Friday, September 14, 2012

Bombs Away

Before I get to what I'm sincerely puzzled about, let me first say: I'm puzzled by why some of my minor wishes re work-people have been coming true for the past few months! People I didn't like being moved out of my room at my last 6-month gig, etc.

Then this morning, I was sitting at my temp office job feeling tense and miserable (as usual for the past 3 weeks) and watching the clock constantly, waiting for it to be 5pm, though it was only 9:45am, even dreading something simple like taking my time-sheet into my boss to be signed, because she would surely find something wrong with how I asked for even THAT... And just then word came down: Alleged Al-Qaeda bomb threat! Everyone leave their buildings and get as far away as possible!

With pleasure did I get as far away as possible! (And no, 'twas not I faking a "Middle Eastern" accent in the bomb call; I have witnesses that I was struggling with an Excel chart at the time!) :)

Thanks again, god, for letting me have today off from the tenseness. (Funny/sad when having a bomb threat and having to evacuate is "less tense" than having to deal with the 2 ladies in your office.)

Here's what I'm actually puzzled about: Why some people think it's OK to be NASTY to other people just because they CAN! My 2 office ladies for the past 3 weeks are exactly what I'm talking about. Just after the bomb notice today is the PERFECT example of constant shitty behavior toward me for NO REASON: Once we were all alerted to the bomb threat, I asked (calmly) the lady working next to me (a veteran of the department, there for 5 years): "So, what do we do now? Is there a place outside where we meet up?" (Though new at this office, in my experience, almost all offices have contingency plans, places to meet up outside the building, numbers to call for updates about coming back, etc.)

Her, practically shrieking at me: "I DON'T KNOW, STEPHANIE! I'M NOT YOUR SUPERVISOR! WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME? A. IS YOUR SUPERVISOR. ASK HER!"

Me: [silently: Jesus H. Christ! How in the WORLD was my asking for evacuation info THIS offensive to her and evoking THIS reaction from her?]

This same woman and I had a "conversation" yesterday. ("Conversation" is in quotes for a very good reason.) She'd been out of the office for 3 or 4 days over the past 2 weeks. I hadn't asked her a thing about it, except to say pleasantly, "Welcome back" whenever she showed up again. But yesterday afternoon she started up a conversation with ME out of the blue:

OFFICE LADY (OL): Whew! I guess you noticed that I hadn't been around a lot lately.
ME: [wary by now of her, nodding politely] Yes, I have.
OFFICE LADY (OL): My 12-year-old granddaughter is here now, and she's going to be living with me.

From what she'd mentioned before, this OL (who's 60) has a 30-year-old daughter in Delaware who's about to be married for the first time. And that 30-year-old has the 12-year-old daughter from an earlier relationship.

My apparently DREADFULLY INAPPROPRIATE reply to the (unasked-for) news that the 12-year-old from Delaware, whose mom had a new man, was now going to be living with the grandma OL in Austin: "Oh. Was she not getting along with her mom?"

OL: You've just crossed a boundary. You don't need to know anything more than I just told you. I think it's VERY inappropriate that you asked me that.

ME: [surprised and stunned at the overtly bizarre reaction, but struggling to maintain office politeness] YOU brought it up! I was only trying to make conversation! My apologies for offending you.

----------------------------------------------------

GODDAMN!! How psychotic was that exchange?! It's not like I said, "Oh, so the mom with her new husband doesn't want the annoying 12-year-old kid around!"

Also yesterday with the same OFFICE LADY: Her knee had been hurting her and she obviously had trouble walking, so whenever she printed something out at the printer right near my desk, I was, unasked, picking it up and handing it to her. BECAUSE I'M NICE AND CONSIDERATE! Then a few other people in the office started printing things out, so I went on about my business and ignored what was coming out of the printer as random people came in and out to pick their stuff up.

Later, something else was printed out. Me, not knowing if the OL had printed it or if someone else had, I asked her, re the printer, "Is that yours?" Meaning, that I would get it and hand it to her if it was hers and not someone else's in the office, SINCE HER KNEE HURT AND IT WAS HARD FOR HER TO MOVE AROUND!

OL: Why are you worried about what I'm printing?
ME: So I could fetch it for you. I WAS TRYING TO BE HELPFUL!

She did apologize to me for that reaction.

GOD. It's like walking on fucking eggshells. Constantly getting shit for NOTHING. For the past few weeks, I've been walking around with a cold, clammy feeling of dread all day, every day. Only excised when I come home and drink.

The last time I felt like this: Living with my mother for the 3 months post-NYC in the spring/early summer of 2010. Then, I did not have any choice about where I lived because I had no money at all, no power whatsoever. (I will never forget that my mother, while "allowing" me to live with her in my time of need, also kicked me psychologically/emotionally when I was down, every chance she got. I was weak when I was a kid and HAD TO live with her. I was weak the ONE time I've ever had to live with her post-age-18. I will NEVER forget how she treated me each time.)

This time, though, I'm just hanging around this office to scrape up every $12-an-hour I can from them, knowing that there IS an end in sight within a week or two, and that I DO have money in the bank if an urgent escape is necessary... Is it "mature" to put up with such shit? I'm not a masochist, ENJOYING any of this constant fucked-up weirdness, by any means. Just trying to troll up any income I can to keep my bank-balance above $10,000...

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