Hejira

take this job and shove it

July 7. 2000

My perception of my job has gone from internal panic to mindless complacency to a slowing mounting sense of powerlessness and frustration.

This work week was only three days long, but I went absolutely crazy. Even with Dani back (she was gone on a cruise all last week), I was still going nuts. I can't stand it anymore. Not even the paycheck I got today made it worth it.

*

Dani and I have this ridiculous little game we play with the clock. Near the end of the day, yesterday:

Me: "Have you looked yet?"

Dani: "No."

"Well, what time do you think it is?"

"I dunno."

We work for a little while longer.

"I'm guessing it's....3:25."

"Hm. Okay, I'm going to say it's after 3:30."

She had her watch face covered with her thumb. We both looked at it for a few more moments.

"Do you want to know?"

"Yeah. I want to know."

"Okay."

She uncovered the watch face. It was 3:44. There was much rejoicing to be had.

*

There are these two people who work in my department, Dan and Nancy. They're very amusing because they're always together. Dan follows Nancy around like a puppy, and they're always flirting. They told me and Dani a dirty joke yesterday, and when they left, Dani looked at me and said, "They're telling dirty jokes. They must be fucking."

*

Two people on third shift were caught having sex in the back of a truck.

*

This confirms my suspicion about third shift people: they're all weird (with all due respect to John, of course). They're usually hanging around about an hour or so into our shift, and they never do anything. There were five of them standing there, talking, and watching me work. And I would say something to them, but I am a seasonal and 19 years old, so I kept my mouth shut.

*

A woman in my department died of an asthma attack on Tuesday night. Her name was Mabel, and she was this sweet little black woman who worked upstairs in 1 zone. I really didn't know her except in passing. They assembled all of us on Wednesday morning and told us. One woman, I'm guessing a close friend, became completely hysterical, and had to be led away. I can still hear her cries, they were very eerie, almost animal-like. A lot of people were crying around us, but Dani and I weren't, since we didn't even really know her and hadn't been there long enough to get attached to the people there.