When 2 Hours Feels Like 5


Friday was my last day at the place I’ve worked for three and a half years. The smug bastard who told me that they don’t believe in job titles and that they like to empower their employees didn’t feel like doing my paperwork on Friday, so as of right now, I am technically unemployed.

I was a little sad to leave my old job, especially when I saw where I was going. Most of my coworkers were shell-shocked. None of them had nearly as much warning as I did. I knew about the deal to sell off half the company about three weeks ago, but most of them only found out on Thursday night. Some of them only realized I was leaving when they saw me carrying empty boxes to my office.

The atmosphere was about as hopeful as an abattoir. One of the customer service reps, The Snorter, was laid off on Friday, and the rest are uncertain of their future with half of the company being sold out from under them. I felt badly for the ones who remain, because I know that the culling is not over and at least a few more of them will be unemployed soon.

Friday afternoon, I packed up all of my stuff. Our lovely shipping manager dropped everything he was doing to help me move my belongings from my office to my car. “If you need anything else, let me know.”

I drove over to the new place with the help of GPS and found the building inside a big commercial office park. I wasn’t sure which entrance I should use, so I pulled off to the side and called the office manager. No answer. Well, crap. I guess I’ll try that door over there. I put my car in drive and a trucker, not realizing that I was about to move, pulled in front of me and backed up to the shipping and receiving bay.

I parked in a random spot by the door that didn’t look too reserved and walked up to the dark glass doors you couldn’t see in. There was a button so I pushed it. Nothing happened.

I stood there for a few minutes like an idiot when the trucker walked up and said, “I’m so sorry about that. I didn’t realize you were going to move.”

“No, it’s my fault since you had no way of knowing and I should have seen you.”

“Did you push the button?”

“Yes, and nothing happened.” So he tried it and three seconds later, there was a buzz at the door. I followed him in and found a receptionist. I explained who I was, who I would like to see and that I would be starting on Monday. She called the office manager and got no answer, too. Is there someone else? I gave her the only other name I knew. He’ll be right down.

The someone else happens to be my old boss. In the smallest of small world’s, four years ago, I worked for another company that also got swallowed up by the one my boss just sold me to. That time, I got laid off. My former boss didn’t and is still working there.

I stood there for at least five minutes when my former boss appeared. He greeted me warmly and took me to his office. I told him that I have all my stuff in the car, including my computer that I’d rather not leave sitting in a hot car. Oh, okay, let’s go get it.

He told me not to park where I was parked. It would be alright for the moment since it was Friday afternoon, but my parking spot would be any of the spots on the other side of the shipping and receiving bay. Alright, so I don’t have my own parking spot anymore and I have to fight for a spot that’s very far away and I’ll have to not get run over by semi-trucks in the process of walking to work.

I went from having a shipping manager helpfully load my car to having to unload it myself with the help of my former boss. It was 95 degrees with 30% humidity. I was sweating balls. It took us three trips and no one offered to help. We put my stuff in the hallway.

Finally, the office manager came in and showed me where my new home would be. “We’re putting you in this one.” “This one” being a cubicle in the middle of the salespeople. I could barely hear her over the din of customer service representatives. So, apparently, in addition to losing my parking spot, I also lose an office. Great.

Welcome to the cube farm. (postgradproblems.com)

Do you see how much personal stuff there is in those cubes, like someone works there? Well, the one I was to be put in had as much or more. There was a label on the inbox that said Jessica something. There was a half full glass of water. There was a dead flower in a vase. It was as if Jessica stepped out for lunch or was abducted by aliens and just never came back.

Apparently, it was my job to clean out Jessica’s stuff. What the ever-loving hell? You couldn’t even be bothered to clean out the cubicle for me? The office manager handed me an empty box and told me to put Jessica’s stuff in it.

Jessica’s cubicle looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in forever. There was dust covering everything. They didn’t even give me any cleaning supplies. I had to ask for them. I had to ask where the bathroom was. I had to ask where I could get some water. I had to ask for everything.

When I was done cleaning out Jessica’s stuff, I went in to talk to my former boss who is in the office right across from my cubicle. Lucky me. He told me the office manager is a bit of a tyrant and is very concerned with tardiness. If I’m tardy, I have to text him or he’ll get pissy. As an insomniac, I’m not exceptionally good at being on time. Most of the time, I wake up between 3 and 6am and can’t fall back asleep until my alarm is about to go off, which makes waking up on time rather difficult. I try my best and I’ve been pretty good about it, but I am a few minutes late from time to time.

At my last job, no one cared when I showed up as long as I did. My hours were 8:30 to 5 with a half hour lunch because I worked a deal to have it that way. Come Monday, my hours will be 8 to 5 with an hour lunch I don’t need, because it would be “chaos” if everyone showed up at different times, so says smug bastard office manager.

To make things worse, my former boss, who is no longer my boss as far as I know, is still acting like my boss. “We went over your work and want to leave it mainly the same, but there will be some changes that we’ll go over later.” Who is this we?

So, I spent two hours cleaning out someone else’s crap, climbing under a cubicle desk to plug my shit in and using generic cleaning products on my new home, which is a cube. I am technically unemployed. I felt very much like an afterthought. There was no warm welcome. There was no welcome at all actually.

No office, no parking spot, no help moving or cleaning, no idea who my boss is with a former boss who thinks he’s my boss, no idea what my job actually is, no clue how much I’m making… I’ve never felt so much like a faceless number, an asset. I hate it already and I haven’t even started yet. It’s Sunday morning and I’m dreading going to work tomorrow.

I can’t wait to find another job so I can tell them to take their cube and shove it.