Limited technical skills

October 8, 2006

I don’t have a real demanding job.

What little knowledge and skill it requires I learned the first couple weeks. The actual volume of work varies between light, and sleeping under my desk. I’m not even sure what it is my company does, and what role I might have in facilitating it. It would seem, to me at least, that this near total ignorance would impair my performance, but it really hasn’t. I consistently get stellar work reviews, so whatever it is I do apparently I’m good at it. It’s like they hired me by accident and now it’s just a waiting game until one of us cracks and admits there is no plausible reason I should be paid to come in and sit at my desk.

I think part of the problem is that I’m not qualified for any proper job. I posses limited technical skills, no vocational training, and my previous work experience is confined to the most basic menial labour. I don’t even remember applying, or being interviewed, for the position I hold. One day I just woke up with a security badge and bus directions to get here. It’s been six years and no one has ever questioned that every other person has an It degree, or programming experience, and I went to school for psychology and hate computers. Every year we get this training checklist to monitor our skills and qualifications; since I don’t have any of either I wind up filling the margins with profanity and covering the back with elaborate boasts about my bedroom prowess and swordsmanship.

In my defence I do at least make an attempt at being professional. I am punctual, very rarely call in sick, and work whenever they need me to. I figure if I’m doing nothing then I should at least do nothing at their convenience. Despite these attempts at engagement I am beginning to resent my vauge employment status. I feel like some sort of corporate latchkey kid; given an excess of freedom and unaccountability, when all I want is some boundaries and tough love. Am I so unworthy of responsibility? Do I project some air of fragile instability that’s shunted me into office purgatory? I have become so desperate for validation I now yoyo between lashing out against the company, and doing random projects that I think might win their approval. An example from day planner a few weeks ago:

Monday :

7am-11:30 am: Construct Popsicle stick diorama of office with hand carved replicas of coworkers and upper management. Stage play where everyone gets effective feedback and positive reinforcement for doing their job. Company stock soars.

11:30-12:00 – Block bathroom toilets with rolls of toilet paper. Smash mirrors so judging reflection has to cease taunting.

12:00- 2:00pm- Create dozens of spreadsheet and pie charts showing relationship between rising oil prices and the hoarding of secret rage and shame. Attempted to combine into power point presentation but am confounded by lack of actual technical skills.

2:15-3:00pm – Try to recollect what happened during 15 min blackout. Give up and bake tiny cakes in hidden easy bake oven.

3:00pm-4:30- Randomly call people from corporate directory and tell them they are doing a good job. If they sound smug remind them their wife/husband hasn’t loved them in years.

I left out some the more banal stuff but that should give you a general sense of my workday.

To complicate matters even more I believe I may have been recently promoted. After a series of cryptic meetings last week my paycheque got bigger, and coworkers have been dropping their completed work on my desk, then requesting guidance on future tasks. Initially I tried to drive them away by constructing a Sasquatch costume from the excess reports and stomping about the halls. They proved unexpectedly fearless and resourceful though, organizing hunting parties and laying traps[1], so I decided it was best to give them what direction I could. Each day they are given a quest to prove their worth and loyalty. These quests can be anything from “capture a dozen pigeons by sundown” to a more robust “Battle the toughest guy one floor up to prove the supremacy of our work group”. There was some initial resistance to the new dynamic but, after a few setbacks, the team has really gelled. I think management may be my true calling.

[1] Coincidently it turned out we had a previously undetected sasquatch on the premises who was captured in their pursuit of my artificial one. He has since been press ganged into mail room work and has shown a real knack for it.

Office adventures in chronological order


8 Responses to “Limited technical skills”

  1. Mike Says:

    After reading this I highly suggest you apply for a managerial role in the federal government.

  2. jess Says:

    hahaha this was great reading

  3. […]  A recent power vacuum has left my workplace in a state of disarray. My direct manager, and several other higher ups, were dismissed at last for gross incompetence. While Initially a source of good tidings the trickle down effects of this regime change soon proved calamitous. It’s seems one of the first issues discussed by the new bosses was my recent battlefield promotion to supervisor, in spite of my Limited technical skills. The entire team, and I, were called into a conference room to sort things out. […]

  4. […] see Limited Technical Skills for more work adventures […]

  5. Genie Says:

    It seems to me, from reading this post, that you should get your hands on a copy of Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan. I think you would like it immensely.

    The Inadvertent Gardener

  6. engtech Says:

    From Publishers Weekly
    Like many a hip young literary antihero these days, the protagonist of this hilarious if aimless debut is sunk in slacker anomie. Shane has a monotonous temp job at an insurance agency, where he is supposed to alphabetize paperwork but instead spends his time sleeping on the toilet. After work, he is besieged by a gallery of grotesques: a vapid girlfriend who sexually brutalizes him; an absurdly macho neighbor with a leather-clad guinea pig for a sex slave; and his dentist’s deaf assistant, who sings atonal karaoke, teaches him to sign obscenities and furnishes a wispy narrative thread by getting murdered. In a world both banal and assaultive, Shane can only drink, steal salt shakers and cultivate his sense of irony; “[t]here’s only so much you can do,” he shrugs, “and even that’s not worth the trouble.” Shane’s malaise doesn’t feel earned; job aside, there are just too many gonzo goings-on—the landlord, for instance, is paying him to have sex with his wife—for him to feel so listless. There’s not much to Shane besides a defiant dejectedness, but from that Neilan spins many sparkling comic riffs on the tawdriness and sterility of American life. (May)
    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    From Booklist
    Shane’s a numb loser in a city full of freaks. He learned to swear in sign language so he could converse with his dentist’s deaf hygienist, but now she’s dead, and the police want answers and fluid samples. When it’s not sending up crime novels, the narrative satirizes soulless corporate life, but Shane is hard to take either way. In a rare moment of honest assessment, he notes, “I have always thought of people as punch lines.” And that’s what this book is: an onrushing series of twisted gags, some of them hilarious, others not so much. (Neilan would be funnier if he wasn’t so smugly sure of how funny he is.) A highlight: “And then there was some sex . . . We were like two dead fish being slapped together by an off-duty clown.” Remember those “Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey” throwaways that used to run between sketches on Saturday Night Live? This is a (barely) novel-length version of that kind of humor. In other words, juvenile fun for undiscerning lads with two hours to kill. A mystery for the Maxim generation. Frank Sennett
    Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

    Sounds good. I requested it from the library.

    Thanks Genie!

  7. […] Comments The Siege « Beats Entropy on Duplicitous cripples necessitating pony warfare.To kill a king? « Beats Entropy onDuplicitous cripples necessitating pony warfare.Duplicitous cripples necessitating pony warfare. « Beats Entropy on To kill a king?Bring your kids to work day: Part 1 « Beats Entropy on Limited technical skillsBring your kids to work day: Part 1 « Beats Entropy on Duplicitous cripples necessitating pony warfare. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • Isaac and the Leopard
  • Blog Stats

  • October 2006
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep   Nov »
  • Recent Posts

  • Top Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Advertisements
    %d bloggers like this: