Chaos Attraction

A Chat With SuperBigBoss

2020-06-11, 9:52 p.m.

Well, I wasn't quite as fried by the end of today as I was yesterday--only 5 hours of training, more or less, since the last hour of the day was a meeting with SuperBigBoss. I was still pretty much having breakdown in the morning and when my mom called during my lunchtime meditation class to go on about the taxes AGAIN, I straight up screamed at her like an asshole.*

* I am so The Asshole Neighbor in this complex, between being on Zoom calls all day long and the acting and the crying and the screaming. And meanwhile I am still on, "Why the hell are you walking down the hall repeatedly sneezing and coughing?!?!"

Anyway, today's meeting with SuperBigBoss went about as you'd expect.

The CEO of my giant org and senor leadership want everyone back ASAP but also for people to be healthy, so "if you can work remotely, please stay remote is the mantra for the next several months." If you can remain remote, stay there. Thank gawd for that, at least.

They want as "robust" an in person experience as possible, good god. SuperBigBoss complained that the government has guidance for reopening tattoos parlors and barbershops but not our organization.Official Decision will probably be next week, but it boils down to "partial opening, be prepared to shut down at any moment" anyway regardless.

Then someone asked how the various offices were doing juggling their public service needs. One office said that "we're trying to get staff off phones as much as possible because that's a third of our bandwidth," and they claim that their emails are "stabilizing" to around 500-600/day, 250 calls a day, and they are hoping to remove the career staff from phone answering. Compare and contrast to my office, where BigBoss had to say "Our queue is quite larger, I would say larger than theirs" (she ain't admitting to 950+ in public, I see) an "it is a challenge to manage the phones and our email queue." Though to be fair to BigBoss, starting next week the younger part-time staff are all supposed to be returning to the office so hopefully that won't be as much of a trainwreck.

There will probably be furloughs and budget cuts at least, even if we are not being forced to take a 10 percent pay cut (YET), and even SuperBigBoss is not permitted to hire another assistant after all.

I give Lioness and my boss (let's just say I could tell who asked those particular questions, I need to remember to thank my boss later) credit for attempting to ask: (a) How we can't handle doing all the public service and what about coming up with money for electronic version of Important Documents? Answer: "We're relying on you all to be creative." (b) Essentially, what am I supposed to do when I can't replace anyone, my staff member is retiring and "it's very hard to repurpose when our staff is already stretched thin?" Answer: You're going to have to super argue that the position is necessary to three levels of hiring.

Someone asked what the long term vision is for next year and he called that a "trick question" and said there wasn't anything they could do but try to maintain and get creative about how to get things done without breaking the backs of staff. "Status quo, keep the lights on." Someone else (not from my group, I assume) said something about "when there are too many priorities, there are no priorities" and I think they were asking what we are going to let fall by the wayside, and he was all, "My job is to make sure we have vision and opportunities to move forward" and all they can do is let him know when you are at capacity.

So.... that's how that went.

I talked to Mom, I apologized to Mom later, and then found out that she lost her job today. Now, the job was heading in that direction even before the pandemic, as they cut the shit out of her hours and took away a lot of her work, and it's reasonable to think that there's no reason to need a front desk person when who knows when they are opening to the public again. She wasn't sounding too bothered, more like "well, at least now I have the free time" and that she's been having issues with them for awhile, and "well, I was going to have to retire sometime." She is seventy.

(Though the good news is, they will continue to do her taxes for free for life, so there’s that.)

I talked to Jackie. She lost out on a job because "they thought she was too desperate to want a job." WHO ISN'T, YOU SMUG TECHBRO ASSHOLES?!? She is also annoyed at a certain friend for not getting why taking down Confederate status is a good thing. Btw, the friend's name? KAREN. She's a literal KAREN. Hooooo boy.

In better news, the last Dropping Bombs rehearsal went well (I recorded it in full and it went great, except I sadly wasn't prepared to be in dress rehearsal right after work) and Beth is very happy with it. "I like when I am so enthralled I don't need to take notes. This has really been a cool experience." She said my delivery of "I tried to take my life" was perfect, hope I remember how to do that again.. Oh, speaking of, Mom finally expressed interest in watching my play. WE'LL SEE IF THAT HAPPENS, but I sent her the signup link anyway.

After rehearsal, I went to a workshop on story listening by Betsaida (I've mentioned her occasionally, she does storytelling and improv and is awesome), and had a very interesting conversation in the breakout room that gave me some insights. The prompt was to talk about "things left unsaid," and it occurred to me as I talked about mine (work) that duh, there's a reason why you don't say things. Likewise, my chat partner said that she's learned to not always say stuff to her teenage boys to keep the peace, so we talked about strategy about what to say and what not to say. Must ponder this concept later. If I do do a pitch to Capital Storytelling for the upcoming show on their theme, wouldn't a story about why you DIDN'T say things be the point of it? But then again, there's not a whole lot I don't say, except for work related stuff and well, crush drama to most of the Winters crowd.

The Craft Center is going to attempt to open only for studio use for experienced people, on a very limited basis, in the summer, and I guess they can only have one manager and one volunteer on each shift (well, that’s about how summers have gone the last few years anyway), and then theoretically having classes again in the fall. They asked what we thought about that. I do not know what to say about that.

Also, Linda has sent out another radio play event for next Saturday at seven. I hope you-know-who can make it, but who the fuck knows. I shouldn't have hopes there any more. There hasn’t been a lot of response to that one, maybe Saturday at 7 isn’t good for people?

Today's Pick-A-Card:, pile 3: basically as good as it could possibly get. "It is working, just give it a bit more time. Everything is going to be all right. This is worth it." "If you are hoping to come into union with this person, I see this for you, very clearly." "I feel like you won't have to wait any longer if this is you." I guess we'll see if anything ever happens with that.

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