moon_custafer: (Default)
 So, I am once again in employment. It's for a company that manufactures binoculars, night-vision goggles and other visual equipment for various military and police forces, which feels a bit weird in the current climate -- we don't make guns, but we make the sights for the guns. OTOH, since I don't actually dispute that my country and others should have their own armies, and those armies equipment, so refusing on principle to work for a manufacturer of such would be like refusing to work for a butcher shop while still eating meat.

In any case, I suspect the job is less unethical, when you get right down to it,  than the one I did years ago writing personal profiles for real-estate agents.

The company itself strikes me as rather interesting -- founded by a Russian immigrant, they got charged a few years back with scamming the US military. The lawyer they hired was a guy from Toronto, son of Hungarian-Jewish holocaust survivors, who mostly did civil-rights cases; and after a long trial (during the course of which he had a heart attack) he exonerated them completely. I think there was some evidence they'd been framed by a rival manufacturer or something. They subsequently hired him as CEO. I chatted with him a bit yesterday on the morning coffee break. He reminds me of Stanley Tucci. Oh, and he's also director of the Jane Goodall Foundation. 

I have no idea what I'm letting myself in for (other than a lot of proofreading, which is what I've been doing the past couple of days), but I expect it will at least be interesting.
moon_custafer: (Default)
Job interview seemed to go reasonably well -- the "interview" part was shorter than usual, and I think I did ok on the "prove you actually have the skills" part (photograph a product, clean the pictures up in Photoshop, layout a spec sheet in InDesign.)

The product was a pair of range-finder binoculars: this is a company that makes night-vision goggles, heat-imaging equipment, and laser rifle sights; mostly for various military and police forces. I probably ought to be wrestling with my conscience over this, but really I suspect the job I used to have writing promotional articles for real-estate agents was ethically worse.

I did a little research on the company beforehand -- if they are evil, they're at least interestingly evil -- like, Ra's al Ghul-type stuff. There may be chimps armed with laser beams in my future if they hire me.
moon_custafer: (Default)
Made it through my first week at my new job. The woman training me is moving to Quebec and today was her last day working there, so on Monday I take over with four-and-a-half days' training. Eek. I'm hoping they'll be tolerant for the first little while.

The dress code is pretty relaxed -- the person moving to Quebec has hair dyed vivid purple and magenta. I don't lean towards "casual," per se, but I'm not so good at the low-key professional look either, so it's nice to know I can dress fanciful. Actually, I got excited enough that this evening I cut my own hair, meaning to only take an inch off the ends, and seem to have ended up with a chin-length bob. Still, it's nice to have a change of look when starting something new.



Getting paid will be nice too.
moon_custafer: (acme)
Nice try, LMG Global -- sending me a reply to my job application, trying to set up an interview. Took me a few minutes to figure out you weren’t on the list of companies I’d sent my resume; and a few more to scroll past the fake positive reviews from “former employees” to the ones that warn people off of what sounds like a pyramid scheme. Now I just need to figure out how you got my contact info to begin with.
moon_custafer: (acme)
I think I'm being gaslighted

I think I've mentioned the co-worker who keeps needling me and talking down to me? I'd already upped my anti-anxiety meds because of her, but last week I was stressed out because of the credit card incident, so I was more on-edge at work than usual: Wednesday I’d noticed the printer was out of tabloid-sized paper, and I looked around but couldn’t find any, so I’d asked her to add it to the list of office supplies to pick up. The next day another co-worker was also looking for tabloid. When I said I thought we were out, he insisted we couldn’t be, looked in the same cabinet I’d searched yesterday – and found some, on the very bottom under a bunch of cardboard.
First co-worker said to me: “Did you hear that – (Second co-worker) found it.”
“On the bottom shelf, under a bunch of cardboard boxes,” I added, not wanting to look totally foolish.
“That’s what all the kids say,” she replied sweetly. At which point I couldn’t keep myself from swearing under my breath and hurling the apple I was about to eat across the room.
She didn't seem to notice, and I prayed she hadn't.

On Friday I snapped again (not at her, I was cursing myself for not handling a phone call as well as I could have); afterwards she asked our new manager if she could talk to him alone, and today she passed on a message from him that I'll be fired if I behave inappropriately a third time. I feel like the kid who the teachers don't notice is being bullied until she lashes out, and then their reaction is to punish her.

Think is, I've seen this pattern before at this office, with this same co-worker -- when I first started, there was a woman who was always freaking out and screaming at everyone, and was eventually let go for it. On at least one occasion, I heard her try to protest that she was being bullied, and noticed for the first time that she was always being quietly baited by the woman who's doing the same thing to me now. While she really did have issues, I don't know if they'd have been as bad if she hadn't been driven over the edge. I suppose if I fall, she'll move on to the newest co-worker, who she's currently being nice to. And I don't know what to do about any of this -- the manager has only been here a couple of months, so he has no way of knowing how I usually behave, and he already seems to have fallen into the pattern of communicating with me through her, rather than speaking with me directly.

Meanwhile, Andrew's not well today, and begged me to stay home with him, so I've claimed to be sick myself -- it's plausible, as a couple of people were down with the flu last week -- but I'm paranoid it won't be believed and will turn into another strike against me.
moon_custafer: (acme)
I hate making mistakes at work. And I really hate making mistakes in front of my co-workers. And I especially hate making mistakes in front of that co-worker who talks to me in stern-mommy-voice anyway, because it gives her reason to do so. That last bit happened several times today, even though in retrospect some of them weren’t me being stupid, but her asking questions like “why is b more than a?” when it finally turned out, after several attempts on my part to answer this, that what she *really* wanted to know was “Why can’t I find b on this website?”
moon_custafer: (acme)
So, there’s this guy at work who started out by making comments that were annoying and unfunny, but not actually offensive. He’s since escalated to crass, and is now edging into creepy.

I’m not sure who to complain to, or how, as he doesn’t make them to me; possibly because I try to keep all communications with him brief, work-related, and in my most low-pitched and unfeminine voice. Also we can’t afford to lose the guy; he’s also the brother-in-law of one of the owners; and he doesn’t usually say any of these things in front of them or the male employees (which convinces me that he knows exactly what he’s doing and that he shouldn’t be doing it.)

However, I’m constantly cringing at the things he says to my female co-workers, especially the one who joined a few months ago. She talks back to him, and I can’t tell her to be offended if she’s not. Actually, from the whispered conversations she has with my other female co-worker, I think she is bothered by him, but believes in handling it by “giving as good as she gets.” Based on past experience, that doesn’t work with trolls, and I suspect the guy’s reaction is to think “Good – she’s playing along – that means I have her permission to keep talking like this.”
moon_custafer: (acme)
I report to too many people at work, and the pressure and the confusion are starting to get to me, causing me to make mistakes and look incompetent in front of everybody. Today my boss snapped “why don’t you know these things?!” when he asked me if I’d sent out those letters last week and I got flustered and had to check my emails. I wish I’d had the nerve to point out that he was asking me about a task I did seven days ago, since which at least five people have been giving me dozens of other tasks, so it’s no longer the first memory at the top of my head. I just hope I don't get fired.
moon_custafer: (acme)
Some time after three this afternoon, I looked up to see a bird crash into one of our showroom windows, from the inside. It picked itself up and flapped around, hurling itself against the windows again. It was a starling, or a grackle; I can never remember which is which. I don't think it was a psychopomp.

I propped open the front door, and tried to capture the bird or shoo it out, but it just flew to whatever side of the room I wasn't on. I tried to lure it with cookie crumbs, but it didn't care. Its beak was open. Perhaps it was panting. I went back to my desk. After a while the bird perched on top of a refrigerator. Every so often it would tap the metal grill with its beak.

Mary went home for the day. Mary Ann hadn't come in today (migraine). Udi had been oblivious to the bird from the start. After a while the bird flew over to one of the gas barbecue grills and pecked at some of the crumbs I'd left there. I went and got another cookie, crumbled it and made a trail of crumbs leading from the corner where the bird was to the open door. Then I sat at my desk.

After a few minutes, I saw the bird on the carpet pecking at the crumbs. A few minutes later, it was halfway to the door, then out the door. I got up and closed the door behind it, and picked the leftover crumbs out of the carpet.
moon_custafer: (acme)
I think I pulled a muscle in my neck this morning.

Accounting (AKA the lady who knows how stuff works) is off today. So is my boss.

Someone who was away on business last week is still away, and will likely be away for another few days, because his passport got stolen.

A guy walked in this afternoon, asked for “the Boss” and gave evasive answers until I gave in and called out my boss’s son (because for all I knew this guy *was* one of their regular customers) whereupon the guy hands him a line about his car having run out of gas and can he have some cash, he’ll pay it back, honest. The boss’s son, being a good guy, gave him a fiver, but I felt awful for subjecting him to panhandling because I can’t interrogate people (and something tells me that if a similar situation arose and I *did* act suspicious, *that* guy would turn out to be our biggest customer and be angry at me for being rude.)
moon_custafer: (Default)
Backstory -- one of the projects I'm involved with at work is an appliance catalogue. We've been using two installation diagrams we got from the manufacturer, but they're (a) blurry and (b) don't really match each other in style. I've been cropping them and pasting labels over them for a month now.

Me, early yesterday afternoon: "Hey (My Boss), should we just bite the bullet and have me redraw these diagrams from scratch? I think at this point it'll be less work than what we've been doing."

My Boss: "I didn't want to make you do it, but yeah."

Three hours later:

Me: "Here are the new diagrams."

My Boss looks at them and laughs hysterically.

My Boss: "Sorry, I'm laughing because these are so much better it's ridiculous. Why did we suffer with the old ones for so long? (Pause) Now I kind of want to show these to (the manufacturer) and say 'Nyanyananyanah.' "

It really is amazing to work at a job I'm suited to. The only thing is that I go in for jury duty next Tuesday, and may be off for several weeks if I'm selected. My workplace is short-staffed as it is, and I hope they can cope (I'll try and explain that to the court, but I gather they don't usually let one make excuses. The other annoying thing is that I actually think it would be pretty interesting to serve on a jury if I weren't worried about missing work.) Guess I'll have to see if we can get the catalogue put to bed by the end of Monday.
moon_custafer: (Default)
Backstory -- one of the projects I'm involved with at work is an appliance catalogue. We've been using two installation diagrams we got from the manufacturer, but they're (a) blurry and (b) don't really match each other in style. I've been cropping them and pasting labels over them for a month now.

Me, early yesterday afternoon: "Hey (My Boss), should we just bite the bullet and have me redraw these diagrams from scratch? I think at this point it'll be less work than what we've been doing."

My Boss: "I didn't want to make you do it, but yeah."

Three hours later:

Me: "Here are the new diagrams."

My Boss looks at them and laughs hysterically.

My Boss: "Sorry, I'm laughing because these are so much better it's ridiculous. Why did we suffer with the old ones for so long? (Pause) Now I kind of want to show these to (the manufacturer) and say 'Nyanyananyanah.' "

It really is amazing to work at a job I'm suited to. The only thing is that I go in for jury duty next Tuesday, and may be off for several weeks if I'm selected. My workplace is short-staffed as it is, and I hope they can cope (I'll try and explain that to the court, but I gather they don't usually let one make excuses. The other annoying thing is that I actually think it would be pretty interesting to serve on a jury if I weren't worried about missing work.) Guess I'll have to see if we can get the catalogue put to bed by the end of Monday.
moon_custafer: (wrong picture)
Yesterday one of my bosses brought me a picture of a stove with an ugly purple oven door and asked if I could photoshop it back to stainless steel. Spent about ten minutes working on this (and got it pretty convincing) while another person emailed the manufacturer asking if they had an unretouched copy (the stove looked as though the purple was just a photoshop layer.) We got a rather snippy replay that the picture was real and they don't even make a stove with a stainless steel door.

At least in this job I'm being asked to use skills I actually possess.
moon_custafer: (bat country)
As usual, I'm simultaneously pleased and nervous. I think I'm going to start as the receptionist, but they're a small company and have indicated I'll be expected to wear many hats.

I've already emailed my apologies to the temp agency regarding the other job interview I was going to go to on Wednesday. Never rains but it, well, drizzles heavily.

Update

Oct. 1st, 2012 05:51 pm
moon_custafer: (poetrycrime)
So, the temp agency doesn't know why I was let go either, but suspect it was due to my having been off sick the week before (even though I'd brought in a doctor's note as requested.) Not sure of the legality of that, but suspect attempting a wrongful-dismissal action would be too much money and effort to be worth it. The agency is sending me on an interview for another assignment tomorrow (though it's telemarketing, so I kind of hope that they don't take me and that the other place they sent my resume to does.)
moon_custafer: (Default)
So, I just got home and checked my email to find a message from my temp agency saying, "Assignment's over! Don't bother coming in on Monday!" I've sent a reply saying I'll be in on Monday to return my security pass and retrieve my shoes from under my desk.

Wish I knew if this was (a) punishment for having been off sick last week, (b)just a three-month contract and the length was never actually specified, or (c) because there were so few phone calls this week, they decided to cut a bunch of people. No one at work gave me any hint. Maybe they didn't know.

It's not like I liked the work at all, (and every time a supervisor spoke to me I figured it was the axe anyway) but now I have to calm green_trilobite down because damn, we needed the money. I'm trying to tell him there's nothing we can do right now, and we were going to sell some dvds over the weekend anyway, and I'll go get another job that doesn't require me to triple my anti-anxiety meds to do it.

At least I don't have to cover property taxes this month.

Sigh

Aug. 24th, 2012 12:31 pm
moon_custafer: (Default)
Didn't get the job that would have involved less telephone work (and incidentally, would have offered benefits, but the prospect of less time on the phone was what really appealed to me.)

Thursday

Aug. 16th, 2012 07:51 am
moon_custafer: (Default)
Staying home with a headache today -- on the positive side, I may have an offer of a better job than the one I have now -- touch wood -- and this will give me a day free for a phone interview if they want to do one.

Last night's dreams included a character named Oscar something, who was sort of a cross between The Shadow and Weird Al Yankovic; he was a geeky kid who had a secret life as a caped, revolver-weilding vigilante.

Another bit I can recall involved my being in a mall where it seemed to be simultaneously Chinese New Year's and the anniversary of Star Wars -- there were a lot of altars/renactments of the Monkey King battling Darth Vader.
moon_custafer: (Default)
Sometimes at the Dayjob, we get calls from the States - people who hit the wrong option on a phone menu, or somehow got our number instead of the American call centre. We redirect them.

Today I spoke to a man who -- I'm not sure what state he was calling from but his first name was General Lee, so I'm going to guess it was one of the southern ones. Weird thing was, from his accent I would've guessed he was African-American, and I thought it odd he'd be named for a Confederate general.

I don't know whether I'm just no good at distinguishing accents, or if this is one of those "American History/Culture is Complicated" things.

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