I would like to start off by apologizing to my readers (all 5 of you). I know it has been a while since I have written, but I promised myself when I started this that I would not force myself to write. If something screamed “Write me!” then I would write. And in the past ten days, no such screaming. I hope the intense silliness in this post will make it up to you.
So after a few weeks of damn near constant stop and go from the temp agency I am signed up with, they finally came through. I was assigned to the new home office of a super fancy pants resort, tasked with organizing their file room.
I think Kat Dennings said it best in 2 Broke Girls with the line “That place is soul-sucking, and I didn’t know I even had any soul left to suck.”
Holy merde, are there a lot of files to go through. Boxes and boxes of them. This fancy pants resort also recently required a much smaller resort that is a water park in the summer and a ski slope in the winter. The files are all filed separated according to whether they are part of the original fancy pants resort, or the newly acquired resort. Thus far, none of the files have been separated and I have either had to glean from the content where it goes, or ask the secretaries in the office down the hall.
I get this impression from the woman I am answering to that that there was another temp doing this before me. I can tell that she wasn’t very good at her job. I was told that the first pile I started with didn’t have files yet and folders needed to be set up for them. So I proceeded to make file folders for well over two hundred papers. Around a fourth of them did have folders in the cabinets. There are also a lot of doubles in the cabinets already. By quickly scanning the content, you can tell that these are two files for the same person. So apparently, no one is good at filing.
After two days in this place, I can very easily understand why the last temp left.
For starters, I have spent both days alone in the file room. Literally alone. I spend hours on end with no one to talk to. I find my inner monologue speaking to the file folders I am handling as if I can communicate with them telepathically, and they will communicate back. My inner monologue has also taken to using different accents. I think I might be going crazy.
I am also in a room full of paper. For those who are not familiar with what it is like being in a room full of paper, allow me to enlighten you. By nature of being paper, it is very dry. When handling it a lot, it has a tendency of absorbing what little oil is on your hands. So handling paper for hours on end will dry your hands right out, so good hand lotion is a must. The air in the room is also very dry. A humidifier is not an option because you don’t want unnecessary moisture around the paper. So in addition to dry hands, you will have dried out nostrils. And for those playing the home game (which I would assume is all of you, since you’re not in the file room with me), that means nose bleeds. Because like the skin on your body, the tissue that makes up your nostrils cracks when it gets dried out. And when it gets really cracked, it bleeds. If you’ve never had this problem, lucky you. From experience, I can tell you that the scabs the form in your nostrils are exceedingly itchy and wholly uncomfortable. Any attempts to itch or make it more comfortable will result in the dislodging of said scabs and result in, you guessed it, more bleeding. Fun, isn’t it?
The filing cabinets themselves are a mess. Each drawer has a frightening number of folders forced into them. And when I say frightening, I mean about twenty-five folders shoved in about a quarter-inch of space. You try to take out one, and get six. You try to put it back, and find that in order to get it there, you have to wiggle it down so aggressively that not only do you cause the entire five foot filing cabinet tall to wobble, the files next to it cut and rip into your hands and fingers.
And this was only day one.
With an hour left of day one, I discovered that there was a stink bug chilling out on the window sill next to me. He had probably been there the entire day, but I only noticed him with most of the day gone. My instinct wanted me to panic a little. I didn’t. I went to the office across the hall and informed the secretaries of what I discovered. Their response was simple. “Oh, yeah, they’re everywhere in this building, since the weather is starting to get warmer.” I was slightly less than comforted at those words. So I quietly went back to the file room. I looked the stink bug in the eye(s?) and said “Alright, Francisco (I named him Francisco, stop judging me). I know we don’t know each other that well, so I’m going to keep this simple. You don’t move, and nobody gets flushed down the toilet. Capisce?” I have to assume that he did, because he didn’t move for the rest of the day. In fact, he didn’t move at all. He was in the same place when I arrived this morning for day two. It was at this point that I began to suspect that Francisco was dead. I put my stuff down and picked up where I left yesterday.
Day two was much like day one. Hours on end by myself. Inner monologue attempting to telepathically communicate with the file folders. The damage on my hands getting steadily worse. I have no cuticle left on the pointer and middle finger of both hands from wrestling with the overstuffed cabinets, and the folders I’ve been fighting with have actually ripped open both of my middle knuckles. At one point, the cuticle on my right middle finger was freely bleeding without my notice. I’m surprised I didn’t get blood on anything. I only noticed because there was an excessive amount of dried blood caked around the bottom of my nail. The high point of the day was when I discovered a file named “Lord, Sun”. All I could think was “Jeez, you know the economy sucks when even *this* guy has to start moonlighting.” I also discovered that the bathroom was infested with ladybugs. I counted eight while I was using the bathroom. The eighth one surprised me by flying in front of my face. The big takeaway of the day was me wondering how I could delicately ask the woman in charge of me if I could reorganize the file cabinets in such a fashion that I (along with anyone else who needs to deal with them) won’t rip up my hands while I deal with all the paperwork. Throughout the day, I kept on finding stink bug skeletons on the floor. Francisco still hadn’t moved. I didn’t want to disturb him, just in case he was alive, because I didn’t want to prompt him to find my coat. There was an hour left of my day. I was trying not to look to closely at the floor. I was pretty calm. Just trying to chug along and get the work done. And that’s when I happened upon Rico.
You can probably surmise from what you know of Francisco that Rico is also a stink bug. I found him on the window above where my coat was. I then moved my stuff and paused to make sure none of Rico’s friends had found their way into it. It was at this point that I was sure that Francisco was dead, because Rico liked to move. A lot. And Francisco had clearly not moved in at least twenty-four hours. In finding Rico, I also was unfortunate enough to find many other stink bug skeletons in the crevices of the window. I was now thoroughly unnerved. I continued with my filing cabinet rodeo, but every couple of seconds I would turn around to make sure Rico was still on the window. He seemed to be desperately trying to locate an opening to the outside. Rico was clearly not going to adhere to the deal I had had with Francisco. And I would have flushed Rico. However, I was unable to locate something to trap and move him to the toilet in (Right now I would like to express my incredulousness at anyone who has a water cooler and no cups with which to utilize said cooler with. Like, seriously? Am I supposed to hold my mouth to spout like a water fountain? Not cool.) So Rico lived to fight another day. I was thrilled to make it out of there (after checking my coat two more times).
When I got home, I applied band-aides, Neosporin, hand lotion, New Skin, and moisturizing nasal spray, all in copious amounts. Tomorrow, I plan on arming myself with serious hand lotion, band-aides, and my nasal spray all in my purse. I wish I could bring a vacuum cleaner. It would be so convenient for taking care of the pesky stink bug problem.
I should also note that today, I came upon a file with the last name Vizzini. I took it upon myself to write “INCONCEIVABLE” on a post-it note. I figured it would amuse who ever had to deal with it next.
I know this post sounds like a whole lot of whining, and for that I do apologize (again, to all five of you). I am glad to be able to have money coming in when I owe a staggering amount of money to the state in college loans. But I don’t know any marginally sane person who would enjoy any of this. And after spending hours of time talking to no one, I like being able to write it all down for other people to commiserate with. I wasn’t kidding when I started out by saying it was soul-sucking. I’m also kind of hoping someone has a solution to my stink bug problem. I plan on also arming myself with cups tomorrow.
In other news, I got an email this week from a questionable-sounding company that thinks I would make a great head hunter. I’ve got to admit that that’s a new one. Maybe I should take them up on it.