Getting dressed in the dark

As usual I’m up before anyone else. I aim for that, actually. Anyone else with small kids can appreciate those precious minutes without someone asking for something, or all up in your …. I mean asking for a cuddle, or needing some task taken care of so you can dash off to ferry them to …

You know the drill.

This does mean, however, that almost every day I get dressed in the dark. Literally. Back-when-I-got-a-paycheck I once worked a job where half of the time I had to be in the office by 7am. Heck, DH didn’t wake up until about then to be at work at the luxuriously late hour of 9am. I wore a lot of mix-n-match stuff but the one thing that tripped me up for a while at first was the navy blue/black tights. Nothing like wearing a black suit with navy tights. And what made the work pretty awful, in addition to the 7am, in addition to the boss who was more-than-the-usual incompetent, in addition to all of that, the job was so busy that I eternally had more work than I could fit into a 12-hour day so I barely had time to pee, far less dash out to buy the correct color of tights.

I have to say that those 14 months comprised the worst job I ever had, beating out even night shift at Wendy’s.

It was a gilded cage though. The offices were in Citicorp Center in NYC. That’s the building with the distinctive sloping top you see on the NY skyline. We were waaaay high up in the building and that winter was so very cold and clear. I remember seeing the Tappan Zee Bridge from the building, which if you know how so very far away that is, it’s impressive. We had the whole floor and you could see out all four sides. In the right conference room you could see both Yankee Staduim and Shea (Mets) Stadium.

One day I was at my desk and out of the corner of my eye I saw something flashing out the window. Hunh? I looked out for a few moments (not like I had that many) and I realized with a sort of fascination but also cold horror that sheets of ice were being blown off the roof and were being spun around and around as they fell to the ground. Given the distance I think they were about five feet across. I have no idea what happened when they reached ground level but since I never heard anything I’m so hoping they broke up into hail before reaching ground level. It could be so lethal!

The job was server and PC support for a company that was still setting up, so we needed new servers and new services all the time. I was brought in and only on my first day found that the office was running and operating system that I’d barely heard of. This should have been a warning sign. When the IT department is two people, you’d think it would come up in a job interview. It didn’t. This was a sign of how happy-go-lucky and idiotic my boss was. We were forever having servers just die on us. From the user perspective you wonder “what are they doing? I need to get stuff done!” From the IT perspective it’s an ulcer, it’s a nervous break down, it’s ****. I only got the last one of those three but that was enough, I thought.

In the first month of working there a server died. My boss’ idea was “why don’t we just not bother to turn it on again?” This server had all of the finance information on it, as well as providing printing services to more than half the company. I lost it and, well, I was ashamed of it afterwards and still am, I yelled at him and illustrated why this is a Very Bad Idea. After the “conversation” was over I called DH and advised him that I was probably going to lose my job. Nope. The boss simply used my ideas for recovery as his own.

I started on a campaign to show what an idiot my boss was. But I couldn’t bad-mouth him since I didn’t know if people really loved him. So I started by making sure everyone knew the truth, that he was the only one with purchasing power. I could only say “we need network cards” but he could say no. I couldn’t so much as order paper clips. So that was step one.

Step two was to find chances to be wide-eyed-innocent. This is not normally me. I’d trot it out like when I was struggling to fix something. “Aw gee, I’m not sure how to fix this, gosh it’s got me stumped. But I think H can figure it out, he’s got more experience with this sort of thing.” Blink blink blink. This was generally met with something along the lines of “are you ____ kidding me?”

After I left the job I heard of disaster after disaster which ended about six months after my departure when they hired a new person and canned my old boss. Why was the boss canned? Because he’d been purchasing computers and having them sent to his house. I found it interesting that it took them about two years to find his theft. I also found it interesting that the new guy managed to stabilize the network and get things under control.


About lgiletti

What's to say? I cook, I garden, I repair things. I get into trouble sometimes but I get myself out again.
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