Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?

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Anne's Randomness

The plant

To get the right feel for the title of today's post, you have to imagine it said in the voice of the creepy autopilot from Pixar's "Wall-E" (which, if I remember right, was just the talk-out-loud feature on a Mac). It's not just the plant, it's "THE PLANT". Specifically, a nice little potted plant whose name is Cindy, after her first human.
Cindy now lives in an office near me, though I'm not going to say whose. That wouldn't be smart, because you see, Cindy is an illegal plant. She's real. And as everybody knows, real plants attract bugs. Therefore real plants are forbidden to us here at Glass Bathroom Bank. But what the Realty Services folks don't see, they don't have to know about, now do they?
The reason Cindy had to get a new home is that her current human is going away (transferred to another city... sadness) so she got passed along to somebody else. Here she is after her impressive journey down one set of elevators, through the parking garage, and up two different sets of elevators, safely installed in her new home:
Cindy the plant
Having Cindy nearby makes me happy, because to me she symbolizes that little bit of rebellion that's all but necessary in the kind of life I live. When you're hemmed in on every side by rules that seem pointlessly restrictive, or designed to make your life harder than it needs to be, it's nice to have a pretty green piece of neener-neener on hand.
For instance, let's take the current policy governing job interviews at Glass Bathroom Bank. Candidates get scheduled for interviews by Human Resources, who then send out scheduling notices to the managers conducting the interviews that look something like this:
Interview notice with conference room requirement
If you can't read the text in the red box, I'll quote it for you. "Requests for conference rooms and/or conference lines are handled directly by the hiring manager or their administrative assistant. In addition, please be sure that you notify security that the candidate will need Building Access prior to this interview."
In other words, HR can schedule interviews whenever they please, and it's up to people like me to make conference rooms for those interviews magically appear out of thin air. Contact me beforehand to see if any conference rooms are available? Why would they do something like that? Making the magic happen is my job!
I've been told that I shouldn't gripe so much about my job. "If you don't like it," say the folks who are tired of listening to me, "why don't you just leave? Nobody's forcing you to stay at Glass Bathroom Bank!" Well, you know, there are days I would love to leave. But at most places of employment, they want to see references from your previous employer, and there's just one tiny little problem with that:
The no references policy
Once again, I know this is hard to read, so I'll quote. "Question: Can I provide information about a former employee's work ethic and performance to her new employer? Answer: No. You cannot provide any information to this employer relating to the former employee's work at Glass Bathroom. To do so would violate the Employment Verification and References Policy. You should refer this employer to our outside vendor..."
The outside vendor in question will supply only the bare-bones information of dates of employment and salary. Absolutely nothing about how I do my work or what to expect from me. That is considered confidential information by Glass Bathroom Bank, and all employees are forbidden to reveal any such information on pain of disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
But, you know, there are days I'd almost be willing to risk heading out into this crazy job market without a single reference (since I have spent my entire adult life employed with Glass Bathroom, either in temp jobs or permanent ones). Such as when I receive requests from one of my ten bosses like this little gem, the crown jewel of today's collection:
Tired of approving software
Yes, you read that correctly. "I am tired of approving the list of [software] for every new hire. Can we figure out how to avoid this[?]" Because it's so terribly taxing to have to open all those emails and click on "approve" over and over again. Can we get some ice, please, for Mr. George Jetson's button-pushing finger?
Try doing my job sometime, O manager. Try filling out forms which come with no instructions, in a system on which I was given no training, to request software that can go by four different names, for business purposes I have never been told. Try digging through a 20,000 line spreadsheet to find the exact one of those four names which is needed for this purpose, and going back and forth with the computer people about what's been requested vs. what's actually available, and apologizing over and over to employees who can't do their work for the six weeks it takes to get it all installed. Try that, and then tell me again how tired you are of approving those forms.
I know life's not fair, or easy, or anything like that. But it would be nice to occasionally be given the appropriate tools to do my job, rather than be expected to build a full-sized house with a plastic hammer and a rubber saw. *sigh* I'm going to go tell it to the plant. Thanks for reading, as always. Recall that comments go to moderation rather than into oblivion, and I'll see you all on Fiction Friday, when I hope to have a peek into something interesting and fun!

2 Comments to The plant:

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greatlakesmolly on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 11:55 AM
I can hear the statement "tell it to the plant" in so many ways. At its worst, it's "talk to the hand." But there are are fairytale overtones -- the wronged heroine who has sworn to tell no one of her usurper's acts, so she weeps out her tale to a stove (and the prince overhears it). Perhaps telling your troubles to the plant will, like the plant itself, create a living force that the fools and the petty tyrants cannot overcome.
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Scott on Wednesday, February 04, 2015 12:36 PM
Vive la plante! Vive la résistance!
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