So I’ve been working for a patent firm since just before xmas. I was hired as a copy-typist but have been working at the reception desk for the last two weeks so that the other receptionist could take some vacation time. Reception is one of the most boring jobs a person can have, but there are some perks. For one thing, you get to meet the cute Canada Post guys (and some of the morning ones are cute with a capital C). Reception is also the place where the food and supplies stop first, so you can pull out your favourite tea or the coolest pens before anyone else nabs them. You get to answer interesting phone calls and, if you’re very lucky, hang up on rude people. But most importantly for me is the fact that reception is the place where everybody stops by. And generally speaking, the people you work with are nice to you (in part because they feel sorry for you, and in part because you have control over the distribution of valuable things like white-out pens and batteries). In the last two weeks, I’ve been having a pretty good time up there at front desk. Sure I’ve been bored as all get out, but I’ve met some really nifty people and have managed to fit in with a good lunch crowd (an absolutely essential part of working in a boring office job – good lunch people make all the difference).
Yesterday was the big moving day. After some confusion as to where my new desk would go, I finally packed up my Burts Bees lip balm and hand lotion, my favourite pen, a pack of post-its, and about 10 pairs of shoes and made my way to the copy-typing section of the office. I was really excited about this. I know I’m only going to be in this job until May/June but I like what it entails – proofreading!! I love proofreading. Not my own work, mind you, because by the time I reach proofreading stage, I want to kill myself and burn everything I’ve ever written (not in that order, obviously). But proofreading other people’s work? Love it!! And this stuff is even cooler than most things I’ve done because it’s a lot of chemical formulas and spiffy diagrams that require a precision and attention to detail I find intoxicating. So I was excited.
And then quickly disappointed. Not by the job – the job is everything I thought it would be and more. No, I was quickly disappointed by the work environment. The incredibly toxic, oppressively quiet work environment. Without getting into too many specifics, I’ve wandered into an office bees nest that’s been building for some time – my arrival adding considerable fodder. People aren’t speaking to each other for various reasons, no one in this neck of the woods likes new people, and everyone appears to be suspicious that you’re after their job. I’m hoping to set some minds at ease when I announce that I’m pregnant soon but I don’t know if that will make things better (yaya she’s leaving so she can’t get promoted ahead of me) or worse (so she’s new and I’m going to waste my day training her only to have her leave in what four months?). SIGH. Andrew has advised me to just be cheerful and keep on working and he is, of course, right. That’s exactly what I will do. But…..well, I just like to have a fun time at work and this is not going to be fun. Boo. Plus I want to be comfortable asking questions…and in this kind of environment, it feels like every question is a reason to hate me more (incompetent newgirl) or throw me off (well, I don’t know…better ask so-and-so even though I’m the lead on this project and do in fact know but don’t want to tell you blah blah blah).