Where does the time go? I was going through my employee documents and realized I’ve worked at this job for almost two years. It seems like just yesterday that I was slamming down cheap light beer and waking up the next day hungover because that’s what I’m still doing right now. Now, instead of thinking, “Do I really want to go to that linguistics class?” I tell myself, “If I don’t go to work, I get fired.” My circumstances have changed a bit.
To be honest, when I started working, I had no idea what I was doing. There is no “how-to” to beginning your job, unless you’re a stay at home dad. After about two weeks of trying to look like I was doing work when I had none, my boss notified me it was time for my new employee orientation with Human Resources. Up until now, HR was a foreign concept. When I worked my shitty minimum wage summer job, they “forgot” to pay me once, but that’s about my only HR experience. HR seems nice, but really they are in the business of covering the company’s ass.
After finally finding the room in the labyrinth that is my building, I came upon several other poor bastards with the same forlorn expression. The HR people were way too excited considering it was 9:00 a.m. They probably get off to this stuff. I don’t know anyone in HR that is well-adjusted.
HR: Hi, everyone, welcome to Human Resources, take a seat and we’ll try to get this done as soon as possible.
Reality: Hope you brought your lunch and drank some coffee, because this is going to take the entire day. Not only will you wish you were dead, but you’ll learn nothing and have more questions than answers. People keep filing in, because there is no indication at the door of where we are, so we have to start over four times. This is going to be a death march. There’s a window over there if you’d like to jump at any time.
HR: So now we’re going to pass out a few forms that will help get you aquatinted to your new job.
Reality: Bet you wish you had your trapper keeper. You thought the Jehovah’s Witnesses were bad? You now have enough paperwork to make a bonfire. Let us take a brief moment to thank all of the trees that died a noble death so you could never look at them again. We will never explain any of the paperwork, but we gave it to you so it’s your problem now. We will also email you twice a week until you complete all of the forms hidden throughout the 100 pages of red tape and policy. Happy hunting!
HR: Vacation time is earned at a rate of X hours per month. You can schedule it on our HR website. Use it wisely!
Reality: I hope you don’t get sick because you’re going to choose between feeling like death warmed over or using a sick day to not give everyone smallpox. The system to take time off is overly complicated, and we won’t actually show you how to do it. I hope you don’t have any family, because it’ll be at least a year before you can visit them. Every time you accrue a complete a full day off, it will be already claimed by your friend’s destination wedding.
HR: We will now go over workplace etiquette.
Reality: We are going to wheel out one of those giant CRT televisions. Isn’t technology great!? If you were in middle school, this would be a sign from above that the teacher got banged up the night before, and you’d be treated to Bill Nye the Science Guy. Instead, you all get front row seats to learn about sexual harassment, working in a positive environment as a team, and the dos and don’ts of confidentiality. You can tell the video is outdated because the women are wearing those shoulder pad blazers and the men have mini-mullets. The video was probably made the year you were born. Buckle up, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
HR: OK, everyone, if you could please turn to the section on the binder about your 401k…
Reality: It takes five minutes for everyone to find this because we decided not to include page numbers, a table of contents, or headings. Aren’t we the best? You will probably never get to use your 401k, because the way life is these days, it’ll be for your shitty kids to go to college, pay for a lifesaving medical procedure even though you have health insurance, or your wife will take it in the divorce. Good news is we match up to six percent, so that cold-hearted bitch will only get our match. (That window is looking mighty appetizing, isn’t it?)
HR: Please turn to the health benefits section.
Reality: Another five minutes of “Where’s Waldo.” Here’s where you have to pick from 40 different plans. Heaven forbid you need to change it, or you show up to the doctor where they let you know your insurance doesn’t cover the procedure, or they deemed it “unnecessary.” That little nest egg you’ve been saving just found its purpose. We at HR suggest you take the most expensive one just in case, because you never know.
HR: So when you’re done with this, we will email you a list of other things we need you to complete that are very important.
Reality: If you don’t complete these 45 interactive trainings, you don’t get a raise, we have grounds to fire you, and you can’t do anything about it. Remember that video? Well, that short 30-minute tutorial you watched is actually expanded into a web series of overly exaggerated situations with many racial undertones. It will take you approximately three days to complete. TL;DR of those three days: don’t comment about your coworker’s body (in front of him/her), be overly excited to provide customer service, and don’t steal or tell other people about what we do.
HR: Remember, we are here for you and we are always available to help, so please call or email whenever you need help.
Reality: We will never email you back in a timely fashion, and don’t bother calling because lunch is between 9:00-3:00 all day errday. We won’t help you ever. Why? Cause fuck em, that’s why..
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