Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In the "cut off your nose to spite your face" department...

... I always do! I did it when I was 6, and I've done it many a time since then, and, I swear to god, I'm about to do it right now, even if it means throwing away $5000 that I need very much to pay my rent/bills for the next 3 months...

In general, I've always HATED office environments. Some -- a few -- offices are well-run, but the vast majority are stuck in a weird, paranoiac sheep-mode where even the best of people kowtow to the boss and the corporate group-think handed down through the boss and refuse to speak up even when something's crazily irrational. And why not? Many people's livelihoods depend on being able to "go along to get along." This numb, mind-turning-off mentality always, always happens in an office. It's creepy and a fearful thing.

I'm not yet trapped like that. I'm poor and relatively, kinda desperate for money, sure, but... Not THAT trapped and desperate. Not yet.

What the hell am I talking about? A new high-paying temp job that I just started Monday. I was hired as a copyeditor/proofreader (thank you very much, that's what I do best and like doing). The spanner in the works, after I was asked to make a few minor edits: "Now, fix all of the formatting of the doc, add headers and footers, create a TOC, combine this doc with another one, convert everything to a PDF." And get bitched at when I ask for help doing all of the above, which I've never done before (and have never claimed to have done before on ANY resume or in any interview).

I don't mind asking for help, but in this case, the boss was too busy AND dismissive (she said to me, on my first day on the job: "You need to learn to problem-solve"), and the "help" in the room was a drama-queen who rolled his eyes every time I approached him, and then threw a fit (both in front of me and privately to the boss) about how busy he was and how he didn't have time to teach me anything. On the FIRST day of the job for me!

It's fucking ridiculous. I'm hanging on, eeking out every $25-an-hour of salary, and trying my hardest to figure out all of the formatting that they're asking me to do. I don't mind trying to figure out a hard task, but what I DO very much mind is the crappy attitudes of the co-workers. There is no excuse for being shitty to a new person, only begrudgingly helping them. (Again: I've been on the job for 2 DAYS! And I came in as a COPY EDITOR, not as an expert in doc formatting!)

But it's nice to know that I have an out: A freelance contract through the end of May with another company, also for a good hourly fee (I'd agreed to work 20 hours a week for them, on top of my 40 hours 9-to-5 at the other place). If my current temp boss fires me, or if I do decide to walk out because of the horrible psychological environment there, I'll just bump up the 20-hours-a-week for the other company to full-time.

What a very great treat to have that option. No one should EVER have to put up with other people's unreasonable shit. I think that I would choose a one-room apartment for the rest of my life as opposed to having to sell my soul to someone else for my financial livelihood.

For sanity to exist, you have to have the option to walk away.

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