mercredi, juillet 23, 2008

I Won

I try to limit myself to the truly amusing stories whenever I talk about work on this site.

I have one for you.

Last year I got moved into another department, much to my chagrin. My other job wasn't perfect - it had its share of stress and I had my bouts of extreme self-doubt - but I liked the high-profile aspect, and the fact that I actually was useful there.

The new job was quite a change. No one really needed me, even though everyone was more than nice and welcoming. I quickly became bored and felt totally useless. Which in turn led me to lose any and all motivation.

There were things I could do to pass the time, but I had absolutely no desire to do them. Most especially, I was asked to file continous paper updates in enormous documentation binders. Navy blue official-looking binders so huge the binding is made of wood on the inside. They are big, heavy and totally mind-numbing if all you're doing is 'replace pages 14a-15d with pages 14a-15f.'

My predecessor had not done the last few months of updates, so I had a lot to catch up on.

I put it off.

And put it off.

And put it off.

Until the pile of updates, left unopened in their plastic sleeves, reached at least a foot off the floor.

I've been in this job for a little over a year. Only once, my semi-official boss needed to consult the binders.

"Penelope?" he called tentatively from the hallway, "Those documentation binders, did you do the updates?" The upturn in his voice betrayed his anticipation of the answer.

He entered my office, his eyes shut to sheild himself from the view of the glaringly massive pile of white update folders he knew he would find on the floor. He opened them to my smiling face.

"Nope!" I said cheerfully, "As you can see, I haven't touched them. But you know, you could always use the electronic subscription, which is always up to date." I tilted my head to side as I held the air hostess-y smile I had plastered on my face.

"I don't like the electronic version," he replied, almost apologetic. "You really should start on it when you can," he added unconvincingly.

"Hmm mmm!" I replied in dismissal of the subject.

A few months later, he was promoted and became my official boss. I was in his office discussing some of the things he wanted me to help him with in his new role.

"And, Penelope," he said, a hint of defeat in his voice, "you can go ahead and cancel the paper subscription of the documentation. Your refusal to do the updates has shown me that it actually is not something we use or need. We will stick to the electronic subscription from here on out."

"Victory!" I shouted. I did a little dance around his desk chanting, "I won! Laziness pays after all!"

He watched me go round and round, shaking his head and smiling.

Strangely, I'm beginning to like this new job.