First Day

Today is my first day at the new job. I think the only way it could have turned out worse than my first day at the last job is if they were to physically torture me upon walking through the front door.

No women work here. Apparently we need to “find one” in order to program the voice-mail message.

All the guys are wearing shorts. Two of them are wearing Cubs jerseys, which caused me to take a step back. I already knew I wouldn’t be able to go the entire day without being grilled about whether or not I’m a fan. I didn’t even make it through lunch, which people eat in the conference room while watching the sports report on a big screen tee vee. For the most part, when asked if I was a Cubs fan, I was able to hide my scorn for sports in general by answering “I’m from LA.” One of the owner’s particularly enthusiastic sons (who came in also wearing a Cubs jersey) condescendingly asked “so, you’re a Dodgers fan?” His disdain was palpable. Not only might I not care for sports at all, I might be a Dodgers fan, which is effectively the same thing. I gave an inarticulate grunt in response to his non-question.

The other guys are spending lunch at their stations listening to itunes or are playing against one another on the playstation on another large screen tee vee.

I admire how this place is structured. There are sanctioned outlets for aggression, unlike another workplace I know.

Thumbs up.

Addendum: The Office Psycho

Because there always is one. At least this guy seems harmless. I didn’t hear him tick all morning until a few minutes ago I hear a high-pitched voice start screaming from the kitchen. “I’ve had it! One of you guys take out the trash. I’m sick of doing it.” There was silence. He started up again. Finally, I stood up and stuck my head out of my office and said that I’d do it. Everyone else shouted me down, yelling at me not to do it. I went and did it anyway.

You should have seen him “teach” me to take out the trash. It was pedantry incarnate. He opened up a cabinet and said, “this is where we keep the sponges and that’s where we keep trash bags. First, you take one out. … One of you guys get over here and do the second part!!!!” No one budged. I removed a trash bag. “When you’ve taken out the trash you come back here for the second part, and, uhm…” “… and put in a new trash bag?” I inquired. He nodded affirmatively. The clean freak walked me to where in the building we put the trash and kept breathlessly thanking me. It was WAY over the top. He was so grateful that I took out the fucking trash that he promised me to help me anytime I ever need to find anything on the server.


3 Responses to “First Day”

  1. Mi Kyung Says:

    now this is gold. so, what exactly is this den of testosterone supposed to be? and what exactly are you supposed to do?

  2. darknessatnoon Says:

    I do what I do at any job. I dig holes all day and fill them up.

  3. Victoria J. van Dijk Says:

    What to do if you’re from Los Angeles and don’t give a fig about things that matter to jocks:I actually do get the “favorite team” question, asked by some not-so-bright male students, usually during the world series time of year. They, of course, love either the Yankees or the Mets (and I suspect the choice of love object in this case has some sociological significance, but I’m not sure why except that the Yankees fans seem to have IQs near room temperature and Mets fans’ IQs seem to be around freezing). They honestly imagine that I have some emotional response to any sporting event involving UCLA, and, yes, they assume that anyone from LA worships the Dodgers. No, I tell them, I’m an Angels fan. Now, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (that’s their absurd official name) are a team lacking definition. I mean, how does anyone respond to them? And, for that matter, who is this team that can’t decide where it belongs? And what can you say about a team whose name signifies holiness vis-a-vis macho team names like Diamondbacks, Giants, Marlins, Braves, etc.? It’s the best answer possible. No one knows what to say in response.By the way, while I was doing my teaching gig in LA, I would sometimes watch the Angels on television, particularly when I was feeling out of sorts–which is much of the time. I found the very idea of empathy with a team that would probably lose the game weirdly energizing.

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