Friday, May 29, 2009
You know, I always have this fear that "people" will find my blog and use it against me. Perhaps this is what prevented me from blogging before this. I've been trying to keep this as anonymous as possible so that nobody's name is named and I'm only associated with situations purely circumstantially.
Anyway, on with the post.
I adore people watching. Everyone is so unique, not only in looks, body language and culture, but in the way they deal with certain situations (read: anger, sadness, stress) and the way they live their lives. I think the people in my office are interesting to observe. Considering that this is a summer position and I'll only be with them a short time, I'll never really know them all that well, but here's a little peek into what I've observed thus far. Consider it a virtual tour.
There's C, the accountant/administrator: She's probably over 50, is married and has a couple kids older than me. She struck me as a "no-nonsense-tough-momma" type at first, and from what I've seen, I was right. She also has a raspy-smokers voice, which is oddly comforting. She calls everyone sweetie, but not in that patronizing, "I-think-you're-an-idiot-but-I'll-be-nice-to-you" way. It just glides off her tongue like she's known you for years and you're about to sit down for apple pie. She doesn't put up with excuses, and doesn't like hypocrites or liars. She knows everybody in the area, so if you want the dirt on anyone, she's your go-to-lady.
C is also my personal Google-map in human form. This town is not adequately Google-mapped, so I rely on C. I've never gotten lost by following her directions, which is more than I can say for Google-maps sometimes.
There's J: The head-lady around here when the real head-lady K isn't around.
J told me she loves to write, and she's good. I really admire the way she chats to people as well. Her husband says she works too much, but she actually likes her job, which I think is great. If there were more people like her in this business, I'd enjoy my job more too.
She has a human skull on her desk, which struck me as a little strange, but you've gotta take things as they come. I asked her about it one day and she explained that it's name is "Bob". "Bob" has awful teeth. J said that when she's having a bad day she looks at "Bob" and sees that it could be worse... she could be like him, no body, no skin, no brain... or worse, she could have his yellowed, crooked teeth. She got him when she was dating a medical student 20 years ago. The secret of "Bob's" plight was further revealed to her when she interviewed an archaeologist who said that judging by certain features, "Bob" is actually a female, probably from India.
I think of ways she could have possibly died every time I see her, but it's rude to stare so whenever I look into the office, I try to keep my eyes on something else.
There's A: Probably one of the most interesting people, but the person I know least about. She's in her 30's, has a husband and two kids. She's one of our advertising people. We seem to have more ad people than reporters here... but I digress. One of the first things I learned about A is that she sells sex toys. That gave me more insight into her life than I wanted, but she doesn't emanate what I imagine to be the "sex-toy-saleslady" personality, she's the person I would least suspect would sell such things and when I do hear a snippet of conversation about it, it's as if she's selling Tupperware. Upon further reflection, this is a good thing, because nobody wants an extremely awkward sex-toy saleslady. Anyway, from what I've ascertained A sometimes has a hard time doing her job, and C hounds her a little bit to do more. The other day they had a friendly little tiff where C said something like "Well, if you weren't back there reading your book, a little more work might get done around here!" When C said book, I imagined a romance novel with some busty blonde and a body-building beefcake on the cover. I think perhaps I have judged A a little bit and need to broaden my constructivist framework.
G: G is the only male in this office. Enough said.
Just kidding. He's pretty easy to get along with. Enjoys his job and was quick to give me tons of tips and contacts when I first arrived. Given that I took over his job while I'm here and he was shifted to writing for the area's seasonal newspaper for the nearby tourist destination, this was very helpful. Oh! Did I tell you that I am in charge of filling two sports pages every week? This isn't too difficult, but I was a little intimidated when this was assigned to me, because I'm not a sports-fan generally, but it's turned out to be great. But back to G... J says he has a head like a chicken... and it's true, he is a bit all-over-the-place, running around and having to write, write, write at the last minute. He's entertaining to work with because he's a great storyteller.
C and J both say he needs a girlfriend... which is hilarious because I thought he was gay when I first met him. Again, I think I may have judged him a little too quickly. He's got a poster of Jim Carrey's YES MAN on one wall, but some sexy trick rider girls from the Stampede on the other... what does this say about his personality? I don't know, but time will tell.
Last but not least, K, the boss. She's the publisher of this whole thing and comes into the office two days a week. I think she may be judged a little harshly by everyone, but if you saw one of her conniptions, you'd perhaps think she's permanently PMSing too. She does publish two weekly papers and a women's magazine and has a family. She's a little high strung. In fact, she's on stress-leave for a week right now. C makes a real effort to get along with her, but she's even taken a beating. One day, she went into a rage over the phone and everyone plotted to put all their old fruit peels and tea bags into her garbage can, stick it next to the air vent and shut her office door so that her office would smell putrid when she came in. They didn't do it, but I thought I was having a flashback to high school during the devious planning stages. I think just being straight with her is the best idea... and if she yells at me, I can take it. She's always been nice to me though, so perhaps I just haven't made mistakes that were terrible enough, or haven't caught her on a bad day.
Whew... well that was lengthy, but I think the people in the workplace definitely make a difference in how enjoyable the job is. So far, the quirks and craziness of my workplace has been interesting to say the least.