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Topics about my job, career and anything relating to work

THE WORM HAS TURNED

Or, to quote Vigo out of context from Ghostbusters 2:

WHAT IS WILL BE, WHAT WAS WILL BE NO MORE

I worked the same job for 15 years, a job that kept me trapped on Long Island, and with no chance of upward mobility or expanding my skill set so I could explore other career options.  It was as dead end as a dead end job could be, and over the years, the work conditions continued to spiral down into chaos, destruction, oblivion, and utter gnashing of teeth.  I didn’t think it would ever end.

But then a flicker of light happened last June, and I found a new part-time job with the hope of eventually going full-time.  I wasn’t sure if it would pan out, but it was the first major break I had been looking for after years of struggle.  Since I started that new job, it had been a roller coaster ride of crazy ups and downs, but it all ended this month, when I was offered full-time and a steady salary.

When I got the news, I just sat at my desk at my old job shell-shocked.  I had gone in that morning not knowing what would happen to me, and yet by the afternoon, when I finally got the word, I realized that was the last day I’d ever have to work there.  No more menial, soul-sucking, thankless drone work.  No more being talked down to, demeaned, insulted and passed over.  It was over.  IT WAS TRULY OVER.

My supervisor had come over to my desk and did his usual daily rant about how we were understaffed, getting no help, and continued to get mishandled and mismanaged by the powers that be.  I smiled broadly and said:

“I guess this would be a bad time to tell you I’m leaving too?”

It took 5 minutes before it finally registered that I wasn’t joking… and then the blood started to drain from his face.  I gave my two weeks’ notice, and because of the benefits of it being a public job, I was able to use those two weeks to burn out the leftover comp time I had on the books.  Tee hee.

I’ll only have to return once more to hand in my resignation, ID card, FOB, etc, and then I am free and clear of them forever.  Not only them, but soon Long Island as well.

It’s no longer a dream anymore.  Now it’s real.

Prancing Time

A summer of change

I’ve been REALLY light with the blogging this month, but there’s been a reason for that as I had to focus my attention on changes that were happening in my life, and not simply small, weenie, non-consequential changes, I mean life altering, big time, “wormhole portals into alternative dimensions” like changes.

So here it is: for the first time in many years, I have a NEW job.  And not just a new job, THE one that I’ve been looking for, a career opportunity that could finally unshackle me from the confines of living in the hellish landscape that is Long Island, New York, and free me AT LAST to move to a destination of my choosing.

THE DOOR HAS BEEN OPENED

Or, as Vigo in Ghostbusters would say, “WHAT IS WILL BE NO MORE.”

Bill and Ted saying WHOA

So what does this mean for the immediate future? For now it means my life just got a whole lot busier, so I probably won’t have as much time to blog as I used to, and when I do blog, the tone of it will change significantly to reflect these new (and positive) life changes. It also means the next 12 months will be a transitional one, as I work to prove my chops and be a permanent asset of the company that was crazy en… err I mean smart enough to hire me. I’ve been given enough generous leeway to grow at my own pace and shake off the cobwebs of my brain that haven’t been used since the turn of the century. As far as career changes go, I couldn’t have asked for a better job to help me transition from one industry to another. I believe it is only a matter of time now before I can finally pull the trigger on moving out of New York and to, at long last, a better place, where the people are friendlier, the cost of living isn’t insane, and I can still enjoy a delicious latte in town every morning.

I wish I could leave NOW, but I can’t make any immediate plans until I see where this job leads. Thankfully though, I won’t have to wait too long. In the meantime I can start researching and getting my ducks in a row, getting rid of stuff I don’t need, and putting all my affairs in order so I’m ready for when that day finally arrives: the day I leave New York forever.

I’m still in a state of shock. Before it was just a dream, but to think within a year it could become a reality? INCONCEIVABLE!!!!

Did I mention I’m in shock?  Yep, I’m in shock.  I’m not there yet, but a major, MAJOR hurdle was cleared, and as they often say when it comes to career changes, once you’re on the inside, it’s a lot easier to move around from there.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go have babyback ribs to celebrate.

It’s the little things…

Today is a reminder of why a work from home job would be so glorious. For some odd reason only two of the phones in our office here have an audible ring. The other broke or got static-ky, so before I came in, my thoughtful coworker co-opted my phone and set it to ring audibly. At full volume.

Which I wasn’t aware of until I sat down and it suddenly rang again, making me jump 20 feet up in the air.

We also have an issue of uneven climate control. The section behind us apparently gets too hot and stuffy during the winter, so my coworkers there thoughtfully leave the door between our two sections wide open in order to let outside air in. Except for some reason, the cold draft actually snakes around the hallway and hits my desk at full speed, a slightly unpleasant experience when it’s less than 20 degrees out. So I go up and close the door… and they open it again, then wrap barbed wire around it to keep it open. (!!!) Fortunately I have a bolt cutter, so I just snap that off and close the door, but they must have a supply of it stashed somewhere because it gets rewired again. One of these days I’m going to replace the knob with a lock and throw away the key so it can’t be opened again, but I halfway suspect they have the jaws of life as well and would simply rip the door out permanently, so probably best not to tempt fate.

And so the dance goes…

We’re the government, and we’ve got top men working on this!

Being a government employee, I have the privilege of being able to see our bureaucracy in action, up close and personal.  Take for example, adding master name records to our databases.

It used to be if a misspelling was made to a name, (which was often and frequent given half the names we get are scribbled on paper instead of being typed up), we’d try to wing it as best we could, and then change the name later if and once we find the correct spelling.  Takes about 10 seconds on average.

Now we are barred from being able to correct the names on master name records, nor can we remove any records that were made in error. Instead, we have to take all the misspellings and questionable name records we created over the course of the day, make a list, and email that list to IT, who will then sift through these misspellings and correct them at their leisure.  Some day.  Because we need to have a vetting process you see, and despite us previously having the ability to change names for oh, the past 40 years, we now can longer be trusted to modify name records accordingly.

So… what used to take 10 seconds to correct, now takes several days to 2 weeks for IT to correct.

TOP.  MEN.

The calm before I get hosed like a mad monkey in a cage at my job

I fear the poop storm that will be swirling around my job this month.

I have 4 days off, then next week we carry on minus another coworker, who got shipped off to “the dungeon” as a result of shakeups going on that has neither logic nor common sense driving it.

So now, not only will the 3 of us remaining have to slog through a workload not even 5 full timers could handle, we now have to do it for less money, too.  (wage freezes combined with a tax hike.)

Office Space Demotivator

If they take my stapler I’m setting the building on fire…

That means ultimately answering the phones.  A lot.  Which I have trouble doing, because I’m kind of like, deaf and stuff.

But because I function like a semi-normal person, a few here think I shouldn’t have any problems with the phones whatsoever, which is why I occasionally get yelled at, or written up, or otherwise subjected to abusive treatment when I’m less then enthusiastic about picking the phone that never, ever, seems to stop ringing.  EVER.

So I really have no choice but to try to head off this crisis by officially filing for an accommodation.  What actually comes of it I have no idea, but I asked that they would fund new hearing aid purchases with advanced technology that theoretically should help me understand voices on the phone better.  Emphasis on THEORETICALLY.  I could try them on a trial basis too, but I doubt they would approve this request since it comes with a $4,000 to $5,000 price tag.  It’s more likely I’ll get transferred than anything else, but even that would be fine by me if it meant never having to touch an office phone here again.  Or maybe they’ll actually come to their senses and decide to let my coworker stay.

Fat chance.

My coworkers unsurprisingly have a defeatist attitude about all this, not even bothering to fight because, eh, why bother?

My philosophy though is that if we’re going to have a defeatist attitude about things, it should be because we tried and lost, not because we never tried at all.  So I’m gearing up to challenge my employer and explore every option I have to try to improve the work conditions here.  And if I fail, then I shall wallow in misery and despair, and I will do so happily.  :-P

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