A Week on the Job

Miss Margo, Office Monkey.  Wanna see my spreadsheets?

      It’s a shitty job, but I’ve had worse.  The geographically-confused stationery-peddling Italians told the Temp agency that they’ll keep me through Christmas, for which I am grateful.  I think three months is this job’s sell-by date, at least for me.

      My duties require just enough brain power to keep me from feeling depressed…but not enough to keep me entertained or intellectually engaged.  That’s okay.  I don’t like it, but I can put up with it for a while.

       The nicest thing is that I am getting a paycheck tomorrow and I ought to be living independently again in about five weeks.  

        I think this is the first job I’ve had in eight years–heck, maybe ten years–that does not stress me out or intimidate me in any way or fashion.  With the exception of the other new girl, I am the youngest person in the office, but I am not remotely worried about proving myself.  The only positions in the place I’m unqualified for are factory machinist and accounting.  I’m not gonna lie: it feels nice.  Eventually it’ll start to drive me nuts, but right now, I’m enjoying being able to do almost everything right the first time and also knowing that I’m being useful. 

          I had to learn a new computer software program so that I could manage the data sets concerning inventory and help out in the distribution office if necessary.  So far, this was the hardest thing to learn.  It took a few shifts.  I haven’t needed to ask for help with it at all the last day or two.  

         I can see why they hired me to edit and write copy, because some of the documents I’ve seen look like they were run through Google translator.  I don’t speak Italian, so I can’t translate anything.  I just clean up what I have.  The good news is that I’m not exactly working with a mangled facsimile of The Divine Comedy, if you know what I mean.  It’s all just simple business correspondence: thank you for your interest in our products, here are some free leather desk pads so that you may better appreciate the quality of the workmanship, we are sorry your order has been on hold for the last six months, sirs, but there was a labor strike/youth riot, and/or we just got back from our six weeks of vacation, blah blah.  

         I clean it up, format it, and send it back as a Word document.  I don’t actually talk to anyone about that part of my work.  I just email it and that’s it.  

       The office is small.  It is gray and boring but not hideous.  There is a window.  The overhead lights have transparencies on them like this:

          My mother says they use them in hospitals and hospices.

          It is relatively quiet in the office, which I like.  They don’t play music, which I LOVE.  I fuckin hate office music, it’s torture and should be illegal.  

          Nobody seems curious about me or tries to pry, and I like that, too.   They like my work, though.  I am already helping the others when they get in the weeds and I have time to help out.

          I work in the same office with a handful of middle-aged women.  They are nice responsible adults, unlike most of the motley crew at the Studio, but I have very little in common with them aside from the fact that I, too, am nice, and responsible.  It’s okay, though. They don’t stress me out.  Yesterday they talked about the blue color of the new printer paper.  They all liked it better than the old printer paper.  It was a prettier blue, they said.  Made me think:

          I get a full hour for lunch, which I dislike.  I’d just as soon work through lunch and get off an hour earlier.  There is nothing to do during lunch but surf the internet or read (and I can’t even get to the fun parts of the internet or my secret emails, because I’m using company internet).  

           There is a Del Taco and a gas station across the street.  This town sucks so bad.  It’s okay, though.  I can live with it until I have the money to move again.   I’m safe and I’m not drinking and my job is stupid and boring, but painless, and tomorrow I am going to buy a new friend.

         (This job IS boring.  Really boring.  Can I do three months of boring…?  I can do three months of boring.) 

2 thoughts on “A Week on the Job”

  1. Hi!
    Those light transparencies are really creepy. It’s like a dystopian nightmare.
    Like at the end of the movie ‘Soylent Green” when they show Edward G. Robinson those nature movies. I really hate the idea of shaping the work environment to increase productivity by influencing the thoughts and feelings of workers.
    I always hated those stupid motivational posters too.


  2. The light transparencies prettier than regular plastic light fixtures. I can’t decide which is better: fake, or (even more) ugly? Are they cynical? Perhaps there are peer-reviewed studies whose findings suggests that workers had a positive reaction to these things.

    I dunno. All that I do know is that: they remind me of the sun and sky I’m NOT experiencing, and, yeah, Soylent Green.

    Thanks for reading. xoxo.

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