Tag Archives: job fit

Operation Find A Job Pt.1–Focusing Your Search

It’s funny that I just put up an “about” page about how this blog is for me, because I’m about to present an entire series of posts that actually is for you. I have changed jobs, what, 50 million times since keeping this blog. And when I re-found my most recent job opportunity, it occurred to me that I should probably put up a post letting people know how I do it. But I’m just now finding the words to make decent post on this topic.

I definitely used to be one of those people who struggled to find a job. I was in the “degree but no experience” category, and our society was shifting towards work experience being the end-all be-all with degrees carrying less and less meaning or allure. Now, some 10 years later, you finally see articles, videos and stories on the news about the education debt crisis and the damage student loans are doing to young people’s lives, young people who are either not working or are “underemployed,” etc. But this problem, as I suggested, started well before the media really got hold of it. So…for someone like me back then, there were no articles or real advice out there to help me.

And if you have been in the position of struggling to find work for months, especially if you have had to rely on the help of others financially during this time frame, you know that people are not at all sympathetic or understanding. They throw advice at you, most of which is not helpful but with the tone of, “Come on, it’s easy; you’re just not trying hard enough.” Or they try to “help” find a job and show you job listings that, for one reason or another, don’t fit your background or interests. They give you generic advice without the understanding that each field is different and your field has its own set of rules–I have found this is true for law, and I have found this is true for IT, for example.

Well, let me introduce you to my motto, which has served me well:

You gotta do what you gotta do.

If you start to think like this and act with this in mind, you will find a job. I am not promising you the job of your dreams. Clearly, I have worked fairly steadily since conquering my problem of finding a job but have hated every job (except my current one). But still, you need the money. Get a job first, get the necessary work experience and then deal with finding a job you can at least tolerate. Best case scenario is the job of your dreams, but that’s something most of us never find/get.

There are six big things I see with people who stay unemployed for a long time:

1) You’re Not Focusing. Yeah, you sit at your computer every day and shoot off at least 20 applications. Or you drive around, stopping at every business you see and asking if they’re hiring, filling out apps, etc.

Yeah–this is not focusing. You need to figure out, first of all, what you’re most qualified to do. Then, among the list of what you’re qualified to do, figure out what you’re willing to do. Then you need to apply for those jobs only. See, you’re not getting results by applying any and everywhere because the hiring manager either throws your app/resume in the trash altogether or, when he/she looks at it, they’re trying to figure out why you even bothered because they see no connection whatsoever between your background and the positions they have available. Why are you interested? Why are you qualified? Never fill out an app and, on the blank by “what position interests you?” write in “any.” There has to be a match between your background and a known position if you want a realistic shot at getting a job out of the deal.

Focusing your search helps you get better results. It also wastes less of your time and causes you less frustration. There might be days when you only apply for one position. But if it’s a position that fits you perfectly and all signs point to there being a pretty good likelihood you’ll get a callback for an interview based on the listed requirements, job duties and what you’ve done, then that is far more productive than scouring every job board online and applying for 30 seemingly random positions.

For people who have the issue I had of not having much work experience, my observation/experience is you’re little qualified for much more than customer service types of positions. That’s the way it is–doesn’t matter how much your degree cost, and it damn-near doesn’t matter what your degree is in (there are, of course, exceptions). You’re looking at a low-paying job where you’re going to have to deal with assholes all day, more than likely. Retail, hospitality, front desk, call center, tech support/help desk, food/restaurant types of garbage. This is what you should largely be applying for. Sad but true. Stick it out for a year, do the best job you can so you can get good job references or be the first in line for a better position where you work, focus on getting promoted or gaining skills that will allow you to move on to bigger and better things.

For me, I got down to the point where I would do just about anything except fast food and cleaning. Somehow, I got the idea to apply to hotels/hospitality, which I had not been doing before. It just seemed like an easy job, and much of the time it was. It wasn’t long before I got my first full-time, post-graduate job working in the hospitality industry. Within a year, I was being offered management positions at my hotel. And if that had been something I wanted to do, I would likely be making more money than I currently do and working in hospitality. But the experience still helped me get other, higher-paying jobs than what I started with.

Next Time: Pt. 2–Why Your Resume Isn’t Cutting It

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My New Job and Co-Workers

Finally, I have a job I like. Well…as much as I can possibly like a job. But I don’t have headaches every day anymore or tight neck/shoulder muscles from stress. In fact, I experience pretty much no stress at work. I am doing the kind of work I want to be doing. I get off work fairly early. I like a lot of the people I work with, and I already have a bunch of “work friends.” People there are nice, and there’s tons of racial/ethnic diversity. People there actually work. I can find quiet places to go when I want to be alone/listen to music–I can even listen to music while I work. I don’t have to worry about how long my breaks are or being able to take breaks because no one is monitoring me and I’m not too busy to take breaks. Best of all…no phone calls and no whining people to help with annoying issues.

I can’t believe how well this seems to have worked out so far. I would say I should have taken this job back in November when it was first offered to me because I could have been happy and stress-free all this time, but I had good reasons for not taking it. I made more money at the job I left, which has allowed me to build up my bank account. And even now, I make more money at my new job than what I was being offered in November.

There are three issues, though, in order from least serious to most serious:

1) It’s a little farther from my house than I care for. I damn-near have to go to another state or county to get to work. I’ve seen parts of my hometown that I’ve never seen before trying to go to this job. I didn’t know this job was as far away as it is, partially because I got it through an employment agency and never went there until I checked it out this past weekend, and partially because the company for which I work has a bunch of different locations and I assumed I’d be working at a different one that is closer to home. I didn’t know this location existed, and there was no reason for me to know it.

2) I have to get up earlier in the morning. I’m not a morning person, plus with this job being farther from home…it’s not easy. I have to adjust to getting up at ridiculous hours and trying to find ways to force myself to go to bed early again. But like I wrote, the flipside of this is I get off work early.

3) I have a lot of downtime. Yeah, this is my most serious complaint (i.e. these issues are not that big of a deal, especially compared to what I’ve been through with jobs the last two years). I want to do work at work. I want there to be a laptop or computer waiting to be repaired when I get to work…finish it…be handed another one to work on, and on and on until the end of the day. I don’t want to have to try and find schitt to do half the work day. And anyways, eventually, once someone important notices I don’t do work for four hours but I get paid for those four hours, it’s going to be a problem. I also don’t want to end up having to do schitt I didn’t come to this place to do, which is what employers love to have people do when they don’t have enough work. Just give me computers and laptops to repair. No, I don’t understand why this place is hiring, either, if I’m not going to have enough work.

I think maybe it was expected that it’d take me longer to repair computers and laptops I work on than it does, and that might be why I don’t have work. The only other formal repair job I had hounded employees to get work done fast, whereas this place cares more about quality and is not emphasizing how quickly the work is completed. I’m used to a quality/quantity mix, so I get computers/laptops and have them for only about 30 minutes-to-an hour and then the original issue is resolved when I test these units. One of my co-workers who has been at this place for years asked me if I had done this kind of work before and told me I seem more knowledgeable than a lot of people who come through there.

Speaking of co-workers, since I love to write about them in my blog here’s a little about each of the new cast members you’re most likely to read about here (fake names, pretty much as usual):

Linda: Kind of like the lame white guy at my last job was, the one who thought he was cool and always sat on his @ss texting on his iPhone…Linda is supposed to be my go-to person for help/questions. But Linda is actually very cool. Linda might also be the only–if not, she’s in a small group–physically attractive female where I work, which is a very good thing. I could pretty much tell she is straight, though, and then it was confirmed on the second day of work that she has a husband. There’s something about straight women…I almost never get seriously interested in them, and knowing early on that she is straight is going to ensure that I don’t end up interested. Plus, I’ve got mad respect for Linda because she is Asian and actually married an Asian man. It just feels like you don’t see that anymore…I don’t know the last time I saw an Asian American (born/raised in the US) in his/her 20s or early 30s with another Asian person. Even my previous job recruiter was with a white woman. I know some people don’t get why this matters, but cookies for those who do and cookies for Linda.

Dan: Don’t know what his exact job title is, but Linda says he is my manager’s right-hand man (I rarely see my manager). So I guess he is one of my managers. He’s cool so far, but aren’t they always, in the beginning? And don’t they pretty much always eventually turn into dicks (or at least the men do, in my experience)? Stay tuned for the transformation.

Clara: She’s my crazy co-worker. I can already tell either she or Linda will end up my “best work friend,” or maybe both of them will (yes, two women and not two guys…amazing, I know!!). She’s outgoing, which are the kind of people who end up becoming my good friends. She says crazy schitt. She’s Asian like Linda (different ethnicities), but she has a little blackness to her personality and voice/speech…wonder if she grew up around or went to school with a lot of black people.

Jim: He’s this weird, big, old guy who used to do repair where I previously did repairs. There are a lot of people who used to work where I did repairs working at my new job, which doesn’t surprise me–I figured I’d see some of those people. This dude keeps harping on the fact that I have a college degree. I mean, every…single…time he speaks to me he says something about it. On my first day on the job, he walked up to me and the second thing out of his mouth was that he remembers I have a Bachelor’s degree. I bet he doesn’t remember my name, though. And then he can never remember what my degree is in, so he asks every time he talks to me. I remember this guy likes to talk, too, so I know he’ll come up with more random, annoying schitt I’ll have to share here. He already told me he got laid off at the job we previously shared, which just means he was one of the low performers doing repairs. Sorry, man–can’t relate.

There might end up being a few more people, but that’s it for now.

Okay, I like my job and all…but I’m still so glad I don’t have to get up early and go to work tomorrow.

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Last Day of Work

It’s a great feeling to be done with tech support as a job. The only thing is, much like the last job I left, I am leaving a lot of people I’d rather not have to leave. I remember writing a long time ago in my blog that I didn’t think I’d ever really develop “work friends” at this company, but I definitely did. Even with employees who worked in other cities, some of them felt like work friends. As I wrote a couple of posts ago, I feel sorry for these people because I know they’re not going to get the same quality of tech assistance, at least not for a while. I also know some will seek me out and learn I no longer work there, and I know some will wonder why they don’t hear from me anymore.

I sent out an email on Friday to several people, most of them in the IT department, who helped make my difficult job at least somewhat easier and let them know I appreciated it. Most of them didn’t know I was leaving. My supervisor had only told the people whom it directly affected, and I didn’t tell anyone except New Tech because we talked about getting the hell off tech support all the time. I got several nice responses back. A couple of people came to see me.

At the end of the day, I stayed late and spoke with a couple of people. One of the guys I was talking to knows the whole story with Lazy Tech and how my supervisor wouldn’t give me back the position I enjoyed, etc. He told the other people to whom we were speaking that I basically got screwed. He has told me a bit before about how he had a hard time getting where he is in the company/IT department, but he had never told me that he contacted the EEOC about our company because of what he felt was discriminatory treatment. He basically told me that I was doing the right thing by leaving this company.

A couple of hours before that, my supervisor actually came up to me and said they didn’t want me to go but they’re happy for people when they find better opportunities, if I ever need anything to let him know, yada yada. If he didn’t want me to go, he could have easily found a way to keep me. Him and his supervisor went so far as to create a damn-near pointless position for a white guy–who now sits and texts on his iPhone or surfs one of the company iPads 75% of the time–they wanted to keep. I just wanted a position that I was basically told I would be doing when I first interviewed with him and actually had for about a month until he decided some lazy white guy who sucked at his job would be salvageable if he gave that job to him.

To be clear, I left not because of any perceived discrimination; I left because I reached my breaking point with tech support/help desk type of work. I’m not one of those dumb people who doesn’t get that racism still exists. I know it does, so it’s not surprising to me or particularly upsetting that this happened. I was looking for another job even before this happened, even before I ever was actually placed in the position I liked, because I didn’t like my job. I stopped for a while but started again when my supervisor gave Lazy Tech my job. New Tech feels that our supervisor refusing to give me back that job is a power trip, basically. I guess he doesn’t realize he lost and I won. He will start to realize that on Monday when schitt starts falling apart without me.

I hope New Tech makes matters worse and gets another job within the next few weeks, really fucking schitt up for my now-former supervisor. I’m going to get all the details from New Tech, too, because we exchanged contact info and he asked me to be a reference for him. So if he gets a job, I’m going to know about it. I already know he talked to Belinda and Belinda’s manager about the open positions in the Customer Service department, and he applied for those jobs, too. Belinda asked him if he was sure he was interested, probably because, as I wrote before, IT is generally better than anything in CS. She told him how much one of the positions pays (and, as I suspected, he’d be taking a pay cut), and she told him that he’d be interviewing with her if he is selected to interview. I don’t know if they’d want references since he already works at the company, but, I mean, Belinda and B’s manager both know me–especially B’s manager, whom I always helped several times a week. I would think my word would carry significant weight.

As far as B and I go…well, I only saw her on Tuesday and didn’t see her the rest of the week. I don’t know if she saw me or not because I looked away, so there was no smile/wave like normal. I did quickly glance around every day when I walked through the company restaurant to see if she was there but I never saw her other than Tuesday. Didn’t get any of her calls, either. I tried to cyber-stalk her, if you will, but she basically has no online presence. So, I can’t even add her on Facebook or LinkedIn. Of course, I have her company email address.

But I made the decision/realization that I’m not ready to date after several weeks of just envisioning all the bad ways trying to pursue anything with B could go. I don’t want to hurt anybody, and I most definitely don’t want to get hurt myself. So I need to stick to what I realized and just let the thought of B go. Easier said than done, but it needs to be done.

I’m probably as happy and stress-free as I’ve been in a long time, despite not getting to know B, just being done with answering phones and emails and all these annoying problems/people.

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They Thought I Was Bluffing, But They Were Wrong

So, I officially got offered the job I was contacted by another employment agency about. I took off work at my current job today to take care of all the business that needs to be taken care of with this employment agency that contacted me.

A lot has happened with this situation that I haven’t blogged about, so I’m going to bring it up now.

A couple of weeks ago, I was taken out to lunch by my recruiter at the employment agency that placed me where I work now. I was wondering just how much he’d be willing to tell me about the circumstances/details surrounding Lazy Tech finally getting fired. For people who don’t read my blog regularly, Lazy Tech is this lazy white guy whom I met at my previous job, as we worked together there. He quit that job when he got offered a position at the company where I work now, and as he was on his way out he gave me his contact info and told me to contact him so he can hook me up with the agency that helped him. I was hesitant to trust him because he was lazy and full of schitt at my previous job, too, but I ultimately emailed him and he basically got me my current job.

As time went on Lazy Tech started falling more and more into his old ways at my current job–he was lazy and he was an ass to the company’s employees who called tech support for help. Of course, people started complaining about him to our supervisor. My supervisor eventually moved me off tech support, more or less, as he had mentioned several times he might do, even in my job interview with him. This left LT on tech support basically by himself, and that’s when tech support kind of fell apart because of his laziness, his attitude problems, his essentially refusing to answer the phones when he didn’t feel like it, etc. But our supervisor still didn’t fire LT–he instead decided to switch me and LT around so that LT was doing the relatively stress-free, easier job I’d come to like and I was back on tech support. In other words, our supervisor indirectly said, “Okay, you don’t want to do tech support? I’ll take you off tech support and give you a much better job.” I was pissed, LT knew I was pissed, the guy who was training me at the position I’d been moved to was unhappy because he didn’t want to work with LT, and other people were looking at the situation just wondering what the hell our supervisor was doing. He was bending over backwards to help LT when LT didn’t deserve it, and I was getting fucked in the process.

We basically have to keep track of how much work we do and how many hours it takes us. One week, late in a Thursday afternoon when our time reports were emailed out, LT had only 16 hours of work. We work 40 hours a week. Next thing I knew, LT was fired.

My recruiter told me everything. He wasn’t like, “You know, it’s confidential…” and more professional about it, the way I think he should have been. We spent a very good chunk of our lunch date talking about LT. I know that LT is still jobless. And I know that he might still be at our company if it weren’t for the fact that my supervisor’s supervisor had something to say when he finally found out about all the issues with LT. When my super’s super found out, he was basically like, “Why is LT still here?” Um…exactly.

Eventually, the conversation turned to how I felt about my job, because I had spoken to my recruiter months ago telling him basically that I can’t stand tech support. We had pretty much agreed I’d give it 6 months. Now it has been over 6 months. Over the last couple of weeks I have spoken with my recruiter and another recruiter at that company, and I let both of them know that if I can’t go back to the position I was doing where I was a lot happier at work that I would be leaving. When I told my co-worker, New Tech, that, he was like, “You gave them an ultimatum? That’s cool!” and laughed (and to be perfectly honest, I talk freely at work about trying to leave because I don’t care and because I know they need me–it’s not the other way around). I was like, “No…” It wasn’t an ultimatum; I simply let them know what the deal was, and I wasn’t asking them to get me back in that position. I had already told my supervisor I would be interested that, and my supervisor basically made a comment about how I’d started getting great reviews on tech support but he’d consider it. My recruiter told me they had hired someone new and that this new kid only wants to do tech support, so he thought they might be bringing the new kid in for that.

The new kid finally came and, sure enough, they did some shuffling around that did not include my being put back in the position I liked. The same day the new kid arrived, I called my recruiter and said, “Okay, time to talk about other jobs.” They were surprised the new kid wasn’t put on tech support, but they figured it was probably because my supervisor didn’t want two relatively new people on tech support (erm, when LT and I were hired, we were both new people on tech support). One of the recruiters came out to my job and spoke with me, and I was just very straightforward with him about being ready to leave. He said he would talk to my supervisor, which, again, I didn’t ask them to do this. Again, I was speaking very freely about this, where other people could hear the conversation, and I wasn’t holding back punches. I made two things very clear to this recruiter–1) I can find another job if I want one, and 2) one way or another I was not working tech support anymore, i.e. my supervisor was either going to have me in my preferred job or not at all.

#2 is not something a lot of people can say at their jobs and get away with it, but I can. This employment agency is always telling me how everyone at my company loves me. Plus, tech support was garbage before I got there, it was garbage when LT was working it by himself. People contact me directly. They don’t even want to go through tech support, and I have to clean up after New Tech every single day. People get him for issues and he doesn’t resolve them, and then they come looking for me. A few days ago, I had someone call me on my direct line and tell me she went searching for my direct line so she could ask me to help another worker at her company whom New Tech didn’t help. Last week, I had someone email me directly and tell me how when I help her with a particular issue everything works perfectly but when New Tech does it it’s “a mess.”

“New Tech” is not all that new anymore, people–dude has been there over 3 months now. His performance is deteriorating, not getting better (which makes more work for me), and I know why–he hates tech support, too. With the average person, the more he/she hates a job the worse his/her job performance gets because the person stops even trying. That’s what LT’s problem was, aside from just being lazy, and now New Tech is going down that same path. I’m not that way because I hate the thought of people saying/doing the kinds of things behind my back that they’re doing with New Tech. I don’t want people saying anybody else is better than I am at anything. New Tech is too trifling to care, kind of like LT. And because of that, I know exactly what will happen when I leave this company–tech support is going back to schitt, no one will be there to pick up after New Tech and he eventually is going to get fired, too.

I love living with my parents. I wouldn’t be able to tell all these companies–in a nice way–to fuck off when they fuck me over without my parents, although they hate that I do it. My parents are not emotionally supportive and never have been–that’s why one of my sisters has issues. They criticize everything. My happiness has never been the point, except when it comes to them buying material things–they’ll buy me whatever, always have, but other than that? Career-wise, they couldn’t care less whether or not I’m happy. In line with having no issues buying material things, it’s all about money with them. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that to say this: for a change, they are on my side with my decision to leave this company. Honestly, I don’t think they would be if they didn’t view this as a racial issue this time because LT is white and my supervisor tried hard to help him and took a better job away from my black ass to give it to his lazy ass…and then when I say I don’t want to do tech support and would prefer the better job my supervisor won’t budge. I’m not saying it is or isn’t racial–I know employers fuck good employees all the time, all kinds of good employees.

And of course, my supervisor didn’t budge, even after the recruiters talked to him. And then the recruiters conference-called me and asked me again where I stand, as if I hadn’t made it clear to them. When I told them I could find another job if I wanted to, I meant it. I had told the recruiter who came to see me that other people might have trouble finding jobs, but I don’t. They didn’t seem to believe me. They first told me they’re having trouble placing their clients right now because nothing is out there, and then after I reiterated during the conference call that I am out of this company my recruiter seemed kind of irritated. He basically started talking as if it was going to be impossible to find me a job, especially the kind of job I want, and like I was being unrealistic. This was on Monday. I got the official job offer Thursday/yesterday, and it’s exactly what I’m looking for–and I didn’t need him to find it, either, just as I told them I wouldn’t.

So, next week at work is going to be a lot of fun. I’m just going to sit and laugh at these people’s reactions when they all find out I’m done. I have a pretty good feeling the recruiters didn’t let my supervisor know that I would be looking to leave if I didn’t get placed back in my non-tech support position, probably because they didn’t seem to believe me when I told them I could find something with or without their help. So, this schitt is going to be hilarious, especially when he realizes that, regardless, he was going to have two “new” people working tech support–only now his best employee is going to be gone completely instead of benefiting him in a different way. Plus, I still would have been helping with tech support some, and they have a guy whose job it is to help the tech support employees when they need it. All my supervisor needs/needed to do is make that employee do his job (which he doesn’t really do), and then New Tech would be better off, the new kid would be fine and I could work the job I want at this company.

I feel a little sorry for all the people I help who specifically look for me to help them, because they’re just going to be fucked up. I also must admit that I’m sorry I won’t see Belinda again after I leave. But what can I say? Employers just don’t know how to value/treat/hold on to their best employees.

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My New Co-Worker Hates Our Job, Too

If you start a new job, one pretty good sign that you’ve probably made a mistake accepting that job is when you come back the next day–and the next day and the day after that–and your new co-workers joke about the fact that you actually came back…every single day. This happened to me at my last job, and it happened to me at my current job. It didn’t take long at either job for me to understand why they kept making these jokes–the jobs suck(ed) ass, and they knew it.

Well, I haven’t blogged much about the new guy at work, and I have a feeling I won’t be blogging much about him. Why? He hasn’t been there even two months yet, and he’s already trying to find another job.

I’m going to show you that all my whining about my job is not just me being hard to please by telling you about my co-worker.

New Tech came through the same employment agency that I did. He’s the one I mentioned who is kind of soft-spoken and has an African accent. When he started, he was working with Lazy Tech because LT was still working tech support and I had not yet been moved back to tech support from the position I much preferred. Then when I started working with New Tech, he was pissing me off because he would hardly touch any of the emails and then our supervisor would come to us, talking about how we needed to catch up on emails. This was the same dumbass who had scheduled a brand new tech support worker to come in first thing in the morning and dive right into emails and phone calls with no true training and when none of the more veteran workers would be there to help him. Because of this dumbass decision, I’d come to work and there’d be 20+ unanswered emails sitting in the inbox with new emails rolling in every minute on top of those (ultimately, I told my supervisor that LT needs to help with emails in the mornings until New Tech learns enough to answer the majority of them on our own, which is something his dumb ass shouldn’t need to have been told).

It sucks, but the way my job works is if you don’t know how to respond to an email or phone call, you’re supposed to ask someone. Now, I didn’t want the burden of having to help a newbie along in addition to doing my work–it’s not that different from doing the newbie’s job if you have to tell him how to do it. But I remember how it was with LT, and I didn’t want to be like that with New Tech. I acted like it didn’t bother me when he asked questions because, ultimately, it was better for me for him to ask. But he’d generally let emails sit there for me to do instead of ask questions about how to respond to them. It is uncomfortable to ask questions every single minute, I know.

LT and I went through something similar, but it’d usually be because he’d let emails sit there with the excuse that I need to learn how to respond to them when I was already trying to figure another issue out, and then he’d get all huffy and harass me because I wasn’t answering emails. Of course, while LT was letting emails sit there, he was checking Facebook or text messages and so on instead of doing work himself. Again, I didn’t want to be an ass like that with New Tech, so I’d just go ahead and answer the emails so we could catch up instead of harassing him or being lazy as emails continued to pile up.

New Tech tried to stay positive and say the job wasn’t that hard, just that it was a lot of stuff to remember, but I could tell this was bullschitt. Every day the dude would look at emails, release stressed-out sighs-slash-growls, mumble to himself and place his head in his hands. Same with phone calls. Then he graduated to talking about how he gets headaches on the job, to which I responded that I always make sure I have a bottle of Excedrin with me for the same reason. Finally, he told me recently that he goes home and looks for another job every day.

The other employment agency I worked with that had a job for me around the same time as I decided to take the job I have now recently let me know that the same company is hiring again, and this time it would pay more money. It is a position repairing computers and other electronics as opposed to providing support for them, which is definitely what I’d rather be doing, so I went back and re-interviewed with that employment agency. Some of my co-workers had been joking about me going on job interviews because I’ve missed work so much, but I was not about to tell these people details about why I had been going to the doctor just so they could be quiet. After all, I don’t care about most of the people with whom I work, so I don’t need them knowing my business. But I did tell New Tech that I had a job interview.

After I came back from my interview, he told me he had been called to schedule an interview for another job. It is still a job with our current company, just at another location in the tri-state area. We are pretty familiar with the people who will be interviewing and ultimately hiring him because we communicate with them often, so I feel pretty confident that he will get that job.

There are several problems with this, both for me and him. The problem for him is it’s obvious, from what he was telling me about the job, that he’s not qualified for it. So if he feels stressed out doing what he does now, he will really be stressed out and hate this job. The job is very similar to what we do now, only phone calls aren’t really involved because he’d be the on-site tech for that entire location. I would actually be more qualified than he is just because I have worked tech support longer and have things down more about how things work at our company, but I already know I would hate that job. The job is also going to be an hour or more drive for him to get to work.

The problems for me are that he will probably leave before I will leave, which means I will be doing all the tech support and then will also probably have to deal with another newbie until I leave. And even if we end up leaving around the same time, that’s tough, as well, because I will feel like an ass if I end up being the one to follow New Tech out the door and not the other way around. New Tech and I are my company’s tech support. I would laugh if it meant LT had to come back to tech support and do all the work–he deserves it. I probably wouldn’t even be interested in leaving right now if I had been left in the position I was told I’d have at this company instead of dealing with brats on the phone and via email all day, but because LT is a lazy brat who had an attitude with people on the phone and because I’m not like that I got stuck doing something I hate.

In fact, thinking about it right now, I actually don’t feel like an ass. I mean, the ways in which I have been hung out to dry a lot, just as New Tech has been, and then whined to about needing to get things done faster or by myself…and I also started to feel sorry for that geeky tech who wants very badly to believe he’s cool because I know he’ll have to “train” two new workers…except for the fact that he spends much of his time sitting on his ass in his cubicle on his iPhone or on one of the company’s iPads instead of actually training anyone. I definitely shouldn’t feel sorry for my supervisor, who has made all these dumb decisions that have made my job worse. Just as with my last employer, he wouldn’t have all this turnover in tech support if he put new hires in the best position to do their jobs the right way, i.e. provide training and make sure someone is around when they need assistance. And just as with my last employer, he has two employees who are interviewing for new jobs and who are halfway out the door at the same time.

The crazy thing, though, is New Tech told our supervisor that he is interviewing with another location. And then our supervisor told everyone else. New Tech called one of our co-workers who had worked at that location before to ask some questions, and that co-worker said he and LT already knew about it. New Tech said to me afterwards that he would never have told LT–he doesn’t particularly like LT and just would not share anything like that with him. New Tech said that our supervisor seems okay with his interviewing with another location, but I still just never would have told him about it during the process.

Anyway, we’ll see what happens.

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Lazy Co-worker, Stupid Supervisor and Getting Fired

So I hate my job again. My supervisor ended up giving my new position to Lazy Tech and putting me back in my old position so that Lazy Tech wouldn’t be on the phones that much. Basically, there were too many complaints about Lazy Tech being rude, too many missed phone calls because Lazy Tech wouldn’t answer the phones like he’s supposed to…so because he doesn’t want to do what he’s supposed to and answer phones, it’s as if our supervisor relented instead of making LT do his job.

I was pissed when I was told this would happen. LT sent me an IM and asked me if I was upset with him. I responded that I have more of a problem with our supervisor, who is more and more seeming like an idiot to me–isn’t that almost always how it is with managers and supervisors? They’re fine at first, and then they slowly turn to schitt. It’s basically true that I am mostly pissed at my supervisor, not LT. I understand why LT doesn’t want to deal with phones and people.

Everybody at work is wondering why our supervisor keeps making these changes, so he just looks crazy right now. The guy who was training me in my new position and will be training LT, Easygoing Tech, does not want to work with LT. He basically told our supervisor that he doesn’t know why LT is still working at our company. And he had told our supervisor that I was doing a good job in my new position.

I complain about all of my jobs, but my new position was good enough to the point where I started thinking I could see myself at this company for years. If I’m going to be doing tech support for years and years, like others there have, no, I can’t tolerate that. I was definitely feeling happier working more hands-on with electronics and dealing with less people, and I really liked working with Easygoing Tech. And the days went by faster and a lot more stress-free.

Of course, doing tech support now is tougher than it was before I went to my new position because now I’m working with the new guy they hired. Working with new people sucks, and I’m sure people felt the same way about me when I first started. Newbies just don’t know anything, so the workload is nowhere near 50/50 right now–I have to do the majority of it, plus help him out. This guy they hired, on top of it all, is also hard to understand. He is a soft-spoken African guy, and there’s just a fine line when you’re thinking of hiring someone who needs to communicate in writing and vocally with English speakers. You don’t want to discriminate, but there are jobs where communication matters more than just about anything else. All we do is speak to people and write to people, and his writing is not that great to go along with his speech. And our job is not really for soft-spoken people. You have to be aggressive and just kind of annoy people with questions and all that–you can’t just sit there and not work because you don’t know the answers.

My co-worker Stanky Breath Tech and I were talking about the whole situation yesterday after work for about half an hour. He’s black, I’m black, our supervisor is white and LT is white. Today after work, SBT came to me and said something like, “You know what moving LT upstairs was about,” and then he rubbed his arm. I was surprised he did/said that, but I can’t articulate why…maybe just because we have never talked about race. Still, I said to him that my parents had told me the same thing, that if I weren’t doing my job adequately I’d be fired. He said he was telling his wife about the situation with me and LT at work and that was her first question, i.e. what race is LT.

I’m sure I either just completely lost most white readers right there, i.e. you’re no longer understanding the post, or you just got irritated because you don’t see what race has to do with anything or why other my co-worker and parents brought it up. But honestly, that’s just how black people think, especially older black people. SBT has grandkids, so I don’t know how old he is but he has got to be over 40. My parents are in their 60s. I don’t disagree with what they’re saying, but I’m also not going to declare that my supervisor is racist as I don’t think this is a racial issue on the surface or predominantly.

But I absolutely believe that if I didn’t do a good job at work, I’d lose my job. I don’t know how many chances I’d be given to make it work, but I don’t have a lot of faith that it’d be that many. I don’t know that my supervisor would sit and monitor me, lecture me repeatedly, send several emails about what I’m supposed to be doing and move me to what is essentially an easier position without a pay reduction before pulling the plug, but this is what LT is getting. I’m not attributing that to race, but I just feel that I wouldn’t be around.

And I’ve been fired before, and I wasn’t given warning after warning. One day a manager I had claimed money was missing, money that I’d taken in on my shift, and she called me at home to ask what I did with it. I told her I dropped it in their cash safe, and she said it wasn’t in there. The next time I showed up for work, they fired me and claimed they’d looked for the money but never found it and that I didn’t follow correct procedures for dropping the money. This is another one of those jobs that doesn’t train people, but suddenly when something goes wrong they have “procedures.” I was never given any kind of warning or told this could lead to my getting fired or anything. I was fired by two white people and a Latina, for whatever that’s worth. And I, to this day, don’t truly believe the money I dropped was ever missing.

This was a hotel job, by the way, and I worked at a hotel before where something like this happened to one of my co-workers, i.e. money was missing on his shift. He was not fired; he just had to pay the money back out of his paycheck (black guy, but the hotel was minority-owned). That sounds fair to me, and that is something I would have been willing to do. It was “just” $210 that was missing on my shift, which is an amount I could make after two days of work at that hotel. To me, firing someone after money goes missing on their shift, unless it’s upwards $1000 or it’s not the first time a lot of money has gone missing, means you just want the person gone. That hotel and its workers were cliquey, and I wasn’t part of the clique.

My point is that the only job I had where I ever made a sizeable “mistake,” I got fired. That’s my only point. I’ve been an exemplary employee everywhere else I’ve been. LT has had two jobs that I know of where everyone who worked with him had complaints about him and his work performance but nothing of significance ever really happened to him. Still, that’s my only point because it doesn’t matter, ultimately, if it’s about race, sex, sexual orientation or anything else. The bottom line is that I’m the good worker, yet I feel like the one who is being punished.

SBT told me that I should talk to the recruiter who placed me at this company about what’s going on. When he said that, I told him I don’t want to do that. But the more I think about it, the more I think I might need to do that. Either way, I’m going to have to tell him that we need to work on finding something more suitable for me once I hit the 6-month mark, just as he and I discussed about a month ago when I was unhappy working tech support.

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Making Friends At Work

It’s no secret that I’m not at all in love with my job. One of the things I disliked about my job when I first started, which might have been the biggest cause of any semblance of regret I felt about leaving my previous job, is the stark difference between the people I worked with before and the people I work with now. I had really come to like most of the people I worked with at my previous job, and most of them liked me.

Although I typically ignore people around me, hang with myself, am quiet–and although I like to think that it doesn’t really matter to me–it’s nice to not only have friendly co-workers but to also be liked by them. I couldn’t really say why, as far as being liked. I’d still honestly prefer to have my own office with a door I can close and just stick earphones in my ears all day, switching between sports talk shows and one of my painstakingly-prepared music playlists. My father doesn’t understand why I don’t want to speak to him in the mornings; my mother doesn’t understand why I don’t want to speak to her for a while in the evenings. Aside from just not being a morning person, I spend all day speaking to people and listening to people speak. Unless it’s about sports, it’s unnatural and exhausting for me.

Despite being like this, at my last job I had developed “work friends.” Work friends aren’t the same as real friends because I don’t spend time with/on these people outside of work. But I’d gotten a couple of outside invitations, and the two guys with whom I was closest participate in trivia every week and had gotten to the point of saying I should be there. The job before that, I had three good work friends. I found one of them recently on LinkedIn, and we messaged a little bit. But my current job is the one where I can say I distinctly felt early on that I wouldn’t ever have any work friends there.

I am not sure I can put my finger on why. A lot of it is age, but then, I do actually tend to get along with older people better anyways. The friend I messaged on LinkedIn is in his 60s. Frankly, it was probably a combination of age and race. But then, for some odd reason, I get along great with white guys a lot of the time (again, the LinkedIn friend is white). So, we have older white guys. Technically, that’s 2 for 2 in my favor, even though I didn’t realize it. Third, it’s the IT department, which means it’s filled with geeks, nerds, faux cool wannabes and crabby @sses. Now, I’m a nerd, but I’m not quite an IT nerd. My IT knowledge impresses people who barely know schitt, but I can’t say that I fit in with the average tech geek mentally or otherwise. I could probably spout off more knowledgeably about literature, grammar, psychology theories, philosophers and social issues–and why not? Those are actually the things I studied in college, not IT or Computer Science. So there’s that, too, but we’re still 2 out of 3.

It has been three months at my new job, and you know what I realized recently? I am liked at work, if nothing else. That will likely translate at some point to having work friends.

Several of my co-workers are a lot friendlier to me than they were a month ago, they speak more and for longer periods of time, they greet me when they see me, they sound happy to hear from me when I contact them and they are fairly eager to assist me (that last one is most important). It’s not just guys, either–I barely work with women, but this also applies to most of the women I work with.

When I spoke with the recruiter who placed me where I work about why I was missing so much work–and this was a couple of weeks ago–he told me he hears good things about me. And I was just thinking, “Okay, he’s talking about my supervisor and the guy who is supposed to be training me.” And I was also thinking he was saying that to kind of reel me back in a little, you know, because I don’t love it there. But then he told me he has heard from other people at my company. Apparently, someone told him I am a “breath of fresh air.” I damn-near asked him outright who it was, mainly just thinking he made it up, but if he wasn’t then just wanting to know who was crazy enough to think that. Then again, the first thing I ever wanted to be was an actress, and so maybe I actually do have the chops for that. I definitely do some acting at work.

The common thread through my last three jobs, though, is my work friends are always men. I definitely work almost exclusively with men at my current job, and, though I don’t have work friends yet, there are a couple of guys I see that starting to happen with. There’s also Lazy Tech, but I don’t think it’d be right to call him a friend since I rip on him so much and will continue to do so. My previous job was a small business, so, even though I worked directly with guys I was also in regular contact with women. My work friends there still were guys. The job I had before that one was a very big, very mixed environment, and, still, my work friends were guys.

I can’t figure it out, especially the white men part (for those who don’t know, I’m black). Even though I’m a lesbian, I tend to think I know more about men than most women do. I have just always felt that men are easier to figure out and are more transparent, more direct with their thoughts, than women are. Women are confusing as hell, to the point where I don’t know whether to laugh or just gawk in complete shock when women are frustrated with guys or a guy because they don’t understand XYZ about men or why men do ABC and such. It’s not usually even a “how can you not know this” moment so much as it is a “look who’s talking” moment. But there’s one thing I’m not sure of, and it’s related to the question of why I, a lesbian, “click” with men. And it’s not just the sports thing, because I don’t talk about sports with most guys at work.

See, my theory had been that men are nicer to women they find attractive. But I don’t consider myself attractive, and I am rarely told that I’m attractive. When I’m told that I’m attractive, it’s by black guys. Even though you can find examples to the contrary, my general belief is that white guys don’t find black women that attractive. You’ll find a lot of PC comments to the contrary and a lot of “Yeah, we like black women” types of things at times, but if you look around at society, dating and the kind of black women who are used to argue to the contrary–always the same, like, two or three black female celebrities–plus just throwing in the way I was told by white “friends” growing up that they don’t find blacks attractive–I cannot really shake the idea that, particularly, white men are usually not that into black women. It’s cool with me if they’re not because it’s one of the few things that makes me feel comfortable working with white men–that I know I won’t ever have to fend off unwelcome advances. I have never been wrong about that, either.

So maybe there’s another answer, at least in my case (because I still think men are nicer to women they find attractive). Maybe some men feel comfortable with me precisely because I’m not attractive and, being a breath of fresh air, because I’m not threatening. Men definitely like “nice” and “friendly” women, and, even though I am not these things by nature, I fake these qualities at work–apparently, pretty well.

Okay, but then why do I often have issues with women, or at least don’t get anywhere near the same level of openness and friendliness from women? Ah. Might as well not even get started on that one. Like I said–women are confusing as hell. I’m having to tell myself daily to stop with trying to figure out women, whether an individual one such as my “ex” or women in general.

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The Quadruple Whammy–Work, Health, Sports and V-Day

Last week I visited one of the specialists to which I was referred by my doctor after blood tests came back normal for my kidneys, liver and thyroid. He examined my neck, as well as took a look at my throat. My neck did seem swollen to him, but he didn’t feel anything. The interesting thing to him was my throat–he said it was red and irritated, and he asked if I had a sore throat. I was a little surprised to hear that my throat was irritated because it wasn’t bothering me. But for several weeks I have had a cough, even though I haven’t been sick. It does always feel as if there is something in my throat, and my voice is slightly more raspy, like it gets when I talk too much or yell too much. Both doctors I’ve seen have asked if I have issues swallowing, which I don’t.

So my specialist decided that I should have an ultrasound done on my thyroid, and he had me make an appointment with one of the ladies in the office so that I could go to another facility for the ultrasound. I went and had the ultrasound done today, and I will have to go back to my specialist to get the results when they come in. The lady performing the ultrasound took a lot of pictures on the side of my neck that is swollen. I am not totally sure how much information she had about the issue. The sheet that I saw that was faxed over to them only said “thyroid nodule” on it (other than my name, the procedure and such)–it didn’t mention a side, and she didn’t spend time looking at my neck or anything. So I thought it was interesting that she spent a lot of time on that side and took a lot of pictures vs the other side of my neck.

I had to talk to my supervisor a little bit about what’s happening since I have to leave work all the time to see doctors and such, which is something I didn’t want to do. I just don’t really want to talk to most people about this, especially not people I’m not close to. I have friends who don’t know about this and probably won’t find out without reading my blog, unless it gets serious. My co-workers don’t know.

I did call the recruiter at the employment agency that placed me in my current position and told him about it so they’d know I’m taking several half-days and taking other days off. It’s weird, but I also used this news to ease into talking to my recruiter about not being in love with my job because I really was uncomfortable with having to tell him I’m not liking my job. But I’m to a point where I can’t just keep telling him that everything’s fine at work.

He was really cool about it. He basically told me he has gotten calls from just about everyone he has placed in IT positions where I work about how overwhelming the job is and kind of said the same thing they said about it taking months to get the hang of it. I told him that I question whether or not I can really tolerate not feeling like I know what I’m doing for 6+ months but that I planned to do so. I also told him that I have learned that this is how tech support jobs are and that they’re not for me because of that. I love repairing electronics because I can be left alone with them to just do my job. So we’re probably going to wait a while and then see how I feel and if I want a different kind of position.

So I think it has taken approximately two months for the love affair with the extra amount of money I make on this job to end, and now it’s getting more towards thinking, “Okay, this is too stressful.” People at work tell me it takes months to grasp the job, but I think about the tech support job I had before where I never truly felt like I grasped it. It got easier in a lot of ways eventually, but I definitely ended up in uncomfortable situations more often than someone like me can tolerate. I’m just one of those people who always likes to have the answers, always likes to be the best and never likes to look stupid or say “I don’t know.”

This is where I am right now–lots going on in my personal life as well as with my career, and I haven’t even touched on relationships or the fact that I am successfully acting like Valentine’s Day is not around the corner (for the most part, I completely forget about it, except now there are more and more commercials about it). Frankly, I’m depressed right now, but you won’t believe why. The order goes something like this:

1) My team just got smoked in college basketball. I never turn games off. I sit and watch my team lose from start to finish when it happens, but I had to walk away from this game. I am staying away from sports networks, articles, talk shows, etc, at least for the rest of the night, which is unusual for me, but I know they will talk so much about this game. I was not depressed before that game. People who aren’t into sports don’t get it, I know.

Just think of a time when, say, you built something or someone up so much and had all these visions of how great things were going to be and then the moment you realized it wasn’t going to be that way. That moment was tonight for me with my team this season. I decided I’m not going to go to the Final Four in Atlanta–they won’t be there. We’ve got a good month to go in college basketball yet, but I already can see this. I was going to wait on the results of my ultrasound before I made any changes to my plans to go to Atlanta in April, but now there’s no reason to wait.

2) My job. Just the normal “I have to go to work in the morning” dread, but it played a role in my turning the game off. I figured that I spend enough time being put through garbage during the day without forcing myself to sit through garbage in my spare time in the evenings. I try to be a real fan and not just be there for the wins, but I’m realizing after sitting through 3 losses in less than two weeks that this crap should only go so far when you have other schitt going on in your life that makes you unhappy.

Right now I’m not even worried about my ultrasound but still, for some reason, can’t bring myself to talk about it with anyone I know other than my mother and the two people I told for work-related reasons. That’s why I haven’t posted more about it until now, and even with this post it took inner prodding to go ahead and write it. I don’t want to think a lot about it, at least until I know something.

Hope you enjoyed reading about another person’s bullschitt, if you did–thanks, hahaha! 😉

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Catching On To the Lazy Guy

Lazy Tech likes to run up to all the guys at work, kissing up and trying to make them like him. And just like where we worked before, he likes to spend more time socializing than doing work. As it turns out, all that eating cheese isn’t enough to disguise his shortcomings.

I wrote a while back about how people have a problem with introverted/more quiet co-workers, even though they’re often good workers. And it had really started appearing to me that the more social people at work get over-rewarded for being such, even if they’re not quite so good at their jobs or are not quite as qualified for a position. I still think that’s generally true, and I’m going to watch how this plays out. But I think my co-workers are getting a little sick of Lazy Tech, even though he is always all up in their faces. It might just be where I work, but my hope is this is indicative that being the guy everyone likes isn’t the end-all be-all in workplaces.

Now, I don’t think they yet realize that he’s lazy, but they’ve noticed other things about which they’ve started talking to me.

First of all, I want to mention for those who aren’t up to speed–Lazy Tech basically got me this job. And I had suspicions and reservations about working with him, knowing from where we worked together before that he is lazy. He does do a lot more work where we currently work, but his laziness still does fall on me at times (particularly with the way he’s always finding excuses to leave work early). I knew this was going to be the case going in, but I took this job knowing I probably wouldn’t like it but thinking, “If I’m going to hate what I do, I might as well get paid more for it.” And I get paid more for it–somewhere around $8,000/year more. From everything I’ve heard, LT lobbied hard for me to get this position, and I have been very happy with the extra money. There will probably be a post soon about how happy I’ve been with this extra money! That doesn’t mean I’m not going to rip LT on my blog. 😉

Here’s what happened:

One day last week after LT left for the day, I was on the phone with someone who needed help with a tech issue. And I was speaking to the person, but I could hear Stanky Breath Tech and the Wannabe Cool Tech in the background talking to each other and I figured they were talking about me from what I heard them saying. And then when I got off the phone with the employee I was assisting, SBT came to my cubicle and said, “We were just talking about you.”

I think I responded something like, “Yeah, I could kind of hear.”

He said they were talking about how LT and I handle the people we assist. Basically, LT is rude to people a lot of the time. You can hear how irritated he is or how impatient he is, and he talks to people like they’re stupid. And LT is certainly ones of those tech geeks who really does just think everyone is stupid when they have a tech problem or question, as are a lot of tech geeks. Now, I don’t sit around and talk about how stupid everyone with a tech issue is, and because I don’t really have that mindset I don’t speak to the employees we help as if they’re stupid. And a lot of people you assist in IT actually will approach you with a self-deprecating demeanor–some of them really do feel stupid for having the problem or needing to ask a question about how to do something. I reassure them that it’s completely okay. The people who get on my nerves are the ones who either contact us with a bad attitude or who contact us all the time with really difficult crap or one problem after another–which suggests they’re the problem or causing problems to occur (but usually they think you’re the problem if you can’t help them immediately)–so people with “stupid” questions don’t bother me at all…except maybe the people who don’t know what a “web browser” is.

So we were talking about how LT speaks to these people, and SBT was saying how even if I’m frustrated I sound like I have a smile on my face. To SBT, it sounds like LT hates the job when he’s talking to employees but LT is always talking about how where we work now is so much better than where we came from. It seriously amazes SBT because it doesn’t sound like this job is so much better to LT with how he sounds on the phone. At this point, WCT comes to my cubicle, as well. WCT is the guy who is “training” me–not really–and trained LT, and we go to him with everything and he also kind of acts like our boss, even though he’s not. And I respond to both of them that LT was way worse where we worked before with how he spoke to people, because he was. They couldn’t understand how he could be even worse than he is now. But since WCT seems to think he’s boss, he said that he’s going to have to talk to LT about how he speaks to people on the phone.

After WCT left the conversation, SBT kept wanting to talk about it because I think he still couldn’t believe how LT is always saying our job is a lot better now. He mentioned that repeatedly, and I told him that I can tell LT does like it better where we are and that’s in large part because of the money. But also, the people we help are generally easier to deal with than the clients we had where we were.

I didn’t think about this at the time, but I also think LT likes feeling that he has more flexibility in terms of leaving work when he wants to sometimes. He couldn’t do stuff like that where we worked before. That’s something that is going to make me just start taking days off work whenever I feel like it. I don’t think it’s always a good idea to run to supervisors to complain about issues or point out something another co-worker is doing wrong, so I’m going to retaliate in my own way. He’s probably taking off this Friday and I’ll be stuck with most of the work, so I will be taking off a day next week and sticking him with the work. I am so not kidding. Also, my birthday is in March–I will be taking off. And I am planning a trip to Atlanta in April to attend the Final Four (forecasting that my alma mater will be there), and if I go I’ll be out at least two days. The funny thing about LT is when he does stuff like this he always says something to me about how he doesn’t want to leave me with stuff or otherwise tries to make it seem like he gives a schitt, but he always does what he wants to do. Two can play that game.

LT has also started screwing stuff up more and more at work, and WCT has said to me a few times now that he has to talk to LT about how he’s overlooking emails that come in or not responding correctly. LT’s funny with this, too, when he knows he has messed something up. Once it comes to the forefront that he has screwed up–and he used to do this where we worked before, too–he’ll say to me that WCT or the supervisor “better not say anything to me.” At our last job, they always “said something to him” anyway, but it never worked. Unlike our last job, they actually fire people at this place. It would be kind of a nightmare for me if LT gets fired, which I don’t think he would, because I’d definitely have more work to do while they find and “train” someone else–and then I’d have to deal with the new person’s questions, a lot of which I won’t know the answers to because of how I’ve been “trained.” But WCT has influenced these decisions in the past, and if he gets sick enough of LT’s issues he could go to our supervisor and the employment agency that placed us with these things.

But LT makes mistakes in large part because he’s lazy, not because he doesn’t know any better. He probably wasn’t trained any better than I’m being trained, but he spends so much time socializing and on Facebook on his personal laptop. And he admits that he tries to do as little work as possible. LT does more work during the first half of the day, but he is definitely one of those people who doesn’t care at all around lunch time and after lunch. And I think that will become more evident to people at work as time goes on, as well. They can see what emails I respond to and which ones he responds to, and they’ll start to notice I do more work in the afternoons.

I was really pissed this morning when I got to work because he left work early yesterday, which meant more work for me, of course. And then first thing this morning one of his screw-ups came to the surface. I just kind of had to laugh to myself. I have to believe this–he’s going to get his. At our last job, I got a raise and was promised raises as long as I was there. LT had worked there approximately a year longer than I had, maybe even longer, and he never got a raise. We’re probably headed for the same type of thing at this place. It’d restore my faith in these dumb-ass employers we have nowadays.

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Talkin’ (Writin’) Bad About the Co-Workers

Well, I’ve been working at my new job for about three weeks now, which means it’s officially time to talk schitt about it.

First, a whole new co-worker breakdown:

Lazy Tech (LT, formerly known as the Lazy Afternoon Tech)

Really, I could also call him “Let You” Tech. I will say that he actually does do work on this job, unlike the job we had together before. But when he doesn’t want to handle an issue, he always tells me “I’m going to let you do that.” Yes, “let,” as if it’s a privilege to me. And sometimes he even explains it as a privilege to me while other, less frequent times he’ll admit he just doesn’t want to deal with something. But more often, he tells me it’s “because I need to learn how to do it.” Even as a teenager, I picked up on “let” phraseology. I used to make fun of my mother and my oldest sister for using “let” in ways that benefited them more than it benefited me.

Wannabe Cool Tech (WCT)

This is the the dude who is “training” me at work. He’s a nerdy white guy–looks the part and is short enough for one of my company’s employees to refer to him as “short” before any other identifying trait)–but I don’t think he wants to accept that. The guys at my last job were tech geeks, they more or less fit that profile in terms of behavior and interests, and they were cool with it. He knows his stuff tech-wise. But the dude struts around, talking about how he’s going to this basketball game or that football game because he somehow got the best seats through someone at our company for all the major sports teams in our home state.

Er, first of all–no one here likes baseball. Heck, no one anywhere really likes baseball anymore. It sucks, and there are way too many games. Second, no one on this side of our state likes our NFL football team–no one. Except him, apparently. Guess he hasn’t gotten the memo that everyone else here thinks it’s cool to be a Dallas Cowboys or Pittsburgh Steelers fan. So, talking about going to those baseball and NFL games does not make him cool. Now, there are people who act as if they like our NBA team, but I have a hard time believing it. I mean, doesn’t everyone just like the Lakers and the Heat, maybe the Celtics? I wonder what my city even is doing with an NBA team. So, again, how does telling everyone every time it’s game night that he’s heading to the NBA game after work make him cool?

The kid also runs around saying stuff that black guys invented but have neither used nor thought was cool in the last 10-20 years. And the dude is obviously born and raised here, a Southern area. So imagine this short, nerdy white guy taking stuff black guys made cool in, like, the late 80s, trying to use his little “hip” voice…but he has a Southern accent. Huh? For example, the kid calls every guy at work “my man,” like “What’s going on, my man?” But he says it in his little “cool” accent that is all messed up because he’s a nerdy, Southern white guy.

Now, you can get offended if you want to. I’m just sayin’…for one thing, he doesn’t sound natural trying to mimic black guys, as most white guys don’t (and isn’t it always white guys? I hardly ever hear white females using 80s and 90s black lingo in an effort to be cool). For another thing, I don’t know a black guy who addresses guy acquaintances as “my man” anymore. The closest you’d get to that is “my mans an dem,” as in “That’s my mans an dem.” And even that became popular around the late 90s. So, it’ll probably be another 10 or so years before WCT and other wannabe cool white guys move on to that one. White guys who try way too hard always use outdated “cool” terminology that was, by the way, never that cool anyway–at least if you value standard English.

Final way this dude gets on my nerves? He sits in his cubicle all day playing with his cell phone. Yeah, the dude who is supposed to be training me. He expects me to just come ask him stuff all day instead of actually being with me, doing some training. And when he does help me with tech phone calls, he always has to tell the person that he’s training me, which I can’t stand (think about it–if you go to someone for help and find out he/she is in training, how much confidence do you have 1) in the person to actually be able to help you and 2) to do it in a way that won’t take all damn day? My mother and I have both been in situations where the person behind the counter was in training, and we just kind of rolled our eyes at each other.) The kid does next to no work himself. His iPhone is always in his hands. I don’t understand it, especially with one so damn nerdy. Who the hell could he possibly be texting all day? What else can he find to do on his phone all day long?

I don’t get people who are like that, but I really scratch my head over how he can text all day. Could it be that other people don’t see how poser-ish this kid is and actually think he’s cool or likable? Yeah, probably. After all, it seems like his type is taking over the white male community. It’s a shame, not to mention goddamn annoying–white guys really used to be a lot better than this.

He just seems self-important. I think all the talk about going to see pro games is flossing, as are telling everyone that he’s the one who provides training and being all into his iPhone as if people need/want to communicate with him 24/7.

Stanky Breath Tech

He’s probably my favorite, particularly when he keeps a good distance from me. If I go to him with a question at work, he almost always just takes over the issue for me instead of forcing me to do it like the above two do. It’s not the best way to learn my job, even though usually he will explain it to me at some point. This is probably what I’d do if I were training or helping a tech with something, as well, because it just is more efficient for resolving issues. It doesn’t totally make sense to have me on the phone with someone at our company for 30 minutes, putting them on/off hold a bunch of times so I can find out how to resolve their issue, for something that could be resolved in 10 minutes.

I think he probably gets that the way I’m being “trained” is tough to take because he used to ask me every day when I first got there if I was going to show up for work the next day. I kind of told him to stop asking me that, haha, and he has. But he is the friendliest person I work with, and he’s as helpful as he can possibly be. Lazy Tech is cool, but I wouldn’t say LT is intrinsically friendly. He is more naturally an ass, but he knows that, admits it, accepts it. That’s what I like–know who and what you are and accept it. Why can’t WCT be more like that?

The only thing about this dude is his breath, really. Sometimes the guy is several feet away from me, and it’s like, “Whoa…is that really his breath?” It’s not like that every day, I don’t think, but it has been like that on more than one occasion.

The Supervisor

I like him. So far, he’s cool and supportive. I’ve heard stories about some of the people he fired before I got this position. One of the guys was fired after three days because he didn’t seem to be “getting” what he was being taught. So, apparently, I’m not doing that bad. He checks in with me to see how everything is going and seems pretty genuine.

So, that’s basically who I work with. All in all, I prefer my previous co-workers, with the obvious exception of the female tech I worked with at my last job. There are certainly other techs where I work, but they don’t really sit in our area. There is a female tech, but I don’t really work with her. She seems okay, but I must say that I’m glad I don’t work with any women on this job. I’m not sure I know how to explain why. I guess I am not surprised by what the guys are like. I’ve known LT most of the year, so I knew what to expect from him. And, as I mentioned above, white guys–generally white guys 35 and younger, but I know of some older ones, as well–just seem to be trending towards being a lot like WCT, so I am, unfortunately, pretty used to guys like him. I just feel like I know what to expect from guys and feel as if they won’t view me as competition. And LT really should view me as competition, in a way, because we have to bill our time and try to bill 8 hours of tech assistance a piece during the day, which is usually not easy to do. But neither of us is worried about it, in part because we’re both lazy but also in part because he feels confident that he’s still going to get paid for a full 40 hours a week.

The Customers

I guess they’re technically my co-workers, since most of them work for the same company I do. They are a lot better than the people I helped with technical issues on my last job. I don’t really hate dealing with them the way I hated dealing with people at my last job. Mainly, I just don’t like how I’m being trained, especially since this job is more difficult than my last one was.

Happiness?

I have noticed that, though I am frustrated at times every day at work, still dread going to work and hate to go to work in the mornings, it’s not like it was before. My job is similar in a lot of ways to my previous job, but I’m more accepting of some things than I was before. I am not sure if this is because I make more money now, because it’s still too early or because I just know this is how it is with these types of jobs now. Or a combination. I do think that if I could reach a point where I’m mainly comfortable with what I’m doing, I’d still hate the thought of going to work–because I’m lazy and would rather sit around focusing on sports–but I’d be a lot more content otherwise as far as working goes. I also have realized working 8:30am to 5:30pm is pretty good…and that I used to be tired for hours in the morning at work and then again just a couple of hours after getting home from work because I was having to get up unnaturally early for me (I am a night owl by nature, and it wouldn’t take me long at all to fall back into a pattern of staying up all night). So, I’m a lot happier with my shift than I thought I’d be.

I have been wondering lately, though, if making more money does make people happier with their jobs. I took this job, knowing it would be like the one I was leaving, because I figured that I could at least make more money while hating what I do. But so far I don’t feel anywhere near the same level of hatred. And another factor could be that I no longer have a co-worker who is as bad as FTG was. Anyway, the money = happiness part is interesting to me, and I will monitor my feelings in relation to that and write more about it in the near future.

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