There are no less than 50 activities going on simultaneously today. Spring is waking everything up in a fit of energy. This is also my way of saying I woke up, did a keg-stand of coffee, and now my anxiety is at 11. My co-worker was complaining the other day about how her dogs have this crippling case of nervousness where one of them gets stressed out, the other one gets stressed out, it amps up the already mounting negative energy, and then they brawl. My co-worker ended it by saying, ” ‘Why can’t you guys be normal?’ But they just can’t.” I told Parker, and he laughed and said, “Did you relate? Did you wonder why you were her two dogs?” And nothing can describe it better than that.
My workplace is redoing their website, and they want pictures and updated bios of all their employees. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of having my photo displayed and the world knowing things about me (I realize this is a silly feeling since I write a blog). Not that I work for a secret government project or anything, but I did once get Fox Mulder on a personality quiz. That quiz may have been Which Character from The X-Files are you? The truth is out there, I want to believe, blah blah blah ALIENS.
Back to the topic. We got these questionnaires we’re supposed to fill out, and I’ve been pouring over the queries for DAYS. No one should take this long, but I’m having some kind of existential crisis involving these two pieces of paper held together by a staple. Ridiculous? Yes, but it’s still happening.
First off, all my answers have to be “work appropriate,” and that sounds simple enough until you process it and add in the fact that my answers are supposed to be truthful and not sarcastic. This means that my personality may be dressed in ripped, concert jeans and a t-shirt with expletives on it, but I have to redistribute my mohawk, dye my hair a natural color, hide my tattoos, and put on khakis. My responses are in a fucking prison right now.
No one is going through this except me. At least that’s how it feels, because we’re the center of our own universe, so that’s how it ALWAYS feels, right? A good first example is “what is your favorite quotation?” One of my co-workers wrote “live in love.” Another said something cliche about smiling, because you never know who’s falling in love with you. Basically, I am back in high school and have to fill out my senior info for the yearbook and am overcome by the mediocrity and fake-sounding answers. One of my friends from high school wrote in her yearbook bio that her favorite song was the theme from Jaws, and I can’t stop thinking about that.
Another example would be “what’s your favorite music?” My knee-jerk reaction is to write down James Taylor. At my old job, “You’ve Got a Friend” came on the radio one day, and I inappropriately flipped out and yelled “no, no, no” and changed it. That sparked confusion and an ensuing discussion about how I hated James Taylor, because this song was played all the time on the boring satellite station over sound system at a previous job. When I was out sick for a week, I returned to a picture of young James Taylor on the wall behind my computer set there by my co-workers. Since I was in customer service, clients would come in to pay their bills, and when they saw the picture, they would freak out and go on and on about how they loooooved him and he was so young and he was coming to town soon. They wanted to know if I had seen him in concert, because he was fantastic. So I developed this hilarious love-hate relationship with James Taylor where my feelings of anger dissipated into humor and acceptance over time.
Yesterday at work, one of my co-workers was dressed up having come from a funeral earlier that day. When I commented on how nice she looked, she said that she hated dressing up and putting on make-up and that was WHY she was in our particular line of work. My sarcastic response was, “Are you going to put that in your bio?” And now, I think she might be.
The other work issue I’ve been having is that last month, I got my 6 month review. I’ve had many jobs, but I haven’t been reviewed at work for about five to six years. My last job would occasionally just give me raises without telling me and without reviewing me short of “you’re doing a good job so just keep doing that.” The fact that I was not given a raise and had to endure a review is sending me into shock. I knew it was coming for about a month, so the anticipation was KILLING me. Then when my boss reviewed me, she scored me and had little comments on why. However, she ended the conversation with, “let’s work on this, and we’ll meet back in a month and see where we’re at.” Noooooo, I’ve been dreading this for a month! I don’t want to do that! What does that even mean? I’ve been trying to overcome the learning curve for the past 6 months, and somehow I’m supposed to try harder, and I’m not even sure what will happen in two weeks when she reviews me again. Will I get a raise? Will I get fired? What is my motivation here? Does she not think that I’m trying as hard as possible? I would almost prefer she fire me than have to sit through the firing squad of another review. Or at least TELL me why I’m doing this. And the worst part is, now that I STILL have to go through this hell all over again, I’m doing much, MUCH worse. Because I break under pressure. I wish “what is your worst quality?” was a question on this bio, or maybe even the ONLY one, because I have a whole list going for that. As for my “talent” or my “best personality trait,” I have no clue, but it’s probably making a mockery out of anything good or benign in the universe. One question down, 30 billion to go.
This brings me to the last part of the bio and the question I’m having the most trouble answering: “Why are you in this line of work?” I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of conversations (read: bitch fests) recently with one of my co-workers about our dissatisfaction with our job, with the way it’s set up, with the rules, with our co-workers, with our clients. Someone recently joked that when people leave this job, they go into something entirely different, and I’m beginning to fully understand why. It’s not even close to the reason I used to think it was.
I commented to one of my friends the other day about how I don’t know what to write in it. I will post a picture of my idea here, so you can see what I mean.
Kiki: And your photo can be a pic of him from the movie.
Me: OMG, yes! I will do it. When clients see it, they’ll squint and say, “you look nothing like your picture from the website.” I’ll respond with, “How DARE you.” That being said, I totally want his hair. I have hair envy.
Kiki: So much hair envy.
If you didn’t understand that, then you need to go watch Valley Girl right now. If you got it, then you should totally watch Valley Girl in the next week. One of my friends actually switched seats when we were watching this film in a group, stating, “If I’m going to watch a terrible movie, I’m going to sit next to The Weird Button, so we can make fun of it together.” Best thing anyone has ever said to me.