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Friday, May 27, 2011

Smells Like Employee Spirit

The end of another work week, and what have we learned?

Personally, I’ve learned that if we continue to fling ourselves out of bed when the alarm goes off we're going to get what we’ve got coming. Eventually, though, we arrive at Friday, the day where the light at the end of the tunnel is at its brightest.

Another precious weekend has arrived.

I wonder what will happen?

Welcome to Fridays, ladies and gentlemen, the day I seek the advice of my iPod, known universally as the Knower of All Things Knowable. Set to “shuffle”, the tunes played on my morning’s commute are, in some way, connected to what we can expect over the weekend.

It’s true!

Let’s listen:

Never Been to Spain by Three Dog Night
Big Bottom by Hayseed Dixie
Tightrope by Janelle Monae
Black Swan by Thom Yorke
Everybody’s Everything by Santana
A Listening Man by A Band of Bees
Pala Tute by Gogol Bordello *

See that? I think that’s pretty clear, don’t you?

Not everything is clear, however.

Ashley, for instance, cannot get over how unfair her job is. Yesterday was the second time in a month that she’d been asked to pick up a lunch for the VP she supports.

“Do you believe this?” she asks me, waving a bagged lunch toward my desk.

I nod in my most commiserating fashion. I was an executive assistant for over a dozen years. Not only do I believe this, but I find it hilarious.

“He can just get his own lunch. I mean, seriously. Really? Seriously. I mean, why am I picking up his lunch? I went out for lunch an hour ago and no one offered to pick it up for me.”

“You should get an assistant.”

“This is not why I went to college.”

I smile. “Why did you go to college, anyway?”

She frowns at me. “Everyone goes to college.”

I shake my head. “Not everyone.”

“Well you’d have to be stupid,” she declares haughtily. “All the best jobs go to college graduates.”

“Yes,” I murmur, “clearly.”

She looks at me. Was that a cut? I smile at her, and she decides that the middle-aged lady still wearing pantyhose with skirts – pantyhose! Did you ever?! – did not just make fun of her.

Silly girl.

“Look,” I say. “You work yourself up too much over this stuff. Picking up his lunch is not that big a deal. There are some bosses who ask that you pick up their dry cleaning, their dogs, make arrangements for their kid’s graduation parties.”

She appears shocked. “Well I wouldn’t do it.”

“You would if you wanted to get paid.”

Now it’s her turn to shake her head. “If everyone refused to do it, they’d get used to it and just do it themselves. Their sense of entitlement is oppressive.”

Oh, she’s so young.

I want to poke her with a stick.

“I’ve gotta run,” she breathes. “I’m meeting a friend at Starbucks.”

“I thought you already took your lunch.”

She tosses her hair. “I deserve a break.”

“Of course,” I say.

* When I picture us dancing, it's to something like this. We'll slam our drinks (Slainte! Skol! Here's mud in yer eye!) and head to the dance floor, our shoes hidden under the table...


Nessa Roo said...

I didn't go to college. Nobody's ever asked me to pick up their lunch. As a matter of fact, I've got somebody who makes my coffee for me. (Of course that may fall under the category of, "Oh God, the bitch is here! Did anybody make a fresh pot of coffee?")

Simply Suthern said...

You see it all the time nowadays. The sense of entitlement coming from the newbies in the workplace and their desire to stick it to the man. They dont teach a lot of dedication in school nowadays. Is sad.

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

Oh, she's young.

I've worked myself into a lather over range of perceived injustices. Now, that just takes too much energy. You control your response, and that's pretty much all you get to control, so move on,

You've got the best selection of music!

Happy Friday!

Sioux said...

I will stand up with Ashley. Together we will take a stand, and refuse to do all the CR_P that we're required to do as part of our jobs. We will make a point about the principle! We will stand in stubborness, railing against the unfairness of it all.

And then we will stand in the unemployment line. But we'll be smug with the knowledge that we were right...ever so right!

Pearl said...

Nessa Roo, I didn't finish college, but every now and then someone brings me chocolate. :-)

Simply, I agree. I'm afraid that some of our newer employees took to heart the sitcoms they grew up with, thinking that they get in at a flexible time, take breaks when desired, leave early as a matter of course. Not all of them -- there are some very good younger workers here, too -- but the ones who have no concept of what a real work day looks like can get on the nerves of those of us who have played this game for a while... On the other hand, I might just be crabby...

Pearl said...

Marion, I hear you! All that righteous indignation was just so EXHAUSTING! :-)

Sioux, that was delightful. :-)

Kate Mohler said...

I love your title, Pearl! You continue to amuse me with your workplace stories. They make me doubly glad for my own job. Happy Friday!

jenny_o said...

I can remember being privately offended by being called "the girl". I grew to realize it was a generic term used with distant customers and meant nothing, and it didn't have anything to do with my age or status.

So many great nuggets in this post, Pearl! Have a good weekend.

Cheeseboy said...

Every Friday should include a visit with Thom Yorke.

Miss Scarlet said...

I remember the poor PA who had to choose and wrap christmas/birthday/anniversary presents to be given by her boss to his wife. Poor PA. Poor wife.
Anyhow, I see an iPod shuffle meme developing here...

jabblog said...

The trouble is that we can't learn from someone else's experience . . . wouldn't life be a lot simpler if we could.

Daisy said...

One of the things I miss in retirement is that sweet anticipation of ... Friday! Enjoy!

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

She's got a lot to learn! Starting with manners. Obviously they dont teach that in college.

Oilfield Trash said...

Ah Friday the day every one dreams of. Except those who have to work on the weekend. Like me.

WrathofDawn said...

You gots good taste in the musics, Pearly-gurl.

I encountered someone via telephone at work yesterday who made my blood boil. That hasn't happened in a long time and after all these years, it was a surprise. I think the thing that bothered me most is that I couldn't "handle" this person without nearly losing my cool. Of course he was being a sanctimonious, self-righteous, condescending asshat, but it's not as if I've not met any of those before.

And he called me out for being "hostile," which, of course, is the stupidest thing you can say to a person, because if they weren't hostile before you said that, they will be after...

Then, while I was quietly listening to his (pointless, rambling) spiel, he demanded to know if I was still there. Because he thought I had hung up on him. So. I couldn't speak and I couldn't listen without incurring his wrath... which was problematic because, um... telephone? Only gives you those two options. I could be mistaken about that, I suppose. Based on his tone of voice and attitude, I clearly am one of the Stoopud Peepul.

I'd think it was me, except that I speak to people on the phone regularly (modern gal that I am) and I get along with the rest of them just fine.

Help an old lady out, Pearl. If one is no longer to wear pantyhose with one's skirt, what is one to wear? Lord knows I wouldn't want to offend the 20-somethings with my sartorial ineptness.

And now I must go and adjust my support hose before they snap off and wrap around my cane.

Jhon Baker said...

I think her sense of entitlement is a bit over the top - assistants are there for assisting. Be it lunch or what not.

Glen said...

I think you should have a newbie starter stick under your desk for these occasions and simply bring it out and start prodding them when they talk like that.

Do them good

Douglas said...

I went to college. Actually, I went to several. Dropped out of all of them. Being youthful, I thought I knew best.

But here...

"For passion, be it observed, brings insight with it; it can give a sort of intelligence to simpletons, fools, and idiots, especially during youth."
[Honore De Balzac]

Flea said...

POKE HER WITH A STICK. Do it. Do it now. Videotape it for me, will ya?

Eva Gallant said...

I used to work with a woman who would bring in her breakfast and eat it at her desk, even though she was barely on time for work. At lunch time, she would sit and eat lunch at her desk, talk on the phone with her mother, and read magazines for an hour. Twenty minutes before 4:00, she would put all work away and clear of her desk, and promptly at 4:00, she would announce that she was leaving an hour early because she had worked through her lunch hour.

Cake Betch said...

Rarely do I ever get out of bed when the alarm goes off. In fact, I set up to four alarms over an hour so that each alarm is like, "Hey, excuse me, sorry to wake you but you have 45 / 30 / 15 / 5 more minutes to sleep, then you gotta kind of get up. My apologies." Because if I get out of bed the first time I wake up I'm a RAGING BITCH.
Also, I thought that going to college would mean I wouldn't be someone's bitch at work. LOLOLOLOLOL. Just wait, life will beat her down eventually.
PS I just sent you an email, so it's legit and not spam. Swear.

The Jules said...

I went to college!

Now, I occasionally get covered in vomit.

Go me!

Gigi said...

Ah the age of innocence and righteous indignation. She'll get over it eventually or she'll be perpetually unemployed.

Boxer said...

months after I graduated from COLLEGE I was working as an Admininstrative Assidtant (fancy name for secretary) and I was happy my boss didn't make me do what a fellow co-work had to do; pick her bosses shoes up from under his desk and take them out to be polished. It wasn't my best job, but it paid the bills.

nylons? For reals? That one I'm going to say "reconsider".

Have a great weekend. Good music list this week

W.C.Camp said...

I totally agree with your counsel. But I also think in most cases, the bosses should set the example to follow which means SELF RELIANCE. Sometimes they need help to stay on schedule so picking up a lunch once in awhile is no big deal,but overall I would prefer they take care of personal stuff on their own. W.C.C.

River said...

I have a feeling she's 2 complaints and one more "deserved" break away from getting fired.
I never went to college either.

Laoch of Chicago said...

: )

I feel like I deserve a break too. Off to starbucks.

vanilla said...

If Little Miss is typical of the college educated young today we are in deep weeds. And I suspect she is, and we are. Please poke her with a stick.

Susan in the Boonies said...

If you get to poke her with a stick, I'm next. You don't get to have all the fun.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

HEck, I want to poke her with a stick. Just to see what happens next.