Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Working From Home

When I talk about my job to people, they always raise their eyebrows when I tell them that I have worked there for nine years now. I don't know if they feel bad for me, for never having the balls to leave such a dead-end job, or are impressed at my ability to stick with something for that and not burn out. Of course, the lack of burn-out may be attributed to the first five years of it being only a nine-month position, so I got another job for those summers. And now that I work summers, it is a much different job anyway. Plus, throw in Christmas and Spring Break and there are enough breaks to help keep things fresh. The job has changed a lot, anyway, so it barely resembles the one I took nine years ago.

But since it would take too long to explain all that to someone I'm just having a casual conversation with, I usually say something like, "I enjoy the people I work with and I don't have to take my work home, so I'm free to do other stuff." This is important, even though most of the "other stuff" consists of drinking and sleeping. Still, not taking my work home is a huge deal for me, separating me from all the faculty that I work with, who constantly complain about the papers they have to grade. Hey, no one made you become a teacher. You have all summer to whine about it on the beach.

However, since I am the only one in my building who does my job, I am often called upon to go above and beyond the call of duty, and often I do, if I feel it is for the greater good or I am getting paid. Occasionally, I do not. Like last Friday.

While on my way to the movies sometime after 6:00 p.m., I received a call from a gentleman who wanted to put me on the phone with the B & G staff to tell them that it was okay to let this gentleman into my sound booth. I haggled with him for a few minutes while I pondered his worthiness. First of all, you should know that I had dealt with his group the night before, when I happened to be working (for money) and told them to contact me during the day on Friday if they wanted to use the room over the weekend. they never did, so phooey on them. I did tell him to put the B & G guy on the line so I could talk with them about it. then I waited a minute or so. Finally, after much silence, I said, "Hello?"

"Oh, you want me to get him now?" the gentleman asked, his worthiness slipping rapidly.

After another couple minutes of listening to him wandering around the building, he said he would call me right back. Since I was going to the movies (in an hour, but still...), I proceeded to shut my phone off and never spoke to the guy again. I did however listen to his 4 voice mails.

Saturday night was much the same, except this time I did not pick up, until about the 7th call from this man, when I screamed into the phone for him to leave me alone, that this was my personal number and I could not help him. I then hung right up (I do miss old phones that you could slam down.) Like some jilted lover, he called one more time, but I did not answer.

That's what happens when you take your work home. I have no idea how he even got my personal cell number, or what made him think that I could/would help him out of pure kindness. This is also the danger of being too kind and too good at what you do, and I suppose notable enough that people know to call you in certain situations. I may have overreacted slightly, but that's how I get when my job comes home. It's the only rule I have. I'll do just about anything while I'm at work, but when I go home, I want to do what I want. When I get calls when I'm not on the job, that's when Hulk get mad.

Let this be a lesson to everyone. You want to work somewhere for a long time, leave it there. It works for me.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

What is the Opposite of a "Tough Act to Follow?"

So, I don't want to toot my own horn too much here (mostly because I completely forgot I said this) but I made this comment 4 years ago on my friend's blog.

So, I am a smart guy.

With this one in the books, I suppose we can all reflect. Obviously, this is good. In fact, I swept the election his time around, so I should be happy. Unfortunately, I'm never happy. I'm always something else. Now, I'm worried. Like I said in my last post, the country's a little screwed up. President-Elect Obama is inheriting a financial, environmental and political mess. I won't go down the list, but it's safe to say that, much like my 8-year old nephews, George Bush and friends have been playing with their toys for 8 years and have now left them lying around for someone else to clean up. I keep saying this to people and all they can say back is, "Yeah." I can't help thinking it's a little deeper than that.

Facts; the U.S. can't simply pull out of Iraq without leaving the place in serious ruin. We have to fix the problem before we just yank everyone out (as much as I wish we could just bring 'em home and forget out it, we can't). The economy is in the worst shape it's been in since, well, God knows. That will take a long time to figure out, and I have no idea how it will be done, but I'm sure my taxes will have something to do with it. Then you've got the gas prices, renewable energy sources. stem cell research, health care, foreign policy (which has been in the dumper the last several years), all those little pecadillos that the President has to handle along with meeting the kid who sold the most Girl Scout cookies. Things that have all gone down the crapper while the Republicans were in office.

On the plus side, Obama only has to be a marginal President to look a billion times better than Bush. The down side is that it will take him at least a term to get the wheels back on, so he better hope that he gets re-elected if he has grand plans for what to, y'know, actually do with this country. The way I see it, he'll be essentially vacuuming up someone else's mess for the next four years.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yeah, I voted. Relax.

Let me recount a conversation i had with a friend of mine this morning:

Friend: (wags her "I Voted" sticker at me.)
Me: Good.
Friend: Did you vote?
Me: (grumbly) Of course. I just don't think it's that big a deal.
Friend: All right. Get out.
Me: I don't mean it like that. I just mean the last two elections have ruined the whole thing for me. Like, I have this horrible fear that Bush is somehow going to win again.
Friend: He can't.
Me: Yeah? Well, I didn't think he could win the last two times, either. He found a way.
Friend: It's the Dempcratic process. It's exciting.
Me: I guess it would be if your vote counted.

Okay, that was really an amalgamation of several conversations I had with just about everyone I came in contact with. But the point is the same. Everyone is excited to get a new Pres, and to see if pot will be legal apparently. I'm not that excited, for a few reasons. Mainly, like I said, because the last two have taken it out of me, but also because, no matter who wins, they are inheriting a completely fucked-up country that won't be set right for many, many years, no matter what they do.

So, yeah, I voted. And I voted for who I believe is the better man for the job, as I have the last two elections. And look where it got us. Maybe I would care if my guy hadn't won eight years ago and yet didn't actually become President. Maybe if the guy I voted for four years ago wasn't a complete jack-ass, yet slightly less of a jack-ass than the otehr guy, I would be excited. But with all of that history to reflect on, I really have a hard time feeling bright and rosey this time around.

Hopefully, that pot thing will go through. Maybe then everyone will be a little happier.