Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sick Day

So after over a week of pure Alice-in-Wonderland craziness at work, which was the culmination of ever-increasing insanity, I'd had enough. I was expending the kind of energy that telekinetics on Star Trek wrench from their minds to keep galaxies from exploding, and frankly, I was a little beat. Anyone who doubts the existence of a subconscious can examine my clockwork nausea, headache, and chest pains that begin as I switch from the red to brown lines at Belmont, and increase as I get closer to my building. Last week I'd called a meeting in hopes of preventing a poorly conceived process change; I'd invited the one other person besides me who has primary experience with the User side of the process that was to be changed, hoping we could inject some sanity into the situation.

In the 90 minutes the meeting lasted, I don't think we were able to get three full sentences out between us without being cut off, talked over, or just plain ignored. Rather than execute a highly dramatic full-voice scene, I contented myself with imagining the titles of the business seminars that the company I would found would deliver:

"If Someone Else Is talking, You Shouldn't Be."
"You Might Actually Learn Something New If You Let Someone Else Finish A Sentence."
"Excuse Me, Sir, But I Have The Fucking Floor, So Shut The Hell Up."

At the training for the new procedures, I became confused, because the trainer was giving information that contradicted what I'd always understood to be true. I tried to understand what she was explaining by asking her to clarify why we did it this particular way. She got impatient with me, and I finally had to say, "Look, I'm not trying to be difficult, but I don't understand this. And If I don't understand this, I can't explain it to other people." My point being that if she were such a good trainer, she should be able to explain this, because I am not a stupid person, and my questions are clearly worded.

She kept saying things that didn't make sense, and faced with the prospect of having to be a point person for something that just made no sense to me, I finally gave up and started calculating on my notes pad how much I'd have to earn to pay my mortgage.

At the end, I was quiet. "You don't look happy, J--" the trainer said, in the Mature Teacher Voice.

Good God, now not only do I have to accept what she's saying, I have to dance about it?

"I'm not happy," I replied. "I don't think this is a good way to go about this, I think you are going to confuse people, and I think that by adding layers of complexity you are begging for people to enter faulty information."

"Well," came the condescending reply, "I think the success or failure of this depends on our attitude."

I swear to God, she said that to me.

Knowing I have the world's worst poker face, I froze, carefully made sure my face was still, and stared at the computer screen for three beats, until I could trust myself to speak. Then I turned to her.

"Well," I said, with obviously insincere chirpiness, "I guess we'll just have to give it our best shot, then."

I went upstairs, activated my out of office messages, and took Friday off as a sick day. A Sick Of Work day. On Friday I worked on my resume, and I have a shiny new "JC Rocks!" document to get me the hell out of there.

I'm sure I can get a new job soon. As we all know, my success just depends on my attitude.

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