Saturday, October 04, 2008

"And you're gonna be a funny little footnote on my epic ass."

Shoot me.
No really, seriously, somebody shoot me. Not to blatantly steal from Adam Sandler, but put a bullet in my head. This cough ... *sigh* I gotta admit that I think it's some kind of respiratory infection. I've had a couple before.

The first one I ever recall getting was from the first time I was arrested. The Phoenix jail was concrete and metal, with nothing resembling civility. It was more like a holding tank to truck off people to faraway places to dig tunnels for diamond mine owners. Actually that makes it sound a wee bit glamorous. The cops working the jail were so hideous in personality I felt sure that wrong people were locked up. After my inital arrest and processing, before being taken to lock up in the main downtown municipal tank, a female cop strip-searched me. She looked more like a gym teacher then a cop, well she looked like an angry gym teacher in a cop's uniform. She certainly reminded me of a teacher the way she demeaned me in regards to my tattoos. I couldn't be sure if she really meant what she was saying but neverless she was saying them. Her snide tone drawed out certain words. She confessed to the heavens that I was either stupid or a satan worhsipper. It really was ridiculous what she was saying, stuff one could easily brush off by waving a hand at someone like shooing away a fly. Except I was standing wearing only my bra and undies in a room with a complete stranger.

That gym teacher cop woman has reappeared a few times through my working life. She's reared her ugly head as a boss of mine at least four time, that I can think of. Well, it now seems she's rearing it a fifth time.

My boss called me into her office Thursday and in no uncertain terms told me I pissed her off. Those words. I was floored. My boss removed her glasses and crossed her arms, tilting back in her chair to glare at me, I shit you not, she said, "You really pissed me off earlier."

I felt my eyes widen and my bottom lip suck itself in so as not to saying anything. But I was truly taken off guard by this and so remaining contrite was a survival tactic. I think. Just the week before she told me, "Everyone loves you!" So what happened to the fuckin' love?

It suddenly seems that I'm not pulling my weight and that I should be further along in my tasks since starting my job 3 weeks ago. She was real uppity about it too. The expression "Shit rolls down hill" came to mind and I figured her boss (the controller) was getting in her face about month end stuff. But still I sat there with my snack of pre-packaged carrots and dip, fiddling the cello wrap corner, looking around, waiting for it to end. My boss went on to tell me that I don't seem happy so something's wrong because it's important that I'm happy. I need to exude friendliness and happiness regardless how I truly feel. It was such hypocritical bullshit that I began to wonder if she was crazy.

The company culture that was sold to me during my two interviews was about family first, work hard and playing hard, open-minded, march to our own beat, none of that corporate environment crap here! Okay, I don't want to be a total bitch and say these things aren't there. They're just not there for me. I feel so fuckin' duped and cheated my dislike for the place and my job cemented within those mere 10 or so minutes my boss tore me down. It had already started developing a week or so prior when I was told one of my new duties was to be a second back-up for the receptionist. And even though there is a guy working in the same Admin deptartment I am he does not have this responsibility. Only women do.

The next day my boss sent me this long email reiterating everything she spoke about the previous day. She needs to see improvement, there needs to be communication, I need to have follow through and be a go getter and take charge but be nice about it. She listed my duties in detail. I printed up the whole thing and stuck it on my cubicle wall. I highlighted the duties and prepared a to-do list from it. I spent the rest of my day, including my lunch, working on projects that suddenly were past due or overdue or coming due. Yes, pretty much everything. I'm also not allowed to use the internet at all except for lunchbreaks, to which I shall refrain from using even then. When she had me in her office she stated that in the span of 3 hours I had only processed 15 or so invoices. She demanded to know from me if I thought that was right. I stammered, one would having their merit called into question so rudely. I said, "No, no I did other stuff. I helped the controller with a few more inventory recounts."

"Yeah," she said as she shrugged with indifference, "but that was only like 20 minutes."

I was put on the spot and felt like that near naked 21 year old again, standing in a room with an insensitive angry stranger.

The amount of drama I've experienced lately is not something I'm use to. Last week's double dose of shitty drama and then my boss humbling me are just more then this only child can fuckin' take.


eM said...

I think it's interesting to try to figure out who the cop figure is in your life and why they keep showing up in different guises. The fact that you are aware of this is more than half of the process of being aware of what this means for you.
A far as the job - well, I think you might have a convo about feeling duped as you say - and the phone answering thing - you should say that, and that it makes you unhappy and disappointed in the company that they would engage in such blatant sexism.
Maybe that would be you taking some of your power in the face of the "gym teacher cop" energy. (because in your work life you actually can do that - take your power and have integrity. Whereas in the room half nekkid with the actual cop, notsomuch - you truly have no power in that situation).
In the end, you could refuse to answer the phone if you were not told that would be part of your job when you were hired - or that you will do it if the man does it, they could always say you have to or else - in which case if you are fired, you can get unemployment (depending on how that works in washington state). basically I am saying - claim your power sister (and that might mean just sucking it up till you find something else - just make that choice clearly is all I'm sayin').

Action Jasmine said...

When I had the conversation with my boss about how I truly felt about answering the phones and it being a women only thing she pointed flip-floped on that and said it wasn't a woman-only thing, just so happens that only women are in the Admin department, which you and I know is not true. See the 1st time my boss mentioned answering the phone she herself said that the male culture believes only women should answer the phone. So having a conversation with my boss about it again and how duped I feel would be a waste of time and she would get on the defensive about it. If I did get fired I wouldn't qualify for unemployment. In WA one must be employed something like 5 months of the previous business year to get it, or whatever the lingo is.

I'm going to stick it out until I can find something better and closer to home. I'm also going to go to the clinic tomorrow and try get something for this possible pneumonia/bronchitis/respiratory bullshit thing. Pray for me! :o)

Sizzle said...

It just sounds like this job is not a good fit. I think your boss needs to learns some more effective communication skills. No one should be talked to like that.

Action Jasmine said...

I totally concur. I'm relieved to know I'm not crazy, well crazy about this situation. :o)