Friday, November 25, 2011

About a Decade

Okay, so I didn’t have a great work experience over the summer, at the place I worked from June to September. Thinking back, there were lots of little signs that warned me of this, small little signs I brushed off.

Like this.

My first or second day there, the boss is bringing me around to all the other departments, meeting managers and other various assorted VIPs. She brings me into the General Sales Manager’s office. He’s in there, a couple other regular sales managers are there, and the owner is in there. They’re all pal’ing around, yukking it up, making mock and not-so-mock fun of each other, being good natured jerks with a thin veil of menace behind every remark. The testosterone level is approaching the room’s Schwarzschild radius.

Anyway, after I’m introduced, the owner says, “Say, I hear you worked with Mac up the street.” “Mac” is one of the sales managers at the affiliated store a few miles away.

“Yes,” I say.

“How long?”

“About a decade.”

Well, this set them off. “About a decade,” one says, doing a hoity-toity imitation of me. “Whoa,” says another, “big word!” More yuks and guffaws as I smile uncomfortably and edge out the door.

Now, this might not seem a big deal. These people are horse-traders, as my father-in-law says, and I’m basically a glorified librarian. Oil and water. But still, don’t you think their reaction was a bit … stupid? Kinda like someone dancing around loudly exclaiming, “Hey, ain’t I a doofus!”

This was only a little thing. But there were lots of little things. Like a 240 percent annual turnover rate. Like the fact that only 21 percent of employees were there over three years. Like the fact that my boss would tell me to remind her whenever X was going to happen. I’d tell her and she’d say “send me an email.” Next time I’d email her, and she’d chastise me, “you gotta tell me when this is going to happen!” And on, and on, and on.

Oh well. I’m in a much happier place now, two-and-a-half weeks into the new job. As I tell anyone who asks, that old summer job was like boot camp for this new one. If I could survive boot camp, I can survive anything.

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