10.10.2005

Hi Ho Hi Ho

A lot of bloggers write about their jobs, their coworkers or their bosses. I thought I might do that every now and then, but realized what I would be laying on my potential readers. I don’t even like to relay work experiences to friends or family, for fear of seeing their eyes glaze over, becoming nearly comatose from sheer tediousness-by-proxy. And I have had some people gasp in surprise when I state “I don’t want to talk about work. It’s boring and I like to leave work at work.” Some of the gaspers persist and say “No really, I want to hear about your job. I’m interested.” See, I work in a relatively interesting industry, for the president of a very cool company, but my job, specifically? Mind-numbingly boring, mostly composed of what teachers used to call “busy work,” aka creating new spreadsheets, reports and databases. The kind of standard office assistant type stuff that makes one question their abilities, potential, self-worth, wasted life, etc. Especially at 4 a.m. when all thoughts of where your life is going illuminate regret and lack of direction like bad lighting on large pores.

I work out of my boss’s estate home, in a wealthy part of town. She and I are the only ones in this “office.” When I am not engaged in busy work spawned from what I fondly call the Wonderings (either “You know what I wonder?” or “You know what would be good to know?”), I am immersed in conversational quicksand, trying in vain to explain a simple concept or line of reason to a clueless Botoxed face.

Here is an example of what my job is like, taken from a very recent exchange with Boss (you’re shouting “wait, no, WE didn’t ask about it! WE’RE certainly not interested; you don’t have to tell US your work story!):

Boss: You know what would be good to know? How many people were recruited in each manager’s first, second, third, fourth and fifth year.

Quinn: Well, we [why do I always say “we?” who the fuck do I think deserves credit for all this work going on? Both of us?] could create a spreadsheet that would tally up the recruited, recruiting year categories, and overall recruiting histories, but it wouldn’t be very accurate. We don’t have a resigned database before 2004.

Boss: So just use what we’ve got [again with the “we.” I create, input, tally, and so on, while Boss opens up the database, fucks around irreversibly with the rows and columns, effectively messing up nearly everything I’ve been working on, but sure, “we”].

Quinn: Yes, but we [“WE!”] won’t have any numbers from 2000-2004.
Boss: Huh. Well, just put in the numbers of the still-active people recruited in each of their first though fifth years.

Quinn: No problem [this is one of my standard office responses. Along with “good idea,” “great,” “absolutely,” and “I’ll start that right away/finish it today.” Helping to maintain At-Work Quinn and Not-At Work Quinn is my trusty split personality].

2 hours later, halfway through counting up over 700 recruits between 98 managers, and well past the time I was supposed to leave the office:

Boss: I just realized the report’s not going to show me much since we don’t have recruiting stats from before 2004.

Quinn: [screaming inside] Yes, that’s what I mentioned earlier.

Boss: So I guess we [wheeee!] didn’t have to do that after all.

2 days later, last day of office time before Boss leaves town for Important Meeting:

Boss: How are you coming on the monthly report, the weekly report, the [whatever] database, the reminders to New York, [etc. etc. blah dee blah dee blah]?

Quinn: Monthly’s nearly finished, weekly’s waiting for your approval, [etc.etc. I’m-awesomely-competent-and-definitely-deserve-a-huge-fucking-raise-you-cow].

Boss: And is the first through fifth year report done?

Quinn: I thought you decided it was unnecessary since it wouldn’t be accurate.

Boss: But it will still tell me something. You can do that by the end of the day, right?

Quinn: Absolutely [insert your own curse word here, you get the point].

Oh no, you think we’re done here? There’s more! 1st day of Important Meeting, Boss calls in from airport:

Boss: I noticed you didn’t do that first through fifth year recruiting report right.

Quinn: Excuse me?

Boss: You only counted the people recruited by the managers. I wanted you to count ALL the people under each manager, regardless of who recruited them.

Quinn: Wait, you asked me to tally up how many people the managers recruited in their first through fifth years.

Boss: No, I wanted to know how many people STARTED in the managers’ first through fifth years. Not just how many people they recruited. That’s okay, I’ll work on it with you when I get back [because clearly you are an idiot].

Quinn: Great! Good idea.

I’d like to direct you all to the first damn sentence Boss uttered about this report, and welcome you to one of the rings of hell. Fucking Exhibit A, people. This is the most recent of a regular work occurrence. This heart-palpitating, rage-inciting, mind-boggling ridiculousness is my job, and as you can see, there’s no reason that anyone else needs to experience it.

Come on, lottery!



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