Friday, August 25, 2006

Office Space

...and so she weaveth steadily
and little other care hath she...

It’s 8:30 PM, and I’m sitting in my game room, at my computer, writing this. Outside, it’s still a zillion degrees and the cicadas are screaming in the trees. It was 108 degrees when I was driving home this afternoon, according to one of those big interactive, highway billboards along LBJ.

But frankly, I don’t give a damn. My car’s in the garage, the cats are fed, I’ve had dinner (a cold grilled salmon fillet and a bottle of pear ale), I’ve watered the plants (not that it seems to matter, much, in this horrific heat) and (Kath, don’t read this), I’ve had a quick skinny dip.

Life could be worse. I’m actually enjoying this contract gig, in spite of the commute. After 19 months of being unemployed, it feels great to work again, even though I seem to have landed smack dab in the middle of
Office Space. If my supervisor, Dawnelle (yes, that’s really her name, and she’ll never know about this blog, so I’m using it) ...if Dawnelle came up to my cubicle and told me she needed to talk with me about my TPS reports, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

Two of us were hired as contractors, and as much as I’m enjoying this gig, my fellow contractor is not. She doesn’t like the fact that we’re doing the equivalent of Peter Gibbons updating bank software for the 2000 switch (another Office Space reference), except that rather than entering thousands of lines of code like Peter did in Office Space, we’re entering thousands of lines of facts about devices (my co-worker) and drugs (moi) into endless domestic and international FDA reports. It’s not rocket science, and it’s not personally fulfilling in the way that working with kids in child psychiatry was, but it’s a job, and it’s pays ridiculously well, and I don’t have to wear a pager, and for the first time in my life, I have flex time. I LOVE flex time. It takes all the stress out of the commute. No one cares what time I come in, or what time I leave, so long as I do my 8 hours, and I love that. Also, even if I didn’t, the contract’s up at the end of January, at which time I’ll be doing something else, and I like that, too.

Did I mention that we get to actually stop work and eat lunch? Lunch. What an amazing concept. In the 5 years that I worked at the U, I almost never got to do that. Of course there were times that I did, but those were the exception, and not just for me, but for most of my colleagues as well. We either skipped lunch altogether, or grabbed a bite to eat at our desks, hoping we wouldn’t have to deal with patients, either in person, or on the phone, as we ate. A couple of times a month, we had working lunches, brought to us by pharmaceutical reps, who did a dog and pony show for us, telling us why we should push their particular drugs, as we wolfed down their fajitas or pizza or Eatzi’s sandwiches, but even then, taking a full hour was not part of the deal. Usually, at the U, it was easier to just skip lunch altogether.

At this contract gig, there’s so much work that the day just flies by, and then, when I’ve put in my 8 hours...I get to leave. I walk out to my car, drive home, and I don’t have to think about work. That is such a change for me. To not have to carry a pager...I suspect I won’t want to do this forever, but for right now, it’s mindless, and busy, and just what I’ve needed.

Life is good.


AdriftAtSea said...

Sounds like a good deal all around. Congrats Emma...

Chris said...

I think every workspace has a bit of Office Space in it.

Welcome to Innitech, JUST a moment.

Glad you are putting up with the work and enjoying life. I won't tell Kath that mom's been skinny dipping again;)

My Blog

Tammy said...

Hehehe I won't tell! This sounds perfect for you right now! We will chat soon :)

Erin said...

Ah, corporate America. It may suck tiny pieces of your soul each day, but at least what's left at the end of the day is yours completely, and then you have a worry-free evening to rebuild!

I love flex time, too! :-)