Thursday, June 29, 2006

Quitting And So Forth

So if anyone cares, I quit that job I obtained a couple of weeks ago. Here is the accompanying story:

At the end of the day, I receive the job offer, which I promptly accept. At this point, I’d like to point out that everyone working in this place is quite young. Someone tells me that the average age is around 25, so I would be one of the younger people there. I welcome the possibility of a younger working crowd, at each of my previous jobs, there was always a dearth of young people. So I’m thinking, the pay will be dope, and there’ll be people my own age to hang out with after work and whatnot. Everything is looking up.

On my first day, I’m just chilling in the lobby, waiting for someone. So I make small talk with the receptionist. I ask her about the atmosphere, the hours, and all of that. (Yes, I did ask about these things during the interview, but that’s also the ideal time to lie about it.) So the receptionist tells me she’s only been there for about a month. So I ask if she knew anything from the previous person. Apparently, she was only there for three months. This catches my attention.

I meet up with Ivory*. This is the person who conducted my second round interview with this place, and so has been charged with my orientation, training, and all of that madness. She was nice enough during the interview. Not particularly charismatic, just a normal person. She did have one of the flattest voices I’ve ever heard though. (Full discretion: I have a pretty flat voice, but from what I understand, it serves to enhance my sense of humor.) When I say that, I’m excluding situations where someone is purposely taking on a flat affectation. Her conversational tone was flat like Kansas. I don’t usually find myself annoyed by affectation, but when I find myself disliking the person, I tend to start focusing on these things.

From the beginning there was one thing that annoyed the hell of out of me. Ivory would say “and so forth” and the end of every other sentence out of her mouth, even when there was nothing that could be continued. For example, I could say: When I went too the zoo, I saw many animals, including lions, tigers, bears, and so forth. Clearly, the “and so forth” means that the list can continue along the theme of the previous items, namely animals at the zoo. She, however, would say things like this: We’ll meet up for lunch in the parking lot and so forth. What does that mean?! That makes no sense! And so forth?! There is no way to possibly go forth from that statement! It made me quite angry, but I held it in.

I’m not hating things in the beginning. (When I say “beginning,” I’m referring to the first hour.) It’s pretty much what I expect: getting introduced to people, shown where the bathrooms are, taught the general layout of the place. Ivory does show me the bathroom, telling me it’s where to go when I “need to go to the bathroom and so forth.” That “and so forth” creeped me out. What does that constitute? The first things I thought of were illicit co-worker sex in the bathrooms and doing lines off of the toilet seats. Two activities which I have no desire to pursue, but I digress.

My hatred has already been planted with the voice and the constant “and so forths,” it is watered and fertilized by a pen. This is what the bitch does: she takes a pen, throws it into the air, and tries to catch it. I take this as her little habit. Many of my friends twirl pens in fanciful ways. Personally, I like to play with a Zippo. Most people have something of this nature going on: restless legs, jingling change, any sort of nervous habit really. I accept this part of people. Also, most people do things with at least a little bit of style, especially when their habits depend upon an object. Not this creature. She would clumsily hurl this pen into the air, then attempt to catch it much like a toddler would: executing a clapping type motion where the pen would haphazardly end up between her hands. Unfortunately for me, this only happened about 50% of the time. Here lies my greatest problem: Bitch cannot catch.

So now you’re thinking: Why does any of this matter? You’re no star outfielder. I don’t see the Yankees scouting your ass. Who cares if she can catch? To that, I say: It matters when I have to pick up her pen every three minutes. So, for 10 hours, I’m picking up her goddamned pen. Can you even begin to imagine the rage slowly building up inside of me? And this was not done out of some sick compulsion on my part. The first one or two times? Yes. The subsequent thousand times? No. I was ordered to pick it up. Each time I did, I felt my soul crumbling away. It’s one thing to be 26 on a power trip, it’s another to beg me to stab you in the eye with a pen. I understand that she was placed in a position where she was in charge of me and responsible for anything I might do, but that does not make me her personal whipping post. Bitch was supposed to be teaching me, instead we're playing fetch. Fuck Ivory.

At this point, I’m thinking to myself: I need to get up out of this place. Craziness abounds. But the money is making me apprehensive. It is crazy money, so crazy that it should be committed. Crazier than Whitney’s imaginary lovechild with Michael. (Can you even begin to grasp the craziness that would come from that union?) But something happens which seals the deal in my mind. Part of this job is the fact that everyone pretty much takes lunch around three. This is four hours too late in my opinion, and I consider this as part of the reason for my annoyance. Hunger messes with my head.

So we go to lunch and decide on a nearby Subway. It’s me, Ivory, and the Big Boss. So we’re watching our lunches get made. Meats are being heated, vegetable being chosen, et cetera. The guy behind the counter proceeds to spread mayonnaise on Big Boss’s bread for a chicken sub. This is an honest mistake. Most people take mayo on this subway, and while he forgot to ask if he wanted it, it’s not really a big deal. There’s more bread available for replacement. Big Boss is not having any of this. He proceeds to yell at the subway man and demands to talk to the manager, all while threatening to have him fired.

At this point, I already have my subway, which is delicious. Seeing all of this posturing and acting like a complete asshole creates a sort of out of body experience for me. I’m asking myself: Do I really work for these people? This bitch that can’t catch who doesn’t understand the meaning of “and so forth” and this asshole who can’t tolerate the slightest (easily corrected) mistake? And I realize: I DO work for these horrible people. I need to get up out of here.

An important fact to know is that the office generally doesn’t open until 9:30-10:00 AM. This works in my favor for my method of leaving. I call the office at 7:15 in the morning. No one is there and I get sent to voicemail. Excellent. I proceed to leave this message:

Hi, it’s me. Um…I don’t think this job is for me. If you need me to fill out any sort of paper work or send you anything, just let me know. But I won’t be coming in. [10 second pause] Ever. Bye. Oh it’s Cathe –

At that point I had gone over the time limit for voicemail and was cut off, but I assumed they realized it was me. In addition to this, when I was in the process of screening all my calls, Ivory called five thousand billion times trying to talk to me. I did not return any of these beckonings from hell. I don’t think it was selfish, as speaking with her could have prompted one of two possibilities: her getting stabbed in the eye with a pen, or stabbing myself in the eye with a pen. It's a very elementary form of self-control, but it is self-control nonetheless.

So I am unemployed for the time being. I don’t particularly mind it, as I do have a good amount saved up from my previous job and I have not been forced to kill either myself or Ivory. Money in the bank + no crimes committed = OK with me. I haven’t been wallowing in self-pity/inordinate amounts of laziness though, and I have had a couple of job interviews. I’m alright with how everything turned out. At least I wasn’t at that hellish job for too long, and everyone showed their true colors very quickly. It makes for a good story in the long run, which is a win by my standards.

* Names have been changed to protect the annoying.


Anonymous said...

Yo, you're awesome! I've had a couple of jobs like that where I wanted to quit the first day and didn't have the balls. Also, the manner in which you did it is fantastic. Mad props :-) Anyhow, hope you find a new better situation soon.

pheet said...