Why I Hate My Job

Other than the child abuse subject matter these are a few reasons:

The office manager tells me I cannot key my time on my time card as 8:30 to 4:30 every day. She says, “You need to key it 8:25 to 4:25 or 8:28 to 4:28. It can’t be 8:30 to 4:30 every day.” I say, “What if I actually arrive at 8:30?” “Doesn’t matter. It needs to be different each day.” This is the kind of stupidity that makes my head explode. I’m sure the human resources staff that handles around six thousand time cards is paying attention to my time card and wondering how I manage to work from 8:30 on the dot to 4:30 every day.

The attorney that does this:

Attorney:  What time is the hearing today?

Me: I’m not sure. I don’t have the file.

Attorney:  I’ll go look it up. Would you like to join me to observe the hearing?

Me:  Sure

The attorney tells me the hearing is at 10:40. She comes to my cubicle at 9:15 and asks me if I’m ready. I figure there is a reason she wants to leave so early.

We arrive to the courtroom. The attorney that’s covering the case tells us the hearing is not for an hour. The attorney I’m with looks my way and yells, “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?” On the trip back to the office I avoid the uncomfortable silence of WTF Just Happened by telling the attorney I’ve recently gotten into cooking Persian food. I describe in detail the dish I made the night before. It had turmeric and oregano and toasted cumin seeds in olive oil drizzled on top. I don’t think she was paying attention.

The case I received with a child named ABCDE. It’s pronounced “Absidy”. That poor child will have to spell her name for the rest of her life and it will be embarrassing every time. “It’s spelled ABCDE.”

I’m surrounded by fifteen lawyers. That’s lawyer overload. One day I say to a lawyer, “Have you ever said to a judge, “You be the judge. I would be tempted to say that.” He stared at me like I’m a crazy person.

The office provides coffee and tea but no vodka. They are so uptight.

My favorite attorney Katie retired. We used to sit in her office and laugh our heads off. She was in love with the actor Denis Leary. She had a framed photo of him with a hand-drawn bubble that says, “I just love that Katie.” She was waiting for the day he would sweep her of her feet so she could quit her shitty child abuse job. It never happened. Shocking, I know.

 

Jeff Bezos Is The Answer

I’m sitting in my cubicle dreaming of ways I can quit my job. I want to exit my cubicle permanently. I could open an internet store. I go to Alibaba.com, a Chinese product website. I search “hot trending 2019.” I could sell battery operated phone chargers for a key ring. They come in a multitude of bright colors. I’ll market my store on Facebook. The target audience is everyone.

Then I see a phone charging menu station for restaurants.  It’s a tabletop charger. The menu goes on top. Two chargers on the bottom. I think, “Brilliant. I haven’t seen these in any of the local restaurants.  I’ll be the trend-setter. Hmm, restaurants may want to encourage less phone use and, I don’t know, more drinks and appetizers. Maybe this isn’t a good plan.”

Then I think I could become a professional speaker. I’m sure there are tutorials about how to speak without looking like a dumb ass. Maybe there’s a TED Talk on how to give a TED Talk. I want to speak at schools about the correlation between junk food, sugar and mental health. I’ll get Wholefoods to sponsor me. I’ll be very careful not to say “Whole Paycheck” when referring to them. I’ll boast of how cheap their prices are now that God, I mean Amazon has taken over. That’s it! I’m off to send a scintillating email to Jeff Bezos. But before that I’m going to watch a tutorial on how to send a scintillating email.

 

Is There A Med That Will Calm Down The Noise Inside My Head?

I’m sitting on my deck staring at the massive storm tree debris:

“Oh my god what a mess, I need to clean it up.”

“I don’t want to clean it up. I’ve been working all day. It’s no big deal.”

“It could be a hazard. My tenant might trip over a giant limb and get hurt. I should clean it up.”

“Nah. If my tenant is stupid enought to trip over a giant limb…well, that’s his problem.”

“Actually, I kind of like how the debris hides the imperfections of the deck.”

Oh, You Want Me To Interpret Ink Blots? It’s Kind Of Weird But Okay.

When I start smoking pot and drinking in high school my parents, who are down with legal-age drinking and not at all with pot, are understandably freaked out. They send me to a psychologist. I’m told to look at an image of ink blots and describe what I see. 

I say, “it looks like two cliffs on the edge of a body of water. Each cliff has a polar bear hanging from it. Also, I’m very stoned right now.” I’m kidding, I didn’t say that.

Is there a right answer to describing ink blots? If I said, “Reminiscent of the black and white abstract expressionist art movement.” Would that get me a B+ grade on The Rorschach test?

What if I described the cliffs as two windows into darkness and the polar bears as Satan’s little helpers? Would that have gotten me a diagnosis in high school? Did the psychologist have a sit-down with my parents and say, “Water, two cliffs and polar bears. No mention of hell. You’re good.”

Mom makes an appointment for me to see her therapist. She’s been seeing the therapist for several months. After she starts therapy the phrase dysfunctional family is born into her language. Whenever Mom says, “my therapist says” the response from my father looks like a tsunami erupted over his eyes.

I tell Mom I think our family is rather normal (whatever that means) compared to family stories I hear from my friends.

I’m the leading contributor to the family’s dysfunction – the headline news at the therapist – I have no room to speak about family dysfunction, other than to share with Mom that my friend John’s father was arrested for embezzling five thousand dollars from his company to spend on his wife’s brother who has become his lover. 

Mom sips on a glass of the fiber powder, Metamucil mixed with water, a glaring example of my point.

Talk therapy is very beneficial if you have a good therapist. This is not one of them. The therapist starts our session by requesting that I list all of my male and female personality traits. 

What the hell? Aren’t you supposed to ask me why I feel the need to self-medicate or why I am not working harder towards my future?

I’ve never given any thought to my male and female qualities. It’s like taking a test I haven’t studied for.

Then she asks me to recall a difficult childhood memory.

“Well, I wasn’t allowed to play in the woods with my neighborhood friends. My father was worried about snakes and ticks. Pretty damn ridiculous if you ask me.”

The therapist stares me down like my doctor looks down my throat with his little light.  

“I ignore my father because I think it’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. Plus, I want to play in the woods with my friends. One day I return home covered in mud ’cause I fell in the creek. I know I’m up the creek with my father. No pun intended.”

More staring.

“I sneak through the back door. The family is watching TV in the den. Dad catches sight of my muddy clothes and hauls me into the den. He’s madder than hell. He throws me over his leg and spanks the tarnation out of me. My sisters sit on the couch laughing. That happens a lot. That there is some therapy-worthy material don’t you think?”

“How did that make you feel?”

“Completely humiliated. Also, my butt hurt.”

The therapist writes notes. The session could not end soon enough.

“We’re not returning to the therapist,” my mother announces the night before an appointment.

“Good. I don’t like her. What prompted this decision?”

“She thinks that I’m a lesbian and that I’m in denial about it. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a lesbian, but I’m not.” Mom is nervous to say it.

“What? Can you please find another therapist that I can talk to about our therapist?”

Mom writes annual family update letters at Christmas. The letters during my early years say, “Kathy has a lot of energy and she loves to laugh. She joined a Girl Scout Troop. She still takes ballet…” During my teen years the letters say things like, “Kathy is a senior in high school. She’s a big fan of the band, The Who.” That’s it. What Mom doesn’t add: “We all pray she doesn’t die and that she graduates from high school.”

I’m Skipping The Boss’s Day Party

I’m sitting in a staff meeting to discuss details about an upcoming Boss’s Day celebration. I’m trying to think of one redeeming quality about my boss to celebrate. Well, she approves my time card.  That’s all I got.

It’s strange to be around people for one-hundred sixty hours a month that you would not want to be around for one hour otherwise. There’s the African American Female Trump supporter. One day I commented that I like her purse. She says, “It’s a concealed weapon bag.” Then she unzips a pocket, pulls down a VELCRO attached pocket and shows me the area where the weapon goes. I say, “You know you’d be SOL if I was a criminal.” She laughs. Her laugh is a closed-mouth “Hmhmhmhm.”

Whenever we pass each other in the office hallway she makes that laugh.  There’s nothing funny happening. I’m convinced she is a dummy. I don’t say that about many people. I give people miles of room for being dumb. I’m right there with you. However, she is an African American Woman who voted for Trump. I am not kidding you that she came into my office one day and requested that I send an email to the office advising everyone that the network is down.  Then she says, “Oh wait, you can’t send an email, hmhmhmhm.”

We’re discussing ideas for Boss’s Day during the staff meeting. Someone suggests we go to each boss’s office and sing an invitation.  The person who suggests it was a musical theater major in college. I was definitely not. None of the bosses will come to the party if I’m involved in the singing invitation. Plus, it may be weird if all of the sudden a group of staff members appear at the boss’s door and break into song.  They’re thinking you are bringing them a letter to sign but instead you sing, “You’re invited to a Boss’s Day party, a boss’s day party, a boss’s day party…” If I was a boss and heard the singing invitation I would run away.

The whole group tells the musical theater major that she is welcome to perform the singing invitation  but she’s on her own. She seems disappointed.

Someone else suggests that we write the invitations on a pumpkin cut-out.

“No, some people are offended my Halloween.”

“But, pumpkins are Autumn.”

“They’re also Halloween. We better not. How about a leaf?”

OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP.

Fifteen minutes goes by discussing last year’s deli platter. It’s was eighty dollars. It was so small they had to purchase a second one. They bought it at Kroger. No wait, it was the Community Market.

I say, “Could we get back to discussing this year’s celebration. Last year’s already happened.”

“How about a taco bar this year?”

How about a bar. A fully stocked bar. That’s all I need.