Sunday, November 12, 2006

Big Mr. Temp Jobless


Fantastic fun movie. It has great bits of comedy embedded in a quite dramatic movie. Most especially, I enjoyed seeing a demonstration of showing the audience funny and heartwarming situations as compared to telling the audience to laugh, feel good or cry. This movie taps into bunches of situations and relationships that naturally touch people in so many ways. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to go see it.

They also had a very good theme to the movie, which has a bit to do with my bachelor's thesis. I won't get into how they relate, though. Simply don't really have the energy or will to do so.

I also enjoyed getting out to see the movie, especially with the fiancee, for the first time in months. Sadly, we have a great movie theater about 10 minutes away that shows great independent movies, and we hadn't been to a film in months, not since Strangers with Candy or The Davinci Code. A pitiful situation I would like to remedy, especially once I get a permanent job.


Tomorrow, I have a one-day temp assigment doing receptionist duty at an advertising agency. Wednesday, I have another one-day temp assignment transcribing medical focus group stuff for 10 hours or so with my fiancee's laptop. Not the best situation, but it'll help deal with the bills, at least until December. I still have a pretty bright disposition about finding myself a good job in good time.

The last couple days and especially now, though, I feel weird going somewhere other than Fannie Mae to work, especially if that work only lasts one day. I miss the community. I like the people with whom I worked.

One guy and I would get into these great cultural/intellectual discussions that could have lasted all day. I had tear myself away from our conversations. Just the other day, we had this conversation about Romanticism, Neoclassicism, Modernism and Isiah Berlin that transitioned over to Edward Said, Orientalism and Bernard Lewis. This guy brought up some great topics for further discussion and investigation. We still keep in touch, especially about the job search, but I'll miss our random academic/intellectual conversations, especially with the admixture of humor akin to The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and even Ali G. He filled the same role that I did, and he got let go the same day.

In my last month there, this girl who had recently moved from Iowa started temping in our department. She did something totally else and still remains there. The two of us didn't necessarily have all that much in common except for living in the same neighborhood, enjoying a good time, liking a good laugh and wanting to have a permanent job. I'll miss her cheeriness mixed with the paranoia of feeling insecure about having a full time job.

I'll also miss my customer account teams. They all had their idiosyncracies, they motivated me to come up with some not so flattering nicknames and, sometimes, pushed me to the edge of wanting them to go away forever. Despite all the negative parts to it, though, they really appreciated me and they grew on me. I enjoyed how they would simply call me Lex and want to bring up Lex Luthor whenever they brought it up. I enjoyed it when one of them called me up and started the phone conversation with "THIS IS BULLSHIT!" for something I required him to do and another one who made a dumb little joke here and there. This other person on one of the account teams would come over to my cubicle a lot and have me do something that only I could do, and in the meanwhile, we'd get into these interesting, fun conversations about random stuff, like work, existential philosophies about work, retirement and everyday life stuff, politics and so on and so on. And honestly, I worry about those teams, about how much work they'll probably have to do to train the next person who takes my position and the frustration they'll have to face training the newbie. Then there's the projects I couldn't finish with them because I was ordered to leave and the projects need their attention at the time.

Then there's my mentor there. Not only did he teach me a lot of the things I needed to know there, he's a great, stand up guy. Honestly, he kind of reminded me of my older (but not oldest brother) with his stand upness. He had a great sense of humor and had this great fatherly, grumpy old man feeling about him. Mostly talked up music, silly stuff like planning for the wedding coming up in June, the bachelor party he planned and executed a couple weeks before I left and just general stuff about the world, Chicago and so on and so forth. Yet another person I'll miss not having around everyday weekday.

I could go on further about other people I didn't encounter everyday at work or didn't really get much further than hello and smiles while walking the halls and everyday watercoolor talk with an occasional delving into slightly more interesting things. Some of these people even showed a distinct interest in me and my life. While temping there for two months, I had built some pretty good relations with people that began to mean something, no matter how minimally it may have affected my life, and it really sucks that I had to leave involuntarily while doing a good job and getting along real well with just about everyone there.

At least when leaving my job in New England, we had time to adjust and it felt more like a maturing and leaving behind family. And leaving Blue Green, I felt great about finding a job that would pay the bills and not make me feel screwed over and pooped on in the same way, which all gave me more of a sense of relief leaving than anything.

Put simply, I guess I'm grieving. I'm grieving the loss of community that I felt grow around me at Fannie Mae, and the loss sucks. This grief I feel leads me to believe that if you don't enjoy doing the job you do, then you had better find a job where you can build a good community of people around you that will support you and provide you with some fun entertainment when things get slow and some good opportunities to vent in joking ways when things just reach that level of stress and annoyance.

So, yeah, going on these one day assignments this week feels weird. I'd enjoy meeting some new people and possibly create some new relations. When everyone only has one day for it to happen, though, how much effort will they give it? "Oh, he's just a temp. . .." How much effort will I want to put into it? "Oh, this is just a temp assignment. . .." It's all just rather weird. It has to happen, but I'm just sad that I can't go down to The Loop, ride the elevator up a high rise then go where it feels like home. . .sorta.


Anonymous said...

You should of come to the windycon party instead

The_Lex said...

Money concerns prevented me. . .. =(