Being the office MVP has its perks and working in the “other” sector allows me to take full advantage of the thirty or so sick days given to me every year. The only reason I am the office MVP is (much like others) because I had learned from a master. I was once a young Padawan and I learned from a 30+ year veteran of this wonderful government work. Granted, it took me about six months to get up to speed and by that time, if I didn’t know the answer, I knew where to get one. Being the only government office veteran (of almost two years, mind you) in this new office allows me the ability to answer questions and quietly work on my eventual escape out of this office and into executive municipal management, but until that glorious day, this is what I have to deal with.
1. People come to me for everything.
Have you people not heard of Google? You literally punch in the question you just asked me, and with a little bit of luck and research, you can actually get the right answer. These questions seem to come in batches too. Three questions here, another four an hour later, etc. The funny thing is that they seem to come right at the worst time. Whether it is just as I am about to finish a crossword puzzle or when I am about to complete my final assault of Australia in online Risk (always start in South America, ALWAYS), it’s simply uncanny how they find the exact wrong moment to interrupt my important work.
2. I’ve become cynical.
This is a problem with all workers, I suppose, but certainly ones particularly in this sector. When someone comes in complaining that they no longer get Unemployment Compensation after collecting for two years straight and how that isn’t right, I begin to ask myself some questions: 1.) How could you not find one job over the past 24 months? 2.) Have you even applied anywhere other than a place you knew that you had no shot at being employed at? 3.) What. The. Hell. Is. That. Stench? When people are here long enough it happens; you get burned by someone or you deal with enough wackos where you just throw your hands up in the air and say, “When am I pension eligible?” This cynicism is sometimes directed at my coworkers as well (see #1).
3. The expectation level is well above what I feel like doing.
One of the first tasks I was given when arriving here was planning a “Kids Fest.” I can barely tolerate children who are not my cousins’ kids, let alone amassing them in an amount in the hundreds. These are probably the only living things on this planet that can possibly ask more questions of me other than my coworkers (see #1, again). For this event I needed vendors, sponsors, activities, etc. I was operating on a shoestring budget, because… well, government. The event ended up being a huge success, we had around seven hundred people attend, there were minimal issues, and the weather was amazing which allowed for the FREE helicopter landing I requested from a local hospital happen (LOBBYISTS ARE THE BEST). Honestly, after all the work put in I was happy about it. Unfortunately, it raised the expectations for next year, and I’m praying I’ll be at my new job by that time.
4. I cannot take a day off without being guilted over it.
July 13, 2015: “It would be great if we could know all of the time you might be taking off for the rest of the year.”
Really? At what place of employment is that acceptable? Listen, I have 120 hours of sick time as of today, and I am feeling a major cold coming on *cough cough*. Employers fail to understand that there is a life outside of this horrible, horrible place. As soon as I come back from a day off or a vacation I hear about a bad situation that could have easily been remedied if I was there. Well, then why didn’t you call me or shoot me an email? It’s 2015, I have a smart phone. “Well we didn’t want to bother you.” Well, you are bothering me with it now, so you should have just called. I would have given you the answer while relaxing on the beach and wouldn’t have to hear about it while I am trying to create memes making my friends look like the assholes they truly are on social media.
5. Leaving this place is not going to be easy.
This last point is two-fold. I really do enjoy my job here. The pay is horrible, but I can retire if I am here for another 23 years making me a whopping 52 years old, and with my healthcare, I can contract SARS and pay around $5 out of pocket. On the other hand, if I think I am being guilted for taking a personal day, wait until I try to leave permanently. Leaving now would be ideal considering reelection of my boss is about a year away, giving them the time to recover from the crushing blow of losing my awesome governmental assistance and personal charm. I had a final interview for a municipal manager position last week; they offer a pension and similar healthcare and pay double what I get here. No matter what happens in the future, the decision may be here to make before I can even blink. .
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