Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dear Boss-like Person,

I am thrilled, really I am, that you value my opinion. I, being rather opinionated, think it's nice to actually be asked what I think, rather than following my usual pattern of offering my opinion whether solicited or not.
However, I do not appreciate being asked my opinion of other workers in the office. I do not like feeling like I am part of your covert plan to dig up dirt on co-workers against whom you have odd vendettas. Gossip under the guise of professional inquiry is still gossip. I.do.not.like.it.not.one.bit.
So. In the future, please do not invite me into your "office/cube" and ambush me with such questions. Because, as I've said, I am rather opinionated and I might just tell you what I think of you and your not-so-subtle attempts to get me to reveal damning information. I would feel perfectly justified in doing this because you are not my boss. You are simply boss-like.

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Erin Versus the Chair

One Year Ago

Erin starts a new job. A...stupid job. Erin is given a brief tour of the warehouse, ahem, "office" and is shown to her "desk"-a table that she shares with another person. At this "desk" is an office chair. It looks like your stereotypical office chair; weird waffle-ly fabric over spongy foam, levers sticking out from the side, a little wheel at the end of each leg. Erin sits down and begins to watch the world's most boring training videos. Erin leans back in her chair and realizes something is wrong. Erin gets up and investigates. Turns out the back of the chair has, at some point, become detached from the rest of the chair and has been, it appeared, jammed back into place. This has caused the back of the chair to permanently list to one side and wobble dangerously when leaned against. Erin is not sure what to do; she has been at the new job all of 10 minutes. Surely it would seem presumptuous to request a new chair. Erin sucks it up and tries not to lean back.

Score: Chair-1, Erin-0

Three Months Later

Erin is working and not leaning back in her chair. Erin hates her chair. Erin wonders what in the world she was thinking when she agreed to this torture. However, Erin is feeling a bit more courageous; having worked at this job for several months she has realized that most people are pretty clueless about the daily goings-on in the warehouse "office". She decides to do chair reconnaissance and find a new chair. She searches. It isn't a difficult search; Erin can see every desk if she stands up. She notices and orphan chair a mere 3 or 4 desks away and hatches a plan to steal/borrow the "new" chair. It takes only a minute. Old chair is out, new chair is in. Erin sits down. The back seems steady. SCORE. Erin begins to work...Erin slowly begins to realize something is not quite right...Erin seems to be slowly sinking. Erin wonders if the floor is beginning to sag (not an altogether impossible idea; Erin has put on some weight and this is one old, decrepit building), but NO. Erin's chair is slowly lowering itself. It seems this chair was an orphan for a reason.

Score: Chair-2, Erin-0

3 months After That

Erin, some months ago, had stealthily swapped out sinking chair for wobbly-back chair. She had decided on the lesser of two evils; while it was fun for a short time to have her very own carnival ride, she was getting a little motion sick. So, Erin is back to wobbly-back chair. BUT WAIT! Ridiculously Thorough HR Lady has been tasked with a chair inventory! She wants to know if Erin would like a brand-spanking new chair! This is a miracle! Erin quickly agrees. Erin is giddy. Erin takes what she can get; she's been copying and pasting from one spreadsheet to another for nigh these last 6 months; it doesn't take much to make her happy. A new chair is practically a Christmas bonus (maybe that's why Erin didn't get a Christmas bonus?). Several weeks pass and VOILA, Erin has a new chair. Erin is also moving to an ACTUAL desk. This will be Erin's third move. It seems that the PTB consulted their "Handbook of Professionalism" and realized that the abandoned warehouse look wasn't really the image they were going for; carpet was put down (the fumes are another story altogether)and Erin had to move (twice); cubicles were installed and Erin had to move (twice). But finally, Erin has a new chair AND a file cabinet. Erin is, well, not happy exactly, but less irritated.

The Present

Erin has moved yet again. Erin's employer has gone on a hiring binge. New people need desks; the cubicles were not big enough. New cubicles had to be installed. Erin moves to a new cube. Thrilling, yes? BUT WAIT. The new cubicle's desk is at least 2 inches higher than the old cubicle. Erin does not fret for she has a NEW (well, 6 month old, so new-ish) chair that is ADJUSTABLE. She tries to raise the chair. The chair is up as high as it goes. Erin cannot really reach her keyboard without her hands being at an awkward, near 90 degree angle. This is problematic. Sigh. BUT WAIT. Erin, being practically fearless now, approaches Ridiculously Thorough HR Lady and explains her "chair situation". Erin is told that new chairs are being ordered. It will be about 1 month. Erin resigns herself to carpel tunnel syndrome. All giddy Christmas-y feelings: gone.

Final Score: Chair-3, Erin-0

Monday, June 15, 2009

Job Hunting = Sadness

Isaac and I are looking for jobs. He's finished with his graduate work and we are ready to move on. Problem is, so are about 1.5 million other recent graduates. This makes the job hunt rather discouraging.
I am so tired of spending hours and hours and hours on applications and cover letters and resumes and all manner of self-promotion only to:

1. Be told 'Thanks but no thanks' (Isaac actually got an email with that as the subject line! Who does that?!) or,
2. Hear nothing as if our applications have been sent into a resume black hole

It is monumentally frustrating. And, murder on the self-esteem.
Job Hunting really does equal sadness.