Monday, April 26, 2010

a wasted evening (lyn)

My eating schedule is totally thrown off by my census training.  I now have to report every night this week for training; I feel like I’m in the military.  Six to nine, Monday through Friday.  But this morning I get a message asking that I come at five to complete the fingerprinting requirement.

Yesterday afternoon, 21 of us were sitting around waiting to be fingerprinted.  Our lofty leaders had already informed us that they would not have enough time to fingerprint everyone.  That’s when I made the following suggestion:  Since you know that everyone will not be able to be fingerprinted today, why don’t you figure out approximately how many you will be able to fingerprint, maybe increase that number by a couple to be safe, and let everyone else go home?

I then end up in this conversation with Cody, one of the leaders:

Cody:    Why do you care?  You’re getting paid.
Me:  I know, but for the $15 or so per hour that I’ll net, I’d rather be doing something that I want to do.
Cody:  But isn’t that what work is?  Having to be at one place, but wishing you were somewhere else?

I actually thought that was pretty clever, though I never viewed work that way.  I’ve mostly been quite lucky to have good-paying jobs that I actually loved doing. But maybe this is my new reality.

Anyway, so now my eating scheduled is totally messed up.  I have a late breakfast/lunch of leftover honey mustard pork chops and some roasted vegetables. I then pack up my dinner of one tuna sandwich.  I grab my newly acquired five-pound (maybe ten, I don’t know, but it’s very heavy) Census Bureau soft briefcase, an umbrella again, my little lunch box, and I’m out the door by 4pm.

I arrive by “five sharp” as instructed. Coty is about five minutes late.  He tells me, and two others, to sit tight.  He then returns and tells us “we are going on a little trip.”  Turns out that his fingerprinting partner is at another location.  I left my home early to get to this location, put up with the rain while carrying a heavy load, skipped eating with the hope that I’d be able to do that sometime between 5:30 and 6, and now I’m being told to forget everything, we’re packing up and heading off to another location. 

I am not okay with this.  I know I want this job, but at the same time I also resent having to do it.  And with the myriad of mix-ups, I find myself reacting poorly to yet another one.  At one point, I really think I am going to be fired.  But somehow, Cody finds a solution and we get to finish the fingerprinting process at the current location.  I'm sure he must really hate me by now.

We finish at 5:55 which gives me five minutes to gobble down my sandwich. 

It’s another boring evening of spending three hours on stuff that should take three minutes. Half the time is spent learning how to complete time sheets.  Come home exhausted and discouraged.  BA Tufts.  MBA Kellogg.  Senior VP at a major ad agency.  How did I to end up here?  Even being skinny is no compensation.

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