Word(s) of the Day 28 by francoise

Word(s) of the Day 28

Word(s) of the Day: Work

I am not sure how I got behind, but am endeavoring to finish up the July project on principle, not because the results are any great shakes but because it was an assignment I gave myself knowing full well that it was doable. Sometimes stubborn is good.

This is an appropriate day to write about work, because I went to my office yesterday and Monday after at least a month’s absence other than stopping in briefly to make copies or water the plants. The calendar by my desk still showed June. I took the picture above while sitting at my desk looking out into the dismal, poorly designed space where tutoring is supposed to happen. (The place seems to have natural selective color because I turned down the yellows and this was the result, which I liked.) You can see the administrative assistant Missy’s head over the top of the blue partition in the background. She can’t see out of her play pen to survey the area she runs. The ceiling lighting over her desk is so awful that she prefers to work in the gloom than to endure the headaches the lights provoke. The tutoring area is a big hallway. The only saving graces of our basement location is that it’s in a library and that I have a window. A library! Full of books! And I have access to interlibrary loan services of a kind I’ve never experienced. Once I got a book sent from a library on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

Ugh. I am so glad that the director who designed and left us with this awful space subsequently moved away. It’s been about five years now, but absence did not make the heart grow fonder. That was an interesting experience indeed. I worked very hard to like him and to sell his changes to the rest of the staff. He liked to sit in his office -- and he made sure that in the new space he had a door he could close. I’m still not sure why he sequestered Missy behind those walls, however. In any event, when he announced he was leaving, I was initially shocked. Then, as I was walking down a hallway, I started to feel good and when I turned the corner I was actually quite pleased that he was leaving! I realized that I had not enjoyed working with him, a fact I had apparently kept hidden away from even my own self, even though I had noticed that didn’t understand my jokes. Until I learned not to tell jokes or stories I thought were hilarious, a telling would be followed by an awkward pause. “OooooKaaay,” he would finally say and I would wonder how on earth I could have forgotten to stash away my sense of humor while at work. I even went so far as to wonder whether other people laughed because they just wanted to be nice. But now that he had said he was leaving, I was quite free to realize I didn’t even like him!

Apparently the unrecognized feeling was mutual because he gave me a parting shot. He left town just before annual evaluations, but not before writing me one the likes of which I never received before or since. In it I was described as cold, hostile, intimidating to co-workers, reactionary and resistant to change, as well as many other unflattering descriptives which I had never thought of as applying to me. I was stunned, not to mention terrified that I was going to lose my job. I told Maia about it. She just started to laugh. “Congratulations!” she said, “You scared the daylights out of him! All those descriptions apply to him, not you.” I think she may have been right.
Thats awful to have that evaluation! Sounds as if he might have been asked to leave as he would have given that impression himself! Hope it all improves from now on!
August 6th, 2015  
Og gosh Francois thank goodness Maia could see the reality of the situation. Hope things improve now he's gone!
August 6th, 2015  
@maggiemae @thistle It's actually been six years since he's been gone! We're just living with the legacy of the space he designed... We've had the new director now for five years. So that fellow is just a (sort of) funny memory now.
August 6th, 2015  
nice lighting
August 7th, 2015  
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