Wednesday, August 24, 2005

So here's the latest on the job front, which serves as a prelude to an e-mail I sent to my mom stating the VERY latest on the job front.

I got a job. Actually, I got two jobs. The first was working at Quizno's. I went in for an interview two weeks ago, and then I got hired, and was told to come back next Wednesday to be put on the schedule, as the schedule for the next week had already been made up.

Last Wednesday, I got a call from Evergreen Housing, about an application I had put in months ago. They asked if I was still interested. And I was, because it's best to keep your options open. But I explained that I was going in for something today and would have to get back to them.

I go to Quizno's, in neighboring Lacey, and see the schedule I have been placed on. I would get six hours, the week following, which would be two weeks after my initial hire. I would be paid every two weeks, and I would be paid minimum wage.

This offer basically sucks. So I call Housing, and I talk to them. They say I can get forty hours, but I can't work another job at the same time. I say that I was put on the schedule, and would maybe be screwing over Quizno's if I didn't come in, so maybe I would just work those three days and then come in on the following Monday. They say my time would just be training, and so Quizno's probably wouldn't want to bother anyway. I tell Housing I'll get back to them after I talk to Quizno's.

So I talk to Quizno's. They tell me not to come in. So I didn't have to pay to take a test to get a food handler's permit. And I got started yesterday, and for that day, I got paid more at that first day than I would've my theoretical first week at Quizno's.

Today, what would've been my first day at Quizno's, I got fired from Evergreen housing..

Do I want to give details? No, not really. I will.

I was cleaning a bedroom on the sixth floor of A-dorm, where I used to live. Not the room I was cleaning, but the floor. I was talking to a friend of mine, who started working today, about books we were reading currently and had read in the recent past.

A woman, Heidi, comes in and says she has to have a conversation with me. Heidi is the woman that called me after reviewing my application, and who I talked to about the Quizno's situation and the whole thing. She works in the housing office, she's not someone I work with. I don't even know her last name.

I follow her down the stairs. We don't go into her office, rather, we go outside. She sits, and says I can sit. I sit.

I don't remember her exact words at this point, but the gist of it was that some complaints were had about my language and threats.

I had no real idea what she was talking about. The language thing seemed plausible, although I would justify my language by the fact that I wasn't working with the public- I was working pretty solely with their abandoned toilets. I imagined almost all of my coworkers were current Evergreen students. I don't really remember saying anything that bad.

She told me. The situation in question happened that morning. By threats, read "non sequitur" as that was the joke of what I said.

We're all in an elevator. There's like eight of us. I think I yelled something like "Elevator, elevator!" Something inoffensive, at any rate. It might've been someone's name. I don't quite recall.

This guy, whose name I thought was Scott although my memory was foggy, says "You're going to have to stop yelling, this is a crowded space."

I reply, blithely, "Well, if I can't yell... I'm going to have to grab your balls." I proceed to not do anything of the sort.

He says "You better not, because if you do, I'll kick your ass."

Upon going through this little flashback in my mind, I say to Heidi "Wait! I made a joke, it wasn't really a threat. He threatened me in response."

She says "I'm aware of that."

I say "Is he going to be fired?" Although I didn't really think he should be fired, you understand. I made a joke, and his reply seemed like a joke made by someone kind of humorless.

She says she can't tell me.

I say I don't think he should be, I believe I say this numerous times, but I'm aware that if I'm getting fired, I can't be expected to be able to decide such policy. We go back and forth and there's some exposition. Basically, Evergreen takes a zero-tolerance approach to matters of threats and sexual harassment (And yes I realize that if it was anything, that's what it would be, as "balls" isn't really that inappropriate by my reckoning and it wasn't really a threat. I find calling it harassment harsh but if someone wanted to say "hey that's inappropriate," I would concede the point. I certainly wouldn't have made a joke about grabbing a woman's genitals, as doing so would be charged with all kinds of implications and overtones I wouldn't want to deal with). So I was being fired, no second chances, and the fact that I had to quit a job to take this one meant nothing. The way Heidi viewed it, she had to jump through hoops to give me the job. So I don't know if the implication of her saying this was that I made her look bad, but I don't know her and so this should not be the case.


The moral of this story is that I live in a world where people aren't big on common decency.

The ending of this story is that I'm out of a job. Which, in a world where there's not a lot of common decency, is hard to find.

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