Friday, January 06, 2006

Overtime blues

Copied from my LJ-6/4/05
Working weekends is no fun. I feel as though summer is going to pass me by this year. I got last weekend off (unpaid) for the holiday but I'll be working both Saturday and Sunday this week to make up for it. And to help our department meet another oh! shit! panic! deadline.

It looks like there won't be too many more of those though. Pat came back to work Wednesday. Yes Pat, the lady, the myth, the legend. I see now why she's so revered and mildly feared. Lamont is just the guy who answers to the suits. It's Pat who really runs the joint. Most of what gets done there is due to her hard work and organizational skills. No wonder the place fell apart in her absence. She has been there three days and a department that was in chaos is practically running like a well-oiled machine already.

Pat is actually kind of cool and not at all the harridan Lo claimed. (And good riddance to Lo!) She has a bit of a butchy-brusque, drill sergeant manner some could find offputting. But it's kind of endearing to me. She reminds me of my old pal Ann "Sarge" Fortner, an LPN at my first nursing job, who was regarded by many coworkers as an unfriendly hardass but was a total sweetheart if you got to know her.

Okay, Pat has been condescending and sarcastic at times. Training me to run the daily reports (a laborious set of tasks with a million quirky unwritten rules and procedures), she got really impatient when I didn't remember it all after doing it once. But whatever, I'll master that in a few days. Then yesterday we were speaking as a group to some department heads and a when question was asked concerning work that I had done, I tried to answer it. Pat threw me a scowl and snapped her fingers at me, as if to silence an unruly child. Why she thought I didn't have a right to speak up, I can't say. But I'm gonna let that slide. This time.

I just have to keep my cool, deal with her quirks and keep learning from her. I try to keep in mind where she comes from. She has lived most of her life in Lincoln Park and is one of those diehard suburbanites who never venture into Detroit except to work. She has a hardworking, blue collar mentality. She smokes cheap, smelly cigars and wears men's cologne. She eats good old Amurrican food and aside from middle-eastern dishes (she's Lebanese; write your own joke) she's never tried any ethnic cuisine. She is not that educated, and maybe a bit insecure about it. Like most people we work with, you can't use your full vocabulary around her without getting a quizzical "why-you-usin'-them-thar-collegeboy-words-fer?" looks.

Overall, I have great hopes that Pat and I will get along famously. She came out to me, which is kind of a big deal. She's guarded and private at work and has never told Lamont in all the years they worked together. We bonded a bit talking about our pets- she has a whole brood of cats and dogs. And we discussed Pridefest (Detroit's big GLBT extravaganza this weekend), which we'll both miss since we're working. She already taught me tons of stuff that makes my job easier, and contrary to Lo's prediction she has been gracious and happy to train me most of the time. There is much to learn from someone who has been at the job for over 10 years.

I just uttered a shriek of horror at the thought of being stuck there that long.

Music: Four Tet-Everything Ecstatic
Mood: Tired