It was suggested by many people in my life, including my therapist, that I try my hand at having a blog. Apparently, I am funny and can talk about my adventures in a way people can relate to. Though I am not sure if people can relate to my stories given that those encouraging me are primarily my friends – They clearly ‘get me’ and love me no matter what. However, today, of all days I feel the need to share some stories about what many may face daily at work – Adventures of the Corporate world.
I have placed “nursery” in the title instead of world, because I often think I have dealt with children in a nursery. I have worked as a project manager and one of the things we are supposed to guide people against is babysitting – it is hard when managers are the ones who need babysitting. I am a nurturing lady, but can tolerate only so much. Maybe my many corporate stories can help me get through to the next stage of my career as I try to actually achieve my dreams, maybe it can help others, who knows?
First, the stories I am beginning with are from when I worked at a “third-party contract facility”. I will add a few more stories, more in disguise, as I get into other weird instances. I wrote this a few years ago, but was too afraid to publish…my perfectionism. This year (2017), I really do not care and will just go for it – publish with warts and all.
The first series of stories is from the “third-party contact facility” – We were the grunts that were hired to conduct testing of various kinds in the pharma/biotech/engineering world. I was supposed to (and signed on for) be in a project management role (previous experience in Pharma – don’t hate me; it’s all I knew in terms of industry. From the laboratory to project management to returning to university to back into pharma and then in/out biotech/pharma, hopefully somewhere less evil in the future… I dulled down my boring summary).
Today started like every other day, in traffic. Never did I think I would be living in my own nightmare of traffic & cubicles. I worked so hard to ‘find myself’, just ‘be’, and figure it all out. I am thinking no matter what traffic and lovely drivers are the norm. Lovely drivers of GTA (ones that quickly cut you off and/or slam on breaks when there is nothing obstructing them, and/or driving below the speed limit on a clear day in the fast lane (which is fine, except there are trucks moving faster than them in the slower lanes). From all this, I do understand it is a mind-set – when we experience stress, just breathe and meditate. Be in the moment and let go, we cannot change our circumstance. OK, back to today, I realised I was in my own nightmare – perhaps because I was headed towards a job, not a passion or career. Unless this job is a road towards further developing my patience and learning to effectively deal with what I call ‘lower-level psychopaths’ (or anti-social personality persons). So, basically when I was in high-school a movie called ‘Office Space’ came out – I thought, that will never be me. But alas today, this was me, starting from the first scene of the movie.
My intertwining nightmare movie/t.v. journey moves from the road to my cubicle – Where I then infiltrate the world of ‘Dilbert’ (also a comic and cartoon I thought would never happen to me), where I have persons leaving me voicemail about an e-mail they just sent me. Normally, I would shrug this vm off, but this was a vm from the primary man-child I baby-sit (a manager that no one in the building can tolerate, but has a way to smooth-talk his boss and basically ‘whine’ as people put it, so everyone feels sorry for him before they yell at him). I baby-sit him, because apparently only me and the gentleman I call ‘The Saint’ are the only two humans who can handle him and get him to work. In reality, I often move into ‘The Office’ episode where the character Michael just has to sign a few papers for the day and he’s just goofing off. I wish this was a parody, but no – this happens often. We chase him to sign documents, the documents he gets ‘The saint’ to compile on his behalf. All the man has to do is sign the documents and we can move on.
OK, so the man-baby manager, memorises everyone’s schedule and only gets back to them when he knows they will not be there. The man-baby knows I leave by 5 pm, so he usually leaves me vm (important ones) after I leave. This morning was just that, he was getting back to me on something important by leaving me a vm afterhours instead of emailing me. This time, it was OK and not urgent. However, him being “tricky” and claming to get back to people by leaving vm (when we ask for email, for records we need in industry) at inconvenient times. It’s annoying, the vm, but better than the man-baby physically chasing me down and wasting my time, so I don’t get out by 5 pm. Yes, he loves to waste time and avoid work. He is literally the character Michael from “The Office”. He is well known for wasting people’s time so they do not get to leave work on-time, for useless things.It is weird. When I started, he would abuse my naivety and come up with unnecessary tasks for me to complete before I left for the day. This often happened on Friday’s when I had plans. I learned fast and just lie about my life and plans, so he cannot abuse and/or use anything against me. He is a 7 year old with a very high IQ. The stories I can compile about him – I should just make a comic strip.
Moving on from my vm from the man-baby. One of my cubicle mates and colleagues, enjoys having open speakerphone conversations with clients, sometime full-blown meetings…on speakerphone. Yes, he loudly holds conversations in the shared cubicle area. After asking him to keep it down, not to use his speakerphone, to use boardrooms, etc to no avail…now, I just laugh with ‘the saint’, because we cannot believe it is happening and move on with our tasks. I wear headphones to block out the noise…and that offends the offensive speakerphone abuser, but whatever, ignore him. However, this time, our boss’s boss came over – He came to me and asked how I could work like this and focus…saying that a room can be booked if he needed a speakerphone/conference call space. He suggested that I ask my colleague to stop. I just laughed and said I feel bad at this point (and had asked him to keep it down, many times) – really, I have tried and my mistake – the speakerphone individual has clear mental health/social issues. It is better to ignore him then to ignite the overly-creepy-sensitive nature of the individual holding speakerphone teleconferences on a daily basis. Yes, Mr. speakerphone is creepy with a major/scary staring problem…I digress. This day, as I said, was different, the loudness finally annoyed upper management – Thus, speakerphone teleconferences were stopped from that moment onward…and the colleague looked as though someone had beat him down.
The teleconference colleague/man, is also the creepy “gentleman” who persistently asked our female boss how her annual physical went. When she responded that it went well. He persisted and asked for specific details. When she resisted, obviously shocked (later called me into her office and told me she was dumbfounded… shocked that anyone would do this), she did not continue. He told her she was weird and a germophobe. Yes, this is real. I thought it was against the law to get personal, esp in North America. You can get pulled into HR for almost anything. Our female boss was more in shock and vented to me, because she had never experienced this before and genuinely didn’t know what to do. I told her it’s a matter for HR or she could pull him in to discuss how inappropriate it is to ask your female boss how her physical went. Otherwise, I said you could tell him about your stir-up experiences.
I realised that the environment at this company attracted the weird, the creepy, the lazy, the “psycho”, and some of the smartest/kindest/hard-working individuals that carried the rest. Safe to say, I got tired of carrying things and left, but not without many strange stories and data for my internal psychological database.
TBC…as I recall other weird stories…
More interesting thoughts about the sales persons we worked with. Jr level psychopaths. Jr level psychopaths for a sales team is not too odd, from the psychology papers I have read, they rate high on the scale of psychopathy… they need to be in their role. Is it the psycho that is attracted to sales or the sales that provoke the inner psycho of some people? I don’t know, I’m not a professional.