Blog, Essays & Art

A working path. 04/27/04

The new girl at work is so enthusiastic it's frightening.

Was I ever like that? Maybe, in the very beginning. But things have settled into a pattern here, they know what to expect from me, I know how to do every task I'm assigned.

It's a rather weird pattern, though. There are Super-Busy days when I do the job of three people, putting the layout of the paper together, designing ads, being the events calendar editor as well. Then there are the lazy days, lazy weeks even, when I try to look busy, because nobody is giving me anything to do.

No balance. Feast or famine. Days where everything's RushRushRush and hope everything turns out OK because I'm throwing it all together at the last minute. Or days of hoping that maybe I'll be given the stories and ads in a timely fashion, and I can take the time to double-check stuff and do a good job with every last detail. But that rarely happens and I sit here checking the e-mail every 5 minutes hoping for work to come in for me to do. Dreading having to come in to work on the weekend, knowing nothing will likely be ready for me until then but just hoping, hoping that they won't procrastinate this time and I'll have Sunday free. To get the paper to the printer before the Monday afternoon deadline would be wonderful. To spend Monday morning tying up loose ends and proofreading, instead of assembling 75% of the paper at the last minute and only me to get it all done... that would be grand.

I'ts a slow day, a slow week, obviously. Things will start to get crazy around here Thursday, maybe Friday. At least the owner-editor is out of the country. She can only throw temper tantrums and hurl accusations and insults through e-mail and phone calls now, we don't have to deal with her in person until late next week. I have decided that she will henceforth be referred to in my writings here as "Jabba the Hutt", due to remarkable similarities in behavior and appearance.

We all breathe easier when Jabba is out of the office. And it is scary that she deals with her family as badly as she treats her employees. Even her own mother, a sweet little 78 year old lady, has asked, "Did the madwoman call for me today?"  I would like to figure out eventually what brand of crazy she is. Is this Borderline Personality Disorder? Some sort of complex? Is she Schizophrenic, like my mother? Is there some sort of medication that she hasn't been taking when she unexpectedly explodes at us?

I really do like my work. Psychotic boss notwithstanding. Weekend hours are a drag, but I can handle them for now. And I don't expect to ever earn what my skills are worth, here. But how many people can say, "I had fun at work today, designing a logo for a new company, and putting together an ad layout that the customer absolutely loved"? I am lucky.

One of the unexpected benefits of working here is that, as events calendar editor, I get sent promotional CDs from bands that are playing in the area. Today I have discovered the best Celtic/Modern Rock band I've ever heard. Seven Nations. I have been playing this 5-song CD over and over again and trying to learn the lyrics to the ballads. But I will turn it off when the manager gets back in the office. He is pretty high-strung as we approach next week's deadline and I don't think he needs to hear bagpipes just now.




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