Sunday, March 02, 2008

all in a week's work

[written friday morning]

well it's not even 10am and i'm bored. in fact, i've been bored since i got here 2 hours ago, during which i've had 1 hour of legal compliance training and 1 hour of random but worksafe web surfing to keep me busy. i have potentially hours to waste before my next task -- a test "sometime" today. which means this is a great time to write about my inaugural week here.

the first thing i noticed about being in this office is that it feels *really new*. as in, 'huh? i'm not at my old job?' and repeatedly catching myself from saying FormerCompanyName instead of NewCompanyName.

the second thing i noticed was the lack of free coffee. I AM NOT KIDDING. turns out there is barely passable machine-dispensed caffiene at the other end of this floor for 65 cents, and crappy coffee in the cafe for $1.20, which means i am looking into buying a french press, people. if you have suggestions, toss 'em over; i've never used one but i'm desperate. there *is* a st@rbucks a mile away but that's too pricey considering my intake quotient.

so. for work itself, naturally i've been bored off my ass. i forgot how brutally slow one's first few weeks can be what with setup and training and waiting for busy supervisors to set things up in a timely fashion. and i mean brutal because i have NADD.

i will say though, that monday also included the weekly staff meeting where i got to see how excellent our group's demographics are. young, old, mixed races, genders and (looks like) economic status. coming from several years of rather homogonized yuppified workplaces, well, this is refreshing.

there's been technical and style tests, sure, but also the amount of cheesy compliance training, wow. for example, ethics. i've always maintained that any reputable ethics course will include a calvin coolidge quote. anyone who says otherwise is probably a communist. another good axiom: how do you know the right thing to do? because it's the right thing to do.

it is this kind of logic that leads late night comedians to invent faux fights during a writer's strike.

the other thing to note, i'm sure, has a perfectly valid business reason behind, but is nonetheless disturbing. there are apparently two main types of employees here, and respectively, we have different badges to prove it. i happen to be part of the lower caste (LC) and as such, am forbidden from certain areas. this is in addition to any super-secret areas, mind you, from which plenty of folks are forbidden. no, i am talking about certain rows of the cubicle farm, with warnings that LCs can only enter with a proper escort. and rooms like the fitness center. seriously people - don't you want us ALL to be healthy?

my favorite one, though, was this morning. in looking to kill time, i was browsing the intranet, reading about new company features, etc, and oh look! company blog! that's a good way to amuse myself. but wait! access forbidden because you are an LC. that's right, even my computer knows i'm an LC.

which is pretty damn funny to me because i've read corporate blogs before and i can't believe these would be any full of anything other than the self-congratulatory hot air those blogs are prone to.

even though this leaves me with a lovely separate but mostly equal dichotomy, i am still very grateful to be here. everyone is very nice, and the work, when it finally arrives, looks to be manageable. bring on the scrilla, man.


gs said...

=the second thing i noticed was the lack of free coffee. I AM NOT KIDDING.=

I find it amusing that you would even think that I might think that you are kidding. Free coffee? I think you might have been just a tad spoiled at your previous job. :)

heather said...

well that's absolutely true. however, most if not all of the places i've worked the last 10 years had free coffee, so it seems even more out of place.

wen said...

tara and i have this one:

we bought it for camping but like it enough to use it at home pretty regularly. it holds a lot, is a decent press (all of them seem to get a bit of sludge at the bottom though). we chose this over the glass ones because it was going to be enjoying the great outdoors and therefore had to be pretty sturdy.

ymmv, but we like it.

heather said...

cool thanks wen!

jfcannon said...

I suppose it's too much to imagine that you might just quit drinking coffee? Think of the money you'd save now that you work at this no-free-coffee place. And think of how good you'd feel to be drug-free once you got over withdrawal. Just a thought.

Mir said...

Quit drinking coffee?! Noooo! I have a Bodum, and it works just fine. And, being a former Peet's barista, I can give you tips to the best way to brew using a french press. Shall I bore your loyal readers here? Or send you an email? Side note: the word verification this time reads: pimtz. As in, We are coffee pimtz.

heather said...

no, i will not cease to imbibe. i shall ping the princess for details. :)

snarfdog said...

I tried a press before, and while it does make good coffee, I found it to be too tedious, and very high maintenance. I don't need another high maintenance thing in my life, so I got myself a tiny 2 cup drip brewer. It would fit nicely on your desk. ;)

heather said...

hah! thanks for the idea, snowflake!

Dharma said...

The thought of cubicle seating makes me {shudder}. Of course that may be exactly what will great me Monday morning. But as you say, scrilla is good.