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30, etc - The Literary Exhibitionist
machupicchu
machupicchu
30, etc
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04082017-14


-- चार हजार और सत्तर-सात --


So a few days ago, Marquesa, the Exectutive Assistant to the CEO and the Board, emailed the office about how Nancy T, the VP of HR, is having her 30th anniversary working for PCC on Thursday this week. Marquesa, like Janice before her, tends to spearhead things like office parties for major milestone anniversaries, and the email talked about everyone in the office gathering at 3:45 in the kitchen to shout "Surprise!" for Nancy once she was brought back at about 4:00.

All this time I thought this meant the party was on Thursday, but no -- the anniversary itself is tomorrow; the party turned out to be yesterday. I was a little thrown for a loop for a minute when the email came telling us all to go huddle in the kitchen, and for a minute I was like, But it's only Tuesday! But, then I went and re-read the email more carefully.

So anyway, that's how I spent my final half hour at work yesterday. I got a nice picture of the huge "3" and "0" ballons floating in the windows with the Puget Sound waters in the view behind them. Mimi later noted that there are fewer than 10 employees to date (including herself) who have ever made it to a 30th anniversary. And, as I noted to Nancy herself a few minutes later, this was an interesting thing for me to contemplate: I have worked here exactly half the number of years she has -- as of August, anyway -- which means, when I first started in 2002, she had been here the same number of years I have now. And holy shit, do the years go by fast. Thinking about it that way makes 30 years seem like they're not quite as many as they really are.

They also had non dairy ice cream and other sweet treats. I guess Nancy is big on Coconut Bliss, so that's the brand we were served -- like seven different flavor options. I had a couple scoops of the chocolate, with chocolate chips topping and caramel syrup. Oh and also one tiny chocolate chip cookie and one brownie bite. I only interacted all that much with Marie from IT once the speeches were done; I found out the longest she's ever stayed at one company was just under fifteen years, and she's a fair number of years older than I am. Even at 15 years, at the age of 41 (okay, next month I'll be 41) I think I'm still relatively rare compared to how people these days switch careers every few years. I've really never been much interested in that. For many people, as in Marie's case, it's beyond their control -- changes in the industry they're working in, layoffs, that sort of stuff. I've never had to worry about these things, at least not since starting at PCC. I did get laid off at the previous job but I'd only been there a year.

-- चार हजार और सत्तर-सात --


And right at 4:30, I went to shut down my computer and I walked home from work while reading the Prince biography I have from the library. Shobhit made tacos and I had a taco salad during the 45 minutes or so that I was home before I then took the bus to take myself to see Frantz -- the only movie of even moderate interest to see this week -- at the Seven Gables Theatre up in the U District. During the first half I was thinking the critical consensus was maybe overrating it; by the end I was pretty impressed. Then I bused to Light Rail and took the train from there and once I got home I wrote the review before going to bed.

-- चार हजार और सत्तर-सात --


04082017-38


-- चार हजार और सत्तर-सात --


Shobhit came to bed around midnight, I think, and Ivan still wasn't home. We both assumed he must have had to pull a double shift again. I had been asleep for maybe ninety minutes but was able to get back to a light snooze after Shobhit fell asleep -- and then woke again when I heard Ivan come in at around 1 a.m., more than two hours later than normal.

I tried to just go to sleep again, but Shobhit's snoring was keeping me awake. His snoring is not especially loud or obtrusive -- not like my mom's, say, which sounds like a fucking chainsaw -- but it is pretty steady, and thus sometimes can keep me awake. I debated for a little while and then finally decided to get up and get a cup of water and say hi to Ivan, and maybe find out why he got home late. I put on my bathrobe and came out of the bedroom, saying "Boo" to him in the kitchen. He seemed to appreciate having someone to chat with for a few minutes, especially after such a frustrating end to his work day. I guess he had locked his bag and keys in the "med room" and even after getting his boss there and her keys didn't work, they had to wait for a locksmith to come and open it. He had locked the med room's key inside of it as well and they have no spare, which Ivan rightfully regarded as a bit shortsighted.

I'd say we chatted for maybe fifteen or twenty minutes. Then I went back to bed, and Shobhit's snoring wasn't as bad, so I was able to get back to sleep. After that, though, I was really zonked out, and my alarm app that goes off within a half-hour window (waiting to detect stirring on my part) this time waited until the end of it, getting me out of bed at 5:42 rather than closer to the much more common 5:20ish. I still arrived at work plenty before 8 a.m., just not as early as I tend to.

-- चार हजार और सत्तर-सात --


So, what other news? This is interesting: with unemployment benefits to run out within the next couple of months, Shobhit has taken to applying for entry-level retail jobs as of this week, which is kind of amazing, compared to most people in the same boat. A lot of people insist they have only the type of job they feel they are suited for and will accept nothing less until the bitter end, but not Shobhit. To be fair, it's a little easier for Shobhit to make this sort of switch in his job search, because he still has money. Not nearly as much as he did before moving to New York and Los Angeles, and a lot of it is tied up in India, but it's still there. He has his own safety nets -- albeit ones that are still not long-term sustainable in his to-date job search approach without getting hired anywhere.

And he doesn't seem especially stressed out about it, which is actually a bit of a relief. I get the feeling that, at this point, more than anything it's just that he's getting stir crazy and needs something to do. That, and even an entry-level position at minimum wage (much higher than most, here in Washington State) will yield him enough to cover the mortgage payments if nothing else, and that's by far the most pressing financial concern of his. So: he inquired at Trader Joe's (dead end); applied to be a barista at Starbucks; and yesterday he applied for cashier position right here at PCC -- or, specifically, the Columbia City store, where he'll be meeting with our Recruitment Specialist for a pre-screening interview tomorrow.

I already exchanged a couple of emails with her yesterday, knowing that having me already working here gives Shobhit an edge here over any other place where he might apply for a job for which he's clearly overqualified. I think if he got hired I would even get some kind of bonus. At least that was policy many years ago.

Wait, why don't I just check the current version of the staff handbook, easily accessible on our Sharepoint website! And, there it is: For every new staff member recruited, PCC will pay the referring staff person a recruiting bonus, an amount that is reviewed periodically. The check will be sent after the new staff person successfully completes six months on the job. Maybe Shobhit should work here for six months just so I can get that bonus! Which in a way would become his too. The handbook doesn't say how much the bonus is, only that the amount is "reviewed periodically." (I'm taking care to note this because it would be Shobhit's first question.)

I did wonder this: if Shobhit worked here too, would we both get the monthly 10% coupon? I just walked over to find Claudia to get confirmation -- it would! So, we'd then get our total 25% discount (combined with 15% employee discount) twice a month. Nice! The more I think of the idea of Shobhit working for PCC, the more I like it!

Still. If you had told me seven years ago that one day Shobhit could be working as a cashier at one of our stores, I'd have been like . . . What?

Mind you, he hasn't even interviewed yet. But it's still a little mind boggling to contemplate these turns of events that I never could have imagined before now. And you know what? This right here is why I hate questions like "Where do you see yourself five years from now?" What a pointless question! Life always has its own plans when it's that far down the road, so I never bother thinking that far ahead. Next year or the year after, perhaps. But even five years is just too long to have any confidence in precisely what your life is going to look like. I suppose that idea might cause a lot of people anxiety. I find it kind of exciting.

(I do think I can still say with pretty solid confidence I'll still be working for PCC, if nothing else. But, still . . . you really never know!)

-- चार हजार और सत्तर-सात --


04082017-09

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positive energy please