A Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day

The adult version. Alexander had it easy.

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If you read my last blog, you know that things are not going well at my current job.  Nor have they been working for temp agencies in general of late.

I currently work for a lady who I believe to be addicted to serious prescription pain meds.  She has told me she takes morphine, but I don’t know if it’s true, if that’s all, or what the deal is with that.  She can be so contradictory in what she says, I have a hard time believing her anymore.  I just know that she shows definite signs of a person on drugs.

She’s is either exhausted, or doesn’t feel well-or both, every day.  I think she’s been in a good mood and feeling well 3 or 4 days in the last 7 weeks.  She comes in late almost everyday, and leaves early.  I don’t think she’s worked a full day since I started.  Maybe once or twice, but that’s it.  My biggest complaint is that she just won’t train me.  She will give me the bare minimum, and then go outside to smoke.  (She literally takes a smoke break about ten times a day.)  So, I have to keep going back to her to ask her “what about this,” or “what do I do here?” all the time.   I believe she finds it annoying to be bothered to help me; not understanding that if she would just make the investment, she wouldn’t have to be bothered so much.  (I guess.)   There are times she acts like she has already shown me something, and gets snippy with me, when she hasn’t shown me diddley-squat.

She goes around acting like she is SO busy and overwhelmed, yet she has time to take a million smoke breaks, come in late, and leave early.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

Last Friday, she took the whole day off, and I was on my own.  Needless to say, it didn’t go so well; and I ended up in tears.   I figured a customer would probably tell her, so I just told her myself.  This was met, not with concern in how to help me, or figure out what I need.  But rather, “This was only one day.  What are you going to do when I am gone a week?”   Despite my attempts to minimize her comment, it was met with only one big, “Hmmm.”    Not reassuring, “What can I do to help?”  Or, “What do you need more training on?”  Nothing like that.  Just a condescending, “Hmm…”

Monday, 06/19/17:
I went in to work this morning with my nerves on edge.  I was breathing, but I felt more like I was holding my breath.  My whole body seemed ready to respond to an attack at a moments notice.  My arms and hands felt tingly, almost like my body wanted to shake in fear; but it wasn’t quite there.

I arrived early and sat at my desk doing busy work, waiting for Jan to come in and drop the bomb on me.  When the clock said 08:30, I told myself, any minute.  Then 09:00 came, and still no Jan.  I wasn’t concerned.  Jan has done that plenty of times before.  But I saw Fred pull in the lot in his Hummer, then turn around and leave again with the production manager, Bruce.  I had never seen that happen before.

My mind began to race, and my imagination ran wild.  I imagined that Jan was at a restaurant getting the table and Fred and Bruce were joining her so they could have a little meeting.  The topic of discussion?  Firing me.  They were asking Bruce if he could help out with the inventory and such to help ease the load a few days until Jan got someone new in there.  Hey, I wouldn’t put it past them! 

At 09:15, Fred and Bruce returned and went back to the shop.  Jan still wasn’t there, nor had she made any contact with me.  I was now wondering if she was ok.  Finally, at a quarter to ten, she waltzed in.  I said good morning to her and she would barely make eye contact with me; and gave me only a small wave of her hand in response.  Great, she’s in a bad mood.  Again. 

I find myself doing “busy” work, because I don’t really have anything to do.  I haven’t since about 08:30.   I went out to the shop and checked some parts we needed and verified it with the guys, just to make sure.  I then sent Jan a message on Slack telling her the guys need a hydro valve ASAP, and I needed to know where they were purchased from so I could either go get them or get them ordered.  Then I got online and tried to read up some more on some of the machines and how they work, etc.

I supposed there are a lot of people who would think that because I am overweight, that I am lazy and love that down time.  You would be wrong.  I would much rather keep busy than watch a clock.  Especially when it’s only 8:30 in the morning.

I kept thinking for a while that at any moment, Jill was going to call me over to her desk and give me my walking papers; but she never did.

The day went pretty much like any other day.  I went to pick up the parts we needed and came back to find all the time sheets on my desk so that I could go around and get signatures from the 3 other employees they have besides me.   Jan saw me out in the shop doing this and said, “Oh, the time sheets.  I spent half the morning doing those.”   “You spent half the morning just getting here!  Then you sat at your desk with Fred and ate breakfast like you normally do.  Then you took an hour to do 4 time sheets.  Yeah, you must be just wiped out from all that work. 

I kept my mouth shut.

I went to lunch and decided maybe I could relax…a little.  If she was going to fire me, it probably would not be today.  And, given the fact that she wants to take a week long vacation in August, she would most likely be making an unwise choice to fire me and try to start over and try to get a new girl trained by then.  Maybe I could stop being so worried.  Maybe I have until August.  But I wouldn’t hold my breath that it could be any longer than that.  Especially if that week goes anything like last Friday did.

Later that afternoon, I ask Jan how to find out what the shipping price was for an order I had shipped directly from Graco to a customer.  You look it up in the FedEx website she says.  I wait for further instruction.  I wave my hand towards my computer, indicating I am already on the FedEx page, and she stands there saying nothing.   “So…how do I do it?”  I ask her.

“I’ll worry about that later,” she says, and turns to walk away.  “I have too much to do.”

What she had to do, was visit with her friend, she calls “mom.”   “Mom” shows up about twice a week around 3:00 and stays until Jan leaves.   Mom was there, and Jan would rather visit with her than show me how to do my job.   That’s how Jan rolls.  Why should I be surprised? 

I realize that what I thought was going to be a great job, really isn’t so great; and I ask myself why I am staying.  Why do I even want to?  I am not happy, and I am stressed.  I don’t have the tools I need to do my job, and I work for a couple of Fruit Loops who find fault in and complain about their employees all the time.  I get yelled at and snapped at, more importantly.  I find myself wondering what they must say about me.   I have no doubt they have plenty to say about the stupid, lazy, fat girl.  Especially Fred.  He calls everyone an effin idiot all the time.

I have always been the girl who stayed too long.  I have found myself in relationships I knew were just not healthy, let alone thriving, and just kept on trying to make it work.  For what?  Why was I always doing that?

Here I am again working for a man who has told me to shut up twice already when I had said nothing that would warrant it, who complains about everyone and calls them idiots; and who orders me around like a child in trouble, adding, “Now”‘ to what ever he wants me to do.  I work for a woman who doesn’t want to train me, likes to slam things around when she gets frustrated, tells her customers to go to hell (and other things) behind their backs, and calls other employees stupid herself.

No.  I don’t really like it here.  I like that it pays better than anything I have found so far.  I like being able to pay my bills, and that’s it.  But there has to be something else.  Something where the management can at least act a little more professional.

Then, I feel guilty.  If I find a job before August and leave, then Jan may not be able to take her vacation; and she’d be mad.  God only knows that woman needs a vacation, but I doubt that would change the way she acts much.  And why should I suffer for that woman just so she can take her vacation and then fire me as soon as she gets back?  That woman will throw anyone under the bus in a heartbeat, and here I am worried about ruining her vacation?  And how is it my fault that Fred can’t be bothered to staff this place appropriately?   

That’s how ridiculous this is.

She would be hot if I up and quit right now, there’s no doubt about it.   But I have to wonder; is that really my problem?  I feel stuck.

Wednesday, 06/21/17:
Today has been the worse day ever…so far.  I have barely walked in the door and am still getting my computer up and running when the phone rings at 08:03.  It’s a guy named Bryan we have just built a rig for, and are actually in the process of building another for him as well.  He’s a BIG customer.  His rigs are decked out with chrome everywhere and full of state of the art equipment.  His rigs are high dollar.  Aside from his two rigs, he’s dang near the only business we’ve had since I’ve been there.  There was one other small rig and a cart, and some other piddley stuff; and of course, repairs at $85 an hour plus parts, and the parts we have been selling to other customers.  That’s it.

Ryan asks for Fred or Jan.  Of course neither of them are there.  He tells me that they had a hose burst and are down on the new rig we just built them.  He’s wanting to know what we are going to do about it, and when.  “My guys were supposed to be up and running on a job at 7:00 a.m. and they are just sitting there.”  He says to me.  He’s being nice, but you can tell he wants a resolution to this problem as soon as possible.  I tell him that I will grab one of them just as soon as they come in.  I know Fred won’t be bothered with a call, so I know I am depending on Jan.  I pray she doesn’t wait til nine or nine-thirty to come in.  I decide to text her just in case.  She texts back a couple of short minutes later and merely says, “I spoke to him.”

Jan walks in about 8:40 and makes sure I know she had a “really bad night.”  She goes on to explain that she was getting ready for bed and was trying to change her clothes and got twisted up in them: falling on her night stand, hurting her leg and her shoulder and breaking two of her acrylic nails off.  She holds up her hand for me to see her nails; apparently the only real damage from the fall.  Obviously the only thing she seems concerns about.

The phone keeps ringing with orders, and I get the stuff and ship them out.  It’s been a busy morning.

A bit before 10:00, Jan gets a call from her friend she calls mom.   She’s been in a car accident, and has no real family to speak of, so Jan has to leave and go get her.  Right after she leaves, I hear Fred on the phone with Jan asking her, “Where is it?” and her replying, “It’s on my desk, written on my notebook.”   A few seconds later Fred replies, “Oh, here it is.  I’ll make a copy of it.”   Of course, I have no idea what they are talking about.

About a minute later, Jan texts me a number that is several digits long.  Then another text saying “he is needing to order some parts.”   I guess that means it’s a phone number.  I wonder how she has this number and knows this, since the phones have not been forwarded to her.  He must have called her cell directly and she just passed it off to me.  Should be easy enough, I guess. 

WRONG!  I tell the guy that Jan has asked me to call him and that I guess he needed some parts.  He affirms that this is so.    I ask him his name and he tells me Troy.

“Ok.  What can I help you with, Troy?” I ask him.

“Well, I soaked my spray gun in a crock pot of glycol ether, and I’m not sure what happened, but all my parts that were aluminum just melted or disintegrated.  I don’t think the crock put was too old.  I’ve only used it a few times.  I’m not sure what happened really.”

I listen to him, as he kind of stumbles around the little mishap he has had.

“So, I need you to give me a price quote on all the parts that are aluminum on that gun, so I know how much that would be.   I would also need a new trigger.”  He adds.

I sit there stunned.  I don’t even know what all the parts are, let alone what parts are made of aluminum and what aren’t.  I don’t know what to say.

“Since you are new, you probably won’t even know what parts I would need.”  He says.   “You may need to get with Jan on this.”

“Yes, I would.”  I tell him.  I have no idea where to even start.   “But I will get with her and then get back to you.”

“Ok, thanks.”  He says.  And the call is ended.  You have GOT to be kidding me!

I finish up some paperwork, and finally around 10:40 decide to take my break.  I hadn’t even realized it was so late.   I decide to step outside and check my phone for any messages and look at Facebook.  I haven’t even been out there five minutes and Fred walks out.

“I put a paper on your desk for some oil we need.  Call around wherever you can and find me some.  I need it right now.”  He says, as he barely even stops to tell me this.  So much for taking my break.

I go to my desk to find a photo copy of a page from Jan’s notebook that says:

Mattei Oil Aaron
8000F2

Great.  That gives me almost nothing to go on.   I am not sure what I am even supposed to be asking for.  I have no idea where to call either.  I get out my notebook with a few cheat sheets in it and begin skimming the page of places they order things from.  Nothing that mentions where to order things like oil.

I decide to call Premium Fluid & Power.  (Based merely on the fact that they have the word “fluid” in their title.)  Mike answers the phone.  He’s a good guy and has helped me with orders for connectors before.  I tell him the minuscule information I have and ask if he can help me.  He tells me that Mattei makes compressors, and that it’s 8000-F2, not 8000F2.  He tells me it’s a rotor oil. He then tells me he is going to check and see what they have.

About that time the security alarm in the office starts making this high pitched, constant scream.  I tell him I need to go ask my boss what’s going on with it while he is checking.  I walk out of my office into the shop to find Fred, holding the phone to my ear in case Mike comes back on the line.  I tell Fred the alarm is going off in my office.

“Did you find that oil for me?”  He asks.
“Not yet, he’s checking.”  I reply
“I need that oil right now.”  He says.   “Who are you talking to?”

I tell him Premium Fluid & Power.

“Tell him I need it right away.”  Fred yells back at me as I begin to head back to my office.

“That guy really needs to take it down a few notches.”  Mike says.
“I know.”  I tell him.
“He’s really out of control.”  Mike says.
“Yep.  Believe me, I know.”  I reply.

I get back to my desk and sit down at my desk to write down the information Mike was giving me.  They don’t have it but he thinks he knows who can help me.  He tells me there’s an equivalent and what it’s called and he tells me he is looking for the number I need to call.

Fred comes in and messes with the alarm to get it shut off and starts to walk out the office door.  Then he stops short in the doorway.  He turns to me and says, “Do you have an answer for me on that oil?”

“They don’t have it, but he’s getting me info for someone who may,”  I tell him.

At the same time, Mike comes back on the line and starts to give me the number.  Seven, Seven, Zero…

Fred starts yelling, “I need blah blah blah, and tell him nah nah nah.”    I am trying to hear Mike and write down the number and can’t focus on what Fred is telling me.

“Did you hear me?”  He snaps from across the room.
“No sir, I am trying to write down this number he is giving me, and I can’t hear him.”  I say, trying not to sound too insubordinate.

Fred slams the door and walks off.

“Wow.”  Mike says.
“Sorry about that.”  I say with a chuckle because I’m embarrassed.  “Can you please repeat that number.  I couldn’t really hear what you were saying.”
“Yeah, I bet you couldn’t.” Mike said.  “I feel sorry for you.  Good luck.  I hope you can get it.”
“Thanks, I think I’m going to need it.”  I tell him.

We end our call and I try the number he gave me.  No answer.  Just a recording I have reached, telling me the business name, and their hours, etc.  If it’s an emergency, call Barry or some other guy.  I hang up and wait a few moments and try again.  No answer.  I start calling other numbers in my Google search.  I either get no answer, or they don’t have it.  I got a guy named Garry, who says he’s driving, so he will have to check, but thinks they can help me.  He will call me back.  I try the number Mike gave me again.  Still no answer.

Garry calls me back and says that he has given my info to a guy named Steve who is going to do some checking and price it out for me and get back to me.  I thank Garry, and try the number Mike gave me again.  Still no answer.  I write down the cell phone number for the guy named Barry.

I call Barry and he tells me he’s working on a job out of town and that’s why no one is answering the office phone.  He tells me he could probably get me what I need.   I am excited, but it is short lived.  I ask him if there’s any way I can get it today.  “Negative.”  He says.  You forgot to call me Ghost Rider.  “I won’t be back in town until tomorrow.”

I tell him thanks, and take a deep breath.  I try a few more numbers I find on line.  No one has it.

Steve finally calls and says that they can get the 8000-F2 overnighted to us from a distributor in Ohio, but my boss wants it an hour ago, so that won’t work.  Steve tells me he has a DSL100 that is basically the same thing, but made by a different company; and they do have that in stock.

I go tell my boss, and he tells me that it won’t work.  He says if they don’t have the 8000-F2, to ask for CS300.  He follows me back to my desk.

“If you find something, call me on my cell phone.”

I look at him dumfounded.  I don’t have your number!
Ok, what’s your number?”  I ask, grabbing a pen.

He gives me a sideways glance.

“You just press this button on this phone.”  He says, reaching over me and pressing the button on the phone that sat on my desk, but I never used, because I didn’t know how.  I always carried one of the extensions around clipped to my pocket.  Using the mute button for a hold button, and then hanging up when Jan got on the line when it was for her.

“Oh, that’s your cell!”  I said.  “I thought that was your extension at your desk!”

He presses the button that says Jan next to it.

“If you want Jan, you press this button.”  He says.    I thought that was her desk extension too.

Jan’s cell phone is ringing, and she answers.  Fred tells her that she needs to teach me how to use the phone.  I can tell she’s not happy, but says, “Ok.”

I call Steve back.   They don’t have the CS300 either, but again, it’s a crossover for the DSL100.   He says he’s going to email this chart he has showing the different brands, and the crossovers that are comparable, and I wait for said email.  And wait.

I go out to the shop and tell Bruce, the production manager, that I am waiting on an email from a guy who says he is sending me a list of things we could use.  As I approach, one of the guys looks me up and down and says, “Hey.”  You know, that kind of look and “hey” that implies, “Guurl, you look FINE today.”   Dude, I am So not in the mood for your BS.”   I focus on my conversation with Bruce, who isn’t real receptive of what I am telling him.  He’s either convinced I am an idiot, or the guy I am talking to is.  Maybe both.

Jan gets back just before noon and I ask her if I should still go to lunch or keep working to find this oil Fred wants.  She tells me to go ahead and go to lunch, so I bolt before anyone has a chance to stop me.  I warm up my burrito in the microwave and then take it to my car and leave.  I’ve got to get out of this place. 

I head down the street and go to Lowe’s parking lot and find a place to park under a shade tree.   I am listening to another C.J. Box book on CD.   This one is called Blood Trail.  It’s the last disc and Joe Pickett is getting closer to finding out who has been killing all those hunters.  I have a hard time concentrating on it though, because I am so upset.  After a few moments of listening to it, I decide to run to the convenience store about a block away and get an energy drink.  I need it. 

I return to the Lowe’s parking lot and park under a shade tree again, listening to my book and trying to decompress a little.

When I get back to work, I have that email from Steve about the oil, so I write him back telling him I appreciate it, and send a copy to the production manager.  Frank told me just before I went to lunch that he was now turning the issue over to him.   Should have done that to begin with instead of yelling at everyone here.  I thought.  Bruce knows what he’s doing.

Bruce writes me back and says thank you, but there’s more involved in getting the right replacement oil than just weight.   I seriously doubt he even bothered to open the attachment and look at it.  Dude, I know you need synthetic and all this other BS; I have been educated just a little by the umpteen people I have talked to this morning! 

Instead, they had sent Andrew on a road trip two hours away to get a replacement oil.  I don’t remember what it was called, but it wasn’t the CS300, either.  I do know that.

I emailed Steve back and told him I was sorry, that they had decided to go a different direction, (Literally.  By two hours one way) but that I had passed his info on to the production manager, and would keep him in mind should we need anything else.   I can tell he’s disappointed, but it was out of my hands.

I remind Jan that Troy wants a list of all the parts he will need to rebuild his gun.  She tells me that she knows what he needs but she just hasn’t gotten to it yet.  I also remind her that a guy who called on Friday looking for a filter for a compressor, still has not been called back either.  This is met with silence.  Seriously?  These guys are going to be calling again, wanting to know why we haven’t gotten back to them.   Let me guess.  You are going to blame ME.

I go back to my desk and run some credit card payments and try to figure out the cost for shipping on the FedEx site.  Still finding nothing.  I do some filing and make a few calls, as well as take a few and sent out an order.  When I was caught up, I went looking for Jan to see if she had something I could do.  She wasn’t at her desk.  I found her in the back room counting inventory.

I go back and ask her if there’s anything she needs help with.  She tells me that she is just counting parts because she needs to get a jump start on getting all this stuff counted, or we will be screwed.  But I need help finding a shipping amount on FedEx, I need training on the phones,  I need help finding a filter for a compressor, and parts for the guy who melted his gun!  You have already said we are going to have to work at least one Saturday to do inventory this month.  Why are you choosing NOW to count parts?!?!

Jan still had not answered my question.  She makes a comment about how she has to go make a spreadsheet and type out everything she was writing down afterward too, in her best complaining voice.

“Do you want me to help count?  Or would I just be in the way?”  I ask hesitantly.

She tells me she has already counted the wall behind me and is working on a box of stuff in front of her.  That I can do the shelf in front of me to my left.

As we are counting, Fred walks in all Jolly and light.  He starts going on about how all of us were looking for oil for two hours this morning and what a waste of time and money that was.   Uh!  Excuse me!  You mean I was looking for oil for two hours this morning!  ME!  Not all of you!   He asks Jill if she ate lunch and she tells him that she had been too busy, all grumpy-like.  He offers to go to Taco Bell and get her something.  Sure.  Kiss her ass.  She actually did come back from getting her mom and taking her wherever she took her with a bag of food.  She just didn’t eat it.  But who am I to say anything? 

I keep my mouth shut and keep counting.

Fred is going on about how he’s buying a house and Jan should come by the house to see if she wants any of the things they are getting rid of that they don’t want to move.  Jan is not really paying attention.  He then tells her there’s a boat dock, and asks her about what the word convey means in the terms of the contract of the house they are hoping to buy.   She tells him that she needs to finish what she’s doing and then she will help him.

“It means to transfer.”  I interject.  “The question is whether or not they are saying they will convey the boat dock over to the buyer or not.”

All of the sudden, Jan has time to discuss this with Fred, and she walks back over to her desk and they keep talking about how he needs to find a place real soon, because they are closing on the house they are in within a couple of weeks.

Jan and I are all done counting and typing up the item numbers and how many we have in stock by 4:00.  Then I hear music coming from Jan’s office, and it’s pretty loud.  I go back to see what she is doing, and she is on YouTube, watching music videos.  She is watching a rendition of Hallelujah and tells me she shouldn’t watch it, because she will cry.  That they played it at her brother’s funeral.  Then why are you watching it?  You could be training me!  I immediately felt selfish and insensitive, but still.  I suppose I could have asked her what happened to her brother.  But I didn’t.  I said nothing.  I stood there and watched the video with her a moment, and then went out in the shop to get the pick sheets for the day from the guys so I could enter the parts they are using to build the rig into the system.

Jan actually stays until about a quarter to five.  Though I have no idea why.  She wasn’t doing anything work related.  Whatever lady.  As she is walking out, she sees that a walk-in customer has come in and left a box on the counter.  She asks me if he forgot his stuff.  I tell her no, that he was getting me a business card.

“Why is he doing that?!”  She asks me incredulously, almost yelling it at me.

“He wants me to give him referrals when people call wanting their house sprayed.”  I said.

“Oh.”  Jan said.  What the hell, lady?  What did you think he was giving it to me for??

“I told him I would have to check with you to make sure it was ok to give their names out, but if he wanted to go ahead and give me the card, go ahead.”

“Oh.   Yeah.   Sure.   I give their names out all the time.”  She says, and then keeps heading for the door.

On my way home, I called a friend who’s birthday was today.   I had hoped to call him all day, but never had time.  I could have on my lunch break, but wasn’t in a good mood, and didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer when it was supposed to be a happy call.  After we hung up I started looking for a convenience store.  The small burrito I had for lunch wore off about 4:00 and my stomach had been hurting with hunger pangs.

I stopped and got a slice of pizza, and then went over to the coolers to find something to drink, not seeing anything I really want.  I can’t believe how much a bottle of soda costs these days.  I scan the shelves for the smalls cans that are often cheaper, and more along the size I want anyway.  I walk all the way down and reach the cooler of beer and some wine coolers.  I had not seen any small cans of soda.  I start to walk back the other way and still don’t see any.  I walk back down to end where the beer and such is.  I’m not a big drinker.  I can go months without drinking and I won’t miss it at all.  I have never really liked the taste of beer, although I drank plenty in my early twenties while hanging out and partying with my friends.  As I have gotten older and less prone to be influenced by peer pressure, I have gone to not drinking much at all.  And, if I do, it’s usually wine or something like that.   I contemplate whether I want to drink or not.

I think about my day, and how much my week so far has actually been one for the record books.  I think about how just today, in an attempt to help me, my mom has sent me two emails for job fairs for a grocery store and something else, I can’t remember.  Although, I doubt she has taken into consideration when I would actually be able to go to one of these job fairs, since I have to work for the devil and his mistress.

I try to remember the name of that book I once read when I was young.  It sure has been a terrible, awful, no good, very bad day.  (Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.)  I grab a 25 ounce can of Straw-ber-ita.  I may have to become an alcoholic to get through this.  Here’s the adult version.  Alexander couldn’t drink!  

Also, unlike Alexander’s story.  I’ve no words of wisdom for you here.  I’m too tired and beat down to figure much of anything out, except how to open my can of Straw-ber-ita and wash my dinner down with it.

Yep, that’s the answer to my problem today.  I’m not saying it was a good one.  But for now, it would have to do.

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