Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Company Picnic (and some background)

Currently, I work in a small office--14 people plus 1 "Skullery Wench". There is one other female and she's the lab team leader.

My duties are to make the coffee, clean the coffeepot and espresso maker and wash all the coffeecups. Seriously, it was a HUGE HAIRY DEAL in the interview that I knew how to make coffee and understood it was going to be my job and also that I knew that all cleanup was my job. But they also want me doing Project Management. So, basically, they pay me $pittance an hour to be everything from Project Manager to Skullery Wench. My contract had been scheduled to end July 31st and it was this big ordeal to get Corporate to approve an extension. Nevermind that they pay me only half of what they're paying the agency for me (I know this because I had to write up the Purchase Order for my own contract). And I work assloads of OT and cannot submit for any overtime (on the plus side, when the company closed for a long weekend (3 work days plus weekend) and I didn't work, they let me submit 40 hours, otherwise I would have had 3 unpaid days). I keep the breakroom stocked, order all supplies and equipment for our location, am the local person who handles all of the HR paperwork (Corporate is in Non-US), do all of the shipping (which we have to take to the FEDEX location since our company rents space in another company's building), am in charge of getting badges for all staff and visitors, making sure the heating and cooling is ok, making sure that the people who gather the trash are doing their job, vacuum the office when there is a mess made, take and distribute minutes for the weekly meeting and am sent to fetch lunch and dinner for the "regular" staff from time to time as well as coordinate breakfast and lunches when we have visitors. I have to give my boss a report every week of what I did the previous week. (Basically, I have to justify my existence on a weekly basis).

They give me a company cell phone (which I seldom use. Previous person in my position gave out the number as her personal phone number and ran up $700+ a month in calls for her last 2 months). And I have a purchasing card so I can get all the supplies and stuff.

I get no vacation time, no sick time, no benefits. And it took me 6 months to find this job. For a pretty small town, there is a HUGE hangup on only employing people who have college degrees, which I do not. I am not willing to go into further debt for a degree... I already have more debt than I can pay off in my lifetime.

One of my recent assignments was to plan and execute "The Company Picnic". On the day of the picnic, I got a later start than I should have. EvilMart was packed with preggos and hellspawn (and maintained their corporate mandated quota of rednecks and women in tubetops who have no business going braless). I think I got way too little food.

The picnic was populated by The Perfect Wives (seriously, it was like they were all just slightly different versions of the same woman.... same basic body, hair, voice... I honestly think that they all just bought a kit and did minor customizations) and me being a) a divorcee (gasp!) and b) having no babiez I was a big neon FREAK FLAG in Perfect Wife Land.

I woke up the morning of the picnic with a migraine... shopped at friggin' Evilmart... had to get sixty fucking pounds of ice by myself and then had to schlep all the crap to the picnic site. And first whiff I got of the charcoal file wracked me with waves of nausea, so I cut out... but I am sure they think I am a huge failure as a party planner but, ya know, here's the deal. I don't DO "outdoors". I am allergic to sunlight, charcoal grilling makes me ill. There were allegedly going to be 24 people there (mix of kids/adults). I got :

24 hamburgers (the Perfect Wives frowned at Frozen Patties... oh the horror)
16 Beef Bun Length Hot Dogs
24 Bratwust (Beer Brats, Stadium Brats and Cheddarwurst)
3lbs chicken breasts (mainly because our employee from India doesn't eat other meat)
Buns for the above that require buns
2 fifty-packs of assorted bagged chips
Assorted "tubez o' nuts"
Assorted paks of cookies and crackers with cheese and crackers w/peanut butter
Real Mayo
Miracle Whip
2 kinds of BBQ Sauce
Yellow Mustard
Spicy Brown Mustard
Louisiana Hot Sauce
Sweet Pickles
Dill Pickles
Pickle Relish
8 Two Litres of Soda
1 Six pack o' Kool Aid Bursts (blue)
1 Pkg. Capri Sun "Mountain Cooler"
2 gallons Spring Water
Aluminum Foil
2 table cloths
2 pkgs table cloth clips
Forks, knives, Spoons (plastic)
Paper Towels
Wet Wipes
Bug Spray
Hand Sanitizer
Bag of chocolate "fun size" candy packs
Trash Bags
Cooler + 60 fucking pounds of ice
2 Sets of BBQ tools
2 bags charcoal
1 large thing o' lighter fluid
2 long "fire lighter thingies"

Plus people were supposed to bring something to share. The pre-picnic signup indicated there would be about 16 lbs. of Potato Salad.

In reality:

Perfect Wife with 4 freakin' kids under age 6 brought... 1 one pound bag of baby carrots

There was a small bowl of pasta salad (brought by the guy whose wife probably said there was no friggin' way she wanted to hang out with The Perfect Wives because she "had to work".)

There was a small bowl of bing cherries.

There was a container of 24 mini chocolate chip cookies

And there was a cupcake cake. (It was a ladybug! Oooh!)

I am sure I won't get so much as a "thank you" because I wasn't there 2 hours early and didn't have a gourmet meal all prepared and waiting. And because I didn't stay and clean up afterwards. And cuz I wasn't a skinny, model-beautiful Perfect Wife with an Geek Husband (and, for the record, there isn't a damn thing wrong with Geek guys... I'm all for 'em) and teh babiez.

But now it's OVER. And my happy ass won't be here for the "holiday party".

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