Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bottom line: the women that I work with now that I'm on the evening shift are a real trip.

A few people in the office tried to warn me about them before I started, but I really do get it: they're shallow and can be petty and catty, and probably stave off the boredom of the longish shifts paired with little work with internal politics of the most pointless kind. They are the type of women that professionals would easily call "girls", and I'll admit that that's how I thought of them in the beginning: they have a childish viciousness to them borne of the same kind of small-mindedness that draws a person to aspire no higher than to get married, and have nice clothes along the way. I can see them in my mind's eye at the age of five, hitting their friends over the head with their dolls when they don't get their way.

That said, they are entirely professional at what they do. I often find myself lagging behind, even when the work is as simple as scanning and printing. They easily complete three pieces of work in the time it takes me to complete one. So while they're not people I would willingly hang out with, they do what they do well.

Yeah, they're shallow- an entire shift can go by with the only topic of conversation being fashion- and they're definitely petty. But they're not (most of them) genuinely stupid. They do however have that sort of laziness of intellect that you often get with people who are born pretty and as a result haven't had to try too hard over the course of their lives. The office is absolutely filled with the conventionally attractive, and the secretary pool is the last place where there would be an exception: all young, female, thin, (mostly) blond. I am sure that they were given their (fairly cushy) jobs not only on the basis of their abilities but also based on their ability to be an attractive front to the office, to be able to smile prettily when the clients come in.

Some of them are university students, which is why they're working the evening shift. The evening shift is ideal for that- you make a full time salary at a part-time position. I can imagine that this job is another in a long line of unearned perks, just for being pretty- they won't have to work slinging hash or cleaning stairwells. They can stay in the air conditioning, with the complimentary coffee.

Maybe it's all sour grapes, I don't know. Probably "On Not Being Pretty" is a series of (probably long winded and self-deprecating) posts all by itself. I'm doing what I always do in these kind of situations: do my job, keep my head down and think about what's going on around me.


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