Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Gripe Before Christmas

I can tell it's Christmas time. Not because I can read a calendar, although that does play a small role in it, and not because the gentle, hushed fall of millions of snowflakes can be seen see-sawing haphazardly outside my window. I know it's almost Christmas because all of the sudden work is kicking into overdrive. You see, I've come to believe that my entire job is not to run and test subsystems on million dollar printing presses in hopes of finding fundamental design flaws that would make the sale of said presses unprofitable. I think instead, that I am part of some larger psychological experiment to see what it is that makes people go insane.

That's really the only explanation I can think of. Let's look at the facts:

1) During the Christmas shopping season, the one part of the year when I absolutely NEED my free time to shop for the various penis-joke based gifts I will undoubtedly decide on giving, they ask for me to start working overtime. Thereby giving me more money to spend and insuring that I don't have time to spend it.

2) They make me repeat tests I have already completed, without reason. They do seem to raise their eyebrows at me a lot though. This, of course, I take as an absolute slight against my work performance. That carefully arched brow seems to insinuate all manner of nasty things starting with "Your processes on the previous test were substandard the same way Jack The Ripper's opinion of women was less than adequate" and ending with "You are a filthy donkey-man and we hate you." I may be reading in to things a bit here.

3) Knowing full well that I am extremely stressed about the impending end of my contract, they decide that now is the best time to change the operating environment inside my lab to the meteorological equivalent of a colonoscopy. It's going to be 80 degrees with 70 percent humidity in my chamber for the next week. Putting a person with little to lose in a hot, sweaty chamber for long days during the Christmas retail season is like hiring someone to have road rage. They might as well give me a note with a name on it that will self-destruct after reading and tell me where I can find the necessary sniper rifle.


And then I think "I should just be thankful I have any job at all and should quit with the bitching. It could be worse. There are thousands of people out there who are desperate for work and watching the probability of gainful employment erode from under them daily as the economy continues its slow descent into alcoholism. This job of mine is actually pretty awesome and despite all appearances, I seriously doubt they are trying to make me mentally unbalanced."

That's when they brought me a handgun and told me I should kill my lab partner before he kills *me*.

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