Friday, January 06, 2006

Lesbians and U-Hauls

Copied from my LJ-6/10/05
For the first time in two weeks, I have a few minutes to goof off at work because Pat left early. She has major issues with people who goof off at work, probably because she's spent years working twice as hard to make up for the other slackers here. So I work diligently to stay in her good graces.

I laugh now when I think of the monster I was expecting Pat to be, and all on the testimony of nutzoid Lo. She turned out to be a good coworker. We have settled into a comfy routine. I tolerate her cigars, and she puts up with my music. Sometimes we're silently engrossed in our work for minutes or hours at a time, other times we chat about the office, our families, relationships, etc. She has some hilarious ex stories. If she's any indication, lesbians really do show up for the second date in a U-Haul. She's embroiled in a legal battle with a short-lived girlfriend to get back the house they bought together.

Pat isn't someone I'd necessarily be friends with outside work but she's a valuable ally here. She has a surprising amount of influence for someone in the same peon job as me, with managers at her beck and call. While she was on leave, I suffered in the sweltering heat because the air conditioning in our department was programmed to go off at 5pm. The printers heated the room into an inferno as I worked until midnight. I pleaded with Lamont, who assured me numerous times he'd have it taken care of, but nothing was ever done. Pat made one call, and now it's a balmy 70 degrees in here every evening.

I wonder if Lamont ever even picked up the phone. He proved what a bullshit artist he is earlier in the week. He made a big show of bringing in his letter of resignation and letting the two of us read it. He said he was fed up and planned to turn it in the next day. He hugged me and Pat as he left and thanked us solemnly for working so hard for him. The next day, he claimed he'd had a revelation the night before in the ER, where he was being treated for a panic attack he thought was a heart attack. His new plan is to scam his way into a medical leave. Of course this will never happen either. He's all talk. He's lucky he can charm the panties off a nun, or he'd have been fired years ago.

Pat's early departure gave me a chance to check the job-finder sites for any new and promising postings. When I started doing tech support five years ago, there were twenty new listings every week. I only found one worth applying for tonight. Apparently every last tech support job on earth has been outsourced to some cubicle farm in Calcutta.

I have gotten used to the unconventional work environment here. I welcome the tedium, embrace it even. Run a book through the scanner, edit it page by page, save it, move on to the next book. It's so dull it's like a form of meditation. Buzz, the ranting drunk of an owner, doesn't intimidate me anymore (although he tries, the pathetic bastard) and I don't even bat an eye when Durwood's crazy old ass comes in here screaming at Lamont. I do a decent amount of work, keep a low profile and maintain the appearance of being busy. But I can't get too comfortable and settled. I can't keep working for peanuts without insurance, vacation time or any other benefits. It's a dead end, and I want to go places, baby.

When I was unemployed I fantasized about all the things I'd do when I had an income again. Concerts, Saturdays prowling yard sales, a weekend amusement park trip or two. I still don't have the money to do any of it, much less the time. I just missed an "all Prince, all night" event at at Cobo Joe's organized by our local fanclub. In recent weeks I have missed the electronic music festival and live shows by Kraftwerk, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Sheila E. and The Time, just to name a few.

I have thought a lot lately about renewing my nursing license. Of course, the thought is usually something like, "If circumstances force me to renew my nursing license, I will go to the river with my head up!" (An expression for suicide from the old-timers in my family.) I still have nightmares where I'm the only nurse on the unit, three patients are crashing at once, and I'm terrified I may have made some grievous medication error. I guess I should keep in mind why I walked away from it. The pay is good and the jobs are plentiful, but I was miserable I was working as an RN. Poverty is pretty miserable too, though.

Music: Rockers Hi-Fi - Mish Mash
Mood: Pensive