Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why I Need a Real Job

These temp jobs just aren't cutting it, man.
If it isn't one extreme it is most definitely another. My last temp job was in downtown SLC and although it was quite delightful riding Trax into the city (because there was nowhere to park) and feeling so cosmopolitan, it was also torturous paying $4.50 for a round trip ticket and suffering the ride with all of the psychos/assholes that seem to live on Trax. The train is crowded at peak commuter times, obviously, but guys--healthy young guys, and those who know better--refusing to give up their seats is ridiculous. I didn't mind gripping the pole and swaying like some voodoo creature at every lurch of the train, but when an old woman with a cane got on and men looked at her and did nothing, I had to step in.

I looked around (some serious Stink Eye going on here) and went "seriously?? Seriously? Someone give up your seat. Now." And a gentleman did. But the fact that I had to say anything is truly frightening and revealing of society's modern values and all of that important and boring stuff.

Riding Trax was much more exciting than the actual temp job, which alternated between being boring, creepy, and horrifying.  The office (which shall remain nameless, unless you personally ask me, though I will say it was insurance) was up in an old building and I don't think it was originally designed to be an office. There were too many things that were just off about it. For instance, the "bathroom" was in a storage closet and you had to step a whole foot up to get into it.

There was tension in the air, thick as cheesecake, and the woman that was directing me told me that there had been some kind of "incident" and several employees were fired or quit. They had me sitting at the front desk facing the elevator doors and every time they opened I ducked me head a little, prepared for a vengeful ex-employee to fly into the place, guns blazing (yep, I've got an imagination on me).
There was another lady doing some secretarial-type work (which is what I was brought in for) but she soon realized that she could dump it on me and then sit back and pick at her nails or do drugs (pretty sure she was on meth). So she had me doing all kinds of things I was not qualified to do, like entering in insurance payments and handling thousands of dollars in cash. Unsupervised. If I mistyped something into the weird database they had me on, I could screw up some innocent Pennsylvanians' insurance payments. No pressure.
I stuffed a lot of envelopes, sprained my wrist with a killer tape machine, and managed seven phone lines. I was there for 2 days and on the second day a sweet old man (seemingly) that is the CEO had me call in a bunch of employees and he took them to the conference room (behind me), left the door open, and then proceeded to SCREAM at them and fired several. One of the guys tried to defend a female employee and the old man said "pipe down! I know the filthy things you've been doing on your desk!!"  I had when the two went into his office and closed the door and I heard moaning, but I tried to ignore it. This confirmed it. Gross.
What the hell kind of place is this?! I wondered. By the end of the day there were only about 3 employees left. And I let them know I would not be returning. They were shocked and disappointed, despite the fact that I was a temp (as in temporary) and that they hadn't even asked me to come back! Apparently they wanted to hire me.  As if. That place was hell.

And now onto my current temp job which is much quieter, but in a disturbing way. I am here this entire week.
It is a "college" but there are no students. It is big and nice and I am working the front desk in this gorgeous 3 story marble lobby, but where is everyone?!!! I see about 6 people a day. I'm getting paid good money to sit here and answer the phone (it rings about 7 times in an entire day) and check people in (5, maximum). So basically I get to surf the web all day and read Northanger Abbey. There are several security guards and to go anywhere you have to be escorted so they can swipe their card to get you through.  I have no idea what is going on here. Illegal organ donation maybe?
The worst part is the security guard that is about 8 feet in front of me at his little post. The guards rotate every day and I don't mind any of them except for this dude. The Creep.
He is a washed up Army guy in his 30s and the first time I met him he asked me if I wanted to watch "The Scorpion King 3" with him on his phone.  He then went on to ask me all kinds of personal things about myself--where I live (specific coordinates), where my parents live, what my "vices" are, my phone number, what kind of car I drive. All that fun stuff that YOU DO NOT ASK STRANGERS.
I Googled "creepy security guard" and this came up! He actually looks kind of nice though....
This is more like it..

I tried to ignore him (and I have continued to try to avoid all interaction with him but he is one of those unfortunate people that doesn't pick up on the "go to hell I don't like you leave me alone" look.
I feel him staring--for full minutes at a time--and look up and sure enough he is, but when we make eye contact and I raise an eyebrow or say "can I help you" he does not respond or even look away. WTF?
10 minutes ago he asked me if I needed to "urinate."  Not okay.
He is also a racist. How fun. He was complaining about Mexicans and Germans (what a combination!) to me yesterday and today it was all about Norway. Considering I am Norwegian, this was not a good move. He told me some story about being in a truck going up the side of a mountain and he fell and his door opened and he was hanging there over a 2,000 foot drop off and his seatbelt is the only thing that saved him.  Sound like a movie much?
He couldn't remember what city he was in when I asked, but he said it was "by the mountains and the ocean." I told him that he had just described 3/4 of the country.
He was shocked to learn that a lot of Norway is surrounded by the ocean. Brilliant.
He then told me that when he was there it was negative one hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit. I wish that were possible. Maybe he wouldn't be here right now harassing me if that were the case.

I have been consistently searching for and applying to jobs but being around this dude has made me FRANTIC for a steady job where I am actually doing something worthwhile and people have the sense to not sexually harass you in the workplace. Please, Saint of College Graduates, find me a job! Preserve me from this temp work and the hell that comes with it!

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