Tag Archives: work

A Prison of My Own Device

20 Apr
hamster

Jess Bradley – Hamster Prison (check out her flickr for some great little cartoons)

Let me just bring you up to date real quick here on how my last few weeks have gone since I started to post again.

Week 1: Jackie announces that she hasn’t posted for a long time because there’s been this difficulty in reconciling cartoon-like Jackie from blogland with real-life Jackie from actual-job-I-like land now that her personal and digital circles have intertwined. She declares it a challenge and commits to post every single week in spite of it to see if it kicks it back up.

Week 2: Jackie posts a recent and deeply embarrassing chronicle of how her inability to find the bathroom in a local restaurant lead her on a journey of the spirit (she edited out the part where she shame cried). The same day, her workplace announces on social media that she has been promoted. A surprising amount of people read it and are supportive. They come to her personal page. They see her blog. They wonder how someone who cannot find a public restroom is responsible for running an organization. They make this joke to her in person. She is deeply uncomfortable.

Week 3:

That’s where we are. We’re on week three: deeply uncomfortable. As in, I announced why this was weird now, I wrote a post to follow that up anyway, and it immediately became extra weird.

awkward giraffe

This is how I feel inside when someone mentions the blog. If you look closely, you can really see the struggle. (photo: Thomas Hawk on flickr)

But I mean, it would be SUPER awkward if I stopped writing now because a few posts ago I was all “Challenge Jackie to the charge!” and three weeks later I’d be like “nah, jk it’s hard and stuff.”

I wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t make those sections on Lollipop Tuesdays and 365 and 30 Day Challenges all over the page.

Dammit.

So here we are, friends. I’m stuck in a prison of my own device, and you’re watching it because Netflix and HBO have taught you that you can actually watch a lot of truly disturbing things and still be kind of okay on the inside. So, welcome to whatever panic train this is all about to be. Thank you for your fascination. ♣ 

This post was brought to you by Halo Top Ice Cream. Perhaps I’ll begin to allow the foods that drive my posts to publish phase to underwrite my blog. Is that how I can get free snacks? Snack sponsors. Yes. For my sorrows. Halo Top Ice Cream: more expensive than Ben & Jerry’s for half the creamy taste and one fifth the post-pint guilt.

I’ll probably have to give a better endorsement than that if I want free snacks, huh?

Milton Waddams Is My Spirit Animal

7 Aug

I’m starting to really resent my student loans.

Well, I guess I’ve kind of resented them for a while. Since about the time they started being, you know, due. 

In my slightly older and barely wiser years, I’m now starting to recall all those conversations I blacked out for when I was younger. Those ones about how I was going to pay for college and how banks will just give you money and that everyone was doing it and it was the only way to get an education. Kids all across America were being told that they could go to college if only they filled out the FAFSA and clicked their mouses a few times. 

Well, I’m sure not all kids were having that conversation. In many homes across America, the conversation was whether they should pursue the scholarship for dressage or for water polo. But in my town, horses were for the Amish and swimming was only in a river, so my conversation was pretty average: I took out a lot of money on the understanding that everyone was doing it, and that it was the only way to make sure I got a job.

What a bunch of malarkey.

I had grown ass adults selling 5- and 6-digit loans to me like crack dealers. No interest while in school they said. You’ll make more money when you graduate they said. It’s good debt because they can’t take your education from you they said.

High honor roll, folks. I was clearly undeserving. How did I listen to that bunch of horse manure? They can’t take my education but they sure as hell can take my life post-college. And they have. They haaaave.

As many followers of the Jackie saga know, I was once a visiting member of the corporate jungle as an executive assistant for a nice chunk of my life. I indulged in their expense reports, their endless office supply closets, their galas and lunch meetings. I had to eventually quit because it was going to give me a freaking stroke but man was it nice to have that paycheck.

Of course when your job pushes you to the teetering edge of major stroke risk, you’re inclined to spend your money on things that help you forget about said impending stroke. Like great food and shopping and online orders and drapes and anything else you can stare at while you’re not at work so you can feel like you’re not at work. But after a while you realize that you’re spending over 40 hours a week with a knot in your stomach and if you add the hours you stay awake at night because you get woken up by texts and emails from your boss that remind you to do something you already did two weeks ago, you realize that your entire life blows, excellent food and furniture or not. And you can either continue on the path to unhappiness and strokedom or try to get a job you enjoy.

So that’s what I did. I left my big, beautiful wood desk in a private suite, threw all my business professional clothes in the closet, and sailed into the ocean of non-profits and jobs in my field to see if I could piece together enough money each month to pay my bills. At the moment, that consists of three part-time jobs: one non-profit, one for-profit, and one constantly rotating theater thing. With those powers combined, I’m Captain Jackie: almost content citizen who can almost pay her bills…if we don’t count those enormous piles of cash she owes to the banks who gave her an education all those years ago. You know, the ones big enough to have bought a house or a new car or fund a wedding, or do all three meagerly. 

The peculiar thing about such a move is that when you switch concentrations of work (unless you’re a lucky bastard), you go from climbing the ladder in the field you were working in and somewhat respected for to having to go to the bottom of the climb again. It’s like being in the 80’s on chutes and ladders just when some jackass of a snake bites you and sends you to the first row again. And so the majority of the last several months of my time at work have been attempting to demonstrate that I am indeed a fully functioning human being, capable of great feats when equipped with tasks, a computer and organizational goals.

Of course, being equipped at all is a bit of a task in the nonprofit world. In fact, I went into work just this past week to find an email stating that someone else was being hired and that it would be great if I could pack up my files and move to the back corner of the office, where I started when I got hired, and used the company-shared laptop instead of the beautiful, large-screen Mac that comprised the sole perk of my working environment. 

Well that and the chips at staff meetings are pretty good.

milton

Milton, my spirit animal.

So I’m feeling a little more Milton Waddams-y than usual and while I’m juggling these three gloriously half-baked bill payers, my resentment grows toward that enormous wad of cash I borrowed for a few years that could have been a mortgage or a backpacking trip throughout, well, the entire freaking world really.

I don’t like to be discontent, and discontent I am. So August is the month of shaking things up. I’m sucking at a lot right now (by the by, I didn’t work out at all for two days in a row. TWO DAYS IN A ROW. I fell off the trolley. Please don’t leave me). My first plan of attack is to download Final Fantasy 8, fashion a blanket fort in my living room, and live in a pile of cheese curl powder and my own body oils until I complete it. Then once I’m done mourning the Jackie of Suckage Past, I’m going to dive directly into the bowels of Jackie of Amazeballs Future. I don’t know what she’s like yet, or how uncomfortable her bowels may or not be as a dwelling space, but I’m excited to find out.

Unfortunately I’m quite certain that every version of Jackie comes with student loan debt and not a backpack full of world-traveling possibilities.

But that’s okay. I’m going to cope. I’ve gathered the blankets and simply have to acquire the cheese curls and I’m all set.

See? This adulthood thing is easy. 

See you on the flip side. Jackie of Suckage Past, out. 

A Day in the Life of a Postal Worker’s Wife

18 Jul

You can find anything on the Interwebz. Even a chipmunk delivering mail to foreign lands. Also, if you have any knowledge pertaining to what the hell this says, please inform me.

Dave is a mailman.

Did we cover this? Have we covered this?  I think not.  This happened some time ago; once a week just isn’t enough.  Stay a while, have some tea.

So Dave is a mailman.  He delivers letters to people and is given a paycheck in return.  He’s a professional courier pigeon.  

Believe it or not, it makes complete and total sense that Dave should join the United States Postal Service because the USPS has haunted me for my entire life.  It’s true.  My father worked there, my brother worked there, and my mother is still an employee of 13 years.  She’s probably due to go postal soon.  I don’t think anyone actually retires in the post office; they just lose their minds, go to jail because they stole all the mail and buried it in their backyard, or both.  

I even worked there.  For a day.  Apparently my family is of good letter carrying stock.  Dave’s and my offspring will be mail marines with all that raging postal blood coursing through their veins.

Honestly, I don’t understand how it all happened.  All I really remember is that the application was just the most awful thing I can imagine doing.   Applications drive me insane in the first place but this monster is the ugliest there is.  It asks you where you’ve lived and who’s lived with you.  For your entire life. 

That’s particularly hard for me, not just because I hate applications, but because I’ve moved 13 times.  And I’ve cohabitated with a lot of people (in a non slutty way).   I have a tendency to exaggerate, but that one has been fact checked by the United States Postal Service, folks; that’s real.

So somehow I managed to not set the paper on fire before I completed it and I handed it in and I was hired.  I ordered my uniform.  I got all nervous for my first day.  And then they called me the morning I was supposed to go and told me that the position was actually no longer open and they didn’t need the extra help and thanked me for my time.

The Postal Service isn’t a very organized lot, despite having the most detailed map to our country.

It was a complete waste of two weeks of my life.   The t-shirt was all I had left.  I kept it, much to Dave’s dismay.  When I wear it casually, he has a visceral reaction.   I guess it’s like him buying a t-shirt that says “Hi Jackie! How was your boss today?!” … I can understand why it might upset him.

There are lots of things about Dave being a mailman that amuse me.  One is that he’s a particularly attractive man and he finds that he gets hit on by a lot of middle-aged ladies who are home waiting for the mail.  The other is that his entire world is now shaped by the mail service.   It’s impossible to perform a task for 10 hours a day and not have it fundamentally shape you as a person.  And though Dave tends to leave his work at work, there are still days he’ll come home with the mail in his hand and say “Honey, you’re failing your duties as a mail recipient”.  He gets worked up when I forget to get the mail.

And he’s for realsies.

Then he sees it’s all Presorted Standard mail and rips it up with raucous laughter. 

For those of you who don’t come from a long line of good postal stock, Presorted Standard is a class of mail that is basically reserved for paid advertising.  When you look to the upper right of an envelope you receive in the mail, if it says Presorted Standard, you can just throw it out.  That’s a piece of mail that a company has paid money to have the Postal Service send to you without you asking.  It’s how they make the bulk of their money so mailmen are stuck delivering these unwanted pieces of garbage to every single person on their routes, just to have them throw it directly in the trash.  

Of course, that’s a big monumental waste of time so Dave would much prefer to bury the Presorted Standard  mail in our front yard and be carted off to the loony bin.  But he comes from good stock, so he delivers it all.  And when he comes home to find that I’ve left a nugget of Presorted Standard beauty for him in the mailbox, ripping up his own junk mail is a welcome bit of catharsis. 

He’s also losing weight faster than any normal human being could possibly match.  Apparently carrying over 50 pounds on your back while you walk up and down stairs and hills for several hours a day in intense heat is quite the Ab Blast.  

Obviously, I’m cleaning up my diet to counterbalance.  I can’t let myself be the fat one.  I just can’t.

Anyway, that’s all.  You already know I quit my job (so I can live off my handsome mail carrier).  And hey, I’m not allowed to blog about work because I could be fired, but Dave’s job is fair game, right?

Maybe I’ll change my blog to be a day in the life of a postal worker’s wife.  

That sounds like a shot straight to the top of the famous farm. 

The Underground Bathroom Society

14 Jan

I haven’t ever seen anyone at work on my floor go into the restroom.

I have scoured the entire top floor in an attempt to find the secret restroom and I can’t.  I can’t find it anywhere.

Where do these people put their pee?

The restroom I utilize at least twice every day is right outside my office door.  I could probably chuck my stapler from my desk hard enough and make the door to the bathroom push in ever so slightly.  In theory, I have every ability to make an accurate calculation of how many office citizens use that particular restroom on any given day. 

But no one ever comes. 

I can only deduce the following options:

1) There is a secret tunnel entrance to the bathroom of which I am not yet aware and it is only coincidence to blame for the fact that I never see anyone whilst inside. 

2) Everyone else on my floor is a robot.

3) Corporate issued an “Executive Cup” that everyone keeps in their drawers under lock and key and uses it to relieve themselves in an attempt to increase efficiency in the workplace.

4) People are using Potions of Invisibility to play an unbelievably intricate and petty prank on me.

5) There is a curse or evil spirit haunting the bathroom that I am using and everyone goes to another floor to use the restroom out of sheer terror.

6) The floor I work on is only a figment of my imagination in which my brain can comprehend my need to pee but cannot deduce the same need for others, thus accounting for its oversight in my constructed reality. 

I don’t think it’s any of those.

I sometimes wonder if this is part of a very intense, very specific test aimed at discerning my willingness to thoroughly wash my hands on a consistent basis.   The only clues I really have to go on are the fact that the bathroom soap only seems to deplete on (and not between) my visits and the fact that there are a ridiculous number of posters of all shapes and sizes surrounding the inside of the bathroom that emphasize proper handwashing procedures.

Let’s be honest here – do you sing Row Row Row Your Boat all the way through before you stop rubbing?   Do you?  

Because I can tell you that I don’t and I think they’re on to me.

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