Friday, February 15, 2008

Seeing the world through rose colored goggles...

Things are good.

I haven't been able to say that for a very long time indeed.

At the moment I have nothing to bitch about, except the fact that I have no ideas for blog posts and we are out of the "good" coffee. Our Gevalia shipment hasn't arrived yet so I've been brewing the swill otherwise known as Starbucks Breakfast Blend instead of my usual tasty, mildly roasted Mocha Java that I love so much.

Perhaps this is very boring, but there's a story coming. Bear with me.

I'm busy, which is something I haven't been for quite some time. I missed being busy and had forgotten how it makes the hours fly by almost as quickly as when I'm watching Project Runway (the shortest increment of time passage in my personal universe). My new job is not the kind of job where I will have much free time. It would probably not shock you, thanks to my moniker, to know that I barely have time to eat my PB&J.

I haven't told you the tidbit about how I've already been promoted, have I?

Well, it's true. Apparently they were so impressed with me that they decided to give me a higher paying job with more responsibilities than one I originally interviewed for. So I got promoted before I even started working. Marvelous! And I say that with not even the slightest trace of sarcasm.

Like I said, things are good.

Anyhoo... Thanks to all of you for your well wishes in the comments of my last post on starting my new job and commiseration in dealing with my husband's unnatural fear of natural disasters.

Since I have nothing exciting or upsetting to report I will instead share a story about my friend Amy. She called me last night and we were swapping tales of temporary employment from our pasts because as you may or may not know my new job is a temporary contract position. It's a very long contract (a year or possibly more) for an involved project, but anyway you slice it - I'm a temp.

Amy and I have both worked lots of shit jobs in the past including taking various temporary assignments. Being a temp can be weird. You are often treated as a second class citizen, and depending upon the length of the assignment and what kind of work it is, you may not even be given a place to sit. Often times the instructions on what it is you are supposed to do are unclear, especially if the temporary assignment is to take the place of a person who has had to leave unexpectedly.

When you are a temp nobody is expecting you to set the world on fire, so innovation and new ideas are not really high on your list of qualities you want to "wow" your new boss and coworkers with. Basically, you want to do what they tell you to do, how they tell you to do it and ask as few questions as possible. You tend to take everything very literally and this is why Amy's story is worth telling.

The story involves a one day temporary assignment at a metal working company. Amy didn't have a car at the time so she walked to this place through a very bad part of town. How she arrived to the job isn't pivotal to the story or even the least bit relevant, I just thought it seemed kinda sad. Anyway... When you are a temp you are not always told what is appropriate to wear so Amy chose to err on the side of caution and wore a suit and dress shoes.

She shows up on time and is met by a woman wearing safety goggles, who hands Amy a pair of safety goggles. Not the glasses kind, but the kind that wrap tight around your head with a piece of elastic. The woman instructs her to put them on and then guides Amy through a factory kind of building that is surrounded by offices with windows that look out into the factory area. Amy follows the woman to a back room office area filled with blueprints and the woman gives Amy her assignment for the day: Go through all the blueprints and sort out any of the ones that contain a certain part number.

The woman left and Amy got down to business.

It would have been an easy enough assignment were it not for the fact that the writing on the blueprints was kind of small and Amy was wearing a pair of scratched up safety goggles. The goggles impaired her vision and made if very difficult to read the blueprints, but she tried her best.

Hours go by... Amy is left unattended and keeps plugging away at her task.

Finally, late in the afternoon the woman returns to check on Amy and see if she wants a break. The woman informs Amy, who by this time has developed serious eye strain, a throbbing headache and a red, irritated goggle shaped indentation on half of her face, that the goggles only needed to be worn when walking through the factory, and that she has been needlessly suffering and sweaty faced all morning and afternoon.

If you look hard enough you can probably still see the goggle shaped indentation on Amy's face to this day. Well, maybe not, but the emotional scars remain.

UPDATE - 2-16-08 - after re-reading this post I have realized that one might think that I believe my new job is shitty. I'm a temp, but the job is not shitty. Not at all. It's fabulous and I love it. Of course I have only been going for three days, so it could go south in the future, but for now all is well.

I have a big giant cubicle that is is almost the same size as my home office and this company and the people I will be working with have made me feel quite welcomed and appreciated. They are all so nice and accomodating that it may even be a touch Twilight Zone-ish, but at the moment I'm just happy to be leaving the house every day and earning some bread.

14 comments:

WendyB said...

Poor Amy! The emotional scars are probably goggle-shaped too.

dmarks said...

Now to go google goggles. Got it.

Shan said...

Oh that would be traumatic.

I hear you about the coffee. I ordered some Breakfast Blend for my husband and he denounced it as swill as well, just yesterday actually. Luckily there was some Gevalia left.

Frenchie said...

I love it when bosses leave out those little details.

SkylersDad said...

Great story! Almost like a hazing incident, isn't it?

pistols at dawn said...

Awesome. All the temp jobs I remember involved people younger than me asking me if I might be able to put address labels on envelopes as if I were incapable of doing so. It was awesome.

Step Right Up said...

Thanks for the laugh at your friend's expense. Poor dear. I'm imagining her on her knees on the floor hunched over blueprints with those ridiculous goggles on. She probably wasn't on the floor but I let my imagination run wild sometimes.

Michelle said...

Sounds like you're doing well!

Amy's story is one of those you can laugh at years later, poor thing!

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

WendyB - she's fine and survived and we had a big laugh about it, well, it was mosting me laughing, but whatever.

Dmarks - cut it out.

Shan - Starbucks roasts their coffees too long and they taste like burnt ass. Gevalia Mocha Java is the best coffee in the whole wide world. MDH likes the Stockholm Roast better.

Frenchie - I probably would have worn the goggles all day long too. When you're a temp you take no chances and do as you are told.

Skydad - It does seem like hazing or Candid Camera.

Pistols - I don't know why people assume you're stupid when you're a temp. Maybe they think temps are too dumb to hold down a regular job? No idea.

SRU - Thanks for that image. Keep in mind too that my poor love was wearing a pencil skirt and high heels with those crazy goggles. She's also weighs about a buck and a quarter. My girl Amy is skinny skinny.

Michelle - I laughed so hard when she told me - that I had to go peepee.

i am playing outside said...

congrats on the sweet job upgrade :D

can you or anyone else here get me a good summer job? lol

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

Never been a temp. Interviewed at a few temp agencies, though -- and those were some of the worst interviews of my whole life.

another good thing said...

Hah. And she was trying so hard to comply. Congrats on the promotion- maybe you can score some office supplies. Hey, weird that I mentioned Twilight Zone while posting today too...

CDP said...

Congratulations on the job situation! I've never temped, but I expect to do so next year. I'm losing my job in December when my company shuts down. I have a very generous severance, so I'm going to temp for a few months so I can take off for the following summer.

Linka72 said...

The look in that little girl's eye scares me...