Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Doodle Story



My current temp job was initially slated to run "through the end of April, maybe into May." Today I had to draw the line: April 19. I think a 3-and-a-half-week notice for a temp job is fair. I think that's mature of me. After all, ten years ago, I would have upped and quit that very day even a regular job that annoyed me. (At that time, always being hired for something else immediately, not knowing anything at all about a REAL recession, which I experienced for the first time beginning in '08.)

It wasn't a "hate thang" this time, like that month-long job I had last September where the 2 ladies there were psychopathically hateful to me (reminding me WAY too much of my mother). This time around -- after just a week and a half -- it was/is just a bunch of random sloppy shit, plus some generic "office-people shit" thrown in (not nearly as psycho as that September place, but...slightly bordering on it).

The "random sloppy shit": I needed/need clearances to do 90% of the things they're asking me to do. After a week and a half, I've still only gotten maybe 50% of the permissions. And yet I'm daily asked to sit at the front desk and answer students' questions...without the proper access to their records that would enable me to help them. Same with other things: accessing counselors' schedules, accessing waiting lists, etc. And then I'm also told to make financial deposits, set up audiovisual equipment for meetings, etc. It's chaotic, and nothing I've been able to figure out with simple common sense. It all takes specialized knowledge (and clearances) that I haven't gotten. It's mentally draining on a daily basis.

The "office-people shit": That's along the lines of various people saying cheerily, "Whenever you need anything, just ask!" And, "We're a great group! If you ever have a question, anyone here will help you!" Some people are indeed nice and helpful. But the ones I need the most (my immediate bosses), when I've asked, they've either acted like I was annoying them, or else they gave incorrect information that, when I relayed, made ME look stupid.

There's no reason for any of that!

But perhaps the most clear--in my mind--reason why I cannot stay after the next 3 weeks: Last week, there was a student job fair that lasted all day, with the kids intermingling with professional recruiters. One of the "office people" put out beforehand a big tin tray of Cheez Doodles for people to snack on. I said conversationally/jokingly to the guy who was training me at the fair: "Cheez Doodles aren't the best thing to serve, huh? That's about the messiest thing that people could be eating right now!" (You know, handing out resumes, shaking hands, etc. With ORANGE GUNK all over your hands!) I barely got a nod out of him.

I knew right then, when he didn't even chuckle, that I wasn't among My People. That I had to escape as soon as reasonably possible.

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p.s. I just read Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story" for the first time last week. It was annoying as hell to me; I'd read/seen/heard that exact same thing a million times before. But then it dawned on me: The guy wrote this in 1958. At that time, it had NOT been read/seen/heard ever before, except in private. Still, I don't LIKE Albee. To me, he's like reading Bret Easton Ellis in the '80s: Truth as seen from a hangover, a post-drug binge, completely drained and negative, which isn't Complete Truth at all (as anyone who's recuperated from a drink/drug binge will tell you long afterwards). Worse, Easton and Albee don't even seem to have ever enjoyed the HIGH/glorious part of a binge. Which is as real as the nasty aftermath.

One reason I like Tennessee Williams a lot, and a lot more as a playwright than Albee, is because of Williams's JUICE, his HEART. Williams always found true reasons why people live, not just easy, "hip," self-congratulatory pride in identifying negation. (DUH! Lots and lots of horrible stuff out there, why we should feel like dying.) Williams knows / is capable of revealing both the depths AND the heights. Albee... Like I said above: Life as a hangover. A view as false as the opposite-end-of-the-creative-spectrum fake cheeriness espoused by the office people I've been working around lately.

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