Monday, August 03, 2009

More Conversations At Work

Today at work we had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open our new building.
In preparation for the event, we were all given polo shirts with our company logo last week and our Director told us that we all had to wear one (we got one in blue and one in black) to work today for the ceremony.
However, some of the women wanted to wear something a little dressier, and given that our Director is on vacation this week, my boss decided that what he doesn't know won't hurt him, so she said that the polo shirts were optional.
Given that most days I wear a polo shirt anyway, I didn't really have a problem with doing so today, but I'd heard that other groups had been told to wear suits. I don't often have occasion to wear a suit, so I did actually toy with the notion before ultimately going with the polo.
In any case...

My Boss: Nice shirt.
Me: Well, I did think about wearing a suit.
My Boss: Oh. Well, now you have to sometime this week; I want to see that before I'm off (she'll be out for several weeks after this week).

Later in the day we had an employee appreciation "block party," at which they were giving out T-shirts that listed our company's values. Each value was printed on its own shirt, and it was luck of the draw as to what value you got.
Because it was hot as hell out there - especially with the black polo - I did as many others did and changed into the T-shirt.
Along with food (and booze; lousy drunks...too bad I can't be one of them) and live music they also had various games later in the afternoon.

Co-Worker: Are you going to participate in any of the games?
Me: No.
C0-Worker: (Pointing at my shirt) That's not living up to our Teamwork value.
Me: I didn't get Teamwork, I got Integrity.
C0-Worker: Well, you need to have the Integrity to live up to being a team player.
Me: I've got Integrity. I do what I say I'm going to do. And I'm saying that I'm not going to join in any games and I'll have the Integrity to live up to that.

Not being able to join in the one activity I might be interested in participating in - drinking - or especially digging the music, it wasn't a terribly exciting party for me, especially since I got a headache from standing around with my brain boiling in the heat during the too-long ribbon-cutting ceremony in the morning, and there really wasn't anyone for me to talk to, as I realized that most of the people I talk to at work are contractors, and as such weren't invited to join in our employee games (a lot of contractors just worked from home today).
I kind of feel bad for the contractors. For whatever reason, a lot of the full-time employees are kind of rude to them. There's one guy who, whenver he sees one of my friends, always makes some kind of snide comment, or just resorts to saying, "Contractor!" as though it's an epithet.
An otherwise very nice woman, upon learning that my friend is a contractor, said, "Oh, so you're not a real person."
(His response, "Well, I'm not an employee, but I'm a real person. I mean, I exist. If you cut me I'll bleed.")
Even their badges are kind of humiliating. In addition to saying "Contractor" there's text in big, bold lettering - bigger than their pictures - that says "NOT AN EMPLOYEE."
In any case, I had hoped to take advantage of the chaos of the party to sneak out early, but was thwarted in this effort by someone scheduling a meeting at 4.

Text I sent to Scott during the party:

Stupid Universe with its irony. I'm looking at the hot intern, band starts playing "You Can't Always Get What You Want."

(Oh, right. Yes, there's a hot intern at work. Not my intern, or even my department's intern, but probably still off-limits. Beyond that, I'm Jon, so even if she weren't... She does have an irritating tendency to smile broadly and say hi to me whenever I see her, but I don't have that much opportunity to interact with her, and, even if I did we're still back to her probably being off-limits and me still being Jon.)

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