This time last year I was really miserable at my old job. I had a really toxic manager, a workload of 25 projects and there wasn’t a day that went by that I didn’t fantasize about quitting. Around February, I started seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. I had a few interviews with a large corporation. Finally, in April I was hired at that large corporation. This was the first time I’d been in the private sector for 6 years. My two previous jobs were state government and after spending 6 years there I was ready to leave it behind. As far as I was concerned it was filled with lazy people who sat around all day figuring out how to throw other people under the bus for their lack of work ethic.
So, working for a large corporation is not unlike the government in some ways – it still takes FOREVER to start doing what you’re supposed to be doing. You’re waiting for certification classes to take place before they’ll let you do anything. You may be waiting for computer equipment to be ordered so you’ll actually have something to email on and use. You may even be waiting for uniforms to be ordered. (Ironically, I have a uniform but I only wear it on days I have no idea what I’ll wear – “Oh, here we are – blue janitor pants and a grey burger king shirt and “may I take your order” or “Ma-am, you want to show me where the leak is coming from?”
What I managed to leave behind is a toxic manager – my current one is amazingly laid back – if not a little too so -but no complaints here. Right after I started I was part of a team the manager was assembling. At the time, he still had three more positions to hire for. In came my favorite co-worker – I’ll name her Shampa (this is the nickname Charlie gave her and it stuck). Next was Larry and Sherry (not their real names, of course) – the wonder twins.
Remember The Wonder Twins? I watched them on TV when I was a kid.
Wonder Twin Powers ACTIVATE into -an eagle or a bear or in Larry and Sherry’s case a COMPLETE FIBER NETWORK. (if that gives you any indication of where I work and no – it’s not the one who’s been SAYING that they’re coming and never do – it’s the one that’s always been here.)
So, Larry and Sherry came as a TEAM. I would bet $$ that when negotiating Larry probably told our manager that he wouldn’t come over unless Sherry came with because the two of them were a TEAM in their previous tech position. At this point everyone was at one work center except for them. They were at the construction office they always worked. Our work center was closing down and all us were going to separate to different offices – some out of town – including Shampa. Some down by the airport and then myself, our manager and Patricia (who I’ve written about before) moved to the construction office with Larry and Sherry.
At the time we first moved over here both the Twins were off at Engineer training together and just Patricia and I had the office. But, once the twins have gotten back and time has passed it’s come to my attention that their ongoing work affair has gotten the HELL on my nerves. We all do different jobs –despite all of us having the same title as engineer. But, even so both the twins do their work TOGETHER. If Larry has to go meet on a site and talk to someone, Sherry has to go with so they can do lunch together. Most times they don’t ask anyone to go but I’ve been on lunches with them and they always split meals. Larry will eat whatever Sherry wants to eat and lets her order. (The last few times I’ve felt a bit ill so have decided never to do lunch with them again unless it’s the whole team for our bosses bday or something).
Individually, they’re both nice people – don’t get me wrong. On the odd chance one of them isn’t in the same room you can almost have a conversation. But, once they’re together each one of them has to take part in the conversation, finish each other’s sentences or only have a conversation with each other despite two other people in the room. It’s kind of maddening, to be honest. It’s not any better when all of us are here together, either, because Patricia will aggressively try to take part in the conversation – so much, that her and Sherry will talk about makeup or some girlie thing that neither Larry or I can’t compete in. But, I don’t compete for conversation, honestly. When I come in I politely say “Good morning” and leave it at that. I don’t usually even try to participate unless I need to break in with a work related question.
Then, since we’re in a construction office and the twins used to work in a crew we get a lot of construction people coming in and out all day long looking for them. All.day.long. Most of them I don’t mind except for this one woman who is a scheduler- let’s call her Carmine- who comes in, like, 12 times a day and asks where Larry is. “Like I’m his personal secretary, bi-otch” I mean, she obviously has a thing for Larry, too, and I almost wish that she and Sherry would have some big fight over him and just get over it – hell, I’d even set up the jello pudding wrestling ring and sell tickets.
Carmine isn’t one of those women who like other women, either. As much as I’ve answered the best I can where the hell Larry was she still looks at me like I’m a gnome. So, from now on I’m going to answer her questions with I don’t know. As much as I’d like to follow that with a why you don’t call him he has two phones I don’t want to stir the pot around here. One day everyone was out so I decided to actually lock the office door – to no avail – Carmine who has a key let herself in and said, “Oh, I didn’t realize anyone was in here – where’s Larry?” So, there’s no keeping that bi-otch out of here so I try to ignore her.
I asked Patricia one day after she had been in here asking. “Do you ever think it’s weird that she comes in here all the time looking for Larry?”
She just smiled and shrugged and said, “I try to stay out of it.”
“I hear ya.”
I did mention it to Larry the other day. I mock-slapped my forehead and said, “I forgot to tell you that Carmine was in here looking for you…….like about 12 times!”
“Oh, I don’t know what her problem is she knows she can call me”.
“I think she has a thing for you.”
Larry just laughed nervously and cut his eyes to the side in fear that Sherry would hear and said, “Oh, I don’t think that.”
I know there’s worse things at work but sometimes I just feel like I’m working with a bunch of high school kids. Yesterday, I got to go out to Shampa’s office and work with them. I think it’s come to the attention of the team manager that I need some additional training and that I’m not getting it where I am. They are all designers and run centers out there so no one has time for high school shit most of the team’s expertise is in that office. I get frustrated where I work – for the reasons above and that no one knows shit around here. If I’m designing a job (which, along with that and running a center is what I want to do) and have a question there’s no one here to ask. I have to get on our message system and talk to Shampa or one of them out there. I have no one to look over my shoulder. Even though Patricia runs 4 centers and I’m slated to get one of them she doesn’t know how to design stuff – which, is what I’ve been doing. There are some of us that want to design and some not and the ones not are all in my office except for me. It was nice being out there – people were working – quietly or every once in a while having a conversation but it wasn’t intrusive like it is where I work. So, after yesterday I mentioned to my boss that I could go out there a few times per week and work and he said that sounded good. I’m stoked because that means I’m only here twice a week and that fat bitch Carmine can stick it!