fearlesstemp: (elaine ugh)
This week is going to be a serious test of the MyLastName family unit. My mother has jetted off to Cape Cod with her sisters, leaving the three of us behind, which normally wouldn't be a problem, but recently both my brother and I have started working full-time in my father's office. His secretary left a couple of months ago and he never got around to replacing her because his law clerk was doing such a good job, and then his law clerk quit with three days notice a couple of weeks ago and it's CHAOS! So we're there trying to fill in the gaps until he can find quality help.

It's all fine, but since we're all living at the same place, it basically means that the three of us are together 24/7. My mom has been bearing most of the conversational diversity burden, introducing news and topics from her corner of the world, but now she's gone. Gone!

I think dinner tonight is probably going to go something like this:

(Lengthy pause.)

Person 1: Oh, the funniest thing happened at work today -

Persons 2 & 3: I was there.

Person 1: Dammit.

(all three stare into space)

Also, you can't complain about your asshole boss and idiot coworkers over dinner.

I kid! I kid. Work isn't that bad, actually, even if my father is stressed out to the point that he communicates primarily by shouting at the top of his lungs, a la the Costanza parents. He doesn't yell at either Jimmy or me, but at the world in general, annoying clients in particular, and, yesterday, 411 (Telecomputer: City and state, please? Dad Unit: SYRACUSE! NEW YORK!).

Randomly: Did anyone else watch Broken Trail? No? No one else watched Lowell the Dull Witted Mechanic share significant glances with Sun Fu the would-be Chinese prostitute? spoilers, just in case )

I wish more people had watched the movie so I had someone to talk about it with, but I didn't like it enough to justify foisting it on others. Oh well.

I am so tired right now. And I still have to go make dinner (am way behind schedule). Ugh.
fearlesstemp: (john doe mike)
I have LJ-Block. It's an issue. I keep trying to start entries and erasing the first paragraph, which is stupid, because this isn't the Great American Novel I'm trying to write here, it's a summary of my random recent life experiences and thoughts, and really, I don't have many of either and this shouldn't be that difficult to do. AND YET IT IS. I've decided that I'm not allowed to delete this opening paragraph, am only permitted to alter it so that it doesn't violate too many grammatical laws, in the hopes that I will write an actual entry.

Okay, actual entry. I haven't been updating my LJ lately, mostly because I've been busy and behind on everything in life, including my LJ. I wanted to write all of these posts about my trip in March, my experiences observing in schools last month - neither happened. Why can I write infinite entries about my boring temp jobs and how much I love my cats, but when I actually do noteworthy stuff, nothing happens? I think it's such a shock to my system that I don't know how to process worthy life experiences. There's a theory.

Anyway. On the topic of non-worthy life experiences: my current workplace is located on this super-busy four-lane road which is lined on both sides with a variety of strip malls and cheap eateries. Making a left turn out of the parking lot is a bitch, but I enjoy the fact that, if need be, I can scoot over to Mr. Subb's and get potato nuggets for lunch and still make it back before my paltry half-hour lunch runs out, and also there are interesting, non-traditional organizations taking up space in some of the strip malls.

Like Scientologists. Driving home from work the other day, I saw the same big sign I've seen lots of times before: DIANETICS on a blue background. For some reason my long-term memory kicked in and I remembered that that was one of Scientology's nicknames (or maybe it's their official name? I'm no good at this. I was in college before I realized that the Latter Day Saints were the same as Mormons), and I got to thinking: I bet that's the best way to meet Tom Cruise. Like, sign up for the church, get heavily involved, devote yourself to the way, go to a big conference, and who knows? You could be sitting next to him at the Sunday night social! Or Jenna Elfman. Maybe even John Travolta.

It's a possible plan. But I'm pretty sure you'd go to hell for it. I mean, even if L. Ron is right, I bet that's not how God (or is L. Ron God according to Scientology? I really don't know) would like you to discover the right path. I'm no religious scholar (though I did win the 12th grade Theology award at my Catholic high school, thankyouverymuch), but I'm pretty sure. Also, it's pretty disrespectful. As is this entry, most likely. My apologies to any and all Scientologists if this offends. You guys really do seem to have it together. I hear Jenna Elfman has a new show next fall and everything.

In other news: I have been in Extra Cringe Mode lately, to the point that my family can't stand me. Usually I've got a fair amount of Stealth Self Confidence going on, so that even if I may appear scattered and vulnerable, deep down I think I'm pretty awesome. Lately it's just scattered and vulnerable all the way down, and I keep finding myself having Apology Attacks and Over Capitalizing and asking people forty times if the outfit I'm wearing looks okay. I don't know when it started; I can note that when I did my first observation, the teacher handed me her evaluation of my performance instead of sending it into the school, and on it I got all 3s (satisfactory) and 4s (excellent), except for one category, where I got a 2 (needs improvement). That category was self confidence - since this sheet is supposed to help the program design my curriculum, does this mean I get to take a Seminar in How Awesome I Am? Because that would be cool.


I think the crisis of confidence it has something to do with my being worse-off financially than I've ever been (those observations, writing up the journals, preparing for and taking Ed Psych test, my recent Heyer novel addiction: all things that take up time that could be spent earning money) and going back to school - I'm excited about it, but also nervous, and I feel like all this stuff is changing. Also, I went onto Friendster the other day and so many of my former classmates are having such exciting lives, and all I can say about my development in the past seven years is that I've got a better haircut. Whoot.

Okay, I lied, I can say more, and yes, I do appreciate my life choices, blah blah blah, but I'm sorry, you're just not human if you don't suffer some paralyzing self-doubt after seeing what your high school classmates are doing. Some of them are living out the dreams they had in high school. Most of them look great. A lot of them are in relationships. I'm very happy for them. Really. I am.

No, really, I am - I didn't mind high school that much, mostly because I was oblivious to the horrors of it. I don't remember there being popular people or judgmental cliques or anything but my best friend from way back, The Infamous Annie who really needs to update her LJ more, tells me they were there, and I trust her opinion. I was too busy obsessing over Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Remember WENN to notice. How cool I was. Or maybe I was lucky.

One note about current high school girls: they carry purses to and from class. Purses! Not bookbags or messenger bags, but purses, some of them the tiny decorative kind that don't look to be useful at all. Have times changed? Is this an isolated event? Have girls always carried purses in school and my school was just an anomoly?

I would give you more Purse Thoughts, but I have to go pay bills with money I don't have and then go to bed. Sweet dreams, all.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
So I have another temp job tomorrow. Joy! My temp agency pimp (timp), Chris, called me yesterday and said RandomCompany wanted me to start tomorrow morning. I said sure. Then she called back and said that the company wanted me to sit down for an interview, which was annoying because it's a two week assignment covering phones and, also, the whole POINT of temping is not having to interview. I guess they just wanted to look me over, make sure I have a full set of teeth or something. Like I'm livestock.

Anyway, apparently I did okay because I'm headed out there at 8AM tomorrow. Again, joy!

The interview took place right after my Big Scary Ed Psych Test, which I've been whining about to anyone and everyone for the past week or so. I'm surprised anyone is still speaking to me. In fact, the experience has highlighted how awesome my friends are, as one called me from a train station, another from Germany, another from her car, all to find out how the test was. Every time I answered the call I was touched by their thoughtfulness and touched by self-loathing, because it made me realize exactly how much I've been whining about it, and also, would I be so thoughtful? Perhaps we should revisit the Forgetting the Best Friend's Birthday Incident of 2004.

On second thought, let's not.

Anyway, the test: The test consisted of eight essay questions, I filled a blue book, I completely made up one answer and found out when I checked the book that I wasn't completely off track. I will find out if I passed tomorrow. OMG THE STRESS. But I will not say anymore because, again, have been whining about it for a week now.

Post-test and interview, I scooted forty-five minutes north to meet R for some tutoring. You guys. He is doing so well. I can't figure out a way to write about it that isn't incredibly corny. Last week he sounded out "parking" on his own. This week he got a whole stack of vocabulary flashcards right for the first time. Lest I get too overconfident, he still says "plastic" for almost every word starting with p. Why? I don't know. Last week he was saying "place" for every p word. I learned from my Ed Psych studying that the worst thing to do is to introduce a number of vocabulary words starting with the same letter to a student. Right now I've got him trying to learn, like, five words that start with p. Go me! Awesome!

Also, "did" is almost always "don't" even though I've never, ever included "don't" in an exercise. It's maddening. Last week I actually sat there and said, "see, let's try - okay, d-i-d is did, okay? D-i-d did. D-i-d did, d-i-d did, d-i-d did, d-i-d did." I actually kind of sang it after the sixth or seventh time, bopping around in my seat. R just looked at me like I was crazy. Which I am.

I finished up my super-exciting thrill-packed day at the nursing home, where I dropped off some adult diapers from my grandfather. He called to ask them to drop them off yesterday. At 1:50 in the morning. I was awake and everything, but it gave me a heart attack, all, "Oh my God, someone's DEAD" and then, when I pick up, it's his wide-awake voice saying, "Oh, hello, dear, could you bring by some didees?"

Tonight he greeted me at the door of his room with the following statement: "Sweetheart! How nice of you to come see me! I have to go to the bathroom." Then he proceeded to roll into the bathroom use the facilities with the door open while I stood awkwardly by the windows and listened to hear if he'd fallen in or down or anything. Good times.

Afterwards we watched the end of an Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant movie together. Audrey Hepburn was okay. Cary Grant was awesome (is he ever not?).

And now I have to go to bed!
fearlesstemp: (cary kate net)
I am happy to report that my stint housesitting did not end in death-by-hatchet as I'd feared. Why am I so insane about things like this? I watched a lot of Rescue 911 as a kid - could that be it? Or all that City Confidential on A&E in the years since? Whatever their cause, my irrational fears led to many a sleepless night out at my aunt's house, and I blame this sleeplessness for some, but not all, events of the week.

kind of lengthy, involving disliking dogs, getting yelled at at work, hunting cats, crashing funerals - basically, all you need to read is this cut tag )
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
You know those annoying free registration form thingies on the internet? Most of the time you don't really feel like sending your home address to some random company, so you just fill out the form with bogus information, right? I used to do this all the time. Did you know that there is someone sitting on the other end who has to sort out those bogus entries?

I AM THAT PERSON.

Temp jobs need to be measured by a variety of factors - someday I will draw up a weighted scale, which includes (but is not limited to) privacy of work zone, accessible & fun lunch locales, a benevolent policy concerning tardiness. But a key factor - probably the key factor - is just how many times you find yourself fantasizing about stabbing yourself in the hand with the nearest sharp instrument to get out of the rest of the day's work, because the sharp bleeding pain would be better than the slow soul death of whatever cruel task you've been assigned (on a tough day, this could be defined as liberally as being asked to pick up the phone, or speak civilly to anyone at all).

But this latest job! This latest job takes the cake, I think. I spend all day scanning 3500 free registration forms for fake ones - like Homer J. Simpson from Springfield, or Harry Potter from England. You may wonder: What if there are actual, non-fictional Homers and Harrys? Well, even so, they would still be booted for their obscenity-riddled company lines. The jokesters can never resist the obscenities! Homer@fuckoff.net? Genius!

Also, I am all by myself in a little cubby and while I can hear people having funny conversations around me, I cannot see them or participate in any way, and so I feel like a pathetic girl of the week on some episode of The X-Files or Touched By An Angel. In the former, some supernatural phenomena a la Buffy's Invisible Girl would cause me to disappear without a trace in between lunch and quittin' time. My new coworkers would know little about me, save the fact that I drink Diet Coke like it's water and have eaten a Three Musketeers bar at my desk both days. Were my strange eating habits a symptom of a larger, alien-caused problem? Or did I just disappear because NO ONE CARED? Scully would insist that I just left on my own when no one was looking, and then they'd go out and stand by my car in the blustery February cold and Scully would look vaguely distasteful but try not to be cruel about it, and Mulder would make an inappropriate joke, and one of them would say, "...I wonder how she got this way" just before they cut to commercial.

I am still undecided as to my ultimate fate.

In the Touched By An Angel version, Roma Downey would be a temp who starts after me and to whom I offer advice re: lunch locations (Panera's on Wednesdays - potato soup day! My life is so sad.). At the end, of course, the magic light of divine inspiration would appear, and she would deliver unto me my ultimate life path, and maybe I'd even run into an appropriate love interest at the Citgo station after I'd burned rubber out of the office complex with some inspirational, cheesy music blaring from my car, ready to start my new life.

(I was trying to figure out a way for John Dye to be there, because I LOVED him, but he was the Angel of Death, and I don't want anyone to die right now - but the show figured out a way to put him in every episode, so I guess I will too. He was there too.)

SPEAKING of ultimate life paths – tomorrow I have a meeting with the school where I'm hoping to get my MAT. I am supposed to bring to this meeting all of my transcripts, especially the ones from another local university that ran a foreign language program through the high school I attended – I took college level Spanish in high school and I need to find out if what I took meets the state requirements for a foreign language. (No, I never took any in college. I am an Ugly American. Foreign languages bore me to tears. I would love to know how to speak one – it would be awesome to be able to pronounce foreign locales or menu items at nice restaurants without sounding like you're trying to do a hick impression, but the actual act of learning a foreign language is so boring to me that when I think of hell or torture, I think of my high school Spanish classes.)

I submitted my request early last week, right after I made the appointment for tomorrow and – get this – I gave myself PLENTY of turnaround time. Okay, well just enough turnaround time. The max they say is standard plus one day, if you must know.

Today dawns, have no transcript, yada yada yada – I call them to see if I can pick it up in person.

"Oh," Registrar Lady says. "Yes, we've got it right here. We can't process it because there's a hold on you. Some library books were returned late?"

I have always wondered if someday, somehow, my abuse of the library system would come back to haunt me – but I have to say I was honestly surprised and shocked when it happened. I returned books late, and while I'm almost positive I paid the fine, we are talking about ME here, and it's entirely possible I didn't.

But. Even if I go and pay the fine tomorrow, even if they release the hold, even if I show up in person with cash in hand for the transcript – STILL they refuse to give me my transcript in fewer than three-to-five business days. I think I had a rage blackout a la Summer Roberts at this because if they had CONTACTED me when they first realized this, as I REQUESTED ON MY FORM if there were any problems, I could have handled this in plenty of time! Well, maybe not plenty of time! But probably by the skin of my teeth!

Now I have to go into the meeting tomorrow without it! And look like the flake I am!

That was only the beginning of my annoying bad day. Other events:

-THEY CANCELED AMERICAN DREAMS. Or at least that's what they're saying on the TWoP. I almost cried in the middle of Registration #1789 (approx) of the day.

-I arrived at my tutoring session at 5:30, thinking I was a half hour early, just enough time to throw together a lesson plan for the hour-long session we'd planned for six. Except my student was there. And had been there since 5, which was when he thought we were supposed to meet. I had to freestyle basic literacy for ninety minutes.

I must not be Nancy Negativity all the way through though, right? I seriously just typed Nancy Negativity there, didn't I. I'm leaving it there to remind myself how dangerous alliteration can be.

Non-Heinous Events:

-I may be able to leave the current wretched temp job in a couple of weeks – one of my old temp assignments (remember the Evil Republican Law Firm? It's looking shiny in comparison to my current digs) needs someone to fill in for a while and I may take it on if they will work with my schedule.

-I made a really good omelet for dinner.

-I bought new lipstick and I love it so much that I actually did a Before/After demonstration for my mother in the kitchen after work.

-In the quest to find any old records of my Spanish grade/credit, my mother went through her Drawer O' Motherly Pride and unearthed my VERY FIRST BOOK! The Lost Baby, by Jessica MyLastName. It was dedicated to my mother and featured a cute little plot and illustrations that look like they were done by an intoxicated bear. A family goes camping and leaves the baby behind! What to do, what to do! (For those of you stressing out – spoiler warning! – the baby is found and fine.) I don't know if any other elementary schools did this, but I thought this was an awesome thing – we made up these books, and got them typed up and drew pictures with markers and had them semi-bound and then PUT IN THE SCHOOL LIBRARY. You could take them out using your library card! There was an About the Author on the back and everything.

And now I must go stress about the interview and figure out what I'm going to WEAR. And also sleep.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
It is my tradition that on my first day of a new temp assignment I:

1. Dress niceley, and

2. Arrive on time.

Today was my first day of a new temp assignment. I arrived fifteen minutes late, wearing blue tights with my red and black outfit. AWESOME.

(The best part was how I did not realize the tights thing until I'd been walking around all morning in them - bought black ones on my lunch break, but the Damage Was Done.)

Anyway. These are but two small symptoms of a larger problem - Temp Fatigue. I have, quite simply, lost that clerical feeling. Oh, back in my early days, I used to spend the night before my assignment on MapQuest, finding the most efficient route. I would take notes while on the phone with my temp agency and read these notes over later, several times, worrying (a lot!) about whether they would like me, and if I'd do a good job.

Now I just scribble, "D., 8:30, 350 X Road" and ask for directions from my parents while I'm drying my hair upside down, usually at the exact moment I should be leaving the house if I want to arrive on time.

What's a gal to do? Get an actual job, I suppose. Pshaw!

Over the weekend I saw several movies, including Million Dollar Baby, Napoleon Dynamite, and Racing Stripes. I will, of course, address the last of these, and will refrain from spoiler cutting because, well - is anyone reading this seriously on pins and needles waiting to see this?

Just in case someone is, I won't reveal Important Plot Points. What I will reveal is this:

PACEY WAS IN THE MOVIE! JOSHUA JACKSON! HE WAS A HORSE! I WAS SO EXCITED I ALMOST SQUEALED IN THE THEATER!

It was weird because it was just so out of place - there was this big horse on screen spouting bad dialogue and yet - and yet it was somehow familiar. And then I realized who it was! I was thisclose to shouting out, "Pacey!" and slapping the person beside me out of excitement, but then I realized that I was sandwiched in between a complete stranger and my eight-year-old-cousin Jackie, neither of whom I thought would fully appreciate the awesomeness of an Unexpected Pacey Encounter. I watched the end credits to be sure and realized that not only was he in it, so was Michael Rosenbaum! I think he was the mean older horse. In other words: I think Lex Luthor was Pacey Witter's Dad.

It is so late. I had all these things I meant to discuss! The awesomeness of Napoleon Dynamite! My lame new temp job! My other possible lame temp job!

But I must go to bed, where I am hoping to have a peaceful night's sleep. Unlike last night, when sleep was interrupted four times by the cutest kitten ever, Dusty, whose new thing is sitting next to my head and swatting at my nose until I wake up and then - now this is the best part - running away and hiding from me, often under my bed (he does have quite an edge, being so lithe and limber, while I am a lumbering oaf under the best of circumstances, let alone in the middle of the night without my glasses on), until I have to give up and go back to sleep, in the hopes he'll go away, only to wake up an hour later to his little face staring curiously at mine, his paw poised to smack me on the nose again.

I'm going to try to sneak upstairs without him noticing so that he won't follow me into my room. Wish me luck!
fearlesstemp: (cary and baby)
Against all odds, I have been invited to the office Christmas party, which is to be held at a swank French restaurant next Saturday. None of my other offices have invited their temps to off-site shindigs (or did they do so and just not invite ME? - what a thought!). Either way, I'm invited this time, and I'm going! Because one of my continuing resolutions is to Be More Social. Add in one of my guiding life principles, Don't Turn Down A Free Meal, and I've got to go.

Problems: Lack appropriate clothing. Also, lack dreamy date to whisk me out of the occasion should it turn horrid and boring.

The first can be solved by throwing money around, which I am very good at (See Exhibit A: A Respectable Savings Account, My Troubling Lack Thereof). The second could possibly be solved by throwing money around as well, but some blatant traffic violations aside, I generally try to respect the law.

**This LJ-Entry Has Been Interrupted By A Stage Three Neurotic Freakout**


Oh my God. So here I am, peacefully sitting at my desk, avoiding work, when one of the secretaries came up to my desk and said, "So, my sister has been going on this website, Big Beautiful Women-dot-com, to meet guys, and she's really liked them," at which point one corner of my brain went to Emergency Maintenance Mode (which consists of two main thoughts: (1) Smile politely, and (2) Nod every three seconds) while the rest of me engaged in a Stage Three Neurotic Freakout.

Thought One: Oh my God. Am I a Big Beautiful Woman? Am I? I do have to get in shape, of course. But. AM I?

Thought Two: Not that there's anything WRONG with big beautiful women!

Thought Three: Time to nod again.

Thought Four: Did she just say her sister drove out to Turning Stone to meet this random guy she met on the website? Did she not see that incredibly scary episode of The X-Files?

Thought Five: Oh my God. I will have to wear a housedress to the Christmas party.

Thought Six: Time to nod again.

Thought Seven: Maybe I shouldn't be so egotistical – maybe she's just sharing because she likes to share! Or because she wants to try it herself! Maybe it's – oh, fuck it. I'm not skinny, it shouldn't be a shocker to have someone else imply something you can see with your eyes. I know that! There is no need to freak out! I am a secure, confident woman!

Thought Eight: Still freaking out. Why am I freaking out?

Thought Nine: Because that's what I DO.

Thought Ten: I should not have had peanut butter cups after lunch.

Thought Eleven: Time to nod – no, laugh this time, she told a joke.

Thought Twelve: And. . . she's gone.

Okay. So. Apparently my workday is not complete without one moment that makes me want inflict an injury to cut my day short. Yesterday's was this exchange:

Random Secretary (Actually, Same Secretary As Above): So, no holiday decorations yet?

Fearless Temp: No. . . Am I supposed to do that?

RS: [Person I'm Filling In For] always did.

Internal Fearless Temp: Fuck

External Fearless Temp: Okay. Well, just tell me what to do, I'll do it. I have to warn you, I'm not really the decorating type – I'm not sure I'll even know how.

RS: [three-second stare] How old are you?

FT: Twenty-four.

RS: Well, it's time you learned.

And then she went out to smoke.

But today is Friday and I am banishing all work-related negativity from my mind! BANISHING!

**This will conclude the Neurotic Freakout portion of this entry.**


Post-work I am off to visit Kristen the Republican Bride and family, which includes six-month-old-Republican-in-Training Ethan, a.k.a. the CUTEST BABY EVER (with the exception of my cousin Meg's daughter Abby). On the way I have to pick up birthday card for Kristen, and possible movie to watch. Dilemma: I have no time to shop for a gift, so I will not be giving her one, and I honestly think our friendship has stepped down from gift-level-friendship to card-level-friendship but there's always the risk of being wrong. Will likely end up buying Adidas perfume at CVS as desperate, last-ditch attempt at gift.

Dammit, I forgot to water the plants. Want to go HOME!

Dammit, I forgot to water the plants. Want to go HOME!
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
Q: What phrase do I dread more than all others?

A: Maybe you can help me.

Because I almost never can.

The following are the instances in which I can help people:

-If they need to know our fax number
-If they need to know our physical address
-If they need to know if an attorney is associated with the firm

Other than that, nope!

The best part is that most of the time, people don't believe me. Perhaps they think I have low self-esteem, or am modest or something, and that if they just encourage and believe in me, if they're dogged enough in their determination not to just go to friggin' voicemail, I will reveal some heretofore undiscovered wealth of legal knowledge.

It goes like this:

Fearless Temp: Random Attorney is away from his desk/on the phone/in a meeting. Would you like to leave a message in his voicemail?

Annoying Caller: Maybe you can help me.

FT: Actually, I'm not familiar with RA's cases at –

AC: Well, you see, it's not that complicated – we're buying a house out of state, and there's an outstanding judgment against it blah blah blah

FT: I really wouldn't –

AC: But it's just one question – do we have to contact the sellers if blah blah blah lien blah blah blah

FT: Could I just get --

AC: Blah blah blah

FT: – your number –

AC: Blah blah blah blah, and so we were just wondering, does the third page have to be notarized?

FT: I DON'T KNOW! I'M A TEMP! A DUMB TEMP! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY, GO TO VOICEMAIL! VOICEMAIL! VOOOOOOOOIIIIIICEMAAAAAAAAAAAIL!

AC: Well, I never.

Ahem. There may have been some dramatic license there. Okay. So really, it usually ends like this.

AC: Blah blah blah blah, and so we were just wondering, does the third page have to be notarized?

FT: I don't know, actually.

AC: Oh.

FT: Would you like me to take a message, or leave one in voicemail?

AC: I'll just call back.

This is another frustration of my work existence: The Call Backers. Call Backers never want to leave a number, or a message, or a voicemail, or any sign that they once called. They want to call back. And when they do call back, they become actively annoyed should the attorney not be available at that time either, as if the attorney is committing a personal slight by not sitting by the phone waiting for a call they did not know was coming! Because the Call Backer didn't want to leave a message letting the attorney know they had called before!

And this doesn't even take into account the people who are calling back for attorneys who are ducking their calls. People. Leave a message. Always leave a message. Are you someplace where you can't be reached? Still leave a message saying that you called, what you called about, and when you will be calling again. Please. I'm saying this FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. Honest, I am!

Two other phone conversations I have several times a day:

Conversation One:

Fearless Temp: All Irish Law Firm?

Annoying Caller: Hi, yeah, an attorney called me? I'm calling him back.

FT: You're returning his call?

AC: Yes.

FT: Do you happen to know his name?

AC: No.

FT: Awesome.

Conversation Two:

Fearless Temp: I'm sorry, Random Attorney is on the phone, can I take a message?

Annoying Caller: I'll hold.

Internal FT: Goddammit.

External FT: All right.

[One minute later]

FT: He's still on his line, do you want to continue to hold?

AC: [heavy sigh of extreme frustration] Do you know when he'll be off?

Internal FT: Well, let me put on my handy FutureVision Goggles . . . yes, yes, I see him hanging up in precisely . . . eight minutes and forty-five seconds.

External FT: No. No, I don't.

~fin~
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
1. It is snowing out today, tons of tiny flakes that won't stick. It kind of looks like God's sifting flour or something. Because of this, everyone in the office is obligated to engage in the following conversation at least three times today:

Person A: Hey, it's snowing.

Person B: I know, can you believe it? It's too early!

Person A: And it's only the beginning.

Person C: Hey, it's snowing.

And so on and so forth.

What do people in the south talk about? I wonder if one could do a study: Is the desire to engage in meaningless, excruciatingly boring and predictable banter about the weather related at all to the severity of the weather changes in a particular region? If I lived in a more temperate place, would there be fewer of these torturous conversations going on by my desk? Or would people's desire to engage in excruciatingly boring and predictable banter about the weather transcend climates?

Something to ponder.

2. Another conversation that recently took place.

Fearless Temp: Holy crap, this transcript cost over a thousand dollars! That's, like -- more than five dollars a page!

Secretary: $6.50, actually.

FT: Wow.

S: I could've been a stenographer. (heavy sigh) I screwed it up. Well, that's what happens when you're a drug addict.

FT: [no idea how to respond]

S: But it wasn't really the drugs, it was the alcohol.

FT: [still at a loss]

S: Just generally screwing up my life.

[Awkward pause, during which I worried that she thought I was judging her, which I wasn't, and so thusly felt the need to say something comforting to create common ground. Something like --

FT: I used to drink a lot. Well, a few times. Okay, twice in college with my friends, but one of those times we got SO drunk that we got naked and ran around the memorial in the middle of campus. That sounds weird -- I mean, it was a thing, people did it before they graduated, it wasn't like we just decided to run around naked for no reason.

-- but did not have to, because a nanosecond before the silence got so awkward Fearless Temp would open her mouth, Secretary shrugged and put on her coat.]

Secretary: I'm going to go have a smoke.

FT: Have fun with that!

3. I'm taking the GREs next week (I know, soso late in the year, but what can I say? I'm a poor planner), and have been doing practice tests the last few nights. Horrifying. I think my father is right -- bad TV does rot your brain. It's the only explanation! I used to rock the standardized tests, man, and now I keep coming across words that I remember knowing, but cannot remember now, and find myself resorting to the old, "Hmm...well, there hasn't been a 'D' in a REALLY long time" method of test-taking.

Part of the problem is that I find the tests so boring that I have been doing the practice tests while watching bad TV. Maybe that's it.

4. Speaking of watching TV, on The OC last night, Ryan said, spoiler of the minorest sort, which I really don't think reveals anything, but better safe than sorry )

5. There are no words to fully express how excited I am about the new Bridget Jones coming out today. Have plans with Jo to go see it after work, and today when I was flipping through radio stations I came across a radio interview with Colin Firth, which caused me to clap my hands and shriek "OH MY GOD! COLIN FIRTH!" at the top of my lungs, almost swerving into another lane.

Am concerned about shrieking "OH MY GOD! COLIN FIRTH!" in the theater upon his first appearance. Almost as concerned as I am about shrieking "OH MY GOD! MATT DAMON!" should there be an Ocean's 12 preview before the movie (pleasepleaseplease).

And that is all.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
When last we left today's Totally Awesome Temp Moment, I was mid-sentence. To pick up the story: An attorney asked me to put together a coffee tray for him.

Defining Characteristics of Yours Truly:

-I am always late.
-I am very forgetful.
-I hate bringing people beverages at work.

Which is why though I smiled politely and said, "Of course!" in a chipper way, inwardly I was thinking mean thoughts full of expletives.

The coffeemaker in the kitchen is basically a Coffeemaker for Dummies, which is good because I'm quite dumb when it comes to coffee (as I am when it comes to higher math and poetry).

Complicated Coffee-Making Steps:

1. Pull out Thing Holding Filter and Grounds.
2. Dump out Thing Holding Filter and Grounds.
3. Put new filter and grounds (which are stored in convenient one-batch-bags) into Thing Holding Filter and Grounds.
4. Put Thing Holding Filter and Grounds back in its original location.
5. Press big orange button marked "BREW"

It's so easy. And I've totally mastered that part of the whole deal, so that the coffee itself was prepared to perfection. Not prepared to perfection? The carafe to hold it.

I will preface this by saying that this is TOTALLY not my fault, and in fact the fault of faulty labeling, to the point that if I could sue my coworkers or manufacturers for Embarrassment (the way one can tack on Pain and Suffering to lawsuits [which I do support]), I would be putting together paperwork right now.

Okay, so. The carafes are these tall cylindrical things with an indicator on the side showing how much coffee is left. One showed five cups, the other (marked Decaf) indicated it was bone-dry. I had a long lazy debate over whether I should just give the meeting people the five cups or go to the extraordinary trouble of making another batch (see details of proposed extraordinary trouble above).

And then I decided to go the extra mile and make them a new batch. Let this be a lesson to all of you: Never go the extra mile.

I switched the carafes, hit brew, and stepped back to start preparing the rest the tray. Halfway through the preparations (which involved, mainly, dumping some cream and sugar into a bowl and staring at the box of cookies in the middle of the table, wondering if they were the same cookies that were there last week, and if they were edible, and if they were edible, whether I should have one), I turned to see if enough coffee had been prepared for me to snag a cup, and saw COFFEE EVERYWHERE! OVERFLOWING! ON THE FLOOR! ALL OVER THE COUNTER!

COFFEE EVERYWHERE!

I realized immediately that the carafe had not been empty, and that the indicator was broken and either (a) it had just happened or (b)it has been broken for a while and no one had told me about it, which is unacceptable if I am going to be asked to make people beverages! Because an uninformed coffeemaker is a cofeemaker who ends up staring open-mouthed in horror at a volcano of French Roast in the office kitchen!

And then I went all Indiana Jones on the thing. Remember in Raiders of the Lost Ark, at the very beginning when he has to get the Random Priceless Artifact and switches it with a bag of coins? I felt very Harrison Ford today, standing there with a cheap paper coffee cup (company mugs are on order) and paper towels, preparing to put the cup under the flow while moving the overflowing carafe to a secure location, and then replacing it with the half-full carafe..

It was a totally excellent plan, except the part where the flow of the coffee was too powerful and sent the paper cup on its side, spraying cofee even more, creating a bigger mess. But it was a good plan!

The best part was spending five minutes wiping down everything, including parts of the floor, for renegade coffee. And then having to deliver the crap ten minutes later, to a group of people who were probably wondering what kind of idiot takes a half hour to make a pot of coffee.

Whatever! And now it's five, and I have to go, and I am posting without editing.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
First, an announcement: It is I, scoutmol, now fearlesstemp. Am unsure about the name but could not think of anything else. Also, I did the no-redirect thing because of work concerns. Which makes me feel bad because I was so grateful for the redirect thing when other people changed their LJ names. Am callous bitch! My apologies, though!

Second, this entry is so GD long and boring. Must break out the cut tags.

on monday i ran into a childhood friend )

on tuesday i watched a fab old movie )

on wednesday i was given too much responsibility )

on thursday i got my hair cut )

on friday i hated my job )

on saturday i walked too much )
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
Watch this space: At some point this week, I may change my LJ name. I've been meaning to change it forever, but have been hampered by (a) laziness and (b) lack of creativity re: a new name. Still plagued by both, of course. But something about half of my LJ name being the same as the name as poor little Molly, off chasing baby bunnies in the great beyond, is finally getting to me, and so I Need A Change.

We'll see if I actually get my act together and do this, of course.

Last night I forgot to set my alarm, and so I woke up twenty minutes late this morning and had to skip showering. I feel gross, disgusting, and only half-awake because of this, which has made today particularly fun since everyone in the known world has decided to call this office. Often in a bad mood, with a crappy connection, and extremely long, complicated names.

While working these jobs, I often have these theories and epiphanies that are of no interest to anyone, and so, of course, I am going to share them in this space.

Temp Epiphany/Theory of the Day: It seems counterintuitive, but people who say, "How are you?" or "Who am I talking to?" when you answer the phone are far more likely to be demanding and difficult to handle than those who simply say, "[Random Attorney], please." It doesn't matter how pleasant their tone is when they ask, or if they seem interested in the answer. Just initiating conversation is the red flag.

Perhaps this is only a regional thing. I welcome input from any and all people who have worked the front lines of an office before.

I spent most of last night holed up in another lawyer's office downtown in my hometown, desperately calling people and trying to get them to go to the polls for the primary. My father's been involved in the local Democratic party forever, but last night was the first time I'd gone out to help, and it did feel good to be doing something. Also, I got a nifty Kerry/Edwards lawn sign! Go me!

Being in a non-swing state is at the same time comforting and frustrating. I mean, on the one hand, it's frustrating not to be able to do stuff locally to guarantee Kerry the election. On the other hand, if I lived somewhere like Ohio or Florida I'd probably have a hard time being civil to people voting for Bush. Here, where Kerry is winning easily, when faced with a Bush supporter I can usually step back after a couple of minutes of friendly debate and say, "Well, everyone's entitled to an opinion." In Ohio or Florida it would probably be more like, "Well, everyone's entitled to an opinion, but yours is WRONG and TERRIBLE and, and, and, WRONG!"

And I don't really want to talk to my Nana like that.

Today my father stopped by and picked up my old cell phone because they are doing construction near his building and accidentally cut the phone line. He left several messages on my new cell phone that said stuff like:

Message One: I'm calling from the HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS because I have NO PHONE SERVICE AT THE OFFICE and I NEED A CELL PHONE and so I'm going to have to BORROW YOUR OLD ONE! Call me at home, honeybunch. I'll be there in a minute. Bye.

Message Two: I'm at the house trying to find your old phone and it's NOT HERE! Do you have TWO cell phones with you? TWO PHONES?

Okay, so it doesn't translate over the internet, but I swear, they were hi-larious. I was doubled over at my desk. Because I find humor in my father's ill fortune.

I did have both phones, of course, but for a good reason. I used my new cell phone to call people last night, and burned a lot of minutes, and so I wanted to use what few minutes are left on my old cell phone plan today. Occasionally there is logic in my world.

Hey, it's 5PM, which means it's time to motor and I have no time to edit, but spent so long on this thing that I'm posting it.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
The All Irish Law Firm is located within spitting distance, if one had a truly righteous command of one's spittle, of the Evil Republican Law Firm. I spend every lunch hour running around town with my head down, hoping I won't be recognized by one of my old annoying coworkers or (much, much worse) old bosses. I left their office when my original assignment was up (even though they asked me to stay) because I said I was moving on to other things, and here I am, temping still. I have a hard enough time making peace with myself about this – explaining it to others is beyond my ability.

Of course I ran into someone on my second day. She grabbed my elbow from behind while I was walking past an underground parking garage after work. I almost had a coronary.

"Is it – Jessica! I knew it was you!" the elbow-grabber said. "That hair!"

"Yup," I said, patting my head. "Can't miss it. How are you, Paula?"

Paula replaced me at the ERLF, and in the short time I trained her, I became familiar with a few things: her skill with the possible insult/possible compliment, her ability to take credit for other people's work, and her stunningly plastic personality. She got along swimmingly with Mr. OCD Boss, of course. They were cut from the same cloth.

Oh, I feel so mean! Even so, watch me not delete the above paragraph.

Paula babbled at me for a few minutes about the ERLF's new office (just down the road!) and then we parted ways. Of all the people I could have run into, she wasn't the worst, but not the best. A good start, I suppose.

I had lunch with Jane, my favorite person from the ERLF, on Thursday and we spent most of the time gossiping about the ERLF (which we did not do when I actually worked there, because I generally try not to gossip about work at work. But now I've moved on!). We are going to try to meet every week. I have a lunch buddy!

She revealed to me that she doesn't like Paula either. I feel quite vindicated.

Other things revealed to me: Mr. OCD Boss has gone crazy. He walks around criticizing secretaries for having messy desks (I'd like to see him be a secretary for an attorney specializing in litigation and have a neat desk. He does tax and estate law and spends all day rewording pointless letters.), has ordered the copy room to be rearranged four times, and recently scolded someone for attaching the phone extension list to the wall next to the phone in the copy room. He took it down and made someone go out and buy a color-coordinated cork board to hang next to the phone, and then tacked it up there.

He makes some of the secretaries kick in for part of their parking fee and re-ordered all of the tins in the kitchen because he didn't like the color. He also made them re-order a box of post-its because they were green, not yellow.

I thought I had gotten over how much he annoyed me! Apparently not. I will link to one of my final entries about the ERLF here. A year later I can look at it and say: I was right.

Also last week: I heard back about a job I'd applied for five months ago. i've written this lj entry before! save yourselves! read no further! )
fearlesstemp: (john doe mike)
Reporting in from my new temp assignment at the All Irish Law Firm. So far it's going well. A few early notes about the firm:

-By far the easiest firm name to pronounce in my temp travels, which is nice. Complicating factor: Because the firm is All Irish, the names are confusingly interchangeable (Tom, Brendan, and Frank in particular, not to mention the two Mikes).

-Location is SWEET. Downtown, near yummy lunch places, courtyard across the street where I can eat a bag lunch so that lunching it up in car will be unncessary (until the cold weather hits in November). The firm covered my paid parking at a lot a short walk away. Walk is potentially scary, as I have to go under a bridge and past some underground garages, both of which ping on my Lifetime movie-honed Dangerous to Women Radar, but there's decent foot traffic so I don't think it will be too bad.

-Internet access! This is the most important thing of all. I keep randomly commenting in people's LJs for the sheer novelty of being able to. Most of my jobs either deny internet access or leave me so busy that I can't use it, so working here, where my main responsibility is handling the phones, is nice so far.

This weekend I did a lot of nothing in particular, which included two things I enjoy in the moment and immediately after but am not particularly good at: shoe shopping and icon making. My discussion of both of these things will be painfully boring, so spare yourself the torture and skip the next couple of paragraphs.

The first resulted in the purpose of new black work shoes. I've been wearing the same pair of round-toe shoes forever, and every time I wore them, I would see everyone else walking around in pointy-toed shoes while I wore these weird, possibly nunnish round-toed shoes. And so I went out and bought a pair of black narrow square-toed Mary Jane type shoes with a high heel, and then went home and opened a magazine to discover that round toed shoes are apparently all the rage now. Of course! By then I'd become so committed to the cuteness of the new shoes that I couldn't bear the thought of returning them, and so I'm wearing them today. I keep rolling away from my desk to admire them. I would totally hook you guys up with a link to a picture of the shoe, but it is not on the shoe maker's website! Am now concerned that shoe is so behind the times that they have purged it from its website and I will be soundly mocked far and wide.

And onto icon making! It should be noted that I suck at icon making, and the only features at my disposal are those I can find on my Paint program, and so I just find pictures I like and crop and resize. This weekend I went and searched out some of my favorite old movies (Bringing Up Baby, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Meet John Doe, The Lady Eve, and To Have and Have Not) on the web and cropped pictures and now they're all here. The whole objective was to purge my icons and upload new ones, all in black and white but I couldn't let go of Lionel! Or Bucky! Or Grover, who was my first icon on LJ. And JC is totally going to have to come back.

This is why I've never had a cohesive style in fashion, or decorating, or anything, really.

Searching out the icons was fun, though, and made me remember how much I loved those films, the Capra ones in particular. a few notes, not very spoilery )

Speaking of media manipulation! There was a great show on the History Channel last night about the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr that I really recommend checking out. Richard Dreyfuss's narration was a bit too dramatic for me (quite a few Shatnerian pauses), and while there are lots of cheesy historical reenactments (mostly of people standing around drinking wine with significant head nodding, or sitting at their desks writing angry letters), they're kind of fun. The story itself is so involving and hard to believe -- as they say at the beginning, it would be as if Dick Cheney and former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill faced off in a duel. Crazy stuff!

There was also a lot of interesting stuff about the way elections were run back then, and how the founding fathers talked trash about each other. The latter thing is worth tuning in for in and of itself. So: Check your local listings!

Also this past weekend, I went to see Garden State )

Mail is here! Time to date stamp.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
Subtitled: Further Adventures of Your Fearless Temp

I went to Cape Cod this past weekend, and while I was away my temp agency left two frantic messages on my cell phone. Because I am cruel, I did not return their calls until I got back home, even they were being all nice and complimentary in their franticness, saying things like, "You are our top choice for this position! They asked for our top choice, and we said you!"

(Nevermind the fact that the only reason they'd be frantic would be because the job would be on short notice, which sounds like a situation where the original person assigned backed out. Clearly I am not your first choice! But anyway.)

I listened to their messages and didn't call them back. I felt so powerfully mean, it was kind of scary. Maybe I could be a totalitarian despot after all.

But I had a reason for being mean! As far as my temp agency knows, when I go away, I am unreachable. I like to maintain that myth, that illusion. I like to act like when I go away, maybe I'm going to Paris, or jet-setting to London, out of reach of any phone call, when I'm really probably:(a) sitting in my bedroom feeling lame watching soap operas; (b) on some quick vacation with my parents; or (c) driving three hours to Ithaca to sit in my best friend's living room and watch hours and hours of PBS miniseries or Firefly episodes, obsessively checking my voicemail every half hour.

The power trip completely worked. By the time I called them back they were so relieved to hear from me that they were complimenting me left and right and giving me two dollars more an hour than I've gotten before for such a job. Maybe it's the company raising its rates, maybe it's the temp agency. I like to think it's just how attractive I am as a candidate.

(It's totally not that.)

Anyway, new assignment! I spoke to them yesterday about it and told them I'd start tomorrow. They asked if I could pick up the parking pass today, and I said I could, but that I had a very important appointment in the morning (with sleep), but the afternoon would be fine. I could probably be there by two. They called back and said anytime after two would be fine. Great, I said. Great, they said.

Anytime after two! This is important!

I spent most of this morning sleeping and tooling around on the internet, and then I had to watch All My Children while eating breakfast (popcorn), and then I got a phone call giving me bad news I won't go into here, which of course meant I had to sit around and mope for a bit. I finally got my shit together and got out the door at 3PM, which I thought was fine, because it was after two! And they had said anytime after two!

I was getting off the exit ramp when my cell phone rang. I proceeded to have the following conversation while (a) trying to hide the cell phone so as to avoid being busted by police, (b) trying to steer and shift gears with only one hand, and (c) figure where the hell I was going.

Fearless Temp: Um -- ack! – yes! Hello?

AP: This is Laurel from your Temp Agency. Kathleen at All Irish Law Firm just called and said you missed your 2PM appointment?

FT: What? No! I thought it was anytime after 2!

AP: Yes, well...they thought it was 2PM. They just called looking for you.

FT: But! No! I mean, I'm almost there! I'm hurrying! I'm really sorry, but I thought it was anytime after 2! They said anytime after 2!

AP: The notes here say 2PM.

FT: I'm almost there!

AP: Okay, I'll call them.

This was horrifying. Horrifying! It's true that I am almost always late, but there are exceptions! I am never late for job interviews, first days at jobs, and haircuts. I like to give people the illusion of punctuality, and so I am NEVER late when I'm first meeting someone. Okay, so I am, sometimes, but I am always VERY UPSET and I am NEVER late to the tune of ninety minutes!

I careened through the city streets as fast as I could and found a spot right in front of the building which did not, I was sure to check, have any kind of parking restrictions. I had to spend five minutes crawling around my car because I parked next to a meter, only to realize that the meter still had twenty-five minutes on it when I went to put my quarter in. I ran across the street and started walking down the sidewalk and ended up a couple of feet behind a tall black man who was walking with a limp and the assistance of this big metal cane.

Here's the thing: I tend to overthink, well, everything. I am totally one of those people who offends people by attempting not to offend them: in this situation, I was walking behind him, and I really wanted to run around him to the front door to the building, but it somehow felt rude to me to scoot in front of and around this guy who was limping along. And so I ended up walking slowly a few feet behind him, kind of in his blind spot if we were cars, debating whether I could cut in front of him or not.

I must have been shooting him looks while I was doing this, because he suddenly turned around and said, "What, are you afraid I'm going to attack you or something?"

Awkwardness! Extreme awkwardness! I kind of scooted around him then, and muttered something like, "Ha! No! I'm just – going to go in the building here now, because that's where I'm supposed to be, not because I'm trying to get away from you – really! You can look at this note in my hand with the address on it! You weren't making me nervous! I wasn't being racist, really! I was just being culturally insensitive of your handicap! I mean, disability! I mean, differently abled leg or left side or whatever it is! Or something! I like your cane! Bye!"

Maybe I didn't say all that. I did hate myself, though, for being such a socially awkward dunce, for a good three minutes, or however long it took the elevator to reach the ground floor and pick me up. I stood there and decided that from that point on I was going to stop overthinking things like this, I just needed to treat people kindly the same way I would want to be treated, and should just chill out in general! Relax!

And then the elevator doors opened. I walked forward boldly, with purspose, because I was very late! And very nearly ran over the tiny, snappily-dressed man who was walking out of the elevator towards me. He wore a sharp shirt and tie and came up to my knee and I completely didn't see him at first.

"Oh, uh, sorry! Hi!" I said, scooting aside.

He waved vaguely at me and charged out of the elevator towards the lobby doors. I spent the entire elevator ride working up a nice bout of self-loathing via the following internal dialogue:

Self 1: Oh my God. Did I hurt his feelings? I didn't see him! But that's probably what would really hurt his feelings! Oh God! I'm so awful and mean!

Self 2: Shut up, you freak!

Self 1: Freak isn't a nice word to use, Self 1! Especially considering who – not that I'd ever use it in relation to him, even though he was missing one hand in addition to his, you know. Different size. I wonder how he tied his tie?

Self 2: It probably was a clip on or something.

Self 1: Probably. Should I not be thinking about how he's missing one hand and feeling bad for him because he might not have a real tie, or might have a hard time tying a real tie? Is that, like, disrespecting him through pity, or --

Self 2: STOP thinking about this!

Self 1: Okay.

Self 2: Good.

[Three second pause]

Self 1: I can't believe that guy thought I thought he was going to attack me. It's because I was treating him weird because of his limp, right? Or maybe there was some latent racism in there too. Either option is just --

Self 2: See? SEE? You're doing it again! Stop it!

Self 1: Okay! I won't think about it.

Self 2: Good.

[Three second pause]

Self 1: But – I can't believe I'm late for this stupid appointment. I shouldn't have watched All My--

Self 2: Oh my God, you are so annoying and lame!

Self 1: See? I knew I sucked!

Self 2: You totally suck.

Selves 1 and 2: [Aggressive loathing]

The good thing was that the people at the law firm were actually very nice and understanding, and believed me when I told them that I hadn't been aware it was a set appointment. She said ominous things about giving me more to do if I showed that I could handle it: I am now faced with the task of skillfully underperforming so as not to be assigned too many tasks. I think I'm up to the challenge.
fearlesstemp: (lionel)
First of all: Thank you for all of the kind comments on my last entry. I appreciated every one and I'm going to try to answer each one of them in the next day or so.

She Spies may be the worst show in the world, and I just watched an entire episode. It's late, I have a headache, I don't feel like reading or watching anything too challenging. Anyway, I have this strange affection for low-budget syndicated TV shows, like Mutant X, and Viper, and, on occasion, She Spies. There's something charming about the corny dialogue and heinous overuse of stock footage. Who can resist?

Lots of people! Just not me.

Tonight's episode featured a girl who was kidnapped from a bikini contest who turned out to be a princess! Whose royal secret security agent guy was secretly in love with her, naturally. There was all this stuff about a Girls Gone Wild video, and Saudi trafficking of women, and eventually there was a big fight in the end involving spray-on C4 and film canisters wielded as weapons. It was incredible.

Blast from the Past: I just discovered and can't stop reading this site about the Sweet Valley High universe. Love it! Last year a friend of mine sent me the two Sweet Valley Sagas for my birthday and it was, like, the best present EVER! I loved those books so much. I'm still bitter I didn't transform into a perfect size six with silky blonde-hair and turquoise eyes when I turned sixteen.

The books I remember best are:

-The one where Elizabeth is kidnapped! A guy came up behind her and put a chloroform-soaked handkerchief over her mouth. So scary! She got away somehow.

-The one where Elizabeth is in a coma! I think this was book 7, Dear Sister. The cover featured Jessica holding a portrait of her twin, who had -- I'm not sure I remember this exactly right -- gone on a motorcycle ride without a helmet.

-The one where their older brother Steven's girlfriend, Tricia, who was this sweet girl from the wrong side of the tracks, totally DIES from LEUKEMIA! It was incredible. I cried and cried.

-OH! The one where Regina the deaf girl died from a cocaine overdose! She was the only person Bruce Patman ever really loved. So sad.

Jessica had a lot of boyfriends who died, and there was this crazy third twin named Margo who showed up and nearly killed everyone. I remember that book opened with her doing something really mean with a toaster. OH! She told her little foster sister to fish out a piece of bread that was trapped there with a metal fork, which then killed her! Craziness.

I have to stop thinking about this. Moving on!

My time with Smelly Attorney is over. I know, oh-so-sad. I spent a good chunk of Friday afternoon running up and down the street, trying to find this other attorney's office so I could pick up a letter. I'd been given excellent directions.

"He's down there," the other secretary had said, waving to the south end of the street. "Building sixty-eight, or sixty-something. Sorry I don't know more, that's all Smelly Attorney told me before he left."

I went to the wrong office twice, and eventually got the right building and had to climb to the top floor to find him. The office was in a converted brownstone, like all of the offices on the street, and his office was off of what I assumed had been the servant's staircase, because it was narrow and twisty and ended, at the top, with a door that slid sideways like those you find between train cars. I tapped on the glass a few times with no answer, and finally had to pull the door open and peek in.

"Hello?" I said, in my best friendly-yet-professional voice. It sounds a lot like my nervous-and-embarrassed voice.

The attorney jumped into the hallway. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, uh, hi!" I said. "I'm here from Smelly Attorney's office? To pick up some documents?"

"I'm supposed to call you," he said, annoyed. "It's not ready. I will call you when it's ready, and then you can pick it up!"

"Um, okay!" I said, and then scampered down the stairs. I felt all embarrassed and chastened even though I had been following directions! Doing my job! And then I had to go back two hours later, climb all those stairs and wait at the same weird slidy door, to get the stupid package.

Stupid attorneys.

I meant to write about something else, but my headache is turning into one of those where I'm convinced my eye is going to explode, so time to sleep it off!
fearlesstemp: (bucky)
Horrifying development: Am barred from the internet at work! I nearly went crazy this afternoon, after spending all day sorting papers and doing data entry in this a tiny white quiet room.

As you know because I posted from LJ on my first day of this three day assignment, I do have the ability to get on the internet at work. But I was informed at the end of my first day that due to virus concerns, they generally didn't let people use it. Maybe it is office policy, maybe they're just playing Torture the Temp – either way, I figured, I could deal. It's just two days, I thought. I can do this. I'll grumble and mutter and complain about fascist office managers, sure, but it won't be a big problem. I'll be bored, but I'll be okay.

Wrong! So wrong! Not okay! Was most definitely not okay! By 4PM this afternoon I was positively crazed, bored out of my skull, desperate to check my e-mail or LJ or, at the very least, interact with something other than the pile of invoices I was inputting. I had the internet at my fingertips, the only thing between me and it my fragile, almost nonexistent willpower! It grew to be a kind of mythic thing, a test of my character, which gives you an idea of how small and unremarkable my life is. I started envisioning it: the sad turn of the John Williams score playing over the scene where Jess the Fearless Temp breaks down and frantically starts leaving voicemails for people in a desperate attempt to interact with the world.

(Note: This actually happened, at about 4:15 today.)

Anyway, I did survive. And will, hopefully, survive again tomorrow.

And now! Now I have to go to bed so I can be conscious enough to drive the wretched commute! Stupid, stupid job. Why did I say yes? Probably to justify some stupid shoe or DVD purchase I made. Or am about to make. Am always on the verge of stupid DVD and shoe purchases.

I owe replies to comments! Will get to them tomorrow night. Right now, must snooze.
fearlesstemp: (working girl)
I feel very Howard Dean today. This is because a canker sore near the front of my mouth is making it painful to smile, so whenever I do, I do this weird grimace-y closed-mouth thing, very similar to old Howie's actual smile, which was mocked to great effect on The Daily Show back when he was in the news. Remember those days? It feels like eons ago but it was actually January. Three months ago. Wow.

A question for the ages: How do you pack up 2400 buttons? I do not know. I've been putting them in bags, which was working until I realized that the pins were poking through and ripping the bags. I solved this by being very creative and just double and triple-bagging the bastards until I came up with a better solution. Put them in boxes? We don't have that many boxes. Should I go get more boxes? I don't know where the boxes are. And so I just sit there rearranging the bags behind my desk, waiting for divine inspiration.

Ooh, it's lunchtime! This is exciting. At least it is for me.
fearlesstemp: (Default)
One of the many reasons I'm glad we're not living in a police state out of Orwell's 1984 is that the whole cameras-in-every-room thing would make exercising even more awful and boring than it already is. I mean, were there cameras installed in my house, monitoring my every movement, I wouldn't feel nearly as free to bust a move while treadmilling to JC's new CD. And I have to tell you, bustin' a move while listening to JC's CD is really the only true joy I get out of exercising!

Don't be fooled: it's a risky, challenging endeavor. First there is the fear of spinning off of the treadmill with a huge crash mid-hand-gesture, leading to my parents discovering me lying next to the still-running treadmill, explicit JC lyrics streaming out of the boom box next to the exercise machine. Secondly, there's the simple fact that there aren't that many different dance moves one can do while walking on a treadmill. I feel adding in lip syncing and elaborate facial expressions more than makes up for it, though.

After a week and a half at work listening to JC's CD, I decided to branch out into the rest of my CD collection. I did this mostly because I was getting to know the songs so well that it was only a matter of time before I started bellowing out, "ALL DAY LONG I DREAM ABOUT SEX!" in the middle of the conference room. Though this job is boring as hell, it is good for having reintroduced me to most of my CD collection. I'm bad about music; I buy CDs very rarely, and once purchased, almost never listen to them, because when presented with free time, I'm almost definitely going to go for TV, a movie, or a book before I reach for music. Anyway, now I'm listening to stuff I bought two or three years ago and listened to once or twice then and realizing now that hey! So-and-so isn't too bad! That John Mayer could be going places! Etc etc.

Other job notes: This morning I collated, later in the morning I filed, and then this afternoon I put labels on envelopes. There was also a forty minute stretch where I had nothing to do but stare at a wall, and another hour-long stretch where I had to sit next to someone who was trying to figure out how to sort a mail merge. And you may think I'm doing my exagerage-for-humorous-effect thing there, but I'm NOT. It was an hour. Of doing nothing. Well, nothing except trying very hard not to make the girl trying to sort the mail merge feel weird since the boss type person had told me to sit with her, and I know I wouldn't be thrilled if I was trying to figure something out with a complete stranger watching over my shoulder. Other activities during that hour: Putting on hand lotion twenty times. Trying to figure out how to dole out my Diet Pepsi so it would last the rest of the day. Internal debate over office pot luck.

Office pot luck! Now this is something worth discussing. And when I say "worth discussing" I mean "really quite boring to everyone who's not me, but watch me care." So I came onto this job thinking it was a short-term filing thing, but now it's getting more vague in terms of length, and today the girl passing around the sheet for the office pot luck tomorrow gave it to me! And asked if I wanted to sign up! And I was all "....Not really."

Those weren't my exact words. Anyway, people are bringing things in like corn chowder and baked ziti and all sorts of complicated food dishes, and people have already beaten me to the punch on the soda and paper supplies front (dammit!), and GD it but I'm not going to cook for random people I met nine days ago. I have The Apprentice to watch tonight, you know! Not to mention my tape of this week's Scrubs! IMPORTANT THINGS.

I didn't sign up for anything, but then I felt guilty, and on my break later (yes, I did take a break later, even though and hour of the afternoon before said break had been spent sitting doing absolutely nothing at all – I still deserved a break, right? I mean, it was exhausting nothing, in that it involved me being friendly but unobtrusive), I called my mother and asked her advice. She said I should bring something, and I decided to bring cookies even if someone else was because I just don't care! Cookies can be bought at the grocery store! No baking for me!

But isn't it random that they asked me to bring something in? I mean, maybe she was just trying to include me or something, but I don't want to be included! It's like how they keep asking me to order lunch with them, and I keep saying no because (a) I bring my lunch, and (b) I like to get out of the office for lunch, even if out of the office is just out of the building, sitting alone in my car.

While I was enjoying my little afternoon break, this older woman came up to me and said, "Are you Jessica MyLastName?"

Which freaked me out. I automatically assumed they'd discovered that I'd been goofing off on the internet too much at work, which I then quickly realized was impossible due to the whole not-having-a-computer-or-a-desk thing (but that gives you an idea of how much time I do goof off online at work when I have a computer at my disposal). Turns out she was just Senior Boss Lady of HR introducing herself, wanting to know if she could introduce me to the staff.

"Uh, right now?" I asked, trying to sound friendly even though I was very pissed to have my leisurely reading of Ladies Home Journal interrupted.

"No no no, via e-mail," she said. "I was wondering if you could bring in your resume or perhaps just type up a brief paragraph I could put in the e-mail, talking about who you are, where you've been, where you're going – I'd really appreciate it."

"No thanks, I'd rather die," I said.

Again, not my exact words. So I printed out my resume tonight and have to bring it in and now I'm all !!! because why are they doing this? Are they going to keep me on more long-term? I canNOT file all day for much longer -- because the other day I almost flipped out and got violent on one of the folders I was collating stuff into. It took every last ounce of my self-control not to grab the overstuffed refusing-to-close sonofabitch and beat it to death on the edge of the table.

But I withheld! And am proud of it. But I'm not sure how another folder would fare on a future day. And so I ask myself: Am I really fit for collating? Are files safe with me? I'm not so sure.

This job is so random. Must find boss person tomorrow and get to the bottom of my status there. I'm actually most annoyed with myself today (every day there's a new reason why I'm most annoyed with myself) because I didn't just flat-out ask HR Boss Lady when she was standing right in front of me. Why? Why did I walk away and spend the rest of the afternoon wondering? It's like my mind is on a permanent three-hour delay.

How did it get to be this late? I was going to do the comment thang, and send e-mail, and Get Stuff Done! Dammit. Tomorrow, I guess. Bedtime it is!
fearlesstemp: (Default)
All day long, I sit at a desk putting piles of paper in reverse chronological order, coming up with all of these things I want to write about in here, and then I get home at the end of the day and vegetate in front of the TV and end up staring at the little white Update Box, totally clueless. I swear I had deep thoughts! Insightful thoughts! Well, some kind of thoughts!

And one of these days I am going to ramble on at length about JC's album. That day is not today. Today, instead, I discuss another recent source of great joy in my life:

dirty dancing: havana nights )

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fearlesstemp

February 2009

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