I must be doing something wrong. Either the job or my personality has to go.
Today I found a discrepancy in our database: a direct connector ramp off of one state highway had no corresponding ramp on the interstate it was connecting to. No flyovers, either. Where could they have gone?
The project was marked as having been entered in 2003 by someone who, remarkably, still works there. I emailed her to ask if she still had the construction plans, or at least her worksheet from them, so I could pinpoint the location of the second ramp.
Five minutes later she showed up in my cube with a few slips of paper in her hand. "Here you go," she said. "I just put it on the state highway, since the plans for the interstate end were kind of confusing to read."
"..." I said. You can do that?!
But she's been there, you know, for years; whereas I can't help noticing that the people who bother finishing their work, who are thorough and smart, who are, dare I say it, competent - well, those people don't seem to stick around quite as long.
Okay. The person I'm talking about here is Bubbly Nonsmoker, formerly Bitching Smoker, who - at least in her previous incarnation - was a model state employee. For one, she smoked. For another, she bitched. She was extremely good at both activities. I doubt many people would dare to approach her if she weren't getting her work done, because, you know, they were scared. You can get away with a lot when you're grouchy and intimidating.
So there's one thing I do wrong, being generally friendly and approachable. Big mistake! People only give you work that way. And if you're actually good at it? Well, that'd be a dumbass thing to do.
Coworker-You-Idiot is another good archetype. He's not unfriendly, to put it rather delicately, but you wouldn't necessarily want to approach him anyway. And there's little point in giving him anything to do; it will only give him ideas, and you know that can't be good for him. I think his greatest contribution to the department is that he's tall and always wears the headphones with the little antenna sticking up; so if the building gets struck by lightning, he'll draw it away from everyone else.
Then there's the Phantom Pharter: again, not unfriendly, but... well, I'm sure I needn't elaborate. Around midmorning I found myself standing in the kitchen area talking to another woman when he walked in and began to pour himself coffee, and two horrifying realizations hit me like a sucker punch to the gut:
1. It's Thursday.
2. It was about 10:15am.
I all but bolted; fortunately, the other woman followed along, keeping up her end of the conversation as if I weren't doing anything at all unusual. People know. People know.
And I'm very fortunate that, the way the current seating arrangement on the floor works out, I'm far enough away from the snoring guy that I hardly ever hear him.
There are some normal people there who have stuck around for quite a while. My lead worker is one. He's cool, and funny and smart and knows his stuff; and he's been there for something like 20 years! So maybe there's hope for me.
At least I know I have some construction plans on an interchange to keep me busy on Monday.
Labels: abnormality, helllllp meeeeeeeee, work