Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Uncle Steve the Big Red Alligator and introducing the Doormat Branch

So heres the thing - i dont sleep too well. Most nights, i wake up four or five times, i toss, i turn, and by the time the alarm goes off i am back to being tired again. Its that whole " I'm so tired of waking up tired " thing for me. The other thing is, the more tired i am and the more restless my sleep, the weirder my dreams. And i'm talking weird. Crazy. Like, wake up in the morning and go " What the forking beejesus was that supposed to mean ?!? " crazy. Let me elaborate:

For those of you who are either new here, didnt already know or who may have forgotten, i was once an au pair in the United States. Instead of having to explain what au pair actually means - i was a nanny ( to three very wonderful boys... but i digress ). Anyhoo, so last night i dreamt that i was a nanny again, but it wasnt for the same family. Some members of this family were white, but the parents and one child were dark skinned ( i'd be politically correct and say African-American or Aboriginal, but truth be told i dont know where this dream was taking place ). Weirder still was that the youngest child in said family was my neice, Hannah. And there i was, nanny to this family, brand new into the job and off we go to visit their Uncle Steve. But Uncle Steve was no ordinary man-uncle - no, Uncle Steve was a big, red, alligator. And by big, i mean HUGE. You remember Clifford the Big Red Dog ? Well Uncle Steve was the alligator equivalent of Clifford. He was a monstrous, red, reptile and he lived in a huge pond. With a lid. Like a coffin lid. On a pond. Uncle Steve could also speak - in English suprisingly ( in a dream like this you would have thought it would have been some obscure Russian dialect or something ) - and he was really sweet. The kids and the family got in the pond and swam with him. I sat on the edge and gave Hannah a marshmallow from my handbag. There were other kids playing nearby the pond and when one of them fell in and started crying, i pulled him out and gave him a marshmallow too. Just as Hannah starting yelling out " Amma! Amma ! " - the name of a Finnish exchange i knew in high school - i woke up.
Seriously - can anybody else say what the ?!? Perhaps the combination of bad sleep and brain altering medication is pysching me out....

But enough with dreams, and on to reality. Yes, we all have to wake up sometimes, and that kind of sort of, happened today. My colleagues and I all came to the conclusion that we are the Doormat Branch. That is, we are the branch of our company that everyone else takes advantage of and, frankly, we're sick of being walked all over. But what are we to do? Find new jobs? Conduct a walk off and picket outside the store? Fire off an aggressive email to management ? Or just take a cup of cement and harden the fuck up ? Our branch has been understaffed by at least two people for almost a month straight now. We have been coping the best we can, some of us even taking on roles and duties that do not come under our job description. One of my workmates came in to work sick as a dog, dying of the lurgy, ill to the point where she had lost her voice and couldnt talk, because she was the only person to fill that role that day. And we soldiered on. Sure, some of the paperwork got backed up, but when you're short staffed and ( some of you ) are on deaths door step, that cant exactly be helped. Management, however, thinks it can. No " Thanks guys, you're really doing well down there ", no " Job well done in a hard situation ", no " Can we send someone down to help you guys? ". No, only an email from our area supervisor querying why some paperwork had not been put on and questioning our priorities and understanding of our job. Even though she was aware of the no staff and the dying of the lurgy bit. Are you freaking kidding me ? We spent a good half hour following the arrival of managements email bitching about how unappreciated we are. Whenever someone else at another branch is sick or needs holiday coverage who do they get to go ? Someone from our branch. One of us goes away, say for a week long tutorial, and we dont ask for a ring-in, we just buck up and get on with it. Management even sent one us away to another branch for six months ( which is why WE are now short staffed ) to begin a job looking after some agencies and when a new agency opened, one that my workmate had been working on for months, did he get to go to the opening? Nope. Some other douche from some other branch who had little to nothing to do with it went. What a crock of crap.

Perhaps i should get my good buddy Uncle Steve the Big Red Alligator to rock up to management and tell them how we really feel.....

1 comment:

  1. That's some vivid dream description Amy! The worst are when you are trying to wake yourself up from something scary and you can't! Oh boy, all that affection and cosiness mixed up with a BIG hint of danger that turns out not to be as frightening as appearences suggest! Perhaps someone could interpret this for you?

    Work sounds really demoralising. Perhaps you ought to email back with a copy of your original job description and all the extra duties that have been imposed asking for a damn pay rise. What can you do when you're so put upon? I guess you know what you'd like to say! If you can get collegues onside as a collective and complain you need to be fully staffed? Tough call hunny.

    Take care xxx