Sunday, January 29, 2006

FAR Too Late In the Game To Do Much About It

My housemate used to be a business (that just sounds funny), so every once in a while he gets business junk mail. The latest was the STAPLES catalog. As there is absolutely nothing (literally) to look at downstairs as my tea brews, well, besides my baby bootie pattern (Tim has taken it all to Seattle already, you see), I started flipping pages.

I've already vowed to buy furniture when we get a place in Seattle. I mean it! Not just any ol' furniture, but like a desk(!) and a chair(!), maybe even a bookshelf(!!). They don't have to match, that's above and beyond my requirement at this point in time, but I do need something. So the STAPLES catalog had me scanning the furniture section.

That's when it hit me...connections to old and unused synapses are funny things. I used to work at a wonderful bookstore in Santa Cruz... Bookshop Santa Cruz, in fact. I began my stint there as a bookseller and loved it loved it loved it! It was almost as fun as being a librarian, but it involved a cash register, ick. The hours were iffy and not quite enough to make student loan payments, so when the opening in the accounting office came up, I jumped for it. I think it was one of the biggest mistakes in my life.(Even bigger than that whole marriage/divorce thing, really.)

Among all the negative was as positive. My Accounts Payable (AP lady for short) coworker. I loved her! No two ways about it. She was a single mom with two sweet boys and she was so nice!!! Then it all changed. I don't know if I did it, I didn't think so, at the time. I really should have taken all hints and done something about it right away, but I guess that's just took 9 years for me, as I browsed through an office supply catalog, to even see the hints and the whole picture more clearly. (That whole "hindsight" thing.) It's truly sad when something small and stupid can lead to so much grief.

We were moving offices. The head of accounting (HA lady for short) was getting a new desk. I asked if it were possible to get her old desk as the one I was using was literally an old door on two 2-drawer file cabinets, as was that of the AP lady...but mine was delaminating and dreadful because I counted all of the money on my desk. After which a "cleaning ritual" that involved anti-bacterial stuff followed. It was something that had been going on for years before me. I wasn't allowed to even drink coffee during the counting as, unless the cup could be disinfected, HA lady would make me throw away the paper cup, with or without cherished mocha having been finished. Weirdness everywhere, this was Santa Cruz after all. Well, I wanted that old desk gone gone gone cuz, well, just how clean can you get something when all that porous wood is staring right at you? HA lady's old desk was metal and laminate, nothing exposed, really easy to clean. Logic said I should take it.

Office politics were new to me then, I was oh so young and innocent...23 years old? Yup, musta' been. My sweet coworker, AP lady, wanted that desk too. She felt she had "seniority" over me as she'd been there a while. She just about said so when I proposed the desk idea to HA lady. I'd not known before then that AP lady had any interest in the desk, after all her desk was fine! Mine was falling apart.

What I should have done? I should have asked for AP lady's desk instead.

What HA lady should have done? She should have given her desk to the AP lady.

Of course that's not what happened. I got HA's old desk and AP lady kept her old one. It was most logical as that would only involve one person emptying their desk to move to a new desk (not counting HA lady). What also happened was a ginormous amount of tension brewing in our new office. Almost immediately I was called in to meetings about behavior and how much static was in the office. Again, I had no clue. Sides had formed. AP lady got everyone on hers to get ready for the offensive. I didn't know there was one.

About this point in time a teaching job opened in Castroville for a 7th grade ESL teacher. I loved the bookstore, but hated my job at that point. I left, in the nick of time really...shortly there after AP lady left and HA lady was fired.

9 years this what's gonna happen the older I get? Memories coming to the surface that I can't change the outcome of? Lessons first taught or learned bubbling up to be noted and (HA) accounted for?

I have a bootie to finish, but it's much food for thought, at least for me.

Happy Sunday.

1 comment:

knitfriendly said...

Office politics are so complicated. I am glad to hear that you moved on. I went to your bookstore and bought a Bush Countdown keychain for my freind. She is going to love it. Thanks for the link!