As I’ve resumed much more regular blogging, and more generalist blogging at that, I’ve been going back to examine what I was doing back in the Golden Age, some of which I’ve talked about here already.
Today I discovered that the contents of a blog I’d had over the course of 2000 and 2001 also are still in my old Blogger account. Reading back through the entries is pretty bizarre. For one thing, the later posts all seem to be relationship blogging, at the end there very much in a live-tweeting fashion before Twitter came along to make microblogging into this whole other thing.
It was strange to come across one particular entry posted on the afternoon of Sunday, May 6, 2001.
At some point last night, I believe I was wearing a blonde wig, sunglasses, a shirt with martini glasses on it, and some sort of red scarfish thing. I expect to blackmailed shortly, as I believe there are pictures.
Strange not in and of itself but because literally when I was doing my last trip down blogging memory lane I ran across the old photos section of the long-dead ORBlogs (a directory of Oregon-based blogs) and in fact said picture still exists.
Where I got truly excited, though, was when I discovered a post in which I mentioned returning to a former workplace to conduct an exit interview. “I do this willingly,” I posted, “because exit interviews, unlike other conversations, do not stay at that location, instead being reported further up the cahin [sic] of command.”
Two entries earlier, I’d told the grand story of how I’d quit this job. I think about this story a lot, but as the years have passed I’ve lost most of the finer details. So this is a real find.
Two days ago was, at least in the mythology of my own mind, Black Friday the Thirteenth at CyberRep.coM – my now-former employer. All told, there were five departures in that single day, of which I was one. Presuming I was paying enough attention, only one was not voluntary. As for me, a payroll discrepency involving the absence of an incentive bonus played the roll of “last straw”. The incentive program, for what it’s worth, was intended to inspire us to keep our average call handle times below a certain point, since CyberRep was obsessed with handle time often to the detriment of decent customer service (the call center I worked in handled customer service for Nextel cell phones). Of course, most of the time, the company managed to fuck up and not have employee’s incentive bonuses on the checks for the appropriate pay periods. As the death toll mounted over the course of the afternoon, I jokingly toyed with the idea of going ahead and quitting right then and there, so that they might have an all-time record one-day loss. It ceased to be a joke when someone from payroll came over and said I hadn’t gotten my bonus because I had been 30 minutes late on the Tuesday of the week in question – which was blatantly untrue, as documented by the fact that I had logged 8.38 hours that day. Upon explaining to my supervisor, the HR person, and the project manager that my payroll problem was, for me, after everything else, the last straw, the first words out of the manager’s mouth were, “That’s a really childish attitude to take”. At which point I promptly ended the conversation, turned around, retreived my coat, and left. Not incidentally, the manager got chewed out almost instantly for being such an obvious unprofessional dick – a character description which pretty much describes the entire management staff and is the reason why no one wants to work there for much longer. Fortunately, he was stupid enough to say what he did in front of the HR person, who was the wrong person to which he should have demonstrated his true personality. For those of you in Portland who might see the current employment ads for CyberRep.coM: Flee as far and fast as you can from any consideration of working there.
For all of the details in here that I’ve missed in later re-tellings it’s especially fascinating to me that one detail didn’t make it into this original telling. Immediately upon my manager uttering those words, I didn’t just turn around and leave. For the entire conversation up until that point, I’d been hunched over and small. Nervous. The moment he said what he did, my entire body straightened up, and I’d looked him in the eye and said I was done.
That story easily is one of the longest, maybe the longest entry on the entire blog, most of which is full of posts of fewer than 140 characters, including mentions of what I’d had for dinner, daily posts quoting two different ironic horoscope sites (which makes sense, since astrology isn’t real), and semi-daily gripes about the workplace I’d soon be leaving.
Also of note: the entry where I complain that I should stop trying to post anything personal and just stick, for example, to those horoscope posts, because “everytime [sic] I open my mouth about myself, I get a big long email from a family member”. The more things change.
There’s little sense in reading through the entire archive, so there’s no risk of me belaboring it here. The last observation worth making is that I only just now double-checked the dates of the blog.
It lasted until the end of July, 2001. Just a little over a month later, all of my blogging would switch to a site called What Planet Is This?, named after a question a little girl asked her parents, as reported in a local newspaper, when she walked into the room and saw the World Trade Center collapsing on television.
My first post there: “Today’s date: 911.”