Please, Let Me, Let Me, Get What I Want, This Time

January 13, 2009 at 10:18 am (The Albatross, Work)

Just got off the phone with the chair of sociology as Sans Souci College.  She likes my resume.  Six faculty members retired over the past 2 years and she is alone in the department.  She wants an urbanist who studies education and ethnicity to help take the dept. in the direction she envisions.

I could be that urbanist.

I was hoping to adjunct there, but there isn’t anything available this semester.  She seems so hot for me I think she might bump someone to get me in there.  She’s even offered to have me team-teach some of her courses.

This may be it.  Now I suppose it’s high time I finish that darned dissertation.


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I, Dilbert

January 8, 2009 at 12:15 am (Work)

This semester my department has reintroduced online registration and payment for the courses that are open to the public.    The college uses an online service to process the payments, and I am one of about 6 staff at the college who have access to this service.  I discovered that the ledger form for reporting credit card revenue had been revised in my absence.  So, just before the winter break, I sent the the head of the Financial office a two-sentence email and asked him to send me a new copy of the form.

Twenty minutes later he called me on the phone.

“I got your email.  So, do you have access to the online payment system?”

“Yes, I’ve had access to the system for 2 years now.”

“So, you can logon to the system and see the transactions?”

“Yes, I can logon to the system and see the transactions.”

“Well, let me explain to you how it works.  We get a statement every month of the money we earn through credit card sales, and we need to break it down by department.  So, you need to fill out a ledger form every day and send it to me.”

“Yes, I know.  I’ve been doing that for the past year and a half.  I understand the form has changed, and I’d like you to send me a new form for our account.”

“But you didn’t do this last semester.”

“No, because I was on medical leave and the director decided not to do online payments.”

“So, last semester you just got checks, right?  And you sent those checks to the bursar’s office?”

“Yes, but this semester we’re doing both, and I would like a copy of the new form for the account.”

“So, you’re saying that you have access to the online payment system?  You can logon and see the daily transactions?  And you can tell which ones are yours?  How do people sign up for the courses?”

“Students create a profile, put the course in their virtual shopping cart, and pay with their credit card.”

“And you get an email letting you know when a sale has gone through?”


“But you didn’t do this last year?”

“No, last semester the director didn’t want to do online payments.  But I am back from medical leave now and we’re using the online module again.”

“So, the way it works is that we get a report of all the revenue and it’s very important that we figure out how to break it down.  You need to fill out a ledger form for every day.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“You haven’t had any transactions yet, have you?”

“Yes, we have.  We opened registration last week, and I want to get started on the ledger forms.”

“You have to fill one out every day.  Well, the month isn’t over yet; so you have some leeway.  But it’s important that we get those forms every day.”

“Yes, I understand.”

“So, what you’ll do is you’ll logon to the payment website and get a report for the day’s transactions and then fill out a daily ledger report for me.”

“Yes, I understand.  Someone told me the form had changed, and I need a copy of the new form.

“Okay, I’ll get the form out to you later this afternoon.”

I banged my head on the desk for a few hours after that, and resolved never to contact him again if I needed anything from the Financial office.

The first day back from vacation, I receive an email from the second-in-command at the Financial office:

“Dear Quiconque,

The form D____ sent you is incorrect.  Please use the attached form instead.”

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Modern Slavery

September 24, 2008 at 9:27 am (Work)

Yesterday a commenter on this blog called me spoiled in response to my complaints about my working conditions.  This, as you can imagine, made me huffy and indignant.  How dare someone call me spoiled on my own blog?!  The commenter is clearly wrong.  I am NOT spoiled.  However, I will definitely admit that I am fortunate.

Last night I went to a lecture at Columbia where I heard James Kofi Annan talk about his childhood as a slave in the fishing industry in Ghana. Almost unbelievably more devastating was the speech given by Ricky Richard about his life as a child soldier in Uganda and the work he’s doing to rehabilitate children who have been forced to kill their families and serve as sex slaves. According to Jolene Smith, the founder of Free the Slaves, 27 million people worldwide live in slavery, at least 10,000 of whom are in the US at any given time. The vast majority of slaves are women and children.

Today, I am going to refrain from complaining about my daily struggles, and instead spend the time learning more about slavery, human trafficking, and what I can do to combat them. I invite you to do the same.

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Shooting Excursion Comes Not Soon Enough

September 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm (Work)

In an effort to curtail Useless Boss’s uselessness, I left her detailed instructions on what to do should someone call to register for a class while I’m out to lunch.  I typed up a memo specifying that I need the students’ names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and the title of the course they want to take.  If the students have any questions, I will contact them later in the afternoon. 

When I returned from lunch, Useless handed the memo back to me.  On the bottom of it she had scrawled, “Class, tel#, address, email, give tuition to teacher,” AND ONE STUDENT’S NAME.

Oh My Jesus, Lord!

When I asked her what this was about, she said, “Oh, I told him you would get back to him.”  Apparently by shouting his name out in the wilderness.

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Banging My Head Against the Desk

September 16, 2008 at 1:40 pm (Work)

Useless Boss has been on the phone all morning, taking calls for people who want to sign up for our classes.  I can hear her through the door, talking up the classes, and telling folks, “Oh, yes, you can mail in your tuition.  I’ve taken down your information and Quiconque will email you with the details of the course.”

Later she comes out of her office with two pieces of paper on which are written two names and two phone numbers.  No addresses.  No email addresses.  No indication which courses the people want to take.   Somehow, from all this “information” she has taken down, I am to register the students in the class and email them a confirmation.

Why bother answering the phone if you are less useful than voicemail?

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A Flamethrower to This Place!

September 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm (Work)

My work is so unvalued by my bosses that they didn’t even bother to introduce me at new student orientation this week. 

Meanwhile, I’ve spent the day fixing hundreds of little mistakes their darling moron assistant made in my absence, INCLUDING PUTTING THE STUDENT FILES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER.  Tell me, how can someone fuck that up?  I mean, the Fs were mixed in with the Cs, and she filed the Es before the Ds.

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…If It’s the Last Thing I Ever Do

August 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm (Work)

I gotta get outta this place.  In my inbox today was a snide email from Hateful Boss informing me that she did me the favor of signing my time sheet, but that I have been coming to work late lately, and if I continue to come in after 9 am, I will have to account for it on my time sheet.

That is some petty fucking bullshit right there.

Yes, technically she is right.  But she did tell me last year that she wasn’t one to worry about lateness as long as the work is being done.  Also, I work through my lunch every day at my desk because I have nowhere else to go.  Oh, yeah, and I have a fucking broken foot, and I had to crawl down the motherfucking stairs for three weeks.  So, suck my dick if it takes me a little longer to arrive in the morning.  Oh, and it’s the summer, in a school that doesn’t have summer classes!  (Not to mention that the assistant director cleared out 3 hours early every Friday for the entire spring semester).

I have a job interview tomorrow evening.  Everyone, cross your fingers, light a candle, start a novena, sacrifice a lamb, dance naked in the forest, do whatever mojo you can to help me get a new job at a living wage.

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What I Did at Work Today, Part 2

July 15, 2008 at 2:50 pm (Work)

Who the hell cares?  What’s important is that, despite the scenario that played over and over in my head, I did not kill a bunch of motherfucking morons.

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July 10, 2008 at 10:31 am (Work)

I’ve been back at work for almost 3 weeks now and every day it sucks a little more.  My lack of patience with these people might have increased from the disappointment of not getting the other job I wanted.  But, still, there is ample evidence that these people are incompetent, evil, plotting, and dangerous, as contradictory as those qualities might be.

Consider this: for the past 2 years I have been the point person for a series of courses we offer to the general public.  When I first started working here, the college made some decisions that adversely affected enrollment in this program.  I fought for our own catalogue, mastered the registration software, worked with our publicity department in researching new markets, and basically busted my ass to pull the program out of the hole.  By the end of my first year, it was a major money-maker for the college.  The higher-ups noticed the work I did, praised me, and gave me a merit raise.

Since she arrived, the Hateful Boss has been chipping away at my involvement in this program (as long as it doesn’t mean she has to do more work, of course.  So, no, she won’t learn the software).  This recent decision to eliminate online registration means more work for me, but of course I have absolutely no say in this decision.  Fine, she’s a chest thumper and has been throwing her meagre, brittle weight around for a year now.   She wants me to do what I’m told and nothing more.

For three weeks I’ve been asking for a copy of the catalogue draft so I can create the spreasdheets we’ll be using for registration, reserve the rooms, and answer phone and email inquiries about the fall session.  Each time I asked my assistant for a copy, I was told that there were NO COPIES.  “Oh, we just sent it to the printer.”  “Oh, Hateful Boss is working on it.”   Lots of excuses, but no copies of the draft, even when the publicity people brought over the final proof. 

Recall that I work on a different floor, remote from my department because of my broken foot.  I am dependent upon my assistant to act as a liaison between me and my own job!  My assistant is an ass*, foisted upon me by the Hateful Boss in punishment for my decision last year to teach.  She is incapable of thinking on her own; so I know these denials of my request are not coming from her.  They have to be coming from the Hateful Boss.

Finally, yesterday, I emailed the assistant again, and told her that it is essential that I get a copy of the catalogue.   I don’t care if it’s a draft.  I don’t care if it hasn’t been proofread.  Hours later, my assistant comes downstairs with a smudgy copy she retreived from Hateful Boss’s GARBAGE CAN. 

In case you don’t immediately see how fucked up this is, let me explain.  I have been asking for weeks for a document essential to my job.  Each time I ask, my Hateful Boss, through her mouthpiece, the Incompetant Assistant, has told me that the document is unavailable.  And then, THE DAY AFTER the Hateful Boss leaves for vacation, a copy of the document is found in her garbage can.

*Please note that this assistant is NOT The Assistant from earlier posts such as the one about my birthday last year.  That Assistant was awesome and I miss her terribly.

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July 6, 2008 at 7:10 pm (Work)

I received the results of the promising interview I went on a few weeks ago.  A slim envelope arrived Thursday containing a three-sentence letter informing me that, despite my undeniable fabulousness and perfection, the college has decided not to fill the post for which I interviewed.  Fuckers.

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