B is for Boring Classes and Bad Days

The day began with me stumbling around in a sleep-befuddled state, going through the motions of showering, putting on makeup, etc. We left the house at seven, stopped at Starbucks (where, I have to say, it’s criminally incompetent to have a new barista working during morning rush). I got to work to find that a file I KNOW I had stips for was returned by the underwriting for lacking the very stips I was certain were put in. I told my teammate K, who was covering my desk this week, that I would handle it at lunch, but either she didn’t hear me, or the manager on-call was trying to be helpful, because it went to underwriting AGAIN, and was returned with a “Decline Incomplete” status.

Meanwhile I was in the training class from hell, in which Scott (not his real name) went through a powerpoint presentation of screenshots of the new software (which, mind you, we had two weeks of training on in APRIL) as a helpful “review.” Had this lasted the five minutes – ten at the outside – that it really required, this would have been bearable, and almost informative. Alas, he kept us captive for THREE HOURS, during which he went through every. single. screen. Twice.

You know that scene in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when Ford and Arthur are subjected to Vogon poetry and their heads nearly explode? I felt like that. Only instead of being repulsed, I was bored nearly to tears. And that, coupled with severe lack of sleep, meant that it was all I could do to stay awake and pretend to care about what was being said.

It wasn’t just me, though. At the break there was almost a queue to beat our heads against the wall. Almost. A teammate, my manager, and I all vented to each other, then got more coffee (I’d already nursed a quadruple venti iced almond nonfat latte all morning).

So, by noon, I’m bored, jittery from a quantity of caffeine that was a bit much even for me, and crabby because I was tired. We went to lunch at the corporate cafe where they were pimping the most amazing taco salads ever, and I proceeded to douse my shirt with cranberry juice. (At least it wasn’t white).

After a luxurious twenty minutes of actual lunching, we all trooped up to our desks, working for forty minutes while our teammates bitched about having to help with our files. Well, not MY teammates, because our team is uber-cool and we get along splendidly, but the other ppl’s teams were much with the bitching. Not fun.

A bit later, we went back to class, where we were subjected to a lesson on how to do a verification of employment. We have all been through training on this. We all do about ninety such verifications a month. We told the trainer this when he asked. HE WENT THROUGH THE ENTIRE THING ANYWAY.

I’m pretty sure I slept through most of it, because by that time my pod-mate and I had amassed a collection of chairs, and made ourselves comfortable, and Todd’s voice is relaxing, with a neutral accent, and no real dynamic changes. . Our managers shook their heads, laughing, and didn’t care. (They were busy surfing flickr and looking at vacation pictures, anyway.) Anyway, we were granted another break, and the lot of us trooped over to the espresso bar for caffeine and sugar. (The sugar ended up being one really intense slice of chocolate mousse cake and ten forks, – we all shared the cake.)

We sat in the cushy lobby chairs and chatted for a while, then went back to class for another hour, after which half of us went back to work. I was greeted with a plate of really amazing pizza, and an apology from another teammate. “I forgot you were in training, and we ordered this today. Have some?” It was cold, but I like cold pizza.

Still, my brain was fried, is fried, and I barely got through the last two hours of my day. Finally I could leave, and now I’m home, beating my Creative Zen Micro into submission and preparing for sleep, and another boring day of training I neither need or want.

Would someone remind me, please, why I sold out to the soulsucking corporate world?
I don’t know either.


I’m in training all week at work, because they think it actually takes a week of eight-hour sessions to learn a piece of software. I’ve begged them to just give me the manual (which is in serious need of editing) and let me just figure it out, but they say I have to sit through it.

(I hated school for the same reason I hate training classes. I have no patience for people who teach to the lowest common denominator.)

I did score my own copy of the manual, however, so, hey, bonus.

* * * * *

The worst thing about being stuck in a class, however, is that my usual schedule is that I still have to work from the end of class, at five, to the end of my normal shift, at seven, which isn’t so bad, really – we’re well paid – salary + OT + incentives – and they’re bridging our bonuses so those of us in training aren’t losing income – but class starts at 8:30, and I have enough of a workload because I was covering two desks in addition to my own, last week, that I have to be in by 7:30 or so every day this week, in order to keep caught up.

Which means being up at six.

And I am so NOT a morning person. I mean, I LIKE my cushy 10-7 shift, and not having to worry about what the traffic will be like between Grand Prairie and Irving, or lines in Starbucks, or, or or…

Just UGH.

Cupertino by Night?

We keep the ringer on the bedroom phone turned off, for the most part, so when I heard the phone ringing at 12:15, I thought it was the television. Of course, I was watching Rent, and the phone in the guy’s flat sounds nothing like any of our phones, so I did finally glance over and see that the caller ID was active, and the area code was from Minnesota.

I knew, of course, that it’d be Julia (Bripadme to the LJ crewe) calling from Cupertino, where she’s spending her weeknights for the next month or so. “Melissa!!!!!!” she shrieked into the phone so loudly that I could actually count the six exclamation points. “Guess where I am?”

But I knew. Well, sort of.

“San Jose!!!!!!!” I squealed back, using SEVEN exclamation points, because, hey, I’m the one writing the entry. (Actually, I did not squeal. I never squeal. Ever. Well. Not in public. But I was properly enthusiastic, if a little jealous because I’ve been homesick all month, and it’s not improving. )

Anyway, she was calling from the middle of Stevens Creek Blvd to ask for advice on late night dining. I’d recommended Hobee’s because no one should miss out on such a place, but it was after ten in California (obviously) and since it’s Sunday, it was closed. She found an IHOP as I was looking up addresses for Denny’s (which I knew would be open, though the only one I’m familiar with is the one on Bascom in Campbell) on the web, but it, too, was closed. (As I’m writing this I’ve just remembered that the IHOP on N. First in downtown San Jose is open past ten, but sending her to downtown San Jose, from Cupertino, after having been on a plane all day, seemed cruel. I mean, if I was gonna send her that far, I’d have just sent her to Original Joe’s.)

I need to remind her that there’s generally a nifty piano player in the lobby of the SJ Fairmont at night. She’d enjoy it, I think. (Actually, I dated a guy who played piano at the Fairmont way back in the mists of my pre-Fuzzy life, but that is a completely different story, and I’m saving it for the book, I think.)

Anyway, I finally just sent her back the other way on Stevens Creek, knowing that if she went far enough she’d eventually hit Safeway and/or McDonalds, and I recommended she check out Miyake for lunch while she was in town, so all is well.

But the ten minute conversation we had was enough to wipe away the remnants of me being incredibly frustrated and disappointed in myself earlier tonight, and it was good to talk to her, however briefly. *sigh* I really need more women friends.

My last words to her, “Hah, I’m giving you directions in a city I don’t even live in. I am so blogging this.” And so I’ve done.