Wednesday, August 12, 2009

They call me ... Odd Job

I've had many an odd job in my day. Dishwasher, short order cook, waitress, maid, scholarship coordinator, typesetter, newspaper stuffer (inserting fliers into newspapers), software tester ... The absolute worst job had nothing to do with the job (I was a writer for a software company) but it was terrible because of the Policies.

"It's our policy that employees work from 8 to 5 and take an hour for lunch."

I explained that I could get there at 6, take a half-hour for lunch, and thus leave at 2:30 and beat traffic home.

"It's our policy that employees work from 8 to 5 and ..."

After a week of discussion prior to me taking the job, I was told I could work from 7 to 4, but I HAD to take an hour for lunch. The job location was such that if I worked later than 4, I may as well stay until 6 because of traffic, so this made me grind my teeth, but I took it. I needed the job.

I lasted 10 weeks.

I was in charge of updating the manuals. This meant about an hour of work a day. Unfortunately, I wasn't an author then so I didn't have my writing to occupy me. Oh, but wait: I couldn't have done that anyway. They monitored our computer use. Yep, they checked our computer logs during the day. So I had to make it LOOK like I was busy.

It drove me crazy. When a short-term contract position opened up, I jumped at it and never looked back.

Since then my one criteria has been flexibility in a company. Flex hours, flex drive times, flex lunch time. If they'll do that, I'll give it a good shot.

My theory is: if you have a bad job, it's a good thing, because then you know a good job when you see it. And luckily I've been in good jobs for the last decade or so.

Fingers crossed it remains that way!

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