I'm A State Employee | 09/22/04
Today was my first day as an employee for the state of Florida. Even though I got no sleep (No sleep, Jerry!) I made it almost on time. Unlike yesterday when I was able to work my way through Zombieville, today I took the liberty of nearly falling asleep a number of times. The morning was horribly slow. Around lunch I set up my phone with the tutorial (we have very fancy phones). It went smoothly until I tried calling my voice mail from someone else's phone and heard "--ddamit, is this even recording?" (the first syllable was cut off) instead of my warm greeting as the Manager of Public Records at Extension 303. Recording over it required a number of grueling steps and I ended up calling random people for a good ten minutes before I was able to finally get the right message complete with the inner-desperation of a seasoned employee. And it was only my first day! I grabbed a very fast lunch and took a refreshing nap in the car while listening to some story on mental illness on NPR. Rejuvenated, I returned to my scanning. I was in my groove when I was stopped by some woman who told me I had to go to a meeting. I showed up in the conference room and quickly learned that I was now responsible for the entire website. And to make matters more pressing, I had to build a new one to be presented to Jebby Friday afternoon. The current website, while not aesthetically pleasing, still gets the job done. You can check out my handiwork under the "Administrative Orders" section. Yeah, that right--I made some of those links. Ah, that's why I make almost $30k a year. The worst part of the meeting was not that I suddenly had responsibility and was now being counted on to do something quickly and correctly, but the former webmaster has this lazy eye...I was sitting at an angle where his lazy eye was "looking" at me the whole time. I couldn't see the other eye from this unfortunate angle, so I never knew if he was looking at me or not. He was sitting across the table from me and to my right was the woman who told me about the meeting. Eye and I were trying to tell Jessica (ah, I finally remembered a name!) that it was not necessary to have Word, Excel, pdf, WordPerfect, and text versions of every downloadable file when I started to think about something random. A couple seconds later I mentally came back into the conversation but oh no! Eye was just finishing up a question. Was it to me? He was (I guess) looking at me. But he could have been looking her, too. Fortunately some part of my brain was listening and it remembered hearing "make pdf" and "Article V". I pieced together that he asked, "Do you remember making the pdf of Article V?" But the time I assembled this thought Jessica was looking down and Eye was still, possibly, looking at me. Figuring it was something I might have done when I wasn't sure which method to post from a previous web-assignment I figured I'd go for it and offered a very hearty "Yes!". At this point they both looked at me and said, "What?" Eye double-looked at me and said, "What are you talking about? I was talking to her." Although I didn't blush, I could definitely feel the beads of sweat rolling down the I-10 that is my head. And man, the more I think about how much I'm sweating the more I do it. AND now I'm afraid to say anything. I sit in near-silence the rest of the meeting and try to play it cool. Afterwards, I scurried back to my cubicle and scanned papers until 5:20pm (because dedicated employees get raises <MIKE="raise">now</MIKE>). I hit Publix on my way back and ran into Alex. I told him to call me to play tennis but I'm willing to bet he won't. He's afraid. And he should be.