Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Work woes

Copied from my LiveJournal, 5/4/2005
Our FOAF mechanic was a no-show today. No word yet on why, but it's back to the buses for at least a few more days.

Here's a slightly edited excerpt from an email to Mom describing my job, where I've worked for 2 1/2 weeks:
"Our main business is providing owner's manuals, repair manuals, wiring diagram books and similar printed materials to car dealerships. My department prints the manuals. I start by scanning the original book. Some are small handbooks and others as thick as the Manhattan yellow pages. Then I edit it page by page on the computer until it looks good enough to print. It's very tedious and exacting work if it's done right, but I am pretty good at it already. At the same I also have to operate the two giant printers that run continuously on weekdays, loading in stacks of paper, unloading finished documents, clearing paper jams, adding ink, binder tape and various chemicals when they run out."

I have spent the last 3 hours scanning a giant GMC pickup truck owner's manual printed on onionskin paper. Normally scanning is an automated process using the document feeder, but this requires constant attention. A page gets jammed every other minute, requiring multiple frustrating resets each time. The saving grace is that it's nearly midnight and the place is deserted. No printer jobs running and nobody else to deal with.

I received no training to speak of and have had to learn the job by trial and error. My immediate supervisor Lamont is a decent guy but he's rarely available to answer my questions. The office is the most disorganized place I've ever seen and it's difficult to work amid the clutter. There are stacks of jobs in various stages of completion covering every surface. The chaos is a major reason why the backlog of work is close to costing the company some important accounts. The organizer in me wants to turn loose on the place and whip it into shape but that's a dangerous precedent to set.

Also, I can't be bothered to care that much when the outfit definitely isn't looking out for MY best interests. I'm employed as a part-time temp with no benefits, even though I'm putting in 50-60 hours a week and they intend to keep me on permanently. Lamont's boss Durwood even tried to cheat me out of my overtime pay, claiming I wasn't entitled to it since I don't get benefits. HR finally had to inform the jackass (who's also the chief source of threats and screaming) that he's required by law to pay time-and-a-half for anything over 40 hours a week. This genius has been in management for decades, just to show you the caliber of talent running the joint.

I have an interview with a software development company next Wednesday which could be my ticket out of this dump.

Music: The Cinematic Orchestra-Every Day
Mood: Listless