing. There is an assumption with these people that I am much more involved in this sort of thing than I really am, due for the most part to my mother, who seems to be telling everyone I'm a witch, and who so badly wants me to join her in this spiritual venture.

The coming-of-age ceremony was equally weird for the same reasons, but I could tell it meant a great deal to my young friend. I later chauffered her and a young friend across town. They thought the Time Machine was cool. I had another one of those experiences when I realized I am an adult and no longer judged by the same standards as I was as a teen. They don't see me as one of them. It's freeing to be able to relate to young people in a different way. I really like teens, although I still do not feel I am in a position where I can commit my life to them as a teacher.

This weekend is the CO Teen Lit Conference. I'm to be carpooling with my friend Janet and a bunch of other librarians. I'm surprised to discover I'm anxious about it. A whole day as a part of a large crowd of people makes me feel more than a little anxious. What if I want to go home early? What if I want to stay and they want to leave? Suddenly autonomy seems like a wonderful thing. [personal profile] sdn will be there. I really don't know what to expect; but I'm hoping for something that helps direct my next steps as far as my passion for YA lit and a career for myself. I'm also hoping to meet some new people who share that passion.

The temp agency called and I get to interview for a customer service position at a brokerage firm next week. It's temp-to-hire. I set up the appointment and chatted politely to the agent; but then I hung up and cried. This is so not what I want to be doing; but I need work, and the odds of them giving it to me are slim anyway. They are interviewing people for three days for one temp-to-hire customer service position. I know I should consider myself lucky to be getting interviews; but I am so cranky that it is so hard to find a job, and that every job has such specific levels of experience required. For example, I had no idea when I took my first position in publishing as an editorial assistant at an academic press, that it would make it virtually impossible to ever get a job in publishing outside of the academic niche.

I've especially come to hate the temp-to-hire thing. It means you are held to a higher standard of behavior than you permanant counterparts. That every little thing you do is judged and held against your possible full-time position. And that full-time position is held in front of you like a carrot in front of a donkey, even when they have no intentin of actually hiring the temp. Still, I need a job, so I have to go out there and do it. I'm trying to think positively, "You never know until you try." "Maybe this will be the beginning of a previously undreamed of career as a manager of other peoples' money." "This job cannnot help but throw you into the paths of other rich men." But the other part of me just wants to scream "NO! THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT! QUIT TRYING TO MAKE ME SOMETHING I'M NOT! IT'S A WASTE OF EVERYONE'S TIME, INCLUDING MINE!"

Oh well, I'm just cranky and uncomfortable in my own skin. I went shopping with mom yesterday. She found lots of great deals on things she loved and that fit her beautifully. I couldn't even find anything I liked. Nothing feels right. Everything feels wrong. And I can't seem to make peace with myself. I guess it's part of being on my way to healing, like when a break or a wound heals and suddenly it becomes wildly itchy. That's me this spring. Wildly itchy and wickedly uncomfortable, and more of an irregularly shaped peg than ever.

S
Out at lunch with Marla and Janet when my phone rings with a number I don't recognize. I answer it. It's the temp agency. I've been let go. I thought I would have work until May, but they've decided they don't need me. Back to the temp pool. Back to being unemployed.

This could really do a number on a girl's confidence; but hell, the entire past year could do a number on anyone's confidence, between the end of a major relationship, a cross-country move, several abortive attempts at full-time employment, and the crisis involving the end of some deeply held dreams. Lets just say while the School of Hard Knocks is effective, I'm ready for the School of Happy Surprises, or Gentle Caresses, or Fabulous Adventures, or any other school that doesn't involve a motto of "Doing It the Hard Way."

My mom said, "That's great news!" becase she has great faith in me, and felt that the current assignment was doing a number on my psyche, not to mention my health (it was, I always get stomach ailments when I'm stressed, not to mention skin problems.)

And I can be relieved I didn't buy any of the gorgeous, expensive, and loud clothing I saw yesterday... (despite the necessity of spending $250 on a friggin' bridesmaid dress,) although I would have probably been less celebratory about my money in several other ways had I known...

So, tomorrow, I intend to sleep late, work on photo research, clean my house, and start looking for The Next Big Thing. (School of Fabulous Adventures, here I come!)

S
My job got hard today. Not only was I suddenly being asked to do things I have not yet been fully trained to do (and my boss goes half-time on Monday to start her new job,) I was given the task of putting together resumes for any of the company employees who might want one.

It started when one of the line workers brought in her resume and asked if someone could type it up because she doesn't have a computer at home, which one of the other office staff agreed to do. Now people are coming in with their names on a slip of paper and I am expected to CONSTRUCT resumes from sketchy details.

What can I say? It's great, and horrible. I was the first to point out that I might not be the best person to help in this task, as my own resume hasn't been as successful as I might like. But everyone seems to have faith in my abilities as an educated white female with a background in editorial work.

As I've followed up on relevant details I get people's life stories. One woman has worked for Trend for the past 12 years. Before that, she worked at the Turkey Plant for 20. She has a great resume already, but had formated it incorrectly.

Another who was from the Czech Republic apparently escaped in the late 70s in a hot air balloon she had made from scraps of material she'd salvaged from the garment factory where she worked. It's an amazing story, (I think I read about it, or something similar in National Geographic once), but how do you put that on a resume, especially when you think about that story as relates to employment. (Steals stuff from work!) She left the Eastern Bloc to come work in the mail room of a manufacturing company in Squaresville, Colorado. She has been with the company for 20 years.

Almost no one who has come for help with their resume has been with the company less than ten years. For many people their entire working life, their careers have been in injection molding plastic manufacturing. And the industry is tanking in the states. As I've talked to other companies up and down the supply chain, everyone is over-extended on their credit and filing for bankruptcy. On any given day a contact or company may no longer be in existence.

It has me thinking about the Colorado economy generally. So much of the state is screwed. Heck, large swathes of the "heartland" are in real economic trouble. These are parts of the country that traditionally deal with agriculture, or some kind of manufacturing. There is still some high end tech, or aerospace (gov't contracting) but the manufacturing part of it is increasingly going overseas. What are these people to do? Join the crapola service economy to service the engineers?

And where do I fit in? I've been bitching about my career options, when I have an education, and some kick-ass experience. At the same time here I am rotting my ass off at some lame administrative job that could be done by a high school student.

We're in trouble, and I don't know what needs to be done to fix it, but I do know it needs to start at a local level. I also know that I intend to pay much closer attention to where the goods I consume come from.
I feel like a little kid who cannot tell linear narratives. This past week has been so crazy, I haven't even posted about most of it. When I sit down with lj, all that seems to come out is weird reminiscences of the past. Oh well, I guess they gotta have a place to go, too.

I'm having intense dreams again. Last night I dreamt about the Jasons. They were collapsed into one person who had two very different sets of ideas about who I was and what our relationship should be etc. It was a very frustrating dream, with a lot of unfulfilled longing. There was also the matter of a manuscript I was trying to finish, that everyone seemed to be bugging me about, while I kept screaming, "But I don't know how it's supposed to end!"

Work is getting weird. (How long have I been there? Three days?) I'm always given these lists of numbers to match and reconcile, and have uncovered some expense-account fraud, which makes me extremely uncomfortable. This executive is submitting his credit-card statement for reimbursement. Then he's submitting the receipts separately to be reimbursed a second time. I pointed it out to the accountant I'm working for, who insists there can't possibly be a mistake. It's now in her hands. I don't know what else to do.

I've also had access to all sorts of interesting HR related papers, including one with a note that said, "Dept. of Homeland Security is here to see EMPLOYEE'S NAME." I'd just met said employee earlier that day. To think the DHS is here in Squaresville gives me the creeps.

Since I've last written there has been a birthday dinner, going to the movies, some hiking, hanging out with my bro, and being hit on by more married men, one of which I made a snarky remark to, the other of which I put in the awkward position of introducing me to his wife and infant child. I'm a great believer in flirting as a social lubricant, however, my recent encounters haven't done a lot to bolster my belief in the bonds of marriage. What is going on here? I guess there's no harm in looking, or flirting, but I'm starting to think it must be me. Granted, I'm still struggling with the concept that most the people in my age bracket are married, but I must be giving off some vibe that only attracts people who are looking for marriage's opposite. I really need to figure out what it is and adjust my homing signal.

To top off the weekend, I went out with some friends and ended up at the restaurant where the 19-yr-old works. And yes, he was working. And no, I am never going to hear the end of it.

S
Mock Job )

Mock Jury )

Mock Turtle )

S

P.S. I've been thinking about glaciers a lot lately. People use the word "glacial" to describe a lot of things, from coldness, to purity, to certain kinds of sediment, or land formations. But there is always a sense of slowness to it. Almost an inertia, that can bind time inside it, the way glaciers swallow and preserve ancient carcasses. Sometimes I think I am in a glacial period. Cold and seemingly inert; but when the ice recedes, what beautiful vistas! What fascinating discoveries! This ice could carve a continent!
The Camera called again today. I spent half the day shredding paper, and the other half putting 250 pictures into frames. I will finish the other 250 tomorrow.

People are getting used to seeing me around the office and are beginning to introduce themselves. One of the other temps ate lunch with me today. He was incredibly attractive with auburn hair and beard and green eyes. Then he started talking and ceased to be attractive. What is it about temps? Everyone is so insecure that they will be pegged as losers because they only work they can find right now is data entry or weird menial jobs like mine which generally involve stuffing things into other things. He's a temp-to-hire in the customer service department, but lost no time telling me he used to be in finance and did freelance articles, and planned to work his way up to reporter.

"These newspapers keep telling me I have to get experience at a daily elsewhere," he fumed. "Screw that!"

"I have a friend who works as a reporter and it is traditional to get work in a smaller paper and then work your way up into a larger market," I said.

"I'm from Detroit," he said as if that proved anything. I have all sorts of facts about Detroit stuffed up my sleeve, including the knowledge that it is not hard to get a job at the Detroit newspaper, largely because the city is such a mess no one wants to work there. I had a friend who almost moved there for a job who had very little newspaper experience. But I didn't say anything. It wasn't what he wanted to hear. He didn't seem like he would have listened.

And more teenagers hit on me today, which is more fun than married men. One of them works somewhere at the newspaper and is absolutely adorable. And a reminder of exactly how old I am. I keep meeting these beautiful boys with exotic RAF names. They would have never talked to me when I was their age. (The jury is still out on whether that was because I was too badass or too nerdy, or an intimidating combination of the two.)

Then, I stopped by the supermarket on my way home from work. It was training night. I asked someone with a name tag where to find the corn syrup, as the entire store was reorganized last week, and suddenly I'm trailing a cadre of bagboys. One even asked to carry my basket! The district manager soon put a stop to the VIP treatment and quickly shooed off the boys and found my item. I wasn't bothered by them, and would never prey on the young men, but it was fun while it lasted.

So, I guess you could say it's been a good day. I feel like I have more to say, but I'm not sure what it is just now.

S

P.S. Astrid asks me if I want a ride to my car. "It's getting dark," she says.

"As a single woman I spend half my life alone in the dark," I say in my best Mae West. She didn't get the joke.

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zalena

June 2015

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