Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Notes From Work

there is something very gratifying in saying you HATE your job.

I love hating it so much I find myself almost bragging about it to my superiors. This would be a poor career choice. I guess I shouldn't really have bragging rights to such a full extent because I work in a cubicle with fluorescent lighting with a computer screen that is almost like a tv for everyone who walks by to see what I am doing and make sure I'm not on gmail etc. I have been so busy working and/or hating work I haven't been writing, not even email. Not writing wears me out like not being able to get a good night sleep (maybe that is why Rebecca blogs during fits of insomnia).

The bizarrest part of the new office environment is a woman, I think her name is Jackie, or I just think that because she looks like one of my old neighbors who also dyed her hair and consistently left an inch and a half of silver roots showing, making it look disturbingly like her hair is slipping off her head. She always puts a variety of candy, cookies, chocolates and mints out on in front of her cube. Is it to make all the bikers fat (she is not a biker, I don't know what she does)? Is it to make friends (most people just whip by and snip something)? Is it to foster 5th floor community and does she get a grant from the Department of Transportation to fund such extravagance? There is also a lot of free hand lotion in the women's restroom. Who is resonable?

Back to Jackie. I feel like she is always wearing dressy sweatshirts and knit pants. She has big glasses. They slide down her nose the same way mine do, but hers are so big even from the tip of her nose they cover her whole face from cheek to eyebrow. In the kitchen area I tried to make conversation with her about...um, the water. I was filling up my water bottle, being "spartansarah" ...I'm all into drinking tap water. I told her my cousin in Orlando is jealous of the water in Chicago. (what was I thinking? that was my first sentence I ever said to her) She laughed that she would never drink the water here as she filled a water bottle like mine. She just uses it to water her plants.

I've been wanting to make my cube into a jungle if not to improve air quality then at least to give myself some privacy behind a big rubber tree or fern or something, but I fear that nothing will grow in the horrible light...so I asked her about plant health on the 5th floor. She said they do great, there's tons of light (she must be crazy) our widows are tinted almost black. I think she is my favorite person on the entire 5th floor.

My second favorite is Kathy. She has a real office with a door across from my cubicle. She is a tough wiry lady with short blond hair, you could easily imagine her as your PE teacher in middle school. I was warned from the beginning not to touch her coffee...I imagine she is so tough she'd kill and suck the caffeine out of my blood if I was ever so foolish or bold.

I don't know what she does beside walk quickly to the kitchen and coffee pot and get a lot of visitors, mostly people passing by in the hallway sticking their head in to talk to her because she's tons of fun/opinionated.

One day someone stopped in and asked if she had an escape plan. They talked for a really long time about how everyone is supposed to have one. Evidently one of the acting commissioners in the building has a raft in the office, and should the shit ever hit the fan (every time I walk in the revolving doors at work I think about what a terrorist target I am walking into and it is very easy to imagine dust and marble shrapnel exploding around us in the lobby as thousands run screaming out of the building...Luckily I work on the 5th floor). The commissioner with the raft is pretty smart, she figures with the roads impassable during a state of emergency she would just paddle up the Chicago river back to her house/apartment/condo/whatever commissioners live in. Kathy grunted at this story, "I'm just going to walk along the railroad tracks" she says. I guess this is the kind of talk you can expect from people in the Dept. Of Transportation...they love that shit. The same thrill I get out of going to a job I HATE, they get out of going to a job where they imagine they're targeted by terrorists and ready to rough it transportation style.

I've been so sick of work I've actually gotten sick. My mom somehow convinced me that riding 45 minutes each way in the freezing weather was not a good way for a person with the flu to heal...so I took the train into work a couple of times. On the way home today there was a HUGE delay...like 15 minutes before a train went by (during rush hour that is equivalent to 45 minutes without a train). A LOT of people were massing on the platfrom...a lot of ...attractive men. It was nice because they didn't look like business men and they didn't look like students, they looked interesting, I wonder what they do downtown. Luckily I was so sick and full of hate I didn't really care who existed. As I waited I imagined there was some sort of disaster...the train would never come. We would have to walk through the tunnels for a while to safety. I started thinking about all the bike tools I have in my bag, wrenches, screwdrivers etc. And how I would have to lead everyone to safety with my bike light...it would put all those cell phone lights to shame. Ahhh, how the city worker loves to martyr...and dreams of being useful.


Blogger Julia Miller said...

I hate hearing about all this "hate", I wish we'd left a better taste in your mouth, you should practice your escape

12:34 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

julia--and many other friends who have gotten concerned.

I'm alright. I do hate my job, but I also realize that it is silly to hate it so much...I mean I actually LOVE to hate it. And today was better. I spent all day riding around the city going to warehouses filled to the brim with bicycles. Emily and I got to dig through them with no help or direction from 'the men' who were contracted to help us. I got to climb on top of a stack of bicycles 6 feet high! I only spent an hour in the office and it was a great day.

I just have to get used to the job, and like you said, plan an escape or a way of making me like it.

10:33 PM  

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