Posts Tagged workplace bullshit
Well… I feel rather dumb for complaining about things right now, but then again I kind of have to purge it. I have my health, which somehow managed to avoid the death flu and several stomach bugs, I have a great kid who will be going to an advanced art program this summer. My depression has not, so far, kicked into gear. However, I feel like I’m just strong enough to keep that below a crust… for now.
I even have a landlord who tried to give me his rent back when I told him I’d lost my job and said he’d support me getting moved if that is what I felt I needed to do.
End of March, not long after my fifth anniversary, I came into work expecting to have the same soul-sucking experience that is has been over 90% of the time I’ve been there. I’d been training a new manager on how to do everything I did (plotting for a smooth exit), most of which fell back to me as they were getting overwhelmed. They helped field some of the calls and emails coming in, but now we had two of us drowning rather than just me.
But I’ve been there the longest. And I work for a company that epitomizes every single article I’ve ever read about toxic environments. I get no information, no communication, but then am reprimanded when my responses to those outside are “too vague” and not “resolution-driven.” It’s really no wonder that the company itself has had to change names over the course of “twenty years” it likes to brag its been in business. By law, you have to shut down when you report a loss too many years in a row.
The VP… again, not my superior… but is the right-hand to one of the owners….calls me into a conference room around lunch. Everyone is gone and the only other person there is the HR manager.
The writing is on the wall.
“Huh, am I being let go?”
I’m being told yes, and they ask if they need to go over why. I say “I don’t see the point,” and go through the list of where to find anything they might need, forward my phone to the new manager, pack my things in a very small bag (all while being offered a large box several times and professing I don’t need it). I tell them its not like I’m going to disappear so if they can’t find something, just contact me.
It was so surreal.
I’ve never been fired.
I hate this place, but I busted my ass for over five years, and now… fired?
I get in my car and take one last look at the building I feel like I have wasted a chunk of my life on and realize… I NEVER have to come back here…
I realize I’m smiling about this idea.
I realize that I’m so stubborn and have been such a closet optimist that this shithole might actually get better that this might have been just what I needed to leave and make the changes I’ve wanted to make.
I don’t even unfriend the VP on facebook, though she does get moved to the restricted group.
I talk it over with Spawn and let them know what happened and we talk about moving… like… now.
Thirteen years of life to clean out, toss, donate, sell… and so so much. Every time I think we might have gotten through one room, I find yet another box, stash of papers etc.
I would even be grateful if that was the most stressful part.
Yes, they are paying me an additional month and told me to file for unemployment (which I’ve yet to see, so apparently I did something wrong). I socked away my tax refund rather than pay anything off or blow it and I have a 401k and a money market investment account I can pull from if I feel like buying a house… a modest house, but a house nonetheless.
But I don’t feel ok.
I feel on the edge of freaking out.
Every time I’ve ever moved, I’ve usually had a friend or family to stay with until I got settled. And this time, I do have a cousin in the area, but neither of us are the type to share space unless we have to… holidays and that sort of thing. Three days is the expiration.
I’m sure the wife if dodging me when I’m up there for interviews so I don’t ask to move in with them for awhile. But the truth is, I’d live in my car and lie about it before I’d even ask.
It killed me to even tell them I was out of work. They are the pair with which I feel like I’m being graded whenever I’m around them and to ask for advice…. was an intensely hard thing for me to do. They know the area, they might have tips and places I would not think to look. And my cousin, did have contacts at a couple of the staffing agencies, both of which has sadly done nothing for me.
I’m also prideful as hell. Every time I’ve been through something stressful: divorce, poverty, a death of someone close to me, I shut out the world and maybe talk about it once I’ve resolved it.
But when you have a kid at stake, you have to put on that face of adulting as though you know what the fuck you’re doing when in truth, we’re all still those kids inside and figuring shit out only when we fuck it up. And when you have a kid at stake and their well-being, you get help wherever you think it might happen no matter how much of a prick your pride tells you to be instead.
I know… I know, logically, we will be fine. It’s been 3 weeks, I’ve submitted to over 90 openings, been in one 3 hour interview doing something I’ve never done before, but was eager over the prospect of learning something new, in spite of the long hours. They won’t decide until the 15th of next month, so I’d prefer not to wait. I’ve had a few other promising phone interviews, but its just not happening as fast as I would like it.
I’m really fucking good at what I do, and when I’m not, I’m very independent about figuring it out. I own my mistakes, I’m as honest as I can be within professional constraints. Hire me, dammit!
But then you also start house hunting, and they tell you to get pre-approved, but then they tell you you won’t qualify if you’re not employed… a friend advised just getting up there in the first cheap postage stamp I could rent, and then start looking and this way I would be available for interviews… which sounds great!… until I look at the daily cost. It’s HUGE and its like NO ONE wants to give you a deal for maybe a month. They are hell bent on locking you in for a year or more.
I want as much as possible to buy a real house.
Spawn wants a real house.
I want a real house.
This is where Spawn wants to finish school.
I don’t have much time before Spawn realizes that living with their parent is just not the way they want to do it forever. So before that period, I want them to have the house I’ve never been able to offer so they can decorate and do and make it, into everything they ever dreamed. I want that too.
But first, I want work… or I want both… or I want to not have to worry about both…I don’t know.
What if I’m just not enough for any of this? The last thing I want is my stress to become Spawn’s stress. I wish I knew what to do…
My company is having an “employee appreciation” function, in the stank southern heat, to watch baseball, with the stipulation “one adult guest allowed.” Meaning of course, no kids.
As you can tell, I have 0 interest in going. We were chided a bit by Yankee Heather since she was the only one from our department who attended last year. not like I give a shit her about her indignation, but it did get me wondering…
How do you guys feel about employee appreciation functions?
To me, this is set up very exclusionary and unwelcoming. Most of us do have families and having to spend my free time looking at the same fucking people I’m paid to work with “for fun” doesn’t sound like fun to me at all. Hell I wouldn’t want to go outside to watch baseball with people I like.
On the other hand, I do completely understand the important of good employee rapport. There is a lot of friction between the respective departments since only a few of us get we’re all cogs in the same damn machine.
But to me, they could be a lot more inclusive if they really wanted to show “appreciation”… say, by inviting the employees AND their families, having things that all spectrums of ages can do and enjoy. Another place I worked did something like this at a park (with trees and things to shade), served food, bit of beer with the soda, had an inflatable slide, bingo, a ton of other small inexpensive but fun things I cannot even recall right now and everyone from old to young all said they had a blast. My boss actually spent most of the time on the slide… I miss that boss…
So to me its kind of a slap in the face to be forced to watch something only a few of us enjoy in awful unshaded southern weather with only a limited amount of people actually invited with the added expense of wrangling a babysitter to do that. Um, fuck ’em?
How do guys feel about that kind of stuff? Important? Not so much?
I haven’t really gone into this since I got sidetracked with anger.
The Hippy, who I met through Yankee Heather, works in another department from mine. One in which I rely on to get what I need done, but I get ultra busy and they do too so our ability to interact on topics outside of things we both need from one another tends to be minimal, It makes for a lot of misconceptions about one another when you’re not able to have a conversation with someone you work with so you can get a sense of their personality.
It’s not that I don’t have friendships with people in the department, but they’ve been slowly built over the years.
I had to laugh when The Hippy and I were sharing our first impressions of one another. I was hated and found terrifying and she was so glad I was the exact opposite, though she said a lot of that negative impression had to do with one particular member of her team who has a tendency to project a lot of their internal turmoil on others. It didn’t shock me. I probably would have been more impressed if the opposite were true.
Their team is run by a very tiny little woman who takes no shit and is swift and thorough and somewhat terrifying in her own right, and in that team are at least two who see enemies everywhere, one worse than the other.
One gave me the first impression of “elitist bitch” (this was the culprit) but kind of came off her pedestal over the years, while the other was just prone to being defensive. I once told them “I’ve never learned shit by getting it right the first time” when they messed something up and I was showing them how to fix it, and we’ve been vastly better ever since.
I told The Hippy I’d thought she was awesome the first time I’d met her. She’s laid back, but not lazy, expedient, you only had to point out an error once, she’s personable, intelligent, attentive and curious. She has a similar talent as G-uno in that you become fast friends and she can see right through a lot of shit…except when she has her own emotional investment in the view, I guess. That’s a hard one for all of us, I would venture.
Her and her boyfriend have known each other a long time as friends, went their separate ways for a while, she had been married and divorced once already. an abusive situation, and the prospect of doing it again was terrifying to her. They crossed paths again in the aftermath of bad relationships and just sparked intensely.
Seriously, not once when I met these two outside of work could they ever be on time because they couldn’t keep their hands off one another.
Apparently, I’m at that age where, although I still find it mildly revolting, I also find it adorable in its own right. I always expected to be too curmudgeonly for that shit.
The Hippy recently found out she was pregnant. For all the years she declared to never want kids, when faced with the very real possibility of having one upon her, even with all the fear, she realized was excited about the idea. Especially considering she’d been told she’d never have any.
While she toyed with the idea of an abortion and if they were ready to be parents, when asking for his honest opinion, her boyfriend stuck to his “no kids” sentiment, while at the same time increasing his retirement investment, pouring over his budget, laid out when they should move into a bigger place, and planned out how to fast track himself into a promotion.
It took a while for him to finally admit he really did want this child, but didn’t want to put any pressure on her to have it if she didn’t want it. So she was afraid to tell him she wanted to keep it because of how she felt before finding out she was pregnant, and he didn’t want to tell her he wanted the child because of…. shit….
aw fuck, it all make me want to beat the hell out of both of them from the nausea.
I have finally settled my anger over the melodramatic bullshit my co-worker has inflicted upon me. I realized I’m not so much mad at her, she can’t help being the elitist fuckwad that she is. I’m more angered by how it was handled by her superior.
I have my shared mailbox access back. I don’t think Yankee Heather does though. the arrangement is I have to forward everything to her and CC her boss when I do. That last part was my suggestion, at least until the petty bullshit is done + six months or until she quits from being “picked on.”
I had a conversation with her boss that as far I was concerned there were no problems other than her pathetic retaliation to cause turmoil that was based on nothing. Everything I do is based on a philosophy of being transparent and completely documented and I’d be happy to show her how I organize anything. You don’t accuse a person who can produce years of archived emails of deleting shit. It’s just a bit too obvious what you’re doing and my seniority here is longer.
Shortly after the accusation, Yankee Heather started being super friendly.
What the hell? Can anyone explain that? Accuse someone of random bullshit because you’re incapable of having an adult conversation then act like you did nothing and you’re besties?
I don’t function this way. Once I’ve hit my limit, I’m done… completely.
So I didn’t respond.
I stopped talking to her at all, unless it is a specific work-related topic and I have to. When they told me to train her on something, I wrote up a tutorial with pictures and emailed it to her, her boss and my boss. Now everyone is completely aware of my training and anything said.
If no one else is in the office, I skip saying hello or goodbye, I don’t make chitchat with anyone while she’s around and I leave when I’m done. She’s uncomfortable. I’m enjoying the first peace I’ve had in weeks, no…. months.
She was put over international accounts. The dipshit who hails northern education superior to southern education tried to get my boss to “correct” the entry for Switzerland because “the spelling was all kinds of crazy.”
Yankee Heather didn’t know that Swaziland was a country in Africa.
I wonder if she even knows Africa is a continent. I learned this in school. Her automatic assumption was that being surrounded by Southerners, it must just be our backwoods edukayshun.
And yes, I misspelled that intentionally in case any of you have the same mindset as Yankee Heather.
I piped in long enough to explain the country abbreviation for Switzerland was CH, like CHF being Swiss Francs, and she was looking in the wrong area of the alphabet for the country she needed.
She said that was stupid that it didn’t start with an S. I responded that it would only be stupid if they called themselves “Switzerland” too, but they don’t.
The foreign accounts are going to be very interesting while she’s over them…
So… me, the Yankee, the Hippy and one of our other employees went to an “advanced” class on Windows Excel. I say “advanced” since I’m not sure if they just have to mention the buzzwords of “pivot table” or “vlookup” to qualify, but that was about the quality of this course. Our suspicion of exactly how bad it was going to be started when we got a good look of the picture of our instructor.
I’m not sure why this is a thing, but they are now doing courses where the instructor is remote and you have to listen to them over a conference speaker. They can see everything you do on your screen and you spend a majority of your time on mute and only interrupt with questions. Call me old fashioned, but this doesn’t appeal to me at all.
Don’t get me wrong, I see the utilitarian aspects of it. I just think it blows.
Considering the instructor’s photo looked like it was pulled right from her Tinder profile, duckface and all, she looked like she blew too.
And swallowed. A lot. And cheaply.
We spent at least another half hour trying to find a linkedin profile for her, which we found, and it too looked like yet another choice Tinder alternate, except this one was about 50 pounds heavier than the one in our faces currently.
How much lack of self-awareness do you need to think slut photos are “professional?” Why wouldn’t a boss doing their due diligence kind of guide you off a whore-ish cliff in the workplace?
Unfortunately, after the usage of “irregardless” (not a word) and “cumbersun” (cumbersome) and every cliche used backwards, I can only guess from a lack of understanding them, there was no value to be had in the instruction either.
There was not one single question posed to her that she could answer. We stepped through formulas that no person on earth would ever find useful. Most of her knowledge seemed to be based in memorization, in spite of bragging to 30+ years (how old was that fucking picture?) of Excel experience .
Though she wanted to spend a great deal of time on how to make spreadsheets “pretty.” Fuck that noise. If I want to see a pretty spreadsheet, I’ll look here:
They requested we fill out an evaluation for the class when we were done for the day.
Bad move… no, I didn’t hold back. I kind of eviscerated her: her grammar, her Tinder pic, her lack of any real usable instruction or knowledge in the material. However, I did try to finalize it on a positive note and complemented the building, the snacks and the book…
In spite of everything, it was a nice day. The Yankee and I only got in one argument over the fact that Dunkin Donuts sucks epic shit and Krispy Kreme rules. Apparently, Northerners are all about DD for the coffee? …even though the doughnuts blow chodes. I would rather get coffee where the main element – the doughnuts – are actually good. I don’t usually go to doughnut shops for the coffee, but hey. We finally agreed to disagree on that point.
We tried a new wing and ale place for lunch and I had an epic spinach salad with honey bacon that kicked some ass, so all in all total win of a day. Oh yeah, and it wasn’t at fucking work!
I think I’ve already gone over how the VP in our department thinks I’m a fucking idiot, something even the Yankee picked up on even though my boss tries her best to play the diplomatic card as much as possible. My boss rocks as they are not the type to get into drama and will get pissed at the issue, not the person. They also have a tendency to try to see the best in others and want to explain bad behavior under a more rational light. Sometimes a bitch is just a bitch. Also, like I told my boss… I have to value the opinion to give a shit what it is.
The VP has more than once told me I scare her. I’m starting to wonder if she isn’t kidding.
The owners decided they wanted to see more training since our financial situation (i.e. people finally started paying their fucking bills and we got bitchier about getting them paid) started getting better. My stress level once this occurred plummeted. Up until that point, the VP wanted to send me to a class on communication skills, which in a meeting with one of the owners and the VP present, I pointed out “There’s only so many ways you can communicate ‘we can’t pay you because we’re not getting paid.'” The owner readily agreed, the VP stfu about it, but it was still on the to-do that we should have training of some sort.
Yankee and I both saw an advanced Excel class we thought might be interesting, so we requested that. VP is not so skilled in Excel, in fact usually asking for Yankee’s help and marveling at the skills, even when its a minor thing. VP and I don’t really interact much work-wise, so it became apparent she had no clue of my skill level when she suggested it would be too much for me, and I just said “I highly doubt it considering I’ve already taken the advanced certification courses. This would be little more than a refresher unless they’re getting into the actual VB coding or in-depth macros without the step-through recorder.”
I lost her somewhere in the first ten words, I could see it in her face. She backpedaled a bit, and it wasn’t long before she had signed up for the same course but before ours.
She came back afterwards and said she learned a couple small things but they didn’t go over anything she didn’t already know. Before I could stop myself I said “well that’s disappointing, I thought it was supposed to be an advanced class.”
The Yankee coughed to hide their snort, but we were rather concerned that we wouldn’t be getting much out of this. It looked like the only classes that were more of our cup of tea were a minimum of two days and about five times the cost. We were told point blank we were not allowed to be gone over one day.
Either way, we finagled it so our project cohort, the Hippy, is also scheduled for this same class (at the Yankee’s house, Hippy mentioned they had no clue how to even request training and they too used spreadsheets a lot, so I put a bug in the VP’s ear. Sometimes, she is useful).
So we get out from having to deal with the VP for at least one day. For that alone, I guess I don’t really mind if I don’t take a lot away from this class, though I’ve never walked away not learning at least something, even if its small. I’m also curious as to whether the VP just didn’t understand a lot of what was being said and filtered it out. Will be interesting to find out. At least the company will be worth it anyway.
One of my rules of thumb: If I’ve refused invites about 7 times in a row, I HAVE to accept the next one. It’s my hermit prevention methodology. I usually don’t get to 7 unless I’m having a really rough time personally.
So I accepted the invite to the Yankee’s house for the 4th of July. My housewarming gift was a multi-pack of Charmin. Yes, toilet tissue. The amount of time the Yankee spends talking about the inner workings of their digestive system, it was warranted. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought so either since they also also received another multi-pack, Poo-pourri, and a stainless steel aerated plunger.
I was in good company.
I brought onion dip, well because I always bring fucking onion dip. It’s never what anyone expects. It’s easy, and BFG told me to when I was once stumped with what to contribute so some gathering that required something aside from a bag of ice or some fucking potato chips. It’s my go-to if I cannot think of anything and/or I don’t want to spend a lot of time. It goes down like:
- 1 cup mayo
- 1 cup shredded cheddar, sharper the better
- 1/4 cup ground/chopped/smashed walnuts OR almonds.
- 1 red onion, chopped to tiny bits.
- *put in container and smear flat*
- Now, I usually use the microwave to soften it, but mine likes to go nuclear after 52 seconds of tepid so I’ve had to switch to hot water on the outside of the jar. If you used almonds, take strawberry marmelade and glaze the top of the dip with it, in a thin layer. If you used walnuts, use raspberry marmelade. I use the whole damn jar usually.
Didn’t know there was going to be gourmet lessons and shit up in this blog, did you?
I use a food processor when I’m not thinking about the cleaning afterword. I’ve also been known to use a bag and a hammer/rolling pin when I do.
It may sound weird, but try it. Two of my cousins, also siblings, who I’ve never been around while they weren’t fighting/screaming/bashing the shit out fo each other, damn near sat on top of one another and silently devoured a container of this shit.
It’s powerful, people.
With that said, I got to see my homeboy, the Yankee’s (we bonded over turkey ice cream cake and dirty jokes) boyfriend. I also got to meet one of the project department newbies, one I’ve been really impressed with as far as their work performance and their significant (we too bonded over lewd topics and dirty innuendo, in fact I seem to have hit idol status for out-lewding him?), a gal from purchasing that I already was friends with came and brought her mom (I wanted to adopt her too), a guy from the design department I once freaked out by sitting next to him at a company-sponsored holiday function and introducing myself (I also wanted to name him Marcus apparently), and their OCD former neighbor who spent a lot of time listening from the sidelines or navigating the wall.
We talked shop, we made cracks about our various diagnoses: which just in that room alone we had a couple of depressions, one bipolar (Yankee’s bf, ironically), OCD (the neighbor has issues with things that close and lock, he doesn’t trust them), our own special version of Turret’s (as I like to call it), etc. The former neighbor was awesome, but very ackward. He wanted to join but didn’t know how while staying on topic, though I give him massive props for his attempts, but man… he had a sharp wit when Yankee’s BF brought it out of him. It was a blast. I cannot ever make anyone understand the vast comfort I get from exploring so many different personalities. Enjoying our differences because we know its welcome and safe is probably one of the best experiences ever.
The Hippy, the epic newcomer to the project department, and I talked extensively of our own dealings with our company. I have to say her insight into the psyche of many of our co-workers was astounding. Yes, the VP really is operating on feelings of insecurity and is desperately seeking validation. Yes, I do think your boss has to be forced to acknowledge their humanity before interacting with them. Yes, I do think that senior head is big bag of narcissistic, immature dicks. I nodded a lot on her insights. We also covered the perceptions they had about my department. Ironically, it all stemmed from the VP and how she treats people.
Although some were a bit on the polite side, the rest of us dove right into the sexual experiences and innuendo, even I disclosed one of my personal best being when my former spouse was not home. I even made an offhand remark at one point that the Hippy looked like she was glowing and did she get some, to which she responded, “why do you think we were late?” When her significant came back in from chatting with Yankee BF, she grew immediately silent and just blushed all over. It was totes adorbs. I couldn’t resist, I teased them a bit. He seemed to have no issue with this topic, but she was shy while he was there.
It was over a hundred degrees outside and Yankee’s bf was hellbent on grilling. We left him to it. At one point even closing the blinds just to escape the heat coming through the windows. I’ve never gone without at least seeing a few fireworks but somehow this year, we missed it altogether. Maybe I’ll make a small bomb and set it off in my yard when the temperature gets below the crack of hell’s ass again.
Spawn was near silent for most of this, and only nibbled. They’d spent the night with their BFF the night before, gone swimming and failed to reapply sunscreen on their pale ass skin in 100 degree weather. So my kid was also barely able to move and suffering a bit from the burn on their top half.
By the way, whoever said vinegar is good thing to put on a sunburn should be punched in the dick. Don’t do it. Greek yogurt, coconut skin oil, olive oil with tea tree in it, aftersun aloe gel with echinacea, lidocaine but only in the spray (touching too much is bad)… all good. Fucking vinegar, bad! If you want someone to have an hour and half of scream/crying, then by all means go with vinegar.
I had originally thought this might be a really awkward outing, and had a deal with Spawn that they were to feign illness at a certain time. Well, it wasn’t feigned with the burn, but we ended up leaving about two hours or so after our designated time. It was worth it though. Spawn finally piped in their two cents on the way home, they always seem to have a better time than they let on. Those who meet Spawn just think they are the most well-behaved child on the planet. I’m wondering what kind of long con this kid is running to have so many fooled.