Worst. Job. Ever.

I just had a run-in on the elevator (you’ll understand what I’m talking about later) which made me think that you all might enjoy me regaling you with a story from my painful life and work experience.  Some of you have already heard this story, but not all of you.  It gives a little insight into life as me.  “Lizzie, what makes you so…wonderful?  For lack of a better word,” you probably wonder daily.  Oh, I don’t know.  As Lady Gaga says, I was born this way.  

Enough with that, though.  Let me get to the story.  

In life, sometimes you do something that you didn’t think you had in you.  You know, like standing up to a bully.  A bully meaning a telemarketer and standing up meaning telling them to stop calling instead of just hanging up (can you tell I’m a total wimp?).  But…sometimes not always in a good way.  If this story weren’t so hilarious, I wouldn’t write about it as I honestly feel a little guilty about the way I handled things.  To this day.  I can smile about it now, but at the time it was terrible (- Moz).

I’d been working at a law firm for a while.  I liked the firm and I really liked my boss, but I was beyond bored.  People who don’t work in an office don’t know the torture of being chained to a desk day in and out with absolutely nothing to do.  I think I had seen everything on the internet.  Well, not all the dirty stuff, but you catch my drift.  Then one day, my boss told me that she was leaving the firm.  Good grief.  I quickly decided that I didn’t think I could handle it at this place on my own.  Of course, I stupidly went ahead, interviewed at a few places and put my notice in only to find out that my boss had decided to stay.  Thanks for letting me know?  Yeah… 

Oh well, the new place was super close to my apartment and in a really nice building and was a really nice office.  SIKE!  After I started the job, I kept wondering where my interview had taken place because that really nice area was nowhere to be found.  Maybe they had a holodeck or something else state-of-the-art?  That is actually a hilarious concept as this place was the furthest thing from technologically advanced. 

Let me start by saying that after all the W-2 or 4 (I can never remember which) signing, etc., I was shown to my desk.  I like to exaggerate (duh), but I’m not in this situation.  My computer looked exactly like the one we had in the school library in 1985.  I’m not joking, you guys.  At all.  I’m stone cold serious.  Right down to the floppy disk drive.  Not the little hard disk kind.  The big floppy ones that you have to flip that little switch down to keep the disk in the drive.  Keep laughing.  I mean there was no turning back at this point, so I just silently cursed myself for being so hasty in resigning and booted up the computer.  Thirteen minutes later, I was good to go.  Thirteen.  Minutes.  At that point, I figured that there must be something seriously wrong, so I called the IT Department.  After a little while, a very nice man came to my desk, took one look at my computer and said it was fine as he had just configured it for me earlier that morning.  Now, I don’t want to sound mean because this man was nothing but nice, but I got the overall feeling that his last job title was actually “Sanitation Supervisor.”  Later I found out that, not only was he an experienced IT guy, but that he had actually worked at…wait for it…NASA.  I wanted to ask if they were sure he was a tech there because he could very well have been a janitor there.  I mean, did he actually use the words “computer” or “tech” or “IT” or was he very general?  You can’t fault a guy for not fessing up to something that was just assumed.  A lot of people wouldn’t.  But I was apparently the only person who thought this person wasn’t on the same level as [insert name of super genius here].  I mean, he worked at NASA for God’s sake.  Dumbo. 

Unfortunately for me, this was not the only “issue” here.  The other staff members were weird.  Some were downright unfriendly (more like mean).  Some were super irritating.  One very nice attorney would walk by my desk every single day and say “Good morning, Ellie!”  The first time I just assumed that he was talking to someone else.  Several days later I realized that he had just gotten my name wrong.  By this point, though, I just didn’t care.  I thought about doing some really bad things and blaming it on that damn Ellie.  “Ellie’s such a troublemaker, isn’t she?  I hate her.”

Also, when I was hired, I thought I was going to be working in an area that was slightly different from what I had done before, but similar enough that I’d be able to fall right into work.  Ummm…wrong again.  It was like thinking I was going to the Home Economics Department, but instead got put in the Economics Department.  Well, not that different, but different enough that I’d need help getting up to speed.  This, of course, meant that I needed extensive training by the other staff members in this department.  Starting from the ground up.  The first lesson I needed was in filing.  Wait, what?  Filing?  First off, we had a sizable Filing Department.  Second, I learned my alphabet a while ago.  I can also put numbers into chronological order.  Ascending AND descending.  I’m that good.  Oh no, there was much more required.  One of the women came to my desk with some labels and showed me how to put them on the folder.  Again, no, I’m not high right now.  I’m serious.  I just silently laughed it off and realized that although this was ridiculous, maybe their filing system was slightly different and they needed certain things in certain places.  I don’t know.  I was trying to stay positive.  But the woman was talking to me like I was God’s little clown.  First….you put the label…here.  Really, lady?  Do I have to lick the back first?  Good grief.  After her example, she gave me the labels and said she would watch me put the next one on.  By this point, I was getting really irritated.  I grabbed the stupid labels and started putting one on when she interrupted me and said, in all seriousness, “Whoa, whoa, whoa…a tiiiiiiiiny more to the left” and moved my hands – what’s the smallest measurement – a tiniestimeter (I’m so bad with the metric system).  Yeah, she physically moved my hands a tiniestimeter to the left or right and said, “Riiiiiiiiight…here.”  I’m about to lose myself at this point.  What I do next I’m not that proud of.  Its childish factor alone is pretty sad, but my sisters love this part so much that I know I can’t leave it out.  I’m sorry if I offend anyone with my actions.  Skip down to the next paragraph if you have a weak stomach.  Anyway, she said to move it a freaking tiny bit over and somehow the page of labels floated (almost in slow motion) to the floor.  I excused myself and bent over to get the labels, which had conveniently fallen under my desk.  That afforded me a millisecond to do the stupidest, yet necessary to my health, thing.  I started furiously giving her the finger under the desk with a look of sheer rage on my face.  Like, I’m going to set you on fire rage.  It had to be intense because it could only last a millisecond.  I had to get it all out, compose myself, and sit up pretending to be totally jazzed about my next lesson, which was probably breathing correctly or blinking.

Sadly, that’s not the part of the story that I’m most embarrassed by.  That was actually funny.  This next part just paints me as a non-team player and I really am one.  “When it’s time to lean, it’s time to clean,” my dad would say.  But, after about a month of this place, I realized that I was going to stroke out if I stayed there another minute.  I came into the office one day, turned on my computer, waited thirteen minutes (of course), sent a message to my office administer saying something along the lines of “I quit.  I’ve left my key card on my desk.  If you need anything, feel free to contact me via U.S. mail, ” stood up, and walked out the door.  I still can’t believe I put in the part about the U.S. mail.  It sounds straight up crazy now.  But I know that I wanted to make it clear that I didn’t want anyone to call me.  Ever.  Remember, I’m a total wimp.  To me, confrontation is on par with [something ridiculously awful in your mind – death?].  Plus, I had already begged and begged to be hired back at my old firm.  It worked.  I promised the big boss that I’d publicly eat crow at any time he called upon me to do so.  He has done just that a few times.  It doesn’t bother me because I thank my lucky stars they let me come back.

You’d think that was the end of the story, but it’s not. After being back at my job for about seven years (it’s depressing to say that), that other firm relocated.  “Oh no, Lizzie, where…” you ask?  Exactly three floors down from my current office.  Not just in the same building, but in the same set of elevator banks as our office.  That means that every single day when I get into the elevator, I have to be conscious of who comes in.  It’s been a couple of years since they’ve been in our building and I never saw anyone that I recognized.  Until a couple of months ago.  Who, of all people, walks into the elevator with me?  The label lady.  She looked at me for a second and I quickly looked at my iPhone as if I’d suddenly gotten the most important and life-saving message of my life (CANNONBALL!).  If she recognized me, she never said a word.  Thankfully.  I don’t know if I could pull off the whole Ellie thing to her face.


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