Well I’ve gotten into trouble – again. It’s not entirely my fault but it always manages to find me. So I was working in this financial place and it was going well. That’s an absolute lie. It was a ridiculous job where the pressure was intense with high daily targets and a carrot was constantly dangled in my face by saying ‘achieve this target this week and we’ll give you a permanent contract.’ I would hit the target and it would increase next time, all the while no permanent contract. Hmmmm. But whilst I was there I stood out a little and caused trouble – not intentionally (well sometimes) – it’s just I loathe authority and I always have to push and rebel against it. Especially when it’s in the wrong hands, which it always seems to be – deep.
So the team I was in was very chatty, and the not the meaningful chatty. The type of chatty where you feel your brain go numb and it begins to drip out of your ears. ‘How was your weekend?’ Awful – don’t speak to me. ‘Did you have a fun weekend?’ I don’t do/have fun. ‘What did you eat over the weekend?’ Nothing I’m poor, also this is the dullest question I’ve ever been asked followed closely by ‘how tall are you?’ ‘What are you doing next weekend?’ Looking for a new job.
All this is very distracting when you’ve got targets to meet, so I’d sit with my Ipod in. All was well and good, the newer team members and I had a system where if they needed me they’d knock on their desk and I’d feel the vibration. Then some jumped-up tw*t – I’m trying to limit my swearing because it lowers the tone of my blog –moved onto the floor and saw my Ipod and took issue with it. I was hitting my target and my brain wasn’t dripping out my ears anymore, what’s the issue here? Well it wasn’t good for team communication – precisely, thats why I did it.
The next day I put my hair down, put the earphones under my shirt and cleverly wove them around my body and behind my ears. The toad saw me and complained again, and this time it looked worse because I’d hidden it. My manger thought it was hilarious and I played dum, however I was told ‘this may affect you getting a permanent contract,’ I felt the proverbial carrot wobble.
The writing was on wall from the beginning really when I was told I was too sarcastic and it wasn’t appreciated. Sarcasm is the way only I communicate and I took this quite personally when it was flagged as an issue. So I piped down and then got told off for not contributing enough. Please.
There was uproar when I brought my teapot into work. Everyone commented on it and someone actually called me posh – I’m not posh, I was just raised well. My, what some would call excessive, drinking of the tisanes led to numerous visits to the bathroom, naturally. During a catch up with my manager he said he’d noticed that I’d gone to the bathroom a lot. The urge to say would it be preferable to urinate at my desk was overwhelming. Stop being sarcastic.
There was a particular person in the team who I liked but she was eager and enthusiastic – I hate eager and enthusiastic people, they make me sick. She had a habit of repeating things. Its difficult to put into words but one time she was talking about Michael Kors. Here is a little snippet for you. ‘Michael Kors is amazing. I bought this Michael Kors dress and I love it. I don’t usually buy designer stuff like Michael Kors but hey its Michael Kors.’ We heard. ‘Michael Kors just gets it right and he knows what he’s doing. Michael Kors stuff is an investment really because Michael Kors is unique.’ Michael Kors if you need a new approach to advertising and marketing roll this basic bitch out and she’ll spread the good word.
One of my team members turned to me suddenly one day and stated that he loved hearing when his friends were going through difficult times or they had bad news because it made him feel better. ‘Do you know what I mean?’ I had hoped this had been a rhetorical question as what is one’s appropriate response to such psychopathic tendencies? He looked at me expectantly. It wasn’t rhetorical. Bother. Wiping the disdain and horror from my face (I can never hide what I’m feeling) and trying to relax my toes that were digging into my shoes I laughed and asked ‘what are your plans for the weekend?’ Look at me being chatty!
#This one time a team member asked for the extension for HR, quick as a flash I said 666. He said thanks and started dialling it whilst another team member literally blew up and was getting angry that they’d changed the extensions and hadn’t told us, and then said ‘I don’t know what to do anymore,’ and started shaking her head, severely distressed – please. I was confused, I thought they must be joking, I’m being pranked or out joked here surely. I said I was joking and they looked at me, perplexed and with utter contempt and disgust in their faces. Burn.
On the way to the internal post boxes I’d practise my walk, shoulders back, chin up but tilted – a model never rests – one particular time I was rudely cut up and felt very hard done by. ‘Out of my way cretin, I’m practising for Dior.’ Delusional – perhaps, dedicated – undoubtedly. In my lunch hour I’d promote myself on Twitter and try to gain more followers, HR cottoned on to this and blocked me. Bastards. I started to write blog posts on Word then and emailed it to my private account. I’m never beaten.
The nail in the coffin.
The company had decided to ask its employees what was going right and what could be improved, we had to write it down and stick it on the wall under the appropriate headings. Well my interpretation differed from that of my colleagues. Lateral thinker. People wrote ‘we’re helping out consumers a lot quicker :)’ or ‘we could call consumers more.’ How I ask when we have high targets and our toilet breaks are being called into question? I was oblivious to all this and wanted to make a valid point. So I wrote ‘THE WAGE IS DIFFICULT TO SURVIVE ON’ in big block capitals in a scrawly madman style handwriting – just to add effect and so it would stand out from all the bullshit on the wall.
I collected my team members tamer thoughts – so it was mixed in amongst them and you couldn’t guess who wrote it – and stuck them all on the wall like some pre-schooler. It was an exercise in humiliation. But my words had the desired impact. Some people pointed, others downright refused to acknowledge it in case it damaged their reputation. I scratched my nose and hid a sly smile with my hand.
A few days later I was told my contract wouldn’t be going permanent. The carrot got whipped out of sight. Not surprising really. I packed my teapot and cleared my passwords from my computer – someone might damage all the hard work I’ve been doing on Twitter – and left. I’d learnt a lot but it had also reinforced that I won’t be broken and bow down to pressure to fit in.
Keep fighting and stay real.