Wednesday, June 21, 2006

To Live With Fear

Photo link goes to a fan site for Little House on the Prarie simply because one of my favorite Little House episodes is called "To Live With Fear" however this post has absolutely nothing else to do with Little House on the Prairie.

I was going to write a long drawn out saga about my last job but I have changed my mind because there's no need to write a three part story regarding something that can be summed up in one paragraph. Things started well, I was treated very badly, subjected to bullying by supervisors, racism and just plain ignorance and when all was said and done my health, mental and physical were poor indeed. Had I not been so stressed, I just may have taken better care of myself, I might not have lost my baby and I would not be the sadder but wiser person I am today.

The fact is I just don't care enough to summon up the righteous indignation I once had regarding that old job at PNG. There are so many other things to do without whining about a job I don't even have anymore.

I recently left my job that I previously described as having the perfect boss. She was perfect and the job was wonderful but I need a job with more money so we can save a little to buy a house. So I said goodbye to my low paid utopia and re-entered a more corporate workspace.

My new gig is for yet another non-profit organization. It's well known and just by saying girls and cookies in the same sentence is probably enough to get me fired by writing about it on my bog.

I really can't see myself working there long anyway. One of the first things I noticed walking in the door was the fear in the eyes of every single person I passed. Next it was the tippy-toe quiet exacerbated by the silent crunch of eggshells everyone seems to be stepping on.

Other things of note that let me know this just may be a white collar sweat shop:

They have an hour for lunch.
No one but me left the building during either of the two the lunch periods

Quitting time is at 5 p.m.
There was damn near a stampede to the door even though one of the worst thunderstorms of the season was taking place as my first day came to a close. Regardless of wind, rain, and howling winds, not one person hesitated a single step when it was time to leave. I got the impression that had there been a tornado and lightning striking cars in the parking lot at random intervals these folks would have risked it just to be out of the building.

The first task I was given was logging in evaluations of different events the girls, oops, I mean, the clients, are taken to. They were asked to rate their experience by answering various questions on a scale of 1- 5 with room for comments. Most of the answers were garden variety compliments and complaints like "The instructor was really nice," or "It rained that day and we couldn't do the outdoor stuff."

However this one kid made my bleary eyes water with amusement instead of data entry blur. She wasn't having any of that "Camp Rox!" or "I loved everything" crap. Here are her responses to part of the questionnaire (misspellings and all but that only made it more adorable).

Q. Was your challenge course what you expected?
A. Yes

Q. Why?
A. the soulless slavery to Giant Booger Beings

Name of your instructor
Giant Booger Being #2 helped by Dana

Do you have any additional comments?
Daddy long legs really don't taste good (neither does posin ivy).

It has been confirmed to me (surreptitiously) that the fear and tension I see in everyone's eyes is not imagined but real. A recent major restructuring in addition to a crack down on all "privileges" in the office that were being abused (i.e., the privilege to wear blue jeans and too much non-work related email) have left the office a bit shaken and people wondering what will happen next. It seems that instead of singling out the guilty parties, they decided on group punishment instead. In addition to not being allowed to wear open toed shoes anymore there is also a moratorium on talking about anything not work related unless you are on a break or lunch which leaves me wondering what kind of white collar Nazi hell have I really stepped into? How long before my freedom loving soul morphs into one of "them" or will I decide (as I think I already have) that this type of daily existence is exactly that: existing, not living.

Well at least I know where I stand now. And unless I want to find myself as a subservient soulless zombie enslaved by Giant Booger Beings, I need to start planning an exit strategy.

And it's only my second day.


  1. That is the best comment card, ever!

    Can I borrow that phrase, "Giant Booger Beings"? Attributing it to a "Anonymous Girl with Cookies"? Although I fear linking to this post on your blog, lest the thin veil of anonymity be torn to shreds.

  2. By all means Moreena, use it wherever you wish. It's a phrase that deserves to be spread around.

    I love the fact that not only did she think it but that was brave enough to write it down. Especially the "soulless slavery" part. Reminds me of Lilo & Stitch where Lilo is making voodoo dolls of her friends because "they need to be punished."

    Bless that girl wherever she is.

  3. I am so not good with office politics. You need to wear a super hero suit, so you can fight the Giant Booger Beings into submission.


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