Lessons from an American workplace, volume 1

January 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been working at my temp job for a week after 18 months of either being unemployed or working from home. I expected a bit of a culture shock since I haven’t worked in an office since 2008. So I thought I would document the lessons I will learn over these next nine months.

1. I do not suffer fools well. Especially when I feel like those fools are talking down to me.

I know I don’t like people, but I seriously don’t like being treated like an idiot. Like when someone comes up to me and says, in the most condescending way possible, “Aw, I bet you guys don’t know how to change the toner.” The thing is, before I started I didn’t know how to change the toner. But guess what: talking to me like a 5 year old isn’t going to help. Luckily, I learned how to change the toner in a printer a few days before by someone who doesn’t treat me like an infant.

Here’s another protip: Don’t act like you know what it’s like to look for a job these past couple of years. I know you think that since you’ve worked in a job for 15+ years you know a thing or two about the world, but you don’t. Don’t tell me that I should apply for jobs where they don’t exist. I know working for the state is cushy, and I’d love to do it! But applying for jobs with the state on the heals of massive layoffs isn’t really the greatest way to spend my time. God damn letters of preference. And when I confront you about the absurdity of what you’ve said, don’t just come back at me with, “Well, you have to try!” Guess what, middle-aged white lady. I have tried. I’ve been trying for a while. I think I know where my time is better spent.

Clearly, I will have to work on masking my eye-rolls and audible scoffs.

2. How to change the toner in the printer.

Open the front thing and stick the container in. If the warning light comes on, take the container out, shake it a little, and put it back in. It’s probably the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

Image credit: YouTube

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