And She Lived…











{September 5, 2008}   Day One at the Job From Hell

I woke up that morning at 6am ready to get an early start on the day. Having done the SAHM thing for the past 5 months it was kind of exciting to be going back to work. I had to be there at 8am and getting up 2 hours before I needed to be at work was not a usual habit of mine. At my old job I had to be there at 7:30 and I was doing really good to drag my carcass out of bed at 6:30. Some days it was closer to 7 and I had a 20 minute drive. Mornings are not my thing, especially not early mornings.

So there I was up at 6, and not just up but actually wide awake and excited. I also found it pretty darn nice to be getting dressed up a bit. The SAHM gig never really required me to dress up in anything more than jeans and a clean shirt in case I actually decided to brave the world with my hyperactive, antisocial 2yo in tow. Even my last job didn’t require any sort of fashion skills. I was able to wear those ugly ass scrubs to work. It’s kind of like going to work in pajamas. Comfy, but not real fashionable. So the idea of office casual was somewhat appealing to me. I put on a nice pair of pinstriped slacks and a pretty blouse, a blouse not a shirt but a blouse. Ha! I looked like a woman and not just a mom for the first time in awhile. I packed up a lunch for myself and a book to read at lunch just in case I didn’t have anyone to talk to. I would be grateful for the book later.

I drove to work excited about the new job and about my new coworkers. How nice it would be to talk to someone other than a 2yo with a vocabulary of about 20 words. You can only hear “more”, “ball” and “uh oh” so many times a day before it gets redundant. I walked into the office and was greeted with a big smile from the manager. She is one of those really, really, super friendly kind of people. The kind of super friendly that makes you wonder just how fake it is. Still, it was a nice greeting. This was going to be good. She showed me where my desk was and introduced me to everyone in the room. There were two managers and 6 employees not including myself. As I was introduced only two of them actually bothered to look up and smile or wave. The others didn’t even acknowledge the introduction. “Oh well,” I thought, they were all on the phones afterall. They were simply too busy for introductions.

I was told that I would be trained by the other manager but at that moment she was busy with something. So manager #1 told me to sit by SG#1 (SG stand for Snotty Girl which will be obvious why I refer to her as such later) and just listen for a little while.

The job was answering phones for about 10 different offices within the group of optometrists. So, I sat next to SG#1 and listened. She asked if I had any questions and I said that I didn’t really even know enough yet to know what to ask. I said it with a smile and she responded with a “humph” and a snarl. Okay then, this could be fun. (that is sarcasm by the way in case you missed it) I listened for a bit and then did have a couple of questions then which she answered quickly. I noticed she had a picture of a baby on her desk and asked her if he was hers, thinking I could start a conversation about kids and kind of get to know each other. “Yes,” was her only answer. “How old is he?” I asked, still thinking I could get her to talk. “Ten”, was all she said. “Ten months,” I said. “Ya,” with attitude like she was saying “duh, 10 months”. And I was thinking “ya, duh ten months! but that’s not what you said!”. I gave up on trying to talk to her and just sat and waited for another call so I could listen to her half of the call and learn absolutely nothing about the job.

SG#1 stared at me a bit and then asked, “so you get the desk in the back huh?” and there was obviously some bitterness in the question. “I guess so” I answered. I could tell this was a bit of a sore spot with her. She had a desk right inside the door with another desk and SG#2 right behind her. QG (quiet girl) sat directly behind SG#2 and right next to her was Manger #1. Manager #2’s desk was against the wall right inside the door so it was pretty close to SG#1’s desk. The 5 of them were in fairly tight quarters with each other and they didn’t have any cubicle walls to separate them or anything. Next to the 2 managers on the other side were cubicle walls with one desk behind each of those and then another cubicle wall with two more desks behind those. My desk was to be in the back corner behind one of the cubicle walls. This meant that I had my own space with some privacy. I could see why SG#1 might be bitter about me getting that space when she was crammed in with 4 other people. Still, it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t assign the seating arrangement so there was no reason to be snotty to me about it.

I was really glad to see Manger#2 walk in. This meant I got to go sit with her and actually learn something. Or so I thought. She went to the back where my desk was and got the chair and rolled it over to her desk. Then she looked at me and said “now you can give me my chair”.  And I was thinking “oh great, here we go again.” I got up and gave her the chair and then sat in mine.

I spent the next hour sitting and watching her go through a big binder that had the protocol for how each doctor liked their calls handled. Seriously, I just sat… and did nothing. She pulled some papers out and threw them away, she made copies of some papers from her own binder and put them in. She arranged and rearranged the binder. For an hour. I sat and watched and fought off sleep. I was suddenly regretting the decision to wake up at 6am. Finally she finished with the book and she told me to read through it. This thing was huge. It was one of those 4 or 5″ binders and I was supposed to read through it.

I started to read it but most of it made no sense. It’s one of those things that if you don’t know what the basic process of doing things actually is there is no point in knowing the specifics. Pointless. So for another hour I sat and read the stupid binder full of nonsense while she fidgeted with some other stuff and ran around the office a bit. Finally… FINALLY…. she gave me a headset so I could listen to her taking calls. So I sat and listened for the rest of the day. With the exception of my lunch break, which I spent by myself in an empty breakroom (now you know why i was grateful for having brought the book), I just sat and listened to her taking calls. She didn’t explain anything she did on the computer. She didn’t ever stop to say “this is how we handle this” or “this is why I did this” or anything at all helpful. It wasn’t so much training as it was torture. I learned absolutely nothing.

I had been so excited to go to work and it had been boring and miserable. I didn’t give up hope though. Surely tomorrow would be better!

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