|Grievances (get comfy, folks, this'll take a while)
||[Feb. 16th, 2005|03:27 pm]
|||||oppressed by the Man||]|
So, what have I been up to in the 2+ years since I last journaled regularly? Working my ass off, to the detriment of my physical and psychological health, for a company that undervalued me and my contributions, that's what. I rose to the position of Manager of the Coding (data entry) department (or, as I referred to it, Chief Database Janitor or Chief Coding Gimp) because I alone could do what needed to be done. As manager, I got to supervise and train sometimes up to 45 people who a) didn't want to be there and b) didn't give a shit about learning to do the job. Granted, I did have a few people who cared and tried, but by and large, that group of people was the most immature, unprofessional, barely-literate group of people I have ever had the misfortune to work with (and I am including my McDonald's experience in here, as well).
I had to deal with people who were more concerned with catching my minor slip-ups than they were with doing and keeping their jobs. Moreover, even as manager, I had no say as to who stayed and who got fired. And since only I had to work with these people closely on a day-to-day basis, my judgment was the only accurate judgment to draw from in this area. But it didn't count. I'm a girl, and I'm young. So I just got to put up with their shit as best I could. Yay, me.
Along about October, work started slowing down (we were dependent on attorneys who needed coding done and our salespeople who were supposed to find these attorneys and get them to use us) so HQ decided to kill off Houston Coding. I had had advanced and highly unofficial warning of this, and was told that we'd have official warning in advance. Well, HQ didn't follow through with said warning. They just killed us. After being allowed to sit on my ass for two weeks, earning not one red cent, I was called back to work to cover the front desk for a day. At the end of said day, my boss came up and offered me a massive ($10K+/yr) pay cut in return for the privilege of being allowed to continue my employment there. Having no other job lined up, I took it.
Before Coding closed, I had been offered an opportunity to go to Back Office (techie shit) at a not-quite-so-massive cut in pay, but said offer was reneged when they discovered the Coding dept couldn't function without me. I was then told something would be found for me--copy shift leader, general office bitch, whatever--so that I could avoid having to become a Production gimp. Lo and behold, Production Gimp I became. I got to pull staples all day. And sometimes replace them. And not on a steady basis, either. So I filed for unemployment. Several times. Every time, I was called into work the day after, which, in most cases, meant that any wages I earned were deducted from my unemployment "benefits", and in one case, meant that my claim lapsed and I had to get re-approved, thereby causing less money to come my way. Thanks, fuckers.
I cannot even begin to tell you how depressing it was to go into work at such a reduced status. No one above gimp level talked to me anymore, other than the occasional "hi" and quick glance away. When I'd call in to see if there was work, my boss would invariably answer in the same flippant manner, "Not a thing. Go back to sleep." Once, he even added a "woohoo", to which I replied "Says you, you still get a paycheck." And, I had the satisfaction of knowing that all my previous effort, all the blood, sweat and tears I'd put into that damn department meant absolutely dick.
So, after months of sending out resumes, I got really desperate and applied at Whole Foods. When they called me and offered me a job, I resigned at Beelzebub's Litigation Support, Inc.
I lasted 4.5 days at Whole Foods. Day 1 was general training, and that went well--the trainer thanked me several times for actually being able to answer the questions about the stuff she'd just said. The company sounded really well-organized--lots of room for growth and excellent benefits. I was gung-ho and happy and whatnot.
Day 2 was my first day bagging groceries. I lead a sedentary lifestyle. I'm not used to moving, especially when I've been out of work. I ached in places I didn’t even know I had places. But everyone was nice, and I'd finally gotten the hang of steering multiple shopping carts. And, I needed money. So I went back.
Days 3 and 4 were Saturday and Sunday, the days when everyone and their damn brother goes shopping at that particular Whole Foods, so it was, to say the least, hellishly crazy. Those happened to be the days in which pesky little doubts started to creep into my head, along with the mantra "I don't want to be here" and the awareness of my antidepressants being already negated.
At the risk of sounding elitist, I didn't spend 4.5 years of my life in college and graduate cum laude to bag groceries. I do, however, have a drastically increased respect for people who do bag groceries for a living. That's some tough shit. Customers get really picky. I had one guy come in and buy $500+ worth of stuff and then insist that everything get double bagged, in paper (for those of you who don't know, baggers HATE having to bag with paper bags--the glue machines have a tendency to get heavy-handed, or -nozzled, or whatever, making the bags damn near impossible to open, making the customers irritable that you’re taking such a long time to bag their shit). Then, for the cold stuff, he wanted a plastic bag inside the two paper bags, and a bag of ice inside that. I got to bag all that. And he didn't even tip me.
Day 5, I quit. I had even bought tennis shoes that morning--white ones, at that, to which I am morally opposed--thinking they'd serve me better than my boots. Unfortunately, I wear a size 2, and kid's shoes, despite what the boxes advertise, do not come with any manner of decent support whatsoever built into them. And, yes, there was all this supposed room for advancement, but none of it was immediately on the horizon. To rise to the position of cashier, for instance, I would have had to memorize 100 produce codes, divided into 4 tests, and missing no more than 3 on each test. My staple-pulling-atrophied brain can't handle that. Yes, I can tell you what my first phone number was (272-7576), but that's because there weren't 100 of them to memorize at a time. And because there are a bunch of 7's in it, and 7 is my favorite number. And because I'm a geek, but you've probably figured that out by now.
So here I am, sitting on my ass, not earning a goddamn thing, no longer eligible for unemployment, playing Rocket Mania all day, or at least during those parts of the day when I'm awake.
So if anyone in the Houston area needs a secretary or geek-of-all-trades, by all means, let me know. Hell, add the Austin area to that, as well. Or DFW, even.
I will leave with this parting thought, which is far from unique, but highly relevant to my current plight: Corporate America sucks rancid ass. It is a festering boil on the unwashed cunt of humanity. And now I need a way back in.