Friday, January 27, 2012

Employee Fails

This is what went down at work today:

I arrived to my usual spot at the receptionist's desk, even though I am not the receptionist. I haven't even been trained on the phone system. Totally not my job description. I turned on the computer to find that someone had changed the blue wallpaper to a picture of a small black and white bunny. I don't mind bunnies, I really don't. I have one of my own. But as much as I adore fuzzy critters, I would never have one as the wallpaper of my computer and my place of employment, especially at the front desk. Maybe if I were holed up in an office upstairs and no one ever came up there, then I'd have a baby rabbit picture as my wallpaper, but the receptionist's desk? No way. This isn't a pet store.

I blame the change on the eleven year old girl who was working at my usual desk yesterday. I think she is the accountant's daughter. She was making labels on the computer for file folders. If indeed it was she who changed the background, she's pretty smart. My own parents don't know how to change their computer wallpaper without help.

Today my icicle fingers nearly broke off my hands. Employee X was talking to person Z in the lobby. Then Z started to leave, but was still talking while standing in the doorway. Forty-two pounds of cold air came rushing in. I wanted to say "If you are going to continue talking, then please step all the way inside the building and SHUT the door." But I am training to be a Spartan, and Spartan mothers used to leave their babies on the side of a mountain for three days to see if they were tough enough to survive. If a six pound infant can handle a little cold, I figured I could too.

After Employee X and person Z departed and finally shut the door, I got up and went to the copy machine so that I could lay hands on it. That last sentence makes it sound like I was praying for the copy machine, but I wasn't. I was trying to get warm. I should have been praying for the copy machine though, because an hour later the thing got possessed by the Devil.

I was printing off a lot of documents and putting them together for next week's lessons, when all of a sudden the demon copy machine decided to print at least 85 copies of the same document. I pushed every button that would seem helpful, like "Stop" or "Cancel" or "Clear", but all three of those buttons actually meant "make forty more copies". This copy incident is totally not my fault. I know some people accidentally press 110 when they actually just need 10 copies, but I did not do this. It's well known fact that all copy machines go berserk at least once a day. They are programmed to do so by paper companies like Dunder Mifflin. Because when you accidentally waste 84 sheets of paper on one document, you need another ream.

I am pretty sure I am giving my place of work a bad name, because I've got to be the worst fake-receptionist they've ever had. All these people that come in the front door ask me questions that I don't know the answers to. They ask to talk to staff members I've never even heard of. And at least once a day I give the same lame excuse "I don't actually work at the front desk." If I were actually hired to be a receptionist, I'd fire myself. But I'm not the receptionist, I'm a curriculum developer, which means I write instructional plans all day and occasionally call shoe stores asking for boxes so that middle school students can make dioramas of current events.

I'm going to go eat the Freschetta pizza that just came out of the oven now. It's been a hectic week.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

People say "start something." Why don't you finish instead?

Basing a novel off of a diary you kept when you were 14 years old isn't necessarily the best idea in the literary world, unless of course your name was Anne Frank. Taking the lamentations of a high school freshman, adding fictional scenes involving boys you used to crush on, and weaving in a CIA theme is quite a lot of work for very little pay off.

I've decided this year that I'm going to be a finisher. People who make the biggest impact are not the people who start things. They are the people who finish things. You can come up with a great idea all you want and begin it, but if it never gets completed, then you've wasted your time. Nobody wants to live in house that is only partly built.

By February 29th, I am determined to finish writing the novel that I started when I was 16 years old. The story is 95% done, but after opening up the document today and reading the first thousand words, I decided that quite a large overhaul is needed. This is what happens when you base your first fictional novel off of your own juvenile diary. You find out ten years later what a big moron you really were.

The ending result may not be publish worthy, but at least it will be finished. I will be able to say "I finished writing a book." There is satisfaction in finishing, and I'm sure it will inspire me to finish the other three novels I've started.

Do you have anything that you want to finish this year?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dick and Jane and Vampires

I was at the library picking out some first grade level books for Azarious, the 17 year old boy I tutor. If you don't know Azarious' background story, read that here.

The problem with having a teenage boy read children's books is that he's not very interested in them. We read things like Splat the Cat and Fox in Sox. So when I found Dick and Jane and Vampires, I really thought I had hit the jackpot. Sure, it wasn't Twilight, but Azarious probably isn't in to that whole Bella-is-obsessed-with-a-man-with-no-pulse thing. Nevertheless, I couldn't resist grabbing the book from the shelf.

I opened the book and looked at a few pages. My first thought was "Oh #$%!  *$@&; and @#$%^# they let children read this?" You'll see what I mean. I wanted to scan all of the pages to show you, but I'm pretty sure I'd be breaking copyright laws if I did that.

This guy wants to suck your blood.

Hey Jane, there's a vampire head in the bushes. But it's no big deal, I've seen worse.

There's a bat and it's going to bite you on the neck and infect you and steal all of your toys!

Children think monsters live under their beds because we enforce the belief through literacy.

It is important to teach little girls that we won't believe them when they tell us they saw something creepy. Instead of acknowledging them and believing they are telling the truth, tell them they are a slob instead.

Holy &*@! Let's just terrify children while they learn to read.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

If David and Goliath had played ping pong instead

Last week during Bible Club, I read the kids the story of David and Goliath. I had assumed that many kids would already know the story, but considering most of them are third graders, they hadn't heard it before. The story may or may not have terrified the lone Kindergartner we had. Here are some things that were said during the lesson.

Kid: Ewww, look at Goliath's mouth! He's missing some teeth!
Me: And that's why you should always brush twice a day and floss.

Me: And Saul said, 'May God be with you.'
Kid: Was that like the first Star Wars?
Me: You mean like, 'may the force be with you'? Yes, exactly. Because God is the Ultimate Force.

Me: David took off Saul's armor because it was too heavy and he couldn't move in it. So he went to face Goliath in just his shepherd's clothes.
Kid: I hope his clothes were bullet proof.
Me: Kevlar wasn't invented yet. It wouldn't have mattered because they didn't have guns back then. Just swords and spears and javelins and slingshots.

Me: It was a one-on-one fight. If Goliath won, the Israelites would become slaves of the Philistines. If David won, then the Philistines would become the Israelite's slaves.
Kid: Why didn't they just have a table tennis tournament instead?
Me: Ping Pong? That sounds like a nicer way to solve an argument. Next time you are fighting with your sister, do that instead of calling her names.
Me: And then David took Goliath's sword and cut off his head.
Girl: Ewwww!
Boy: Awesome!!

We also played a really fun game that I invented that morning while brushing my teeth. It's called "Nighttime Shepherd." One kid gets blind folded and stands in the middle of the room. He's the shepherd. He can't see because it's nighttime and night vision goggles haven't been invented yet. The other kids trample around on all fours and say "baaah!" so that the shepherd knows where they are. But those pesky sheep keep on moving locations. Once the shepherd tags you, you have to go to the pen and lay down. This was the most hilarious thing to watch. I wish I had a video of it. We had one Ninja Shepherd who pulled all these lightning fast moves while blindfolded. He caught all of the sheep in under three minutes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Fighting yourself is the hardest battle

"How long will you continue to do that?" a relative asked me over winter break. She was referring to my volunteer teaching of reading to a teenage boy, Azarious. He had started school for the very first time in his life this October.

"As long as I can afford it."
That's what I told her, but to be honest, I don't really know what that means. What number do I let my bank account drop to until "I can't afford it"? Does that mean I will teach Azarious for free as long as I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and enough gas money to get to him everyday? Does it mean I work some afternoon/evening job for as many hours as physically possible so that I have enough money to pay for my electric bill and internet connection?

Because let's be honest, I could probably always "afford" to teach Azarious for free. It just depends on what I'm willing to give in order to make it happen. Most likely, it will not be finances that prevent me from driving to him everyday to teach him reading, it will be my own selfish behavior.

It will be me deciding that I want to be able to eat out at restaurants, or that I want a new phone or nicer car. It will be me thinking that I need to make more money. Or it will be me tired of driving an hour a day to do a job for free. Or it will be me deciding that "I can't emotionally handle the burden of being the only person trying to help this kid."

And what about Bible Club? I teach it four days a week for free at a public elementary school. How long will I be able "to afford" that? If need be, I can move in with my sister, parents, or grandma. I can get on food stamps. Money is not the issue. What will stop me from teaching Bible Club will be my desire to sleep in past 6:30. Or it will be my desire to have a full time job that starts sooner than 9:30am. It will be my pride and I'll decide that not making very much money means that I am a loser.

All of this thinking started last Wednesday when I realized how completely selfish I am. As I was driving home from the high school, I thought about calculating how much all of this volunteer work is costing me:

gas to get to Bible Club
time spent at Bible Club instead of at a job
money spent on Bible Club materials and building rental fees
gas to get to the high school for Azarious
time spent teaching Azarious instead of at a paid job
gas to get home
time spent planning/preparing to teach Bible club and Azarious instead of at a job

But before I was able to get my hands on a calculator and do some math, a different thought came into my head. "How much would it cost these kids if I didn't do this?"

The answer is too much. I can't calculate how much my Bible Club teaching is affecting those kids' lives. I can't measure how much teaching Azarious how to read is going to impact his future. I don't know, and the not knowing makes it unsafe to gamble their lives.

The question is not "how much is this going to cost me?" The question is "how much do I have to give?" The answer to the latter is "enough." If that's not the right answer, then the correct one is "more than enough."

I'm going to be fine. I should stop hoping that God sends me surprise fatty checks in the mail, because he has provided for me in advance. I have enough already, and I have enough to give.

I'm afraid that I will get more selfish and stop giving with a cheerful heart. I'm afraid that I will become bitter like before when I was an actual paid teacher. I don't want that. Having a resentful heart is like drinking a mug of poison every morning while you sit and read the newspaper.

I don't fear the possibility of eating Ramen noodles every night; I fear my own humanistic qualities and the truth that man is selfish. Fighting yourself is the hardest battle.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Youthful Lust

When I was in high school, I had a crush on a brainiac. I once chose to be in an advanced-advanced group because I thought he'd be in it. My English teacher decided that for one of our projects, she would let students who worked faster be in an advanced group and they would do more work when they finished early. Sounds like every nerd's dream, right?

It was already AP English, so there really was no need for an advanced group within the advanced group. There still ended up being two workaholic groups, because brainiacs are competitive and enjoy showing off. Once I found out the hot guy didn't opt into the I-have-self-worth-issues-and-need-to-be-validated-through-extra-credit group, I decided to just be in a regular group.

I have to admit, my opinion of the guy slightly changed after the incident. Like, maybe he was actually lazy and that's why he didn't want to do the extra work. Chances are, he was too cool to work with the nerdy girls in the advanced-advanced group.

During middle school, I developed a crush on a boy because he could do both The Dolphin and The Worm. Plus, he sort of looked like Devon Sawa, who played Caspar the friendly ghost in the movie. All middle school girls had a crush on Devon Sawa, even though you could only see him in the flesh dancing with Christina Ricci for about three minutes of the movie. I am happy to report that as an adult, Devon Sawa has made appearances in several episodes of Nikita, and he's really bad ass in them.
Smoking hot during his middle school years.
Despite his bad ass character, he still got captured by Nikita and chained to a bed so that he couldn't kill her. But she only wanted to nurse him back to health so that they could both take down Division.

I was going to write a bit more, but I think I'm going to go watch a certain TV show on Hulu instead. Sorry.

Friday, January 13, 2012

hiding manly hotness behind a beard

There is a trend overtaking the northwest and its called "men in flannel with beards." The funny part is, only 11% of these guys are actually loggers. I just made that statistic up. But it's probably true. My great grandpa was a logger, and while he fully wore plaid flannel, he did not have a beard.

This post is dedicated to the discussion of the full beard. We're not talking about stand-alone mustaches, sideburns, goatees, or beards without mustaches like the Amish have. We're talking Tom-Hanks-my-best-friend-is-Wilson-and-I-live-on-an-island-with-a-full-beard-because-I don't-have-a-razor sort of facial hair.

I think full beards are men's way of getting back at girls for the poofy hairstyle.

Girls think this looks good, but many men don't. Girls really like big hair and get jealous when another girl has a better poof that she does. We try really hard to get at least a three inch height. Some girls use hot rollers and the ratting technique and a lot of hair spray to achieve this look. All I have to do is wake up in the morning.

Even when guys say we look stupid, we still rock this 'do. Men decided to retaliate and grow full beards, because they know we like it better when they are clean shaven. Plus, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe guys try to one-up each other with beards.

They get jealous of one man's ability to grow a full beard in nine days, because here they are, stuck with patches on their left side. Let's not even talk about No Shave November. I try to avoid making eye contact with men during this month because I'm afraid I will either burst out laughing at their ridiculous mustache or give a look of horror because they now look like a murdering criminal who escaped from Alcatraz.

It's no secret to my closest friends that I am not a fan of facial hair. I prefer to view the hotness of man's face in full, and not behind a curtain of mustache and beard. The year after I graduated from college, I found myself attracted to a man who had a mustache and goatee. How many times did I want to slap myself across the face for this indiscretion? But I thought the guy was handsome because he was. It wasn't his facial hair that made him attractive. He would have been just as handsome (if not more) if he had a clean shaven face.
George Clooney looks hot with a beard because George Clooney is hot, period. Plus he's wearing a suit.
So men, listen up. Apart from Ke$ha, who really likes beards, if a girl is into a guy with a beard, chances are it's not because he has a beard. So don't go growing one just to snag a doll. But I know you won't listen, because just like guys like girls without poofy hair, this doesn't stop us from teasing our locks up to the roof.

Some guys look very distinguished in beards. Others look homeless. Which one are you? An easy way to tell is this: when  you walk into a fancy restaurant, are you seated immediately? Or does the hostess tell you that there are no public bathrooms available?

A few fellows find the beard to be a good disguise, kind of like celebrities in pajamas and sunglasses. They are way too hot with a shaved face, and it's causes the ladies to stare at them in awe like they're an exhibit at the zoo. The men are like "I'm scorching the ladies with the hotness of my jawbones. I really got to tone this down." So they grow beards.

Meanwhile, there's a girl out there with a sparkly poof on the top of her head who wishes she could uncover his smoking hot features with a magical razor. 

Ladies, feel free to chime in your preferences, even though it doesn't matter and men will continue to grow beards as long as they have testosterone. 

Men, tell me if I'm wrong. You grow your beards to impress other guys or because it is easier than shaving, not to impress girls, right?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bad employee is a security risk

I may or may not have let a con-man into the lobby of my workplace. I let a lot of people into the building even though I have no idea who they are.

I started a part-time job three weeks ago that involves me sitting in front of a computer screen writing curriculum and researching things on-line. The thing is, this computer screen is located at a work station that looks suspiciously like a receptionist desk. I got put there on my first day of work because the computer was available and had access to the network drive.

This job of mine isn't fancy enough to warrant my own office or my own desk or my own company e-mail. Instead I get to fake like I know what I'm doing. I sit at this desk for about four hours a day and type things that make me look smart, which is really hard work. But all you have to do to impress somebody is use specialized language they don't understand, and then add on "Do you want me to explain what that means?" So I sit at this desk that is located in the front lobby. People come in the door all the time and I ignore them because I assume that they work here too. I don't know all of the employees, and they don't wear any sort of special blue vest with a smiley face on it to identify that they work here.

One afternoon I was typing away when I finally realized that there was a woman standing on the other side of the desk. I pretended like I could help her. Then pretty soon more people would stop and wait at the desk like I was supposed to know what was going on in the place. I wanted to say "the reason I have no idea what you're talking about is because I just started working here and being a receptionist is not why they hired me. I don't even answer the phone when it rings." But lousy workers always throw that out there. "I just started. It's my first week. I broke up with my boyfriend two months ago and it's affecting my work competency. " I don't say any of that. Instead what I do is listen to their three minute explanation of what they need, nod and smile--even though I have no idea what they are talking about, and then I say "Let me get Rosie for you."

Rosie is an actual legitimate employee that has a set of keys to the place and everything. She's got her own desk and her own office. Rosie leaves at about three o'clock everyday, and when she does, she locks the glass lobby doors. This doesn't prevent people from trying to get in.

And okay, I get it. There's a girl working at a desk right behind the glass, and the lights are on. The door should be unlocked. But I'm not the receptionist and I have no idea how to help you, so what I do when you try to get in is look up at you and decide if I should open the door or not, based on your appearance and level of desperation.

Half the time the person is an employee without a key. Or at least I think they are. They say thanks and walk past me like they knew where they are going, so I'm not sure if they really do work here or if they just want to see how much equipment there is to steal.

This one time a man wearing dirty clothes and gloves knocked on the glass, so I got out of my seat and let him in. He asked me where the bathroom was. I showed him. At first I wondered if I was going to get in trouble for letting random people in to use the staff bathroom, but a half hour and two conversations later, I discovered the man was not a hobo. Which just goes to show you, you should never deny anybody bathroom privileges based on their appearance. This is also why I let men carrying rifles into the building. I don't want to say "sorry, you look like a terrorist," and not let them in, just to find out later that they work for a paintball recreation park and are here to give a professional presentation.

Basically, you could be an assassin and I'd let you in if you stood at the door long enough. I'd assume that you work here. Today a 17 year old kid came in and asked if he could go see the Executive Director in his office, and I said "Sure, why not?" Because the kid seemed like he knew it would be okay, that it wasn't a big deal.

After reading this post, you might think that I am a really bad employee and that I don't value security. I will have you know that as an ex-teacher, I totally am up to code with stranger protocol. Once these teen girls wanted to get into the school to use the bathroom, but I had to turn them away because I was the only one in the building and there are RULES. But if you hire me and don't tell me the rules, I'll do whatever seems nice, including giving away the keys to the company van. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 is going to be so [ ] !

So much for an astounding first blog post of the new year. Today I attempted day 3 of extreme production, but this is all I got out of the last 4 hours of my day:

I ate a microwaved potato and some Ritz-peanut butter filled-chocloate covered cookies for dinner.

I did not go to the gym.

I spent an hour and a half trying to solve a computer problem, which is still not fixed.

I haven't showered today. And I didn't yesterday either. But I think I will tonight.

I did not work on my book.

I am determined to show tomorrow who's boss.
Related Posts with Thumbnails