Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What I Won't Miss

In an effort to comfort myself about my soon-to-be unemployment, I have been trying to keep in mind all the bad things about my current situation, things I will not have to deal with soon enough, some of them possibly not ever again.
  • The commute. It's about an hour each way, it involves a car and two trains. When there's bad weather, I get rained and snowed on. When there are train problems, I get delayed and often have to sit or stand for interminable lengths of time on crowded trains. It costs a FORTUNE. They just raised fares and coincidentally there are more service problems than ever. But the worst part of all about the commute is the people. If you follow me on Twitter, you're aware of how much I hate my fellow commuters. They are RUDE and HORRIBLE people. They are always out for themselves. They often take up more than one seat with their bag or just by spreading themselves out on crowded rush hour trains and get annoyed when you ask them to move so you can sit. They push and shove to get up stairs and escalators ahead by just one person. They obliviously talk loudly to each other or on cell phones even when the entire rest of the train is quiet. They step on the back of your shoes and bump into you and never apologize for it. The lack of humanity astounds me and I can't wait to be rid of it.
  • The boredom. Our business has been slow for months. Even when we have work, it's nothing that interests me and I get no enjoyment out of doing it. I know no one's job is a day at the beach (except lifeguards), but it really work days are dull dragging days and for a while now I have been wondering how much more I can take. And now I wonder no more.
  • The lack of privacy. We have worked in three different spaces at this company, all of them open-plan. Though there is not the feeling that anyone's really looking over your shoulder, people do seem to feel free to look at your screen as your passing by and comment on it if it interests them. The offensive thing about the lack of privacy is more audio than visual though. You can't have a private conversation, on the phone or in person. There's only one phone line shared among the office so if you give out your work number, everyone knows who's calling you and you have the added pressure of tying up the company line. You can have a conversation with one person and everyone else feels invited to participate because there's no way of shutting them out. The bosses often have to take it off site to discuss important matters because there's nowhere private to do so. And worst of all, I have to hear every single rant-y whiny word of everyone's complaints. Everybody seems to be compelled to complain out loud around here and there is one person who is personally offended by EVERYTHING. It makes it hard to concentrate. Headphones go only so far and even at that point, you can miss things you SHOULD be hearing if your music is too loud.
  • The schedule. I don't think I was meant to work a 9-5. I don't think I was meant to be sitting at a desk all day, in an open room, staring at a computer, only a few personal effects reminding me of who I am. I wasn't meant to get up early and go to bed early. I want to be moving and doing things. Surrounded by pleasant sights, sounds, and smells. I want to work hours that suit my lifestyle.
  • PACKING. LUNCHES. When your kitchen consists of a slop sink, a microwave, and a mini fridge, and you have no dishes and hardly any utensils, your options for what you can eat become very limited. In addition, having to plan ahead to have made the food the night before is arduous. I love food and I'm very moved by food cravings. I like to be able to choose what I eat based on what I feel right this second and it's a lot easier to do that when you're somewhere with a kitchen.
  • My coworkers affectations. Don't get me wrong, these are LOVELY people and I will miss them and keep in touch with them. But when you are around the same people 40 hours a week, some of their habits are bound to drive you bonkers and I will be glad to not have to worry about enduring those parts of their personalities anymore.
  • Using a key to get to the bathroom. Nuff said.
  • New York Friggin City. I know, I know, greatest city in the world and actually that's WHY I'm glad I won't be working here. Maybe after a break of having to be here daily for a job I don't love, I will come to appreciate what is good about the city. At the moment it's all overpriced everything, rude people, homeless people, pushy flyer people, noise, traffic, bad smells, and basically a big giant pulsing headache I can't wait to get out of every day.
  • Burning myself daily. I have an all metal desk lamp. After a day's use, flipping the switch to turn it off results in a burn from the heated metal and I always always forget but now I won't have to remember anymore.
  • Wasting paper. This industry is becoming a lot more electronic, but we still use way more paper than we need to and way more paper than we should. Some people still do things the old-fashioned way which requires a lot of unnecessary paper and they refuse to change and make jokes about old dogs and new tricks while I am not amused. In addition, a lot of the products we work on lately are consumable, meaning the students get to keep them and write in them and the schools have to buy them again next year. That may not stop, but at least I don't have to be a part of it.
  • Redundant tasks. "Can you print out the file you just emailed me?" "Can you make a FedEx label for me?" "I lost the ducky on my computer (the icon for a file-sharing program), can you help me find it?" My boss is a WONDERFUL woman, but she is Of A Certain Age and that age does not blend well with technology and she tries hard and has learned a lot but in the end it is often easier for her to have someone else do them because they know how. There are often rewards associated with this, but really I'll just be glad not to have to do them at all. This is why you have grandkids, not why you have employees.
No job is perfect and every job has these or other problems. I'm not saying I expect my next job to be problem free. I'm focusing on the fact that from now on I won't have to deal with this particular set of annoyances.

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