Thursday, January 17, 2013

She Works Hard For The Money

Despite the fact that I absolutely love being a housewife, I have a job right now. No panicking. We're not strapped for cash or anything. This certainly isn't permanent. But Kittens mom (Kmom, from now on) works in an office at the local university and they're in desperate need of help. They're moving buildings in a month or so and things get crazy around a move. Throw in that their normal office coordinator moved to another job, and they're seriously short handed. So she asked me if I wanted to come in and temp.

Now, I had originally declined to apply for the office coordinating job because I didn't feel like it would be good for me, and I also didn't think I would be up to it. And having seen the job firsthand, I can say without a doubt that I wouldn't have been able to hack it. So I'm glad I made the decision I did. That said, that is nothing like what I am doing now. Right now, I'm sort of working as a clean up clerk and jack of all trades. Today was my second day on the job.

Its an interesting place.

The first thing I'll say is that I am, without a doubt, the least educated, dumbest person who works there. Now, I'm not being down on myself, truly. I'm a smart woman. But these people...they're geniuses. Of course, they also work with businesses and numbers and all of those things that I don't usually deal with. I'm already out of my depth when speaking with them. But the whole lot of them are really, really intelligent. Yesterday the longest conversation I had not pertaining to work was a discussion about the benefits of Title 9 for women. Seriously. That's the water cooler talk around the office. There's another woman working there who's writing a book or a screenplay or something like that. And it sounds like she knows what she's doing. Even the secretary is pretty darn sharp. Yeah. Lots of smart people.

And its not a casual office either. I dress up to work. All the guys look like Mr. Rogers only young and good looking. But there is some serious argyle and neck-tie action going on there. All the women dress nice. My boss wears some seriously intense power outfits. Its insane. They're all business there.

Which is why I was so surprised to see how terribly NOT ORGANIZED everything is. And that's my job. Help with the move, make things more streamlined. Now that I can do. I did have a good laugh because I was starting a new file and I was in their (train wreck of a) supply closet looking for file folders. When I found them I thought, I wonder what color they use for this type of file. Then I laughed, because they don't have a color coding system. It seems like they have no system at all. I've told Kitten I'm going to beg them to keep me on long enough to let me re-do their filing system and make their offices easier to access from an organization point of view. I'll even do it for free if the money isn't there. Its that bad. One of the higher ups...her office looks like a paper and file factory exploded next to a laptop store. Its frightening. And my boss, she has like, four inboxes, I think. Yeah, no system whatsoever.

In spite of all of this, I feel like I am being overpaid. I'm making substantially more than I made as a manager at Casa Bueno and its a little frightening given how little I'm actually doing. Yesterday I went through a bunch of files and made sure that they were all organized by date, most recent on top. Then I brought them into the office and set them somewhere for my boss to decide which stuff from the folders she wanted to scan into their system since they're also trying to go paperless when they move. Frightening stuff. Also, to me it made no sense to put them in order. Why not scan first, then order them the proper way, rather than tearing them up after all that work? I have no idea, but I suppose that's their prerogative.

I fully expected today I would spend the morning scanning the papers into the system. Someone else, apparently, had done it while I was away last night. (I only work from 9-1) Instead, this morning I was given a list of about 200 inactive files to find in their cabinets to be destroyed, after cross checking them to make sure they were actually inactive. I only found about 25-30 of them. So I spent the rest of my day highlighting the old "destroyed files" documents to cross reference the ones on my list that were not in the cabinets but for some reason still in the system. I found most of them, but then, I didn't make it very far back. I assume that I'll spend the rest of my morning tomorrow finding the rest. Of course, I would also assume I would then destroy the files and delete them from the system, but then again, I can never really tell what's going to happen. Maybe I'll be doing something completely different. There's never any telling.

I mean, I spent the better part of an hour yesterday listening to my boss talk on the phone about a bank account and panic about how far behind she was. She keeps telling me all these things she wanted to do...I felt a little bit like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. I had no pen or pencil or paper and was trying to keep in my head what I was supposed to be doing. Even then, today I came in and waited a good twenty minutes before I was given instructions on what to do. And I was on the clock. I spent another twenty minutes watching one of the Mr. Rogers guys add a second screen to my boss' computer. That was thrilling. Then we talked about the prints she had on her walls. Andrew Llyod Wright, I think. They're carvings of some sort.

The work is easy. I'm not challenged at all, which is interesting, because I know there is challenging stuff in their office. I'm just wondering if they're afraid of overtaxing me, or if they're just so behind that this is truly what needs to be done. I've mentioned to Kmom that my boss needs a secretary. She said she was pretty sure that was what they hired me for, though I've yet to touch a letter or whatever. Of course, I am messing with the filing, so maybe that's what she means.

All that said, I'm having a good time. It gives me something to do during the day. I'm still getting my writing done, and I managed all the housework between the hours I dropped the girls off at work (our Hondra has an oil leak, so we're back to sharing the truck) and when I had to go in at nine. I love to organize things, so this is totally my cup of tea. I am really shy, and I remember it now, because I have a hard time talking to people in the office, even when they make an effort. I was in Mr. Rogers #1's office today for most of the morning because the cabinets are in there. He tried really hard to make small talk. I mostly grunted in reply. When I did talk it was because I had to ask a question. I felt bad. He seems really nice and I know he was trying to put me at such luck. Also? He types really, really fast. Like, I thought I was fast until I listened to the sound of his hands on the keyboard for about an hour. I've decided I need to spend more time at the keyboard, because he is easily at somewhere around 150 WPM. He has to be. I type about 88 WPM corrected, and I know I don't sound like that when I type. It was almost like a symphony.

I'll be sure to keep you all posted about my work at Alphabet Soup office. That's my name for it because the title of their office is really long, like 15 words and it doesn't make a pronounceable acronym. I'm sure I'll have lots of fun tales before the month is out. That's how long they think they'll n eed me. I'm betting I'll still be there in March. We'll see. I move fast. Maybe they will too.

Whatever you're doing, have fun.


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