20 May 2005

The Job: Days Three and Four

Days three and four were rather uneventful, so I'll summarize quickly.

Day three was "blue shirt day," as I mentioned earlier. I'm really amazed at the sheer variety of blue out there. Denim-look blue, navy blue, royal blue, wild-n-crazy tons of different blue-colored stripes blue, powder blue, French blue (which someone probably tried to call Patriot blue last year, and which probably should just be called "bleu" (?)), and then whatever color blue you would call the blue shirt I'm wearing in the picture a little ways down the screen. I really don't know what to call it. Here's a fun game: give that color a name. Because I can't call it my blue shirt, since I have a shirt that is much closer to the abstract notion of "blueness" than the one in the picture ever will be. [That sounded like my freshman philosophy survey class: "But is there a form of "chair" apart from the chair itself? What is the essence of chairness?" Really fun stuff...]

We were told where the kitchen, cafeteria, and supply closet were, since no one bothered to inform us of this. You need to go through two secured doors into another office area to get to the kitchen. Now, most office kitchens have Rules and Regulations, but this was thrillingly bureaucratic, so I must share. We were told (I paraphrase, but most of it is accurate): "this is the refrigerator; the top part is the freezer. The microwave is here. These are the coffeemakers. Use four scoops only. The Judges might want five; DON'T DO FIVE [apparently the world could end!]. If you want ice, take how many cubes you need; empty the rest into the bin in the freezer. And then refill it (!!!!); if you don't refill it, someone will hunt you down and hurt you. If you want to store something in the refrigerator, mark it with your initials if it's something that someone might think is theirs. Because we had some mix-ups with people drinking out of each other's diet cokes. [ewww, backwash] If it's something unique, don't worry, we don't eat each other's lunches. That's only happened a couple times by accident. ["wait, that was your mint-and-garlic lamb shank pita sandwich? whoops, my bad..."]. Don't keep used lunch containers at your workspace. The cubicle trash isn't always emptied, and we had one "itty bitty" [foot long]cockroach a couple months back." [Yeah, because cockroaches always travel solo.]

"The cafeteria is on the same level as the upper parking garage." Um. Why? Is it drive thru? Is it so you can get to the hospital quickly? Is it how the cows are brought in? Do the cows drive themselves in? Why? Why would a cafeteria be there? Just so you all know, before I left the kitchen, I said "So, just to double check, this is the refrigerator, right?" Luckily, the woman showing us around has a good sense of humor (I omitted her detailed description of her feelings toward cockroahes and her zeal when stepping on one--it was on par with the quality of an oral creation myth, very dramatic and funny stuff). She just yanked on my tie and said "I knew I was gonna have trouble with you." I told her that was an assualt and battery. She said I assumed the risk.

"There's also a snack and magazine vendor on the first floor. He's the sweetest man. He's blind." One of the other guys said (and I love that he did): "If he's really blind, how does he know what cash he's getting?" Response: "Well, he's not actually blind, he is sight impaired, though. But he really is just the sweetest man." And then my favorite: "Sometimes he takes breaks. When he's not there, he puts down the metal gate so you can't get in. That way you know he's not there. He's usually not gone long. But sometimes he is. Not usually, though."

Day four was less eventful. A lot of doing stuff. Imagine that. Met the one co-worker I hadn't met. Steve is a very amiable, helpful type. That makes it 100% good co-workers. I'm very, very lucky. He's been there a while, so he's more than willing to show newbies (like me) the ropes.

I found out that there are no manilla folders left! For the next couple days, we will be without folders. Wow. I mean, our supply closet is just chock full of neat stuff, but someone forgot the manilla folders. Somehow, I was still able to function. It was really hard, but I moved on.

I got to use the Other Copier Machine [insert scary music and evil laugh] because "ours" (the one that's only ten steps away) is getting scheduled maintenance or something. Suspiciously, the printer was also "out for maintenance" today. Interesting. I think there's something going on there--perhaps a steamy intra-office equipment affair has developed. The janitor's closet smelled of hot ink and toner this morning. (Okay, that was corny.) Anyways, as soon as I started using the other copier, someone showed up at my side seemingly out of nowhere: "You know the double-sided couple rule is still in effect?" "Um, yes, but these need to be made as single sided copies." "Oh, okay....Just do them double-sided whenever you can."

Later, I returned to the copy machine, to make more single-sided copies (I have to copy the various important parts of the record because I don't think anyone would really appreciate me writing my scritch scratch all over the originals). This time, someone different (and again out of thin air): "You know about the double-sided copy rule?" "Um, yeah." "Oh, okay."

Later, more copies to be made. This time, a big sign "THE DOUBLE-SIDED COPY RULE IS STILL IN EFFECT." Subtle. Warmed the cockles of my heart.

[Day five coming tomorrow morning.]

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