Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Treat me like a stranger and it feels so rough

When my first paycheck arrived, the last vestiges of the clouds of despair parted, a ray of sunlight fell upon the quaint paper check* and the sweet voices of faeries sang an ancient ballad of a bank account not overdrawn.

Aside from the paycheck, the ability to be among bipeds who make great conversationalists and a general sense of being a productive human being**, this job puts a major crimp in my life. No time to read blogs, surf the internet, or work on my Used Dental Floss of the Stars collection.

That's not to say I'm not grateful. I'm ever so. Every time I answered the phone yesterday with "Good (morning/afternoon), (name of the organization), this is Lisa." I felt gratitude for being able to do one of the things I do best - greet people then hand them off. And I don't even have to wear a blue vest to do it.

I'm reminded at this moment that you can't just greet newborns or cats and then hand them off.

"Hello, Baby, this is Lisa, how can your daddy help you?" or "Hi, kitty! You're so cute! Now let's find someone to scoop that litter......"

I'm in limbo because I've been filling in for the receptionist since last Monday so my real job hasn't really began. I've spent so little time at my desk that it's week three and I haven't set my own voicemail or spilled anything on my keyboard. A good start in my experience!

Oh, and before I forget - if you want to know what really matters to a company's customers or an organization's members, answer the phones for a week. There's much to learn.

So while I try to gather what little wits I had about me, I hope you know that I'm missing reading those of you who blog. My rss feed reader got so full, it's going to be on an episode of Hoarders. Google is threatening to expose my search history to my mother if I don't clean out my email. 

This doesn't mean I don't care. It only means that while I'm in the probationary period of this job, I don't plan to get pinched surfing the internet during work hours.

Until I'm a little less consumed, I hope you'll accept my apologies and know that as I'm toiling away at the multi-line phone, I remember how much you all kept me company while I was home being kneaded by cats.

Speaking of - the cats had a fur-shedding row the other day over the proper spelling of the word whoa. Some were dead certain it's spelled w-h-o-a and two others insisted on the spelling w-o-a-h. Thankfully, order was restored before the police showed up at the house. When I got home, I tried to get to the origins of the kerfluffle but no one was meowing. Finally, I took my favorite kitty, the one who isn't so bright, aside and got some answers as she licked at the Mariner's Catch pate I used to lure her into conversation.

"Why do you guys need to use the word whoa anyway?" I asked, my voice like cream.

Her eyes shifted, searching out bewhiskered spies. "It was just a conversation," she said between tiny bites.

Unsatisfied, I pressed her. "Ivy, does it have anything to do with the photos of the horses I found on the google history?"

She swallowed audibly then daintily licked her lips. "Horses?"  Her breath smelled of fishy parts.

I know faux ignorance when I see it. "Ivela, spill or I won't let you sleep in Sophie's room."

She blinked. I could tell she was thinking it over. Her Pillow Pet rests at the foot of Sophie's bed and she does not like to sleep without it.

"It's not a horse. It's only a very large dog......"

*Can't wait for the direct deposit to kick in!
**Which is really nonsense because keeping house and raising kids is productivity.


  1. Ha! But don't worry about not being around to read/comment on blogs. My RSS feed is also exploding and it's freaking me out. But I think we all understand that working full time in a new job AND trying to control the kitties' behavior is more than enough on your plate.

  2. This is an awfully nice post for such a busy woman! Hope you enjoy the job :) we'll see you when you have time!! :)

  3. I love doing switchboard at the library -- you're right, it's a great way of confirming what one's customers and clients need, and how well things are going.

    After a couple hours, I know libraries are necessary and people hate paying fines (okay, that one, I already knew), which at least means they're using us.

    You take your time getting to us, lady -- we'll come to you. And congratulations on the first paycheck! Woo-hoo!!

  4. I also missed everyone's blog, Lisa.

    I was in Vegas, you see...

  5. Good luck on the new job, and wish me one too. :)

  6. Yay working woman you! Screw the blog commenting. Now you can focus on your book. You are going to focus on the book, right young lady?

  7. miss you too lisa but very glad you found this job... much much love! xoxoxo and loved this: Google is threatening to expose my search history to my mother if I don't clean out my email. LOLOLO! :D

    i am no longer blogging w/ vultures, you can find me at wordpress. i left a map on vulture's beak. xx

  8. I miss you too, but don't worry about me. I'm fine, and I'll be right here whenever you DO have the time to write a new blog post.

    PS: I haven't been all that active within the blogging community either as I have been 1000% consumed with my novel. So that's a good thing. As is your new job!

  9. Yes, for the love of money, do NOT get yourself ousted for us. We will wait right here until no one's looking.

  10. I'm just glad that you're working and thinking of us.

    Oh yeah; and what lyricalmeanderings said! :-)

  11. Yep, so get it. I haven't been around to my people either, and it's not like I wouldn't rather be reading blogs than doing some of the other stuff... anyway, true bloggy friends don't count up visits, do they? Life happens. I'm just so pleased for you!

  12. I case you get bored with: "Good (morning/afternoon), (name of the organization), this is Lisa." you might want to try a couple of different ones:

    "Hello, caller number nine, you're on the air."

    "This is the Literacy Self Test Hotline. After the tone, leave your name and number, and recite a sentence using today's vocabulary word. Today's word is 'supercilious'."

    "Thank you for calling the CSU Automated Hearing Test Line. Prepare for Test. Is this tone louder in your left ear or right ear? ... BEEP"

    "(In a bored voice:) Heaven, God speaking..."

    "Lucifer speaking. Who in hell do you want?"

    ...or maybe not.

  13. I love to envision you as that Lily Tomlin operator: "one ringy dingy, two ringy dingies" - yeah, just outed my oldness there.

    Seriously, it all sounds great. And I hear it's hot there! Really hot!

  14. A pay cheque! A bank account that's not in the red! And no major disasters at home in the meantime! You are achieving girl. I feel so unemployable, and so old I even laughed at the Lily Tomlin comment. You are doing fine lady! Good work and the cat was just teasing you. It WAS. A horse.

  15. I used to bore my friends silly with that Lily Tomlin routine. They were gracious enough to laugh the first couple of hundred times I did it, though.
    Love these posts! Congratulations, Lisa!

  16. You're so funny when you're multi-tasking. I hope your hair is in an Ernestine bun and you've mastered the snort.

  17. Wait. There are jobs where you're *not* allowed to spend eight hours hanging ten?

  18. Ha! You are so damned right. There is no better way to see how a company works than from the reception desk --- the hub where all the customers come in, and the employees go out and intermingle. I can see your writer-brain working away, taking it all in and surmising how it all connects.

    And I am, Yea!!!!, particularly excited about the paycheck. Last night I was watching that artistic wonder "Real Housewives of Orange County" on TV and one of their husbands said something like, "I figure it'll take $650 to a million to get this going, and if it fails, so what." The blasé way people can talk about money never fails to piss me the hell off. Who ARE these people?!?!?!

    Oh. They're Mitt Romneys..... Duh. Nevermind.

  19. I will spend the rest of the afternoon singing Gotye/WOTHE! Thank you!

    Congratulations on the new job!

  20. hope u enjoy the new job Lisa h, and see you when you come up for air. continue...

  21. Completely understand and cheer you on! I have an interview for an 8-5 job without a uniform. Keep you posted.

  22. So glad about your new job and your feelings of usefulness. I loved the threat from Google and I also think you should write a series of children's books/short stories featuring your cats.

    I'm not a cat fan (does that mean you'll Un-RSS me?), but your conversation with them at the end made me kind of like them.

    Thanks for your lovely comment, BTW. I've been falling behind in the blog reading hugely lately. Better send this off before the boss swings by.

  23. Congratulations! It's nice to hear of a down-on-their-luck blogger having good fortune. I hope the work stays steady. It's a shame that modern society requires mothers (or fathers, if the case may be) to work in order to support a family on two incomes instead of one. In Australia, and somewhat in Canada, this was not always the case, because single jobs paid well enough to live on one income, and there were enough social benefits like government health care that two paycheques were not vital for families.

  24. I'm in the same boat Lisa -- no time to read blogs. Just know that we love you and don't worry about it.


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