As previously mentioned, I am a girl who likes her food. So you would think I would relish my lunch hour. And I would,
I have a lunch *half* hour. What heartless bastard came up with a half hour lunch for people who work? There’s no way you can eat anything even approximating a healthy meal in that time. Believe me, I’ve tried. For awhile, I was having a grilled chicken breast, half a baked potato, and a spinach salad for lunch. Yummy *and* nutritious. But even with cooking the chicken and potato at home the night before, I’d still have to reheat it for about 2 1/2 minutes at lunch. And then I’d have to assemble my salad; spinach, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and bacon bits. I’d do this while the microwave was going, then grab my chicken and potato. I’d butter, salt and pepper the potato, then I’d start eating. So it was about 5 minutes all told to make my lunch. That should leave 25 minutes to eat my lunch, right? WRONG! It leaves me 10 minutes to eat lunch.
“How do you figger that?” you might scoff. “Thirty minus five is twenty-five, you dummy!” While I will admit that two College Algebra professors and an Astronomy professor have scoffed similarly at my mathematical prowess, I’m not *that* hopeless. I’m not the one saying “figger”, you yokel. Anyway, I figure this because eating is not the only thing I have to try and cram into 30 minutes. My bosses expect us to stuff any and all personal matters into our lunch break, including going to the restroom. Management severely frowns on excessive restroom use. So at lunch, I am forced to shovel my food into my face as if the fate of all my loved ones depended on my haste, in order to sprint from the break room to the women’s restroom in the hopes of snagging one of the four stalls the building has for over 100 women. So each day, I have to calculate not only how long my bodily functions will last, but also how many other women I will have to vie with over a toilet stall. And then once inside the stall, there is usually some sort of “souvenir” left by the previous occupant, which makes me have to decontaminate the seat with hand sanitizer I have for just such a purpose. So after I’m finished with the restroom, If I’m lucky, I’ll have about 5 minutes left of my lunch so I can just sit quietly at my desk and mentally prepare myself to face the rest of the day. And even then, I usually spend those last precious and few moments deflecting “Hey Finch” requests that I clock back in early so that I can answer just this one simple, quick little question for them.
As you can see, my lunch half hour leave precious little time for actual eating. Nutritious food takes too long to prepare, so I’m usually stuck with a microwave cheeseburger and chips. Or I can venture to one of the fast food places that are within a 5 minute drive form my work and get some of their delectable fare to wolf down in the car on the way back to the office. It’s just utterly ridiculous to expect a grown person to cram an hour’s worth of activity into half the time. If I had an hour for lunch, I could eat at a leisurely pace, use the restroom at a leisurely pace, and maybe even have time for a short, leisurely nap.
If I were running my own business, I would make sure that any worker who wanted an hour lunch would have one. Even if I were to become an evil overlord, my minions and thugs and other assorted staff would have at least an hour for lunch. I’d be evil, not heartless. Plus, happy minions are obedient and loyal minions, I always say. I, on the other hand, would have lunch whenever the hell I wanted, for however the hell long I wanted, because that would be my prerogative as the supreme ruler of all I survey. Alas, all I can do is fantasize about this. I’ll probably be stuck in this job until I die, or go insane, or do both at once. And on my grave, they will inscribe the following: “Here lies Finch Terwilliker. You should have given her a damn hour for lunch, you bastards.”
And then the company will feel really bad and maybe institute longer lunches in my honor out of guilt. Or else I’ll be replaced by another sad sack and nothing will ever change. I’m betting on the latter.
I think I’m going to have to change my name. If I hear my name uttered by my coworkers one more time, I’m going to become so irate that I’ll make The Incredible Hulk look like Mister Rogers.
It wasn’t always like this, I used to love my unique name. When someone in school said, “Finch”, I knew they were talking to (or about) me, and not one of 157 other girls. Not like the poor, unfortunate “Sarah”s in my class. From grade school to high school, I attended class with no less than three and upwards of 17 various “Sarah”s. But there was only one Finch. I reveled in my singularity. Now however, I wish I could slip into the persona of a ubiquitous “Sarah”.
“What could have caused such a dramatic shift in your love for your name?” I hear you asking, even though the bonds of time and space that separate us. Well, I’ll tell you, because I know you would be unable to ever sleep again unless you knew the answer to your burning question.
The answer is this: I became a coach at the call center where I work. In this positions, I assist other workers with their calls, take calls from customers demanding to speak with a supervisor, and pretty much handle any other task that is too complex for an average worker and too menial for upper management. Basically, anything that no one else wants to do, the policy is “Well, Finch can do that!” So not only am I troubleshooting computer programs, making infinite copies and taking attendance, but also I’m rebuilding client case files from scratch, fetching and carrying food for my coworkers and cleaning out the fridge in the break room. All this on top of my regular work assigned to me and answering questions for my coworkers.
Which brings me to “Hey Finch”, A phrase which I hear approximately 5,843 times during the workday and extending into the night, into my dreams. Yes, I have nightmares of endless “Hey Finch”s which resound ceaselessly from my coworkers in a cacophonous ululation like a Greek chorus of the damned. You might think I’m being overly dramatic, but you’d be wrong. If anything, I’m being understated, reserved, and rational in my description of this shrieking hell into which I have been plunged.
And it gets worse. While I’m responding to one “Hey Finch” request, I’ve got at lease two other “Hey Finch”s being hollered at me, while five simultaneous “Hey Finch”s vie for my attention via phone, 17 “Hey Finch”s bombard my inbox, while one sly “Hey Finch” manages to slip in via IM from my boss. I’m surprised I don’t get a handwritten “Hey Finch” tied to the leg of a pigeon, or parachuted in though a ceiling tile, or plastered across a hot air balloon. One day, a thousand years in the future, when my office building is nothing but rubble, archaeologists will find the entrance to a prehistoric cave. And in that cave they will discover an ancient crude pot with strange hieroglyphs chiseled upon it. And after years of study, the archaeologists will determine that, roughly translated, the inscription reads: “Hey Finch”.
Ah, but I can dream of a day when all of this will change–a day when greeting me with “Hey Finch” will be punishable by a vigorous thrashing for the first offense, and by an attack from an assortment of unsavory creatures (piranhas, anacondas, those really thick looking black spiders, crawdads, etc) for each subsequent offense. Yes, were I to become a supreme evil overlord, everyone from my lowliest minion to my most trusted advisers would know the severe penalties attached to an errant “Hey Finch”. The only one who might even conceivably be permitted to utter “Hey Finch” would be my consort, were I to have one. Alas, I am currently consort-less, but if I were not, he alone would have have the permission to “Hey Finch” me. And the only reason they would be able to commit an act which would usually incur my wrath is because they would be incredibly, mind-bogglingly, slap-yo-mama hot. I’m picturing no less than Tom Hiddleston levels of hotness, here. But everyone else–no such luck.
When those who are lowlier than my consort refer to me or call upon me, they will be permitted to use such appellations as “Your Supreme Awesomeness”, or “Oh Mistress, My Mistress”, or “Finch the Superb, Dominatrix of All She Surveys”. Or maybe just “Finch.” If it’s Casual Friday. But no matter what, the world would know that I am Finch the Superb, She Who Shall Not Be “Hey”d.
We’re having a bunch of corporate big wigs come and visit us tomorrow. As such, since management thinks all workers are a slovenly hoard of miscreants, we received an email outlining unprofessional things which management has noticed, and which should not be done while the Most Favored and Revered VIPS are among us. These things included:
-No putting feet on desk (I have no idea how this is being accomplished without someone being a contortionist)
-Not wearing shoes at all times. (Ok, yes I take my shoes off at work, but my feet get hot and it’s not like I walk around like that.)
-Workers slouched down in desk chairs.-
I had to wonder why the list was so small, because there are things that we workers do every day which are far more unprofessional. So, I have compiled a list of daily work activities that seem questionable, but that as of yet have flown under management’s radar.
– Hunching over the keyboard, pounding keys and uttering a low but constant stream of profanity.
-Slumping forward, head on arms, weeping softly,
-Staring blankly into the middle distance while contemplating the poor life choices that led to this point.
-Shrieking in pain as we attempt to remove our headsets, which are clinging, bat-like, to our hair.
-Growling demonically at our computer systems’ frequent crashes
-Leaping up out of our desk chair, our fists clenched in our hair, howling wordlessly at the uncaring acoustical tiles and by proxy, the uncaring sky above.
So I guess all those responses are perfectly normal for working in a call center. Perfectly. Normal.
In honor of Casual Friday, I will herein list what I would wear if I were a super villain. True, most villainous garb is not considered casual, but I feel the spirit of the day is more about freedom to choose your couture. To illustrate my points, I shall include several collages I created on Polyvore.com
Ok, here’s what I call Super Villain Style #1:
To me, this ensemble says, “Bask in my glory while I kick your butt”–which is always a helpful message to send. Yes, it is all black, and black is a bit cliche for a villain, but there’s something to be said for a timelessly classic look. Key points to notice are the leather pants and motorcycle boots, which scream “Domination!” But also note the flowing top and feminine accessories which change the outfit’s shout to “Pretty Domination!” The sensible heel on the shoe means you won’t break it off when you trod upon your enemies, and the loose sleeves of the top give you great range of motion when punching or slapping your foe. A simple collection for your day-to-day evil needs.
Collection 2 ~or~ The Red Death
This collection is all about drama. Practicality be damned–you’re looking fierce. This outfit is perfect for sipping out of opulent chalices, gliding ominously down stone corridors and hosting extravagant galas which are unparallelled in their depths of decadent splendor. Bonus: Crimson and onyx garments are perfect for hiding blood stains while still looking chic.
And finally, collection 3: The Unexpected.
Yes! The delicious satisfaction of fooling your foes with this pastel pastiche. Drawing from such style icons as Barbie and Elle Woods (from Legally Blonde), this outfit will be sure to stun everyone. No one will ever suspect you of nefarious schemes when you sashay through the room in your preppy pumps, sassy peplum dress, and pretty floral earrings. No one would ever suspect your glam clam purse could ever hold a weapon. Not unless it was a collapsible weapon. Not unless it was a discreet collapsible shiv, created especially for just such a cute clutch as this. No one would ever suspect that. Not until you, that is.
So there you have it– Finch’s fashion tips for the would be villain in all of us. These are just a few of the many options that I would have in my diabolical wardrobe if I were to one day seek to reign supreme and unchallenged. I’m sure that day will never come, but if it does, I will look fantabulous.
Well, it’s Casual Friday again. The day when I can shuffle out of the shackles of my slacks (“Slackles”, if you will) and revel in the freedom of my jeans, tee shirt, and generic sneakers. As much as I love this day, it also causes me to heave a dramatic sigh. Of course, lots of things cause me to heave a dramatic sigh–not winning the 50-50 raffle, someone taking the parking spot I consider “mine”, the soft drink machine being out of Coke Zero and having to settle for Diet Coke–but this is a special kind of sigh. For while on this one day I can cast off my oppressive business casual garb, I know Monday will bring slacks and blouses and trouser socks. I long for more autonomy in my apparel, but alas (insert dramatic sigh) it is not meant to be. However, I do try to be subversive about how I present myself. I normally don’t wear makeup to work, and I don’t wear a lot of jewelry. I do wear lots of black–head to toe, all black– and I usually have my coppery hair pulled into a tight bun. I’m going for the severe schoolmarm look. But on Casual Friday, whoo boy. Even though I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt, I try to look fly as hell. Cute, butt-hugging jeans, charming shirt, coordinating jewelry, a full face of makeup and a stylin’ coif. My goal is to look as miserable and wretched as possible during the rest of the week so that on Friday, those in authority will notice the striking difference in my appearance and be dazzled by the change. So much dazzled that they abolish the business casual dress code and let us wear jeans every day again.
“Wow, look at Finch today! She’s so vibrant! Whatever could be the cause of this dramatic change? Oh, it must be the joy emanating from her as she basks in the freedom to wear comfortable clothes! Now we see the errors of our ways!” (Yes, they will exclaim everything.)
I think my plan would work too, if it weren’t for Dave. He sits in the same cubicle as I do. Frickin’ Dave. He wears a suit on Fridays. He wears a suit every day. And a tie. The jerk. I saw him wearing cufflinks today. We work in a call center. None of our management wears suits. The district manger does not wear a suit. One time, the CEO of our company came for a visit. He was not wearing a suit. But guess who was? That’s right– Frickin’ Dave. Frickin’ Dave’s hair always looks perfect. Frickin’ Dave always has a flawless tan. Frickin’ Dave smells like expensive cologne. One day, I think I’ll have to frickin’ cut Frickin’ Dave and then we’ll see how he feels about being a suck up, smug, well-dressed weasel. Your suits don’t look so fancy now, do they Dave, encrusted as they are with your own blood. Yes. Weep, Dave, for I have struck you and brought you low. You will wear jeans on Fridays. You will wear polo shirts and khakis and loafers the rest of the week. I swear, if I see you wear another tie to work Dave, I will yank said tie from your throat and flog you with it. Tie floggings are not so much about inflicting pain as they are about causing humiliation. And you don’t even want to know what I’ma do if I see you wearing cufflinks again. Muck up my Casual Friday, will you? I think not. Shoo…
So there was a crayfish/crawdad/effed up lobstrosity (whatever you want to call it) trundling its way across my parking lot like it aint no thang. I saw it, and my mind couldn’t even make sense of what I was seeing at first. It was just a blur of slimy grayness, movement and unspeakable horror. Felt like I’d stumbled into some sort of Lovecraftian nightmare. Then I slowly realized that what I was seeing was most likely a crawdad and not the spawn of a hideous shambler from the stars. Still, it doesn’t matter–crawdads are messed up looking.
And then, just when I thought I was safe, it turned toward me, its chitinous legs tapping over the pavement like the macabre fingernails of a disembodied yet somehow sentient hand!
I made sound of disgusted terror. “Eeurrgh!” is what it sounded like. I leaped backwards out of its insidious path and contemplated my options. Should I run? Is its vision based on movement? Does it smell fear? Can I step on it? I quickly nixed that last option–I was wearing thin canvas shoes and its pincers may be powerful enough to shear through the material should I fail to crush it the first time. Plus, if I crushed it, it would crunch, and crunch loudly. And just that sound would be enough to drive me to madness, let alone the fact that as it crunched and squished and crackled, that mess would be all up on my shoe. And then it would probably soak through to my foot. And then I would have to cut that foot off and soak the stump in bleach and purify it with fire and salt. That seemed like a bit too much to endure, and plus it seemed kind of mean to kill something just because it is ugly and terrifying and a blight upon the laws of Nature.
Finally, I realized the crawdad was not headed for me, but for the yard. I let it go on its merry way, but I kept a wary eye on it as I headed for my car, just in case its behavior was just a ruse to fool an unwitting human. I got in the car and locked the door. Yes, I locked the door to keep out a crawdad. How was I supposed to know what it would do if, say it was startled by the sound of my car starting? Mightn’t it fly, enraged, over to my car door, wrench it open and drag me out of my seat, intent upon devouring my still screaming face? I have no frame of reference for what an enraged crawdad might or mightn’t do.
“But crawdads don’t have wings,” you might say, pedantically pushing your glasses up on your nose. “So how could it ‘fly’ over to your car?” It could have had wings. It could have been mutated. You don’t know what it did or didn’t have–you weren’t there. So shut your face hole, Smuggy McGee.
I’m sorry about that. It was just a traumatizing experience, that’s all.
Then, when I got home, I scoured the parking lot and yard for any sign of the crawdad. I didn’t see it, but that don’t mean nothin’. It could be hiding. It could be creepin’ in the stairwell, waiting to lunge out and sever my Achilles’ tendons with its claws as I pass so it can feast at its leisure. It could be lurking at the threshold of my apartment. Or worse yet, I could make it into my apartment just fine and then think “Whew, everything’s fine I guess.” And then I’ll be chillin’ on the couch, updating my blog and then the phone will ring, and then a tentacle of trepidation will wrap around my heart. I’ll answer the phone: “Hello?” No answer. “Hello?” I say again, my voice shaking. And then, just as I’m about to hang up, I’ll hear heavy breathing. Then whatever sound a crawdad makes. “Cthulhu fthagn,” I assume. And then I’ll hang up and call the police and have them trace the call that I just got and the police phone operator will be like “Gurl, yu best be gettin outta there cuz da call be comin’ frum INSIDDA DA HOWSE! (police phone operator will be played by a LOLcat.) And I’ll hear that chitinous scrabbling sound from down at the end of the hallway and I’ll slowly turn, eyes widening in terror as I see the crawdad waiting for me underneath the hall light, holding a cell phone and chuckling evilly to itself. It’ll start skittering down the hallway, impossibly fast and I’ll scream as it reaches the end of the hallway and launches itself at my face, diabolical claws flailing about, and then the screen will jump to black and roll credits. You have just finished watching “The Crawdad Chaos: Cray-Crayfish”, starring me.
I work at a call center. In a tiny cube with three other sad sacks who can’t afford to quit. We are not high tech at this call center. We are exceedingly low tech, inasmuch as one of our operating systems, if it were a human, would be well past the legal drinking age in America. I mention this fact to let the reader know that we are not equipped with video phones or web conferencing or Skype or anything of the like that would allow us to visually communicate with the clients who call in to our call center. They cannot see us. I am heartily glad for this fact because it allows me to roll my eyes sarcastically, pantomime shooting myself in the head, and to enthusiastically flip off the client with any and all middle fingers available to me. As long as my voice is blandly pleasant, and as long as the client feels that I’m actually listening to what they say, I’m good. Not to belabor the point, but being a call center, our only contact with the clients is through the phone, which as aforementioned, are not video phones. No clients come in to the office. (Oh Hallelujah! Can I get an Amen?) They, at no point in time, see the people they are calling. The only people who ever see us are the other miserable wretches who inhabit this sinkhole and occasionally, the guy who fills up the soft drink machine.
So why in the name of bloody, spider infested, weasel phlegm coated Hell do I have to wear “business casual” attire?!?
I’m stuck wearing dress pants and a dress shirt and dress shoes nigh on every single day, for no apparent reason other than the fact that someone in HR decided that it makes us more productive. I’m surprised we aren’t required to wear dress underwear. I’d better not say that too loud–I’ll come in Monday morning to an email saying “In order to increase productivity, inspire morale and maximize the actualization of our corporate image, all employees are now required to wear business casual undergarments. No granny panties, no Sunday underwear (you know what we mean!) Anyone caught wearing undergarments in violation of the dress code will be sent home. And we sincerely hope they don’t get in an accident on the way home and have to go to the hospital. Not in those undergarments. What will the doctor think?”
I understand that we have to have some sort of rules on what we can wear to work. Unfortunately, some people must have been raised by wolves–blind, tasteless, uncouth wolves–and would come to work dressed in things that are all shabby, but no chic; or in things that are so ho-ish that a two dollar prostitute would scorn them. So yes, by all means–set some limits on what’s acceptable. But having to dress up like I’m off to broker some business meeting when in reality all I’m doing is staring forlornly out the window at the mocking view of the outside world until that dreaded “Beep” sounds in my headphones, is just too much.
As mentioned in a previous post, I keep my mind from running away into the void of oblivion, gibbering with tedium-induced insanity by imagining what I would do if I were a super villain. I would like to clarify that this is just speculation, and is in no way indicative of future plans or career arcs. In no way whatsoever. Whatsoever. Because that would be crazy, right? Right. Ha ha. Keeping that in mind, in part two of this post, I shall describe my ideas for wardrobing my super villain self. Topics covered will include the importance of establishing a brand, capes or no capes, and if black leather is stylish or so last season. Try not to expire from anticipation, dear readers. It’ll be hard, but I know you can make it. You are so strong.