Works

Love Those That Love You

My job is….sort of prestigious sounding.  I’m an analyst.  At an Ivy League university, and they created this job to keep me.  But what it really has been over the last five years has been thankless and a lot of “shit on Jenna.”  I was mercilessly micromanaged, even though I had no work for one department to which I reported.  I even got in trouble for speaking to someone from a different department on their time.

One of the things I had a tough time with was my location.  I sat in a hallway.  There wasn’t any office space for me, so I was in hallway reception area – and usually mistaken for a receptionist.  This hallway was right outside the executive suite, so I managed all manner of angry patients wanting to speak to the CEO…which was never possible.

One day, a lady came to me, distraught.  She was upset, in pain, confused.  I tried to help her, and was about 15 minutes in, when a clinician (who was 40 minutes late for his meeting) came over, interrupted me, demanded why his conference room wasn’t set up. I hadn’t booked the meeting, I had no idea what he was talking about, and couldn’t really help him, but he was furious and adamant – while this patient was a wreck.  Another admin walked by and took the clinician off my hands and I was able to help the lady.  She stayed for another 30 minutes, talking.  After giving her some email addresses and phone numbers, she left, seemingly better.

I went into the SVP’s office – whose sole job is to make sure our patients have positive experiences – and recounted the event.  I was admonished for being rude to the clinician, for prioritizing something else when our own employee needed something from me.  And she “wouldn’t think less of me, I don’t have to do it, but I should apologize to the clinician for not helping him as best I could have, and that in other circumstances I would have given him my full attention, and I’m so sorry for not getting him what he needed.”  I walked out with my jaw on the floor.

A year later, I came into my new office, on my new floor, with a new department to report to.  My coworker came in with a paper bag, and said “Someone came and left this for you.”  Inside was a loaf of bread and a card.

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I’ve never been thanked for helping, or listening, or even just being a compassionate person. You never know whose life you will touch, and this is enough to keep the cynicism from taking over.  It’s all the motivation I need, and it makes that whole situation sort of worth it.

Shame On You

Everywhere we go, wherever we live our lives, there’s a dress code.  Work, school, grocery shopping…there’s what you can/can’t wear, what’s appropriate, and what’s borderline.  For most, including myself, how I look and dress is a personal expression – that being said, I’ve always made it a point to be appropriate.  My style is fairly casual, but also classic.  I don’t subscribe to fashion trends (TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS) – I prefer what’s comfortable, flattering, and timeless.

That being said, I’m short, I have a fairly decent figure, and I like to wear sky-high heels (see point #1).  It’s come to my attention that normal shirts seem to be a lot more revealing based on the fact that people are literally looking down at me while speaking, and if I want something to fit appropriately on 90% of my body, I’m going to look like I am wearing a Wonderbra on steroids.  None of this matters, however, because I dress very professionally at work – even if I have a bit of Jenna flair in my shoes or the colors:  Note two typical outfits, one summer, one winter.

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This is why, yesterday, when my boss added my coworker to our 1:1, and took us outside and we were just going to hang out and chat for a while, I knew something had to be up.  And I was right.  Sitting around a table, laughing and smiling, she revealed that the COO had told the department director to tell our boss to speak to us about how we “dress too sexy.”  She said she thought this was unfounded, a horrible conversation, and motivated by jealous, crotchety old people at work.  There were no examples of “too sexy,” but nonetheless, we’d been reported and were being asked to change our clothes.

After that, my coworker and I were dumbfounded.  We racked our brains, analyzed every article of clothing, and tried to speculate who in the world would have reported us.  We made ourselves sick with worry – and I gave myself anxiety trying to figure out how to afford a new wardrobe.

Is it body shaming?  Is it jealousy?  Should I start dressing like a frumpy old woman in oversized, mismatched clothing?  Has anyone ever told me anything other than, “You look so nice!” or “Wear those heels now, you won’t be able to at my age!”?  Is it my fault I am young, eat healthily, and regularly work out?

It came to light that the complaints did come from a crotchety, bitchy, old hag.  Someone that decided sleeveless (at lunch, outside, in 95* heat) is inappropriate for the workplace. Someone I will not miss when I leave here.

Awk…..ward…..

I am smart. I have good work ethic. I’m a reliable employee. I use my brain and have common sense. I get my work done completely and efficiently, and I never say no to overtime, or another project, or helping out.

Despite these things, and despite positively glowing recommendations from past supervisors, I cannot seem to keep a job.

I take temp assignments when they come to me, and somehow I’m on my second assignment at Yale. I did think that because this was in a completely different department, in a different division, things would be different. 

Nope. Things are just as fucked up.

There was a team of four contractors (J and A), and a project manager, T (contract as well). The whole thing was headed up by a Yale-employed project manager, Jr. J and A had been there since November, T was contracted in April, and then TL and I came on in August. J was super possessive, and pretty nasty. She was unapproachable, cold, and very snobby. A was very sweet, but older, and was content to be an admin forever. T is very good at what she does, and is really on top of everything. Jr. is largely ineffective, can’t take responsibility, and while he is ever the diplomat, he’s extremely unprofessional.

J and A had their contracts extended a few times, but there was no work when TL and I came on, so on their last day (last Friday), they weren’t extended again. Of course, J took it out on TL and I. There was nothing we could have done, and it had nothing to do with us, but her personality is to not accept things, but to blame others and push her anger and frustration onto them. A had a few interviews before she left, so she was in higher spirits, but still a little sad.

Today was the first day it was supposed to be just TL, T, and I. TL was out having surgery, and Jr. is just never there. I got a call from TL. She called me to tell me she made it out of surgery, and that it went well, but then she asked me if they had told me that the project was being terminated on October 14, and not the 30th. Of course, this made me feel sick to my stomach. Yes, it’s only a few weeks early, but at the same time, that’s an extra paycheck for me. I told TL that my recruiter is not very good, so I’d probably have to email her, but then TL asked to speak to T.

T said a few things, and then offered to give the phone to Jr. I told them it was ok to pass my cell phone around, and I only heard his half of the conversation. “We’ve had to scale back a bit more……yes, we are scaling back….well, there is only enough work for one person, so we are scaling back our efforts…what number can I call you back at….” 

So basically…..TL is being terminated on the 14th, and I am being kept on till the contract expires. Not only did I find out in the most UNPROFESSIONAL way possible, that my coworker’s contract would be terminated early, Jr. didn’t even have the courtesy to talk to me later, or all day! It made things super awkward…I, once again, am left by Yale without any information about the status of my own job. I don’t know how I’m going to face TL in the morning – I looked like a complete idiot, and they chose me to stay over her. I really, really can’t stand this place sometimes….

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – this is the same place that wrote, on another employee’s review, that he comes to meetings and is usually so prepared, has done all his homework, and is ready to do the job, that it makes the other people in the room feel less adequate, and less prepared…so could he please dial that back a bit?

I Have An Exciting Career For You!

Hello,

We would like you to look at the following message.

Large company from _________________ is seeking for employees in United States. The work is remote and can be an additional employment for you.

________________ Company inc was started by a business group in ________ and is already 5 years on the market. It is a middleman among sellers and clients worldwide. The requirements are: to have a PC and web access including printer/scanner to start working. Work from home and earn money! No contracts!

We are hiring candidates for the position of a ________________ in United States. The duties will be: tracking and receiving parcels/data entry of _________ clients/telephone marketing. The pay is $__ for each package/entry/successful sale (it is calculated in a total monthly pay and paid at the end of each working month, $1500 is a minimum guaranteed monthly amount and it does not depend on the amount work you do).

You are required to have/be

– 18 years of age or more;
– to have the correct shipping address;
– working internet access and minimum skills;
– available phone number(better if several)

No special storage or equipment needed.

We would be glad and ready to get  started with the application process with you if you match our requirements.

Please include your name, address, mother’s maiden name, social security number, ip addres, bank account routing number, and a telephone number where you can be reached.

Please contact us via email.

Have a happy day.

Career vs. Job

I’ve been alone with my family for the entire weekend. No friends around, no one to talk to on a peer-to-peer level to get advice from…it’s thrown lots of stuff into my head and now I feel like I’m going to explode if I can’t get some of it out. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my latest entry. As stupid as it sounds, sometimes I wish I had the Pensieve thing from Harry Potter so I could filter them one by one and go through and deal with them as I can.


Anyway. After a very disconcerting weekend of chatting via gchat with PJ….with whom I don’t know if he sees a future (which is a story for another entry)…he kept saying “Find a job you want, and can make into a career.” And honestly I don’t really know the difference between a “career” and a “job.”

Dictionary.com says:

ca·reer–noun

 

  1. an occupation or profession, esp. one requiring special training, followed as one’s lifework: He sought a career as alawyer.
  2.  a person’s progress or general course of action through life orthrough a phase of life, as in some profession or undertaking:His career as a soldier ended with the armistice.
  3.  success in a profession, occupation, etc.
–adjective
  1. having or following a career; professional: a career diplomat.

 

—Synonyms: vocation, calling, work, lifework, livelihood. 

 

job–noun

  1. a piece of work, esp. a specific task done as part of theroutine of one’s occupation or for an agreed price: She gavehim the job of mowing the lawn.
  2.  a post of employment; full-time or part-time position: She was seeking a job as an editor.
  3.  anything a person is expected or obliged to do; duty; responsibility: It is your job to be on time.
  4. an affair, matter, occurrence, or state of affairs: to make the best of a bad job.
  5. the material, project, assignment, etc., being worked upon: The housing project was a long and costly job.
  6. the process or requirements, details, etc., of working: It was a tedious job.
  7. the execution or performance of a task: She did a good job.

And furthermore. I know the general gist of it. A career is something you can enjoy and also make a living off of. And a job is….what? Isn’t a job the same thing? What about “Career Waitresses?” Isn’t that just a length of time thing? What if you are at a job for 10 years…does that make it a career? When is that switchover? And furthermore, if a job is only something you do temporarily, couldn’t you make job-hopping into a career?

Martin Luther King Jr. said: “If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. But be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.

Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.”

When I read this speech in…maybe 6th grade, I took it to heart. I tried to be the best student, the best friend, the best daughter and sister…everything I could be. Because if you have pride in yourself, and in your work, and in your person, then it wouldn’t matter if you were a garbage man or a king. As long as you are always doing your best, no one can look down on you.

The other half of it is that I have never been someone to let an occupation define who I am, or validate my skills and who I am. An occupation is simply that: something to occupy my time and earn income, so that I can do the things I really want to do, like race, and golf, and snowboard. So where PJ said that being a secretary made me look like I was lazy, and didn’t apply myself, I don’t see it that way. I saw it as a boring, easy, but pleasant and well paying job with good people and a good company culture. And if you’re going to be a secretary, you might as well be good at your job, and be proud of the work you do. Which, I am.

The rest of this comes with a dilemma: I don’t know what I want to do, or what I like, or what will make me happy. I think I would like to be a math teacher, or would like to be an engineer. But it will take at least 2 or 3 years to receive the required credentials for that, and who knows if I’ll even like it. And then what, I’m without a career again, or in a job I hate?

Like I said. I’m lost and alone. 

Fuck You, Economy

As of next Friday, my position is eliminated.

Not only did they go about it terribly, but what the mother eff.

I figured out my boss was leaving. He’s not stupid.

They told me at 11:30 yesterday, and then made me stay at work ALL FUCKING DAY. Which is fine, but it was announced to the entire office at the 12pm “office lunch” that my boss and his associate would be leaving, so my last day is next Thursday. Way to blow up my spot. All day I had people coming by to say “Are you ok?” (No, I’m not fucking ok, you dipshit) and emailing about how they’re so sorry, and didn’t see it coming.

They told me yesterday, and they expect me to work after my boss’ last day (today) and his associate’s last say (Tuesday). Why? “Because there’s going to be a lot to clean up.”

There is an assistant on maternity leave for the next 6 weeks. She does jack shit, people don’t like her, she has terrible work ethic, people have asked to be transferred away from her because she’s a terrible employee and a terrible assistant….but they’re keeping her. And they didn’t even offer to have me stay on till she comes back. With the exception of the managing partner (the only one that matters, I guess), no one wants her there.

I think part of why they’re not keeping me till then is because it’s past my one year mark. When you’ve been employed for a year, you’re entitled to more things if you’re laid off. I think it’s fucking low.

I also didn’t tell PJ because I didn’t want to mess up today’s driving. Yesterday, he was sitting in 2nd place, and with a good run today, he could have won. I don’t think he’d win if he were worried about me. As soon as they were done I called and told him and he was less than sympathetic. He said, “Well just get another job then.” It was as if he were saying “You lost your hair clip? Just go get another one.” Granted it wasn’t the most ideal time, since he was in impound (where you finalize results, check out the legality of other cars in your class, and generally congratulate the winners and trophy positions).

When I told my parents, they were on their way to dinner. When I told my brother, he didn’t really have any advice because he’s on his first “interviewed-for-it” job. 

I have never felt more alone in my life.

End of the Road

As promised, here’s the story of the strangest interview ever:

I drive almost an hour to get to the place. Despite the long trip, I get there fairly early, and sat in my car for a bit to kill time. When I walk in, my contact there greets me, and I go into a conference room and wait for the owner. He is a small Korean man, who is in his 50’s, and has built the company (Mr. Sushi and Dumpling) over the last 12 years. We shake hands, sit down, and the interview starts:

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Mr. Sushi: Well what questions do you have for me?
Me: (thinking frantically, who starts an interview like that?!) Um…well I saw two different names on the website, can you please explain it to me?
Mr. Sushi explains that there are two entities, the wholesale and retail divisions.
Me: Oh, ok, now I get it.
Mr. Sushi: Tell me about yourself.
I give a brief description of my history, and how my two relevant jobs will help me in this one.

Mr. Sushi then launches into a monologue for the next 40 minutes, bringing up heaven, death, and dying several times, and touching upon how he came to the US 28 years ago with $20 in his pocket, and how he’s held every job I could imagine, and how he left his VP position at Arizona Iced Tea, with a $75k salary and great benefits because he didn’t like how they were going international and the politics, and also how he was the only Asian in the upper echelon. He also told me how he didn’t like that all the Korean small business owners in NYC have to buy from Japanese distributors, and how his work ethic means only going home to sleep, which is maybe 4 hours a day at most. He also said how he has a 1 year old daughter at home, and a 17 year old son, and he never sees them because his work is so important.

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He said that over 12 years, he’s only fired/laid off two people, but for some reason there’s a lot of turnover, and he doesn’t know why. He talked about how when he was the manager of a grocery store, he would slowly take over all the owner’s duties till he was doing more than the owner, and thought he owned the store. He also explained how you are a trial employee for a year, and at the end of the first year (which is pain, and should be pain), they reevaluate you to see if you are eligible for benefits, and if you’re a good fit for the company. Yes, that says “ONE YEAR.” I wasn’t to keen on that, nor the “I don’t see my daughter,” and maybe Asian work ethic is better, but we’re not in Asia…I work to live, not the other way around.

Needless to say, I didn’t get to say a lot, so I’m positive he doesn’t know anything about me aside from the fact that I’m Korean, and know his current receptionist.

I have two interviews tomorrow, one of which seems pretty legitimate. It’s at an international law firm, and they want me to come in, and they are going to pay for my parking, and they want me to meet with the HR recruiter, an office manager, and a managing partner.

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The other interview….well let’s just say the three people I’ve run the situation by all concur that it sounds like a ploy for free work. The lady that called me spoke a mile a minute, and I had to keep asking her to repeat what she said because I couldn’t understand her. She was adamant about getting me to give her an exact number of interviews I’ve been on, to “gauge how eager” I am to find work. (I told her I apply for several jobs per day, and sometimes it will be 2-3 weeks without an interview, and then I’ll have 3 in a week). She told me to come into the office tomorrow at 1 for a working interview, and “Bring your best, as there will be other candidates there.”

As if I wouldn’t “bring my best” to an interview? No, I’m going to waste her time and mine and not bring my A game. In addition, I understand that the “working interview” is a new HR phenomenon, but there will be other candidates there? Hm. I’m not a huge fan of being interviewed in groups, and I’m also not …to me, this sounds like a cattle call, and an easy way of getting work in the department done for free.

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I ran it by several people and before I told them my opinion on the matter, they said the same thing. So I’m going to go, but I’m also going to be very wary of it. I applied for this job on Craigslist, for Pete’s sake.

I dunno…we’ll see after tomorrow.