Boring, but Painless

       Woke up at 3:30 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep.   Work’s going to suck so badly today.

       My job is very boring.  Boring, but relatively painless.  I actually made the mistake of telling that to my boss the other day when he asked me how I was “settling in.”

       “Well, I’m glad to be here, so thanks for that,” I said.  “It is boring, but painless.  Once I learned the software program, it was easy.  Please let me know if you are dissatisfied with the quality of my work.”

        He stared at me, and then it occurred to me that I should not have called the job “boring.”  Even though it is.  And I’m not even using that description in derogatory fashion.

        Whatevs!  I don’t care.  That is another nice thing about this job: I don’t care, so no stress.  

        Don’t get me wrong: I practice good work ethic.  I show up well-dressed and on time.  I accomplish tasks.  I do the job.  I have a pleasant demeanor and don’t make any problems.  I don’t complain. 

        Otherwise: I don’t care.  I don’t have to wonder if my students are learning, or if my lesson plan is any good.  I don’t have to wonder if feeding a dog turd to a client is going to send him to the hospital.  

         One of the women I work with (also from the Temp agency) is not so fortunate.  She was really getting on my nerves until I realized that the reason she was struggling was that she is not very smart and has no skills.  Once I understood that, I had compassion for her, and now I’m not bothered.  

        She can’t do math, even with a calculator.  I don’t blame anyone for not understanding much math, because the only reason most people would need to know it past an 8th-grade level is to avoid getting fucked by the banks and credit card companies. Math was my worst subject at school, but I had to take four semesters of stats in grad school, so I know some stuff, even though I almost never use it in daily life outside work. 

       (Side note: there was to be a better way to teach math.  I don’t know what that “better way” is, but it must exist.  I have no innate ability at all, and everything I learned about math I had to learn through practice and rote memorization, but I feared and dreaded THE MATH with a passion that was totally incommensurate with its difficulty. It shouldn’t have to be that painful.)

        I had to show her how to calculate percentages.  Her memory is poor.  When she was learning the software program, I noticed that she never asked questions.  After a few days, I realized that she never asked questions because she didn’t know what was going on and didn’t want anyone to know that.  

       Yesterday one of the other office ladies was mad at me because a client did not get their leatherbound restaurant reservations book on time.  They did not get it on time because I wrong the wrong zip code down on the mailing envelope.  I wrote the zip code down incorrectly because they wrote it down incorrectly in their email to the company.  Anyway, they didn’t get it on time, and they were mad.

        “THEY SENT ME A NASTY EMAIL!” complained the office lady, standing at my desk.

         “I’m sorry to hear that,” I said.

        I didn’t say it, but I wondered why she would be upset over this.  It was the client’s error, but even if it wasn’t: who cares?  The order consisted of a single book, to a restaurant.  It isn’t some holy stone stationery God Almighty needs to write more commandments or the Holy Bible on.  President Obama isn’t signing it anywhere.  Who gives a damn?  I wanted to ask her: “Do they pay you enough to get upset about this?”

         Because that’s where it counts, and it’s what most employers don’t seem to understand (or maybe they do, but lie about understanding–who knows?): loyalty requires reciprocity.  I will execute the tasks for which I am hired, but I will invest zero emotional fucks.  I could and would give a fuck about a client not getting its restaurant reservation book on time, but that would require a pay rate of at least $25/hour.  (That is why I would immediately call a manger when an asshole customer would flip out or get verbally abusive with me at my restaurant or retail jobs: the company did not pay me enough to put up with it.)  I’m not going to throw myself from the factory roof like a Japanese salaryman after a bad performance review just because a Capitol Grille in Miami got its book on Tuesday instead of Monday.  Sorry, not sorry, lady.  Get in touch with your inner alienation.  Read some fuckin Dilbert or something.  

         I found the only cute man.  He is a short-ish muscular guy who works on the factory floor.  He listens to heavy metal on his iPhone constantly.  I like him because I saw him give a big sarcastic eyeroll at his boss.  

        About to get ready to go to work.  I am already speculating about whether anyone stole the Diet Coke I left in the company fridge.  My Excel spreadsheets will be open, right where I left them.  I turn off my monitor when I leave for the day, because I want to extend the life of the factory equipment.  

        They do pay me enough for that.  

       


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