aqua fortis

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pet Peeves

I have many, but I'm only going to talk about two, because one of them is really just an excuse for a long rant about work.

Peeve #1: Bicyclists who don't obey the rules of the road, like they're supposed to--e.g., stop signs. I really, really hate this. It annoys the crap out of me.

Peeve #2: Doing good work that goes unappreciated. I realize that it's usually futile to worry about that kind of thing, but it still bugs me. For instance, at my current temporary day job--my recurring Office of Education temp thing--I do a lot of work that, frankly, I'm underpaid for. Technically I am a clerical sub and/or temp, which means I get paid an hourly wage dependent on how they classify the specific job I'm called in to do.

Usually--like now--I'm just a plain old Admin Assistant I. Somebody needs extra help with backlogs of filing, or they need someone to fill in at the front desk for a day, and they call me, and for a decent clerical wage I come in and help out for a few days, so I don't freak out about how little money I'm currently making at freelancing.

But for this particular job--working on some yearly projects that I helped with last year--I do way more than an Admin Assistant I should be asked to do, and don't get paid any more for it, NOR do I get much in the way of props, either. Not only am I essentially doing the work of a project lead--receiving stipend applications, processing the applications, setting up an Access database to plug in information so that I can mail-merge it into various mass mailings, spreadsheets, etc., plus printing all of this crap out and stuffing it into envelopes--I'm also doing graphic design and desktop publishing, including designing two different business cards, and a whole suite of matching items for an upcoming luncheon, including two invitation designs, reminder cards, place cards, certificates of appreciation, and an agenda/program booklet. I tell you, I get no love.

Plus I have to deal with the caterer because my supervisor has never had Mediterranean food and hasn't heard of any of it. Who--in California, anyway--hasn't heard of baklava, or hummus? But I'm serious. And she's the one who wanted a beach-type theme and asked me for thematic food suggestions. I thought, well, classy business lunch, how about Mediterranean? She was thinking hamburgers and hot dogs. In the Board Room. And her ideas for a beach theme somehow keep including bamboo. I had to point out that that would only work if she's doing a South Pacific or Southeast Asian beach theme, whereas, to my knowledge, bamboo doesn't really grow in the Mediterranean. I seriously had this conversation with her. Swear to God. Later in the same conversation I found out that she doesn't eat anything other than very plain American food, and no vegetables except for green beans. Not even salad.

So now I'm dealing with two catering situations, because I'm also going back and forth with the caterers for the Welsh conference this summer. Guess what? I don't think I like it.


TadMack said...

The thing is this: when you decide to travel to Tierra del Fuego, where the Patagonians are, where they speak Welsh, you'll be well set up to organize them into a resistance force...


Just don't forget to put any of this stuff you do -- for the Dept. of Ed - in your personal portfolio. I have done too many jobs like that and just blew the stuff off, but you did it, and you did it for the Dept. of Ed., so you can at least get a little PR out of it and use them back.

If you're going through an agency, I know you can tell them you did way more than your position required, and they need to request a higher-paid person next time, but that's all I can think of, not that you asked for my advice on your rant anyway...