Monday, March 13, 2006

Work is a four-letter word

My first two days back at work were a lot harder than I imagined. Have you ever taken a two-week vacation and then returned to work? It's a lot like that, but multiplied by 14. I can't believe it's been almost exactly seven months since I last had a job.

On the other hand, have you ever had a co-worker come back from the Mexican Riviera tanned, rested, and relaxed, who then spends the entire first day back bitching about how work sucks? And under your breath, you mutter, "I was here answering your emails and covering your phone calls while you were drinking mojitos under a beach umbrella, so I don't want to hear about it." Yeah, I know I'm that guy. You can punch me if you want.

I was hoping temp work would be mindless busywork, possibly something I could do while listening to my iPod. No such luck. So far, I've spent all my time faxing people, and then calling them to make sure they received the fax. Sure, it's mindless, but I don't understand the system and I get asked all kinds of questions that I can't answer. The hardest part of jobs for me is getting acclimated. By the time I feel comfortable in this job, I'll have to move on to another.

The upside is that I don't have to worry about doing this long-term. Whenever I start getting stressed about not understanding something, I tell myself, "you're just a temp." I think I need to start repeating that to myself, like "Serenity Now!"

So, if someone calls you on the phone to confirm that you've received a fax, go easy on them. They're probably just a temp.


Hellmut said...

I guess we will have to wish you more luck on the job hunt. Lots of it!

Ann said...

This is why they call it "work." If it was fun and enjoyable and you got to listen to your I-pod all day while you mostly goof off, they would call it "play" and you would have to pay them.

The wisest thing my father ever taught me:

"People work for three reasons, Ann Marie. For the money, for the money, and, for the money.

Have fun. It sounds like work you can check at the door when you leave for the day, and that's a very good thing.

Abner Doon said...

I don't think that's true, Ann. It may not be super common, but some people really enjoy their work. That's why my grandpa said (well, not really, but he should have): "Find what you really love to do, and then you'll never work another day in your life." My work is like that. I really feel like I get money for nothing. And yes, I can listen to my iPod.

Better luck with the next job, Ned!

annegb said...

I loved working at Wal-Mart that month, but I thought I'd die of exhaustion, I can relate to the shock to your system.

You know, something will come of this. It will work out. You'll see. Good luck, hon.

Chad said...

I've had some bad jobs in my time, but that's one of the reasons I invested in my education at the university; so I wouldn't have to work at those for the rest of my life. I agree with abner doon, find what you love and you'll never work again.

I love the job that I have now; the people that I work with, and listening to Depeche Mode or perhaps Slayer on my iPod. At the very least, take what you can out of your current job. Good Luck.

Oedipa Maas said...

I think that working at something you love can sometimes turn out great, but it can also make you hate the thing you previously loved. And of course, working at something you hate is going to be a bad thing. Also, like Ann said, work you can check at the door is generally a good thing. Personally, I prefer to work at something I feel neutral about and save my passions for hobbies. Though if I were better at my hobbies, maybe I'd feel different about this. :-)

Anyway, best of luck in your job hunt, Ned! Just keep thinking, "thank goodness I'm not in sales!"

Stephen said...

I really enjoy my work, but I'm glad I need to work or I'd probably not push myself to do it.