Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Work Hilarity...For me, that is.

So, I just got bitched out by a mean Russian Lady. RL is probably over 55 years old, and just about threw a fit because I gave our printers 5000 envelopes, and didn’t inform her.
“Did you take something out of MY room?” And by her room, she meant the company store room. “You have to let me know! You have to!” was repeated in my face for about 5 minutes straight. I explained that the guy had just shown up, and had taken three boxes of each envelope so they could complete the job. It was only an hour ago. There are still well over a thousand of each envelope. CHILL OUT!

I know, we all have our little universes, but I just can’t stop laughing at a post-menopausal woman with a thick Russian accent, wearing not one but TWO different animal prints FREAKING out over envelopes. It warms my soul. And that’s how we know I’m a bad person.

Not that I have room to talk. I just had a 15-minute discussion with Aaron, the employee I supervise about the proper way to inform me he’s done with a task.
Background: Aaron is 48 years old, has been working here for 15 years and is a pretty highly functioning guy, who just happens to be developmentally disabled. As I mentioned, he’s worked here forever, and was always under the same person’s supervision. The staff always babied him to the point where he’s almost unable to do anything. (I don’t play that game, so I’ve done a little non-official testing, and while he can’t read, he can recognize the shapes of letters enough to match brochures.) We’ve been having some struggles about communication and how hard I expect him to work. He’s shown how capable he is, but now he’s REALLY wanting to go back to the lazy days of yore. His confidence is better, but he still acts out a bit. And even that is lessening.
When he’s given a task, I check on him several times, as he gets mixed up sometimes, and his job is also boring, so he enjoys the occasional distraction. When he completes this task, he stands up and loudly says “OKAY... LET’S SEE HERE.” This is usually the signal that he’s done. If I am not around to hear this, or am on the phone so don’t respond, he will wander off or sit there until I check on him again. Not very efficient. So we spent some time today rehearsing the proper manner of informing me he’s done with his job. Yeah, I know, it’s a little thing, but man does it annoy me when people SHOUT across an office suite to get my attention.

My Boss does this same thing, with the same level of annoyance to me and the rest of the staff that shares space with us. Aaron is proving to be trainable, whereas my boss is not. Funny how that works and Aaron is the one labeled “slow.”


The guy at work whom I’ve been hoping will be my work friend gave the “Office Worker Official Declaration of Friendship” the other day. We were chatting about some mundane office thing, and he turned and said, “You are never allowed to leave this place. If you go, I go.” Which is as good as “will you wear this friendship bracelet I made out of colorful string” was in 3rd grade.
Le Sigh. New work friends are good. In fact the only new friends I’ve made and kept in the last few years have been work friends. Which is why poor Xtian is still left struggling to make friends. His jobs have either been with people who are older and live far away, or have been rather solitary. I know he’s lonely, but any encouragement to have him DO anything about it is met with a few minutes of thought, and zero follow-through. Joining an athletic league, taking a class (with or without me), volunteering, all met with enthusiastic “Yeah, that sounds good” and that’s the end of it. I even got snarky about it last week, and bitched “You know, if you don’t leave the house, how will you meet new people?” It was equally effective. But I’m doing my best not to further intrude. I have the habit of mothering people, and I’m trying to kill that impulse. Nothing makes you less attracted to your wife than when she does a striking impression of your own mother. (note: sarcasm)

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