Saturday, October 13, 2007

Stickin' It to the (wo)man

Ok...quick update. I got a fabulous apartment. I am now full-time at work. I have been doing great. I finished my first gemology course and passed with flying colors. (I like pink flying colors.) I am waiting to hear back from GIA to see if I am eligible to receive any scholarships...which would rock. Justin and I are going ten months strong and I am looking into getting a kitten or a miniture dog- something cute.

Alrighty...can we please get a hell yeah for people walking out on the job?! I recently had two different instances of this awesome phenomena. When your life at work sucks because of one person, it's hard not to secretly wish they would get fired or people would realize what pieces of crap they really are.
I, for one, believe that God doesn't work that way. You will never be walking down the street and all the sudden see the guy that cut in front of you at Starbucks this morning get soaked by a car after a heavy rain. You'll never be sitting on a park bench with your "uber crush" making out just as his ex, or your high school enemy, walks by just in time to see him reach in his pocket for that coveted 2-carat diamond ring. Yeah right. You also won't ever be around when the person who has made your life a living hell for so long you stopped counting- finally gets what is coming to them. God just puts his hand up and says, "Nope. Ain't gonna happen. Just go do your thing and leave everything up to me." Ugh!!! FINE!
Not even one teensy little peek into "Youhaditcomingville?" Grr...ok. As I'm mentally stomping away in protest, I again had an epiphany. I love that word- epiphany.
Here I am thinking how unfair it is that certain people get away with everything. That the power of manipulation is ruining my ability to have a normal day in my life. I am worrying constantly that I am getting closer and closer to my breaking point. The last straw is just a nano-incident away. Am I going to be able to do this?! All the sudden, Miss Trigger Finger, shot again. And missed....big time. I didn't even see it coming, so I definitely know God is paying attention. And boy, what a show.
First off, when you decide that you want out of a situation, be it work, a relationship, a bad book even- get the fuck out. Just close that chapter and end of good terms. Don't drag it out to the point where you start looking like a pathetic moron or a scary unstable mean-y. (Yes, I said mean-y.) Why hang out on that limb? If someone is just not happy and thereby takes it upon themselves to invent creative ways to "stick it to the man," shouldn't they just stop wasting energy and leave? Go do something else? Relax?!
Well, you would think that such a level of unhappiness would lead to a change. Either you'd talk it out and clear the air, or things would just get to the point where someone had to step up or step out. So after about a year of constant bitching it finally happened. Just like that. I'm on the other side of the building putting the finishing touches on a recent sale, and I get the confrontation that only a crazy person would have the guts to follow through with.
We don't work on commission, I have known that since the beginning. I also realize that I am the newest person there and I would never attempt to tell someone how to do their job. Even if I know that I know better, it's just not cool. I also have been scared to death of pissing this person off, so it's been a walking on broken glass kind of year.
Alrighty, so here's how it played out- no frills, no spins- just the plain truth. You can't make this shit up. It's funny enough on its own.

We'll start with a brief background- the person I work with that hates me, actually was the person who got me my current job. And I am eternally grateful- seriously. This job has cleared a lot up for me life-wise. I would thank them, but I'm not in the business of handing out ego-trips, so we'll just assume that they know deep down how grateful I am.
The first two months were great. I had fun, we had become really close and I think helped us a lot. Then as Christmas came to a close, I was offered to stay on part time. I made sure is jived with everyone else and accepted. January was a little rough- she complained a lot to me, but nothing ever really involved me. She was mostly bitching about our manager, the owner, the situation. And honestly, at that time I could see where she was coming from. Some things definitely sucked. But it still wasn't that horrible. We could work in a lot worse places. As the winter played out and we got into spring, it was like she was wound tight. There were little blowups and snide comments going back and forth. There was a confrontation with our manager and weekly "meetings" with the owner to explain how mistreated she was. Every day we all wondered what was next. One great day, one good day, one shitty day, one good day, one great day....blah blah blah.
More background- my boyfriend Justin works there too. That's how we met. I normally don't date people I work with. I've done that once before and very unfortunately it didn't work out. I worked with Justin my first Christmas season there and never really paid attention to him. Then last year for some reason it was different. I fell hard and prayed that guy noticed me. We didn't even talk and I was already hoping he'd ask me out. Well to make a long story short, he did, and we're still together.
I again made sure it wasn't a problem with everyone at work and no one had any complaints, except for her. At first, they were valid claims. What if you break up and you have to work together? What about looking too lovey-dovey? Be careful....ok ok. Then it just got fucked up. Justin and I were very secretive about our relationship, but all the sudden he and I are going out too much and drinking too much and all kinds of other stuff that I wouldn't tell Dr. Ruth. Needless to say, I was pissed. But being the scared and intimidated person I was, I said nothing. I was waiting for something to give. And I owed NO ONE an explanation unless they came to me and asked for one.
Alright. So the end of April Justin went to school for a week in Virginia Beach for goldsmithing. It was the first time in almost 5 months that we'd be apart. I got the work schedule for that week and realized that I had two days off. Woo hoo! I'm going to Virginia Beach! And the only person that had a problem with that was, you guessed it! I went anyway. When I came back, we had two horrible days at work, then she got pissed at the tiniest thing (someone correcting her sales slip) and she walked out. Things spiraled downward pretty fast after that. She ran her mouth to everyone, played everyone against everyone else, and pretty much stirred the caldron like the witch she truly is.
The summer sucked. Every week it was a new ordeal. She threatened to quit, talked shit, and basically had most of us flipping her off when she turned her back to us. I was to the point where it was her or me.
Then that fateful day....

This couple had been in twice before looking at 1 carat diamond earrings. They came in again this time to buy finally. I was using the restroom, and when I came out our office manager asked me to giftwrap something for her. So I took the gift and went to the other side of the store. I noticed that couple had returned and smile and went on my way. So I'm wrapping this gift and all the sudden she comes storming over.

Her: We don't work on commission Courtney.
(Obviously I'm not thrilled with the tone she's used)
Me: What? What are you talking about?
(I kinda thought maybe this was a joke)
Her: You heard me, we don't work on commission, so there was no need to get Teresa [our manager] to come finish my sale
(Oook...this is not going well)
Me: I really have no idea what you're talking about.
Her: Yes you do. You saw those people come in and you went to get Teresa to butt in on my sale!
(At this point I realize this is just another one of her tirades, but this time it's a bit more scary and I'm pretty pissed because I know that I didn't do what she's accusing me of.)
Me: I didn't get anyone, I have been here the whole time.
Her: Whatever, I just wanted you to know that we don't work on commission.
(DUH! I'm aware .... what the hell.)

So she storms out of the store. I'm still standing there like what the heck happened? I walked over to follow her because at that point I thought about going outside to be like, "Hey bitch, don't talk to me that way..." But I figured that was not the smartest thing I could do. My manager intercepted me and asked if she confronted me. What really happened was our Office Manager saw the couple come in and when she saw that bitchface was working with them she asked Teresa to help because they had been in the store already and we needed to close the sale. Funny how I get blamed. So she walked out and quit. Just like that. No more of this quitting and coming back the next day bullshit. She just outright quit. Awesome.

Three weeks later, everyone gets along. We're all much more positive. Her name hasn't really been mentioned. I did however find out a lot of the nonsense bullshit she's been saying. Once she was gone it didn't take much to realize all the crap she'd really been pulling. This woman came in yesterday and was asking about her. We just said that she had left. Not that she quit or got fired. It was her decision. There were no hard feelings. Short and sweet. Then the best thing happened. This woman was like, "Aww that's a shame, I bet you all miss having her around, huh?" You know what? Not ONE person said anything. We all laughed out loud when that lady left. Like hysterical laughing. Or maybe it was a laugh of relief and pent up "hell yes, the bitch is gone!" But it felt good.
Today we were cleaning out the office. We always write down our larger sales so we can contact the customer and make sure they are happy with their purchase and whatnot. When Teresa got to her journal she went through the pages and skimmed some of the sales. There was one in particular that caught her eye from about two years ago. (Keep in mind I was not there to cause her any "grief" as she put it.

"1 carat round diamond. SI1/E. Sold to ______. I was the person who helped with this sale. Teresa wrote up the slip, but it was me who talked to him in the parking lot and I spoke to him the day before when he came in again. I helped with that sale." *scary music*

So obviously she was hating before I was there to cause her all the problems she blamed on me. She was wacking out WAY before me. What a misguided, scary bitch.

All the crazy stuff she pulled between flipping off the camera, telling our owner that I was an alcoholic, our manager was ruining her sales (eventhough she has 27 years experience in the busniess- she totally butted in!), we can all now breathe a sigh of relief that she's back home where she belongs. Maybe the job itself was what caused her to be so upset all the time and whatnot. But I however, know better. And it goes way beyond the amount of space I am allowed on here. I know that it's not over yet. Her scary ass "fuck you" smile is all I need to know that it's not over yet. But whatever. I'm just glad that I don't have to look at her everyday. and I sure as shit don't have to hear her glass-breaking laugh.

True story.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A "stinky" situation...

First things first, I am NOT happy that I could not log into my usual blog. That was MY corner of cyberspace and just because I have been busy for the past six months, does not mean that I should have to redo my whole blog. So for my loyal fans, here is the old link so you can pass that along:

Moving on...

I hate to play catch up, but it has been nearly six months. Here's the short version. I did not get into law school. Major bummer, but I'm dealing with it a lot better than I thought. I can take rejection pretty well actually. I've been very humbled by the whole experience. I'm still extremely pissed over how much money was spent on applications and Kaplan courses. But average LSAT's and slightly above average grades don't bode well for admittance. Maybe I'll try again in a couple of years. Or maybe this was for the best. I am currently working on a degree in gemology. I have been working at a jewelry store and I absolutely love it. It could definitely pay a little more, but I'm making it on my beer budget and can still manage a little champagne here and and there. When I finish that I am hoping to do some designing and diamond grading/jewelry appraising. Who knows, I could be working at Tiffany's. But I'd be a lot less stuck up than their sales associates. I for one will NEVER buy my sterling from Tiffany's- I have issues with spending so much on a soft metal. It still tarnishes and anyone ovver the age of 21 that wears those huge toggle necklaces needs to grow up. They do NOT go with everything. (I just had a flashback of my mother superglueing white shoes on all of my barbie dolls while saying, "White goes with everything, Court" when I protested.) She was also wrong.

I thought about getting my Master's in Public Health. I haven't totally ruled that out yet. I just really do not know that to do. I would love to use my degree, but I just don't really feel 100% up to doing it. And I can't afford school loans right now. I'm debt free...I'd like to keep it that way as long as possible. I'd like to be doubly sure of what I'm doing before blowing my wad on some degree I'm not even sure I want. I may apply for a pharmaceutical rep. position. I got one interview, but didn't go. Ha. I know. That was stupid. But after my interview with the sales team that will remain nameless, I've had all the sexist males high-fiving each other over who won the farting contests I can take. (I'll explain in a second- it's worth mentioning.)

I'm focusing all of my attention and energy on getting the eff out of my parents' house. I cannot stay here much longer. I'm too old for this family business, and to be frank, I like living on my own. I feel more in control of my life and more mature. Living at home (with a curfew- I'm not kidding) is really starting to go against my grain. I've scoured the bulletin boards, newspapers, and word-of-mouth apartment leads, and really have not found a damned thing. I need something I can afford. And again, that's not a whole lot. This starting out stuff is hard, so I'm not expecting any miracles. I'll keep positive though!

Ok, so back to the interview. Keep in mind that I am a freshly-graduated, doe-eyed, optimist with a helluva lot to learn.

I was desperate one night and got on the job search sites. I found a listing for insurance sales that seemed quite promising. Paid vacation, company car, extensive training program, laptop, no cold-calling. I'd get discount medical and dental insurance which I would really like to have since getting kicked off my dad's Blue Cross last year. (Jerks!) Ok among the list of perks was this little thing called Salary. I had never had a real salary job before. I bartended, waitressed, supervised interns for a summer. This was sweet. Four-fifty a week PLUS commissions. (It may not be much but I was excited- and still knew nothing about the insurance business. But they were willing to train me, right?) So I wear my black suit, one worn mostly for sorority events or convention weekends. I left work early went home and primped a bit. I was on my way.

I arrive at the office of this company. No one was there. I looked around the sterile room with rubber baseboards and that typical "hospital waiting room" furniture. Should I sit down? Should I poke around until I find someone? Then I hear voices. So I walk up to the window counter- seriously, is this a doctor's office? I pear into to window and I see a receptionist wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Nice. Instantly I feel overdressed. I clear my throat and she turns around to see where it was coming from. Another receptionist comes through the door, clad in a t-shirt and jeans ensemble. She looked at me like I was in the wrong place. It was after hours I take it? Alright, so I explain that I'm here for the sales team position. She suggests I take a seat and someone will be right with me. I take my seat and held that seat for nearly 15 minutes. I was about to just leave when I heard men laughing. Then one whispered, loudly, "What's her name? Courtney? Are you sure? I don't want to get it wrong, and make an ass out of myself."

Yes...please....don't make an ass out of yourself. Ok, I can appreciate an office where you can feel free to curse at the appropriate times, but this was not an appropriate time. And I really don't think 'Courtney' is that hard of a name. Assclown. Strike one.

So after he gets his shit together and my name, the voice finally gets a face. I think his name was Bill? I don't remember. He shook my hand so hard I thought I heard my bones crunch. I passed a few people who I assumed were agents, all male. All had that car salesman-cheap suit thing going on. You could have heard a pin drop when I walked by. They eyed me as I stepped into Bill's office. They had somewhat angry looks on their faces too, whatever that meant. It felt hostile. That's all I know. His office was strewn with papers and a couple empty take out boxes. It definitely fell into the "hot mess" category. There were the token pictures of his family, a picture of three guys toasting whomever took that photo with red Solo beer cups. As I sat down, I had that feeling that I was being the wrong place. I do not think I'm hot or sexy or any of that crap, but this guy (my potential superior) is looking THERE. I seriously watched his eyes as I sat down and was waiting for his gaze to move up to my face where it fucking should be. At that moment I wanted to leave. But I liked the prospect of a company car and benefits too much to leave. Ok...steeerrrike two.

He opens by asking me a little bit about myself. I loathe that question. Did you not read my cover letter and resume? There is nothing more you need to know. I will never fill you in on my personal life, so let's just stick to the professional stuff, mkay? "Well," I take a deep breath. "I just graduated from _____. I recently moved back home from South Carolina where I had a really fun job doing_____. I really am looking to go in a completely different direction than I previously planned because"....shit. This is why I hate that question. Do you have a millenium? I was thinking about twenty steps ahead of where I was talking and I just realized, that I never even thought to practice was I was going to say. Nor did I think that I should research the actual selling of insurance part instead of researching the hell out of the company and their product line. I spent all this time learning what they did and how broad their client base was, but I didn't really think of anything about the job itself. I didn't know what I'd be doing outside of what they listed on the job posting and I really don't know the first thing about insurance, except that I don't have any. Sure I'll get training, but I don't think I like insurance...and this guy REALLY needs to look at my FACE. So I keep trudging along trying to sound peppy and excited. Then he asks, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" PLEASE. Don't ask that question. I don't fucking know! I live my life one drink, one fun night, or one pair of cute shoes at a time. I really just break even monetarily every month. I really just want to do better than break even. Can I say that? Another deep breath, "Well Bill, I am now starting down the path I'd like to call my plan B, since I decided not to go to law school right now. (More like I was shut down) I'm looking to join the real world and three more years of school just didn't seem like something I was ready for at this time. I am open for any opportunities that may arise. Ideally, I would love to find a job that will allow me to establish myself and a job that I can feel good about. I'm a workaholic; I take my work seriously. I just want to be challenged and be proud of what I do, and only then do I care about what it pays. I really can't say where I would be in five years. Hopefully, I will be successful and I'll have been at the type of employment I just described for almost five years." Ok, I'm beating a dead horse. I stop and just let him have his interview back.

"Great. All great answers! So, what if I told you that you could be making six-figures in five years' time? What would you say to that Courtney?"

Ha! I'd say hell yeah, who wants a drink? Mama's making six-figures!

"Well, I think that'd be great!"

"Good, let me tell you just how we can make that happen..." And then Bill goes into this spiel and had totally lost me. All I heard was, "mentor program,"" could be a supervisor coming out our training's kinda like college, for the first two years you'd be in classes for three days a week and then...." Whoa buddy, what part of "I don't want to be in school for three more years" don't you get? This creep sounded so rehearsed. All I kept thinking after he said the part about six-figures and company cars was how much this resembled a pyramid scheme. I was waiting for that guy from the "Millionaire Real Estate" infomercial to step into the office and really show me "the 7 steps to success."

I probably should have thought of some insurance type questions to ask but I really just didn't think this was for me. So I decided to come clean. "Can I stop you Bill?" He nodded, at my breasts. (AHHH!) "Look, I want to be honest here, this is my first interview for a real-world job. I have never sold insurance. I do not know the first thing about it. I understand there is a two-year training program, but that just seems a little involved to me. Am I going to be compensated for this training? I won't be acutally selling anything, so how am I going to be making a living for these two years? I just don't know if I would be a good fit with this company if I have absolutely no experience, none. I know policy, political policy. I just don't see how someone like me, who has no business background and no real sales experience, could be a match."

And would you believe that bastard just kept right on going as if I hadn't stopped him?! I mean like he didn't even blink. He just kept droning on and on.

He then asked me to take this test which was a series of questions reworded to make sure that I consistently respond the same way in similar situations or some shit like that. I own these tests. I am the queen of rewording. I do not advocate plagiarism at all, I always cite. When in doubt, cite that shit. But I can summarize, paraphrase, regurgitate, etc, with the best of 'em. He says it usually takes an hour. An hour?! Ugh. I start to tell him that I do not want to waste his time if he is already sure that I am underqualified. He then tells me that they are specifically looking for recent college grads. They want to find people with varied backgrounds so they can have a diversified team. Ok, that makes some sense, I'll bite. So he sets up his personal computer for me to take the test on. He says that when I'm finished my answers will be sent to his email and then he will use them to further evaluate my application and interview. OK cool. So I sit down behind his desk. I gotta admit people, I belong on that side of the desk. The control side. His chair was very tall and cushy. I had this image of me dusting my "sales person of the quarter" trophies and chatting with my secretary (which would be a male, because you just don't see enough guy secretaries, and we'd be the best of friends.) He left the office and I got started.

About five minutes in this retarded test..."Do you like working with people? How do you feel about direct interaction on the job? Do you enjoy face-to-face interaction with clients?" Seriously!

I hear a woman's voice. She sounds like she has smoked for some great length of time, so I'm guessing she was a lot older than me. And then I hear, "Well we're looking for potential employees who have work experience in the insurance field and can bring ideas to the table. We seek leaders....blah blah blah." I didn't need to hear anymore. That fucker is interviewing someone else for the same job as me! Who the hell runs concurrent interviews?! That is so rude! The walls are paper thin and I can hear exactly what is being said. She said that she saw the job posted on Monster (as did I) and she was wondering what this two-year mentor training program entailed, because she felt she had a leg up on less experienced potentials with her 10 years of inurance sales experience. She was looking for a new job because she did not like the drama of her current office. Who cares....he told me they were looking for recent graduates. This guy was just tailoring the interview to fit whoever he was talking to. This is horseshit. I go back to finishing the test. And all the sudden I want this job. I really want this job. I bet you she wants a new job because the drama was caused by here at her current job. Bill is going to beg me to take this job. Thirty-five minutes later I am on the last section of questions. One hour? Pfft! Whatever.

Here's where it gets interesting. There are now two people interviewing the drama queen. Bill then asks her to step into a cubicle to take the test. Ha! I got a whole office! You got a cubicle. You're probably used to cubicles, aren't you? Glad you aren't out of your element. I type faster and faster so I can have the best time of anyone who has taken this stupid test, all the while imagining all the power suits I will buy with my commissions and how I will have pretty letterhead and have my own business cards to casually hand out when schmoozing.

Ok, so Bill and another guy...are talking about game scores and male sports crap that I know nothing about. I am finished with my test but I figured I'd just go ahead and send it to his email and then wait to see if they say anything about me. I don't think there's anything wrong with eavesdropping...I am curious! Then it happens. Bill, or I think it was Bill, starts a tirade about how he's tired of interviewing every week for this position. (It can't be that bad can it?) The other guy agrees and they continue talking. I damn-near have my ear up to the wall to hear better, hoping that they come back to something nice about me and my potential maybe...when the loudest fart I think I have ever heard rips through the air. I was completely startled! I fell back into the chair and was stunned. I was speechless. The "boys" (because MEN don't act like that.) erupt into laughter and then begin shushing each other.

"Do you think they heard?"

"Man I don't know..."

"Oh wow, that is stank!"

"Heh heh, you gonna answer that shithead?"


"Yeah hang on..."

slightly quieter farting...slightly.

"Ha ha! Man that's awesome! HAHA!"

Ok...STRIKE FUCKING THREE. You have got to be kidding me. Two professionals, and I use the word professional very loosely, acting like children. What an impression. I really thought about writing the district manager or something. This was just apalling. Foul. Unprofessional. Disgusting. Immature....I could go on. I definitely DO NOT want this job.

The door swings open quickly and Bill comes in and slams the door. His face is beat red when he sees how startled and disgusted I am. He stammers and apologizes for barging in. I just sat there. What do you do? Really, what do you do? I eventually blurt out, "I finished the test!"

He asks if I have any other questions and I say nope, not one. I should have asked him if he needed to check his pants, but I thought that might be rude. So he says that he will look over my test and will be in touch. I didn't even shake the guy's hand. He is gross. I felt his heavy stare as I walked out to my car. EWW. No thanks.

Here's the kicker, I haven't been in my car for ten minutes when my cell rings.

"Courtney? this is Rick! I am sorry I didn't get to meet you during your interview today, I was in a meeting in the next office...."

Did this jackass just out himself? Rick was the other gas blaster!

"Oh hi! That's ok, I understand."

"Well, I looked over your resume and it's very impressive. I'd really like to meet with you sometime this week. Are you free this Wednesday? We will do a brief interview and then we can start talking more in depth about your training and whatnot..."

Is this guy for real? I totally bombed that interview. I was unprepared. I just felt like I wasn't a match at all.

"Um, sure I'm free Wednesday. Eleven o'clock? Ok I'll see you then. Thanks! I look forward to meeting you."

Haha....I've already HEARD you, might as well put a name with an ass....and I'm not talking about his posterior.

I didn't even go to that second interview. I didn't call either to let them know I wasn't coming. Take that. I am certain I would'nt have got the job anyhow, and if I was hired, I doubt it would be what they were making it out to be. I didn't see one female agent. There were at least 6 guys there, and the only females were the receptionists. I just find that weird. I doubt the gals went home early. They probably need to hire a woman to make the office look less sexist or something. I'll just chalk that up to an interesting way to spend a couple of hours and let it be.

just one more fun-filled event in my