Bye bye bye

Wednesday was my last day at my workplace, a large state agency in Austin, Texas. An incident the week before I left kind of typified my experiences during the past few years.

As the lone technical writer in a large IT organization, I didn’t belong to any one team. I should have belonged to all the teams, since I did work for all of them. I wrote the Help for about 30 different software applications, did other editing and writing work, and taught writing classes to the agency. For one project, I read every single page of our web site and worked with the many content authors to try to improve their writing. I also belonged to a department, one in which all the other members are business analysts. Believe me, it has always been all about the business analysts. In short, instead of belonging to all the teams, I belonged to none.

So long, large ugly building.
So long, large ugly building.

So, a typical event. Along with the other people in my department, last week I was invited to a birthday lunch for a coworker, which I accepted. When the time came, I looked around and could not find any of them. They left without me. I knew where they were going, but I do not usually have a car at work, so I could not follow. This group included my boss, and the department only has six people in it, so I wasn’t overlooked because of the sheer number of people involved. Not only that, but they only sit one row away from me in our cube farm. No one stuck a head around the corner and asked me if I was going. Need I point out that this was the last chance any of them would have had to go to lunch with me?

Individually, these are all nice people. They just seldom treated me as part of their group.

A few weeks ago, too, I got a talking-to by my boss, who said someone had complained that I made too many personal phone calls. Aside from there being no rule about personal phone calls, the actual truth is that usually I go for months making no phone calls at all. It’s just that with the house sale, and the moving, and the storage unit, and the packing, I have had to make many in a short period of time. You would think that anyone could understand that. When I was telling another manager about it, he said, “I never hear a peep out of you.” Our division actually usually doesn’t care about things like that, but we’re sitting next to another division that does. But let’s not say anything about the interminable vapid conversations I have to listen to every day from the cube next to me in the other division (and snoring, when that person falls asleep, several times a week). I guess having personal conversations is okay as long as you aren’t doing personal business on the phone. I guess sleeping is okay, too.

Pay is also a big issue for me here, because for the past six years I have received a rating of five out of five on my reviews but have only had one raise. Part of the time we had a wage freeze, but when we didn’t have one, attention was not paid to the fact that my pay had fallen behind that of other employees who used to make less than me (even after I pointed it out to them). I do the work that was done by four writers when I started here. I stay on schedule and deliver quality work. I knew that coming to work for the state would mean taking a pay cut, but for the first few years I worked here, it looked like I would eventually recover the pay rate I was making before I started. I did not. 15 years ago I was making $10K more than I make now. Thank god for the benefits, which continue after I retire.

A friend at work has urged me to write a “f–k you” essay about our workplace, but this is about as close as I can get. I know it’s not funny. She could have done a much better job of entertaining you all, because she is hilarious. Let’s just say, I’m glad to be finally getting the f–k out of Dodge.

Advertisements

What else could possibly go wrong?

Two important events today. The first was that I had to submit my resignation letter at work and get it signed so that HR would fill out a form for my husband to submit to get Medicare, saying he would no longer be covered by my insurance.

That went okay until I got home, at which time I got an email from my boss saying that HR was alarmed by my resignation date and did I know I wouldn’t get a very big check for October if I left October 5? Well, duh! And let’s not mention that I already changed my resignation date once because of a discussion with HR. They also said that they usually didn’t “allow” people to retire except at the end of the month (our retirement agency said they didn’t care when I retired), even though the HR person I talked to said they did it all the time. They also suggested I use my vacation time up to fill up October, something I had explicitly been told by another HR person was not allowed by the agency (called “terminal leave”). In other words, I have to be there on my last day, and I ain’t flying back for it from Washington. So, after I stopped cursing these people who all tell me different things, we went to close on our house.

This is what we got so far for our house.
This is what we got so far for our house.

That went just dandy until my husband checked our bank accounts. Instead of paying off our mortgage, the money for that got deposited into our checking account. That is easily remedied. My husband just needs to transfer it over. But the other sum, our six-digit profit, is nowhere to be found. We hope it’s not in someone else’s account being spent, but the title company can’t do anything about it until Monday, because the credit union is closed.

And in the meantime, I started wondering about our storage container, which was supposed to be picked up today. You might have read my last post, where I reported that the local franchise for the company went out of business and I was going to have to get my second storage container from another company at a higher cost. Well, that made me worry about the container we already have that is full of half our worldly goods, but yesterday they assured us they would pick it up today.

In the meantime, I scheduled another shipping company to bring a second container on Monday. Well, guess what? Today I heard from the first company that they were looking around for equipment so that they could pick up our container. So, I had to get on the phone to the other company to delay our second container being dropped off, because there is not enough room for two. And although she assured me it would be picked up on Monday, she assured me yesterday that it would be today. I am happy as a lark.