Recently I have been temping in an office for a Major International Corporation. Let me preface this by saying that I am an artist… not an office drone. However, from time to time I do have to do something that pays the bills. Read: This decision was not by choice but out of necessity. I sit in a cubicle in a room full of cubicles. You can hear everyone’s phone calls and keyboard tapping. Translation: Hell.
Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve learned a lot of interesting things about corporate America. Here they are in no particular order:
*Someone always has a cough… ALWAYS. There are about 30 people who work on this floor and you can bet that at any time someone is coughing or sneezing, sniffling or wheezing. How is it that in the age of Purell people are so damn sick. I personally bring Clorox wipes and wipe down every surface before I touch it to avoid the plague.
*The amount of money you make is directly proportionate to the amount of work you DON’T do and your level of bitchiness. The people up here who make the most money and look down on everyone else hate their lives. I’m pretty sure they go after work and get into their BMWs and drive home to their homes in the Hollywood Hills. They sit in front of their massive televisions and eat Lean Cuisines alone… Yeah that gives you the right to look down on an hourly employee with a loving husband and a Toyota Yaris!
*People are opposed to lifting up their feet when they walk. This actually applies to the entire world but it’s just painfully obvious up here. Is it really so hard to lift your legs up when you walk? Isn’t that what walking is anyway?
*The cycle of screaming is real. If you are getting screamed at, it rarely has anything to do with what you’ve done. usually your boss was yelled at by their boss, who was yelled at by their wife, who was yelled at by their kid, who was yelled at by their teacher, who was yelled at by the Principal, who was yelled at by YOU! That’s how it works. Next time you feel the need to yell at anyone, count to ten and stop the cycle of screaming.
*A phone is always ringing. Really no rant to go with that one, but its true.
*Everything needs to happen right now. In a world where you get instant gratification everyday its hard to remember what really needs to be done right now. There is no way that everything you do is an emergency. Is it important? Yes. Does it need to get done in a timely fashion? Yes. Will the world stop rotating if you don’t answer an email within 2 seconds of receiving it? Probably not. I’d love to teach a class in prioritizing work emergencies. Unless you are an ER doctor or an on call baby neurosurgeon there is no need for you to over exaggerate your role in life.
*Every Friday is like Senior skip day but you’re still a Junior. The higher-ups saunter in around 10:30am and by 3pm the office is silent. But because I’m a lowly hourly employee, I’m expected to be here to clock in and clock out, even though these people are making at least 6 times what I make. That makes sense right?
*Everyone is really thirsty but no one drinks anything. You know when you are thirsty and you make a smacking sound just opening your mouth? That seems to be happening to everyone in the office. Yeah its dry in here but we are just feet away from a water cooler and a vending machine stocked with beveragey wetness. Sometimes I just want to hand people a Gatorade and say “Thanks for drinking”.
*The woman with the most annoying voice talks the loudest and is on the phone the most. In this office it is an overweight middle-aged Chinese woman with a perpetual stuffy nose. It should be noted that she is also the worst offender of the foot shuffle and wears old misshapen Uggs. You know the ones where the person’s heels are no longer on the sole of the shoe but off to the side almost directly on the ground. She answers the main line at the office and is completely useless. She spends the majority of the day planning parties of her own. I have to make a lot of outbound phone calls and sit right next to this woman. Every time she answers the phone it sounds like she is blasting through a megaphone. I can only imagine anyone wanting to work where this is someone perpetually planning a Lunar New Year’s Party.
*If you go to the ladies room at any time during the day there WILL be someone camped out in one of the stalls. If you’re camped out in the stall I WILL take an inordinate amount of time to use the restroom. Some of you may not be familiar with the phenomenon I like to call Shy Poopers. So here is a run down of how we operate. A group of mostly women, Shy Poopers would prefer to not poop in public at all but if the need arises they prefer to do so in an empty restroom. Should someone enter said restroom during a Shy Poop the woman will sit, paralyzed with fear of being discovered, and wait for the person to leave to resume her regularly scheduled activities. This office is full of them, which is a huge problem for me since I also fall into this category.
*A heavy sigh is not an effective form of communication. If I counted the number of heavy sighs in this office used as a response to someone’s request I would be in the six digit range. If you need to show frustration or are upset just say so. Use your words.
As I sit here in my cube on the last day of this assignment I’m thinking back on all of the things I’ve learned in my short time in this office. They are as follows:
- I hate offices.