Working While Incompetent, Day 1
2020-10-09, 7:48 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
You try doing a white collar job these days without being able to send email.
Right off the bat, I had ethical dilemmas: two emails sent to me that normally I would just forward onto my boss for sheer weirdness, one of which was a Dire Financial Emergency That Must Be Done TODAY. I thought, "Do I really have to forward them to her to get permission to forward them to her?" and "Is that a good idea regarding the emergency financial situation, which I definitely cannot handle even on a good day?" I sent them and immediately got emailed back (with Grandboss cc'd) saying NO YOU CAN'T DO THAT. Not even that?! I pointed out that I would have needed to forward these to her anyway give the subject matter and nobody said anything about that at the time....which probably means we get to have another hour of telling Jennifer she does everything wrong and disobeys orders next week.
Other ethical dilemma: Grandboss said to book 15 minute meetings to go over the emails, and I knew darned well that was not gonna be 15 minutes. When she and I go over hard emails, it's at least an hour. So I booked them all for a half hour, which indeed we used every minute of and still weren't done by the time of the next meeting.
Mostly I just tried to do anything that avoided emailing, which was somewhat difficult. Emails forwarded for proofreading: 18 Emails she went through and allowed them to be sent later: 12 (I do give her credit for going through the easy ones during lunch by the time we met at 1, and being cordial about it all) Emails that got no corrections: 2 Mostly the corrections were "say thank you instead of thanks" and "please put a space between the "thank you" and the signature." Seriously. As for actual corrections, I'm fine with this for the hard shit. Go change the template since we just changed the form? I'm good with that. How to deal with Yet Another Weird Complicated Situation We Can't Actually Do? Great, by all means. I just wish this hadn't gotten to the point of ridiculousity with having to forward emails in which I ask someone to rescan the form they cut off and being corrected as to how to do it. Just....oy.
After that one we had a meeting with the people at Snooty Sibling Giant Org. I about cracked up when one of them said, "We don't know WHY they want to come here...." Hannah (I miss her) went there and would agree with that, I'm sure. I spent most of the meeting saying that I really just want a flow chart or something for all of the special stuff because it is utterly confusing as to who has to be giving permissions for all of this crap and in what order. My boss agreed and whipped out her old process mapping software. Also, we found out why they complained that we didn't send all the applications in one giant batch: that was a thing that could happen in the Before Times with paper apps and scanners. They accepted that this is not so easy at home with no scanners. So uh, good meeting everybody, I guess.
And after that I had to go train people in my emails again. Now we managed to stall about for most of the first half hour answering other questions like "Why Won't This Stupid Easy Thing Work In Our Crap Computer System Again" but eventually my boss was all, "Jennifer?" and I pointed out that under current circumstances I literally haven't been able to work on emails at all. Awkward! So she said "just go tell them about something else" and then she left halfway through, so the last 20 minutes of meeting turned into Stories Of Barely Dressed Or Naked People Seen On Zoom.
So, could have been a worse day, I guess. But that said, I pretty much tried to do things that didn't involve email. And New Girl was very kind about it all and said "Play the game, this won't last forever." Which should be true because every time I've had a manager who wanted me to email them all the time about every little thing, they all get overwhelmed with it pretty quick because managers here get 2000 emails a day as is. So I assume it lasts maybe about a week. And going over The Emails so far has not been brought up for next week, so who knows.
That said: glad to not have to @#T%#$% deal with it for 48 hours.
During lunch, I showed off my Dissent collar and someone told me I should wear it during the meeting. I did and it helped. (Note that the camera is off....) I also heard the scariest story I've heard this October season at Yarn Club: girl gets a job on the East Coast working for a 94-year-old poet.* However, the housing arrangements when she got there were dangerously substandard and she didn't want to stay there, AND She found a note hidden in the bathroom saying that this guy is abusive and awful and GET OUT NOW. Girl asks poet's assistant* about this note and assistant says "oh, that must have been written by X, he was always kinda surly or whatever, here's his email." Girl emails X and X writes back, "within a minute!" with a long rant about all the horrible things poet said/did, AND sends his collection of resignation letters he found and photocopied and saved while there. Girl takes the hint and resigns. Girl apparently mailed a package of $100 worth of Bed Bath and Beyond supplies for the house and all the poet said to her was "But you haven't gotten the box." LEAVE THE BOX. Girl is flying home to her parents as her mom was telling the story.
To which I was all, how the hell does a 94 year old poet have money and/or need an assistant? Apparently he's also an art dealer. * Wait, he has TWO assistants?! And can AFFORD two assistants? And how is this one lasting if he's so bad, anyway? This is exactly the sort of shit I expect to be happening to young female assistants, but to the poet's shitty credit, he apparently abuses both genders equally.
After work, I met with Kelly and Shanna--it's been such a long time!-- to read "Tailwind," the farting play. We had a very good time reading it, mind you. The one main problem we've got here is that it's supposed to be a 10 minute play and the newest version of it is 12 1/2 pages, and when I timed it reading aloud, it came out as 20 minutes. RUH-ROH. Admittedly we had a lot of dead spaces and giggling and whatnot on round one, but I still figured it was going to be overly long. I suggested that we read it again, faster/with less pausing, and that we turn off the video so Kelly can get a sense of how it sounds for radio only. Mostly I think we just need to make it a bit clearer in dialogue that Erica is grabbing the fart machine. Also, Kelly did get a microphone to play the fart machine noises into, which worked great this time. But even on the second reading it came out to sixteen minutes.
Joanna, the newest character (SUPER religious and brings it up constantly--compared to Erica, who I liken to Roseanne even though I don't portray her like that), has a lot more dialogue this go-round, and there is a lot of pot shotting between her and Erica, which is fun but I assume may need to get pruned down (or saved for a full on one act version). We did conclude that we probably don't need to do most of the first page in which everyone meets everybody and cut to the chase, and I figure Kelly will have to cut some lines and get it down to about 10...looks like they may hold her to it in the rules, which I looked up. I also read the rules out to everyone as to how they are handling it, and said how last year's went, and mentioned that Winters wants to do live action in March and the summer. Maybe the summer, but if Broadway isn't opening till May and rehearsing for a play in March means meeting in January.... I'm still concerned for my friends, you know?
I was rather occupied and did not write down too many quotes, but Kelly did say to my attempt at writing a 10 minute play last year: "Maybe you have to solve a simpler problem, like farting in school." Also, her commentary on Shanna's Joanna: "She had a Southern accent, she had an English accent...."
In other news, the gym and the Craft Center are now....eventually...supposed to reopen at 10% capacity for students only in November and others can come in December. This is assuming that the county stays in "red zone" rather than goes back to "purple zone," in which case everything will be shut down again.
So far the virus news in town (after a week and a half of "reopening" for our larger population) is actually pretty low.
However, the theater mailing list reports that the opening of the virtual version of Young Frankenstein has been delayed due to a cast member being hospitalized with Covid-19-- ("the cast member is released and doing much better!") On a related note, the listing for Robin Hood in it advertises that everyone stayed safe at home and "no COVID-19 was transmitted during the filming of this show."
And Linda has scheduled the cast party/viewing for 7 on Sunday!
Mom called to say she's volunteering outside "directing traffic" tomorrow at Art Walk. I have lost all moral authority to say anything, not that I could stop her anyway. Also, a distant in-law relative is dying (Randall's mother) and presumably only the kids can see her.
Tonight, Phantom of the Opera is on. Seen it before several times and have seen Love Never Dies twice within the last year, but what the hell!
* The sound on this is great and everyone is very pretty except Phantom.