Pressure is on at the new job. Suggestions to work on Saturdays are tossed around the office like paperclips that have loosened from mile-high stacks of important pages. Business is booming in homeless services, it seems, for at my job, being a glorified secretary with real power requires that one show appreciation for the opportunity.
Probationary periods trickle by like warm blood. “There is so much filing to do,” she says.
“Yes there is. Perhaps I will come into the office tomorrow as well,” I offer, not wanting to seem lazy, late yesterday afternoon. I AM still new on the job.
I’ll never make a ‘career move’ in this economy. What if they let me go, deciding I’m not applying myself enough to tasks at hand? Better work on Saturday. Benefits kick-in on May 1st.
“I’ll call you Saturday morning to let you know. I have so much to do. Give me your cell phone number” I said as I ran out of the office at 5:35, like my hair was on fire.
I should have simply said ‘No’, but here I am on Saturday morning scheduling another conference call. This is my time. I made a mental note this week to write more this weekend. Here I am—stuck in the middle of management again.
My new job requires that I assist in the interview process for filling staff vacancies. The organization is massive. Staff turnover is commonplace. Employees retire from careers in life-long community service, almost every day, requiring replacement. But of course, there are those who underperform who must be processed out as well.
Who would think there would be so many job openings in times like this? This is not an easy business to be in. Not an easy field at all.
Group interviews. Inviting strangers to participate. Mr. Taylor– the lifeline to modern New York. I must be the only one hiring in these times!
Endless strings of e-mailed resumes to cut and paste one’s way through appear as only raw data to me—every ten minutes, at least fifty more appear in my in-box—so hard to weed out the important correspondence from that of my immediate supervisors.
Teeth of a slow mouse gnash as I impatiently shake the ancient device wishing for a touch screen. One dare not use the internet to check personal e-mails in this environment.
I’m SORRY about erroneous clicks that occurred while reaching for my coffee, whoever you were! I have never used my desktop recycle bin to retrieve things. One never comes out. You probably send repeated e-mails anyway.
Phone calls to make using my deep, professional voice– checking three references. They never have anything bad to say– such boring calls. Background checks to investigate. There is much paper to file, but why on Saturday?
Desperation is what I see in the eyes of those who make good contact. Sweaty handshakes to fake my way through are what I get paid for. Sitting stiff like manikins in tight skirts, some beg with phony smiles.
I process their paper.
Cross my legs like a sissy as the interviews start. I wore jeans on Friday just to piss them off, in their best.
Helping to decide which ones are worthy and qualified– who will work on Saturdays? Not you! We didn’t like that answer.
The economy is bad and there are so many unqualified candidates, right there in the office, who could easily replace me. A filing system in need of my time does not outweigh my promise to write and to go running.
I’ll file this one away in my back yard with a beer– life is more than trying to prove oneself in a mindless career that nearly everyone is begging to get into.