I am very, very, VERY awkward with people and situations. No, seriously. NO SERIOUSLY. I know you’re all, ha ha, Amy, you seem lovely! But in all actuality I’m totally Socially Awkward Penguin. I don’t even think those Socially Awkward Penguin memes are all that funny because they seem like something I would do. And, in some cases, they are something I have done. Or almost done. Or am afraid of doing to the point of near-total paralysis.
A few weeks ago, as I mentioned yesterday, our HR rep came to me all, “Hey! Amy! The admin staff from the new office we just merged with wants to come here and meet with you to see how you do things!”
I immediately got drymouth and also palmsweats. This was not a good thing. However, it wasn’t like I could say, “I AM TOO BUSY!” because she’d just have said, “Oh, no problem, we’ll just let everyone know you’re unavailable to take on projects at that time” and it’s not like I could have said “Can’t ____ do it?” because there’s no one else that could do it. Well, I do have one coworker that could have done it, but again, as I mentioned yesterday, she won’t check her email, and so that way, she can say, “Oh, I didn’t know that was happening!” and she gets out of things. Why I wasn’t smart enough to figure that out on my own, I am not sure. I’m fairly sure it would have led to me being fired, though. Oh, and later on in this post, we will get into why what I’m doing RIGHT EFFING NOW will probably lead to me being fired due to something that happened while I was away from my desk today, but that’s a story for later on down the line.
So, because I couldn’t get out of it, and because my coworker was all “la la la I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” about the call for trainers, I got stuck with the whole “training the new people” day. Now, my office doesn’t understand theater people. They think theater people are all very good at anything that involves getting up in front of people and talking. VERY good. No matter the scenario – training, office meetings, calling people on the phone – doesn’t matter, my office is all “AMY WILL DO IT SHE IS AN ACTRESS!”
A., I don’t act anymore, hardly, and B., acting is a lot different than public speaking. They’re not the same thing at all. In one you have a script and are reading someone else’s words and playing a character; in the other, it’s like you’re stripped bare and EVERYONE IS STARING AT YOU while you say YOUR OWN WORDS and they’re judging you and you’re coming up lacking. It’s horrifying.
Plus, again, as mentioned yesterday, I have this ADD-situation going on where I can’t stay on task, and also when I’m nervous I talk way too fast and I say things I probably shouldn’t. I’d be terrible if ever questioned by Homeland Security. I’d be telling them all about the time I stole markers from my art class in third grade. FINE, I’ll tell you about it. In third grade, I stole a couple of those markers that smelled like food from my art class. The black licorice one and the red cherry one. They smelled utterly DELICIOUS.
I brought them home and just smelled them and smelled them and they smelled BETTER at home, because they were MINE. Until this crushing guilt started weighing on me. I was SO NERVOUS. Why? Because of God. I was sure that God saw me steal those markers and I was going to hell for it. So the next time we had art class (it was a once-a-week-thing), I brought them back. Even though it killed me and I wanted them to be mine SO MUCH. But I also didn’t want to burn in eternal hellfire over some effing markers, what a waste of hellfire.
And listen, we weren’t even using markers that day, so I couldn’t mix them in amongst the other markers like they’d always been there like I’d been planning! So, always quick on my feet, I put them on the floor all surreptitious-like. I knew the teacher would find them while cleaning up and think they’d been left behind the LAST time he’d cleaned up, and they’d find their way back to the marker bin. And there you have it; my (aborted) life of crime. I did, however, when I was old enough and living on my own, buy myself a multi-pack of those smelly markers. THEY ARE ALL MINE. I have two of each color/scent. They are the BEST. And if I ever had a kid? I’d totally buy them their own smelly markers so they didn’t have to resort to stealing them from the art room and then self-loathing for a week.
So for two days I’ve been all stomach-in-knots about this situation. Today was the day! I found out yesterday I not only had to train them for a little over two hours, I had to take them to lunch afterward. If there’s anything I hate more than office meetings where I have to talk, it’s eating with coworkers. You have to make awkward small talk and you have to order certain foods otherwise they look at you all weird and you have to eat like a LADY, yo. It’s all very nerve-wracking.
The ladies arrived. First, the receptionist trained them a little. While this was happening, I sat at my desk and chewed my fingernails all off. This was nice because I’m wearing glitter nail polish and so I got glitter all over my mouth. (Accidently, I wrote “I got glitter all over my mother” right there, and I almost left it because it was AWESOME, but it was also the most confusing.)
The HR lady came and checked on me and she snuck up on me like a NINJA (ok, no, she really didn’t, but I was busy being NERVOUS so I was in my own world – there was no way this woman could sneak up on anyone, she’s 7.5 months pregnant, and she’s REALLY pregnant, ladies and gentlemen, whoo!) and I jumped seventeen feet in the air like a PTSD sufferer and she asked if I was all prepared and I said, “Is anyone? IS ANYONE REALLY?” and I think that was not the right answer and she was all, “Ha ha, don’t worry, this’ll be a piece of CAKE!” and then I was not only nervous, but craving cake. Grumble.
Then it was my turn for the training. I knew it was probably not going to go well after the first few minutes because this is how it started:
Me: Hi! I’ve never trained anyone before. I’m very nervous. This makes me talk very quickly. Here are some helpful handouts! Please feel free to ask questions!
Lady #1: We’re not here to be trained. Did someone tell you we were?
Um. Yeah. That was…yeah. Not the most auspicious of beginnings.
I knew there was something weird about this whole thing yesterday when at first I was told I was training these people, but then my coworkers started saying things like, “They’re not going to change anything they’re doing in their office, though” so why am I doing this? Why, really? The answer seemed to be one of two choices:
1. Because they wanted to see how we did things, and if they liked how we did them better, they’d change them;
2. Because they wanted a paid day out of their office.
I’m going with a combination of both of these, to tell you the truth.
So I went through the very handy three-page outline I’d made for them, and they were very nice, but mostly it was just them nodding and saying, “We don’t do it like that” (ok, that’s…ok, but WHY ARE YOU HERE? Am I on Candid Camera? WHAT IS HAPPENING?) and it was supposed to take two hours, but it took about an hour and fifteen minutes. Why? Because about fifteen minutes in, I gave up. I just kept saying things like, “Well, you can read that on the handout when you get back to your office” and such. They weren’t there to learn anything. They were, for some reason I couldn’t ascertain (and still can’t) there to…um…listen to me talk about me doing my job and to say “We don’t do our jobs that way?” That could pertain to…well, any of you, right? Like, if it was, let’s say, me sitting down with President Obama, and we started rapping about our jobs, and I was all, “Yo, Barack, at my job, my coworkers sign jobs into a bin, and I sign them out and then do them and TRY not to stab anyone while doing it,” wouldn’t he be all, “That’s so interesting, Amy, I appoint you my Secretary of Awesome” and not “I don’t do MY job that way!” I mean, it just seemed like such an exercise in futility.
So then I was done, much sooner than planned, so I gave them a tour of our office (again, waste of time, but what the hell else am I going to do with people?) and it was very “here is a COPIER! Here is a SHREDDING BIN! Here is a FILE ROOM!” and they honestly seemed more impressed with the things in our office than the things I’d been saying in my super-awesome-shiny training that I worked REALLY HARD ON and if a person can’t compete with a shredding bin, I don’t know what point there is to LIFE, you know? To be fair, it’s a really awesome shredding bin. It has a bumper sticker on it with “IF I AM FULL CALL TO GET ME EMPTIED!” written on it in scary big letters. I never stood a chance.
Then we went to lunch. At 11:40. Because I finished too early. This was a total fail. Because by the time we were done, I had to work FOUR STRAIGHT HOURS in the afternoon without a break. I never do that. I take my lunch super-late in the day. Like, most days, at 2. That way when I get done, I only have 2 hours of work left, and it all seems a little more bearable and a little less “WHY AM I ALIVE,” you know?
Lunch was one of those filled-with-awkward-pauses things that I hate, and it was giving me the vapors. Mostly it was them talking to each other and the receptionist and I talking to each other. Like the other people weren’t there. And us saying things like, “I sure do like alcohol! HA HA!” while looking at the drink menu. (NO, it wasn’t me that said that. I didn’t say much of anything. At that point, I had mentally checked out, and was sitting there contemplating making a run for the bathroom and rocking and making a long, drawn out keening noise for the next hour so no one would bother me. I HATE WORK LUNCHES.)
Then we were done. And when I got back to the office, the HR lady was all, “How’d that go? Good? I KNEW IT WOULD! Because YOU ARE AN ACTRESS!” Ugh, it is NOT THE SAME THING! Right now, HR lady, I am ACTING like I’m not HATING YOU for MAKING ME DO THIS USELESS THING.
Oh, and the firing thing? Well, when I got back, someone had been on my computer! Well! I do so love things like that! And a bunch of software had been added! That’s usually not a good thing. That either means more work for me in the future, or that we’re implementing a new system of something that’ll be infinitely harder than the last system, or something equally heinous. Nope! EVEN WORSE.
VERITY CHILD MONITORING SOFTWARE.
I was all, “huh, we’re monitoring children? I don’t have any, why would I need that” but then I looked it up and it tracks every website you’re on, every keystroke you make (including all your passwords! to your personal sites! so that’s pretty awesome and not at all a security breach into my personal life!), pretty much everything you do, and sends a report on off to management.
So I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I’m called into a “Um…do you need to be using Twitter, Facebook, Gmail and WordPress for your job? Do you really?” and the answer is, well, duh, yes, they help me stay SANE, thank you very much, but again, as with most questions I’m asked here, that’s not the RIGHT answer, just the only one I can say with a clear conscience. I know a normal person would see that software and immediately not go on any good websites ever again. (I also know most people would not spend as much time social-mediaing during work hours, and I’m well-aware they’re within their rights to spy on whatever I’m doing on their computer during their business hours. I’m not an idiot, I just hate my job so much. SO MUCH.) However: no one ever accused me of being a normal person. Also: I don’t much like being spied upon, or told what to do. Not much at all. If I get my work done, and get it done well, and in a timely fashion, who the hell even cares?
I’ll let you know what it’s like from the unemployment line. I’m guessing…super-fun? Probably super-fun. I can’t imagine otherwise. EVERY DAY IS AN ADVENTURE WITH ME!