Tuesday, December 06, 2005

End Of The CEDA Era

So much for my temp job going through January, which is what my agency, Smart Resources, told me when I was hired. The big boss, Casey Jones, had been making a big deal lately about people who consistently posted 75 files or less for a day's work on their retarded little tally sheets (yes, they started making everyone keep track of how many files they did in a day), going so far as to call a meeting almost every day last week only for those under the magic number the day before. You got it--20 to 30 minutes of no work for those not producing enough work so that Casey can tell us that we need to start producing more work. Is that not the most idiotic thing you've ever heard? Not only that, but I honestly don't think that these people had the collective intelligence to realize that some people were fudging their numbers and writing insane tallies on their sheets, and I would still be there if only I were dishonest. I will say this once and then I will stop whining--I am a perfectionist, I am a hardheaded son of a bitch, and I basically ignored all warning that Casey gave us in those retarded meetings that the low-tally people would be the first to be cut because to race through the files would mean that I would risk missing a detail and making a mistake, and I was not making any mistakes based on this moron's opinion that my work wasn't fast enough. This same guy bitched and moaned in previous rants about how important accuracy was, because if we make a mistake then that will prevent a file from being processed, then that family has to wait to get that mistake ironed out, and meanwhile they have no heat, so our jobs are very important, etc, etc...but in the last couple of weeks, all we heard about was the "rabbits" nailing 150 or more files a day, and why couldn't we be more like them? I bit my tongue so hard it nearly tore off. I held my professionalism and defeated the urge to tell him: "Because it's their fucking mistakes that I'm cleaning up the next day, and it takes time to remedy major-league fuck-ups like they make on a daily basis, you imbecile!" My counts were not way below his quota of 75. Gina, the main supervisor of the data entry department, always rolled her eyes when she tapped me on the shoulder to come to the meetings because my counts were always in the 65 to 70 range, and considering that I didn't run away from files with eight or nine people in it and put them back in the box like a lot of people did, and that I denied files with Social Security cards that were obvoiusly fake and wrote up denial sheets for every one of them and didn't ignore problems with a file and process it anyway like a lot of people did, you would think a rational person would excuse my count being low by a couple of files. Of course, I was dealing with Casey Jones, and nothing about him says "rational person," which is why I never mentioned any of this to him. Someone else tried to tell him that her count was low because her particular computer wasn't working right, and his response was, "No excuses." WTF?!? So yeah, it was a no-win situation. All that said, I will quit whining about it now because I realize that the bottom line is this: Not everyone was falsifying their numbers, not everyone looked at difficult files and put them back for someone else to do, and I knew what the daily quota was and I routinely failed to make it. Period.

It was a weird day yesterday. We didn't have overtime over the weekend because we had done our jobs so well that we didn't have extra files, so we all kinda knew the end was near. Then in the afternoon, the guy from Smart Resources who always brings the weekly checks for the Smart workers who are not part of direct deposit, as I am, gave a check to a woman, then pulled her aside and told her, and only her, that she was done at the end of the day. He then spoke to Gina privately for about 20 minutes and left. Meanwhile, the woman was in tears because the way he did it, it sure seemed like he was singling her out. But when Gina spoke to me later, she said that she heard that there was a list of people being let go by Casey, and that I was on the list, but I figured if I was going to be thrown out, either Casey or the guy from Smart would have told me something at the same time as the woman earlier was told. I told Gina that I'd be back the next day because no one had told me anything, but she hugged me goodbye just in case, so I think she knew. The funny part is that Smart had indeed called my cell phone while I was at work to tell me that my "assignment has ended," but I didn't know that I had a call until after I left work because sometimes my cell phone's vibrator doesn't work. I would have had to awkwardly endure the pain and embarrassment of working my last two hours knowing that I had been fired, just like that woman did. I have no idea why the guy from Smart told her separately that she was gone, except that she and I had become friends and I don't remember her ever taking out a cell phone, so perhaps she doesn't have a cell phone and face-to-face was the only way to tell her. In any event, I walked to school and checked my voice mail and found out the bad news, and I've been home all day just resting and trying to stay warm.

The immediate future is a complete question mark. I've already talked to Smart about a new "assignment," but the only gig they have right now is 3rd-shift and pays less. "Shelley" thinks that I should take it, but every outing we have is paid for by me, so of course she wants her meal ticket to find employment again ASAP. I really, really can't see myself doing retail, so the obvious solution, some cashier job in this holiday season, is out. Unemployment benefits are not an option because I would have had to be employed for six months to be eligible again. Cassandra assures me that she will have some money for me next week. But this may be the final event to push me towards moving out of this shitty apartment, like, now. My savings account is now under $1,000 for the first time in quite a while, so I only have a couple of months of living here with zero income, whether the people who owe me money come through or not. And I've been bitching about the rent and the $50 cable and the $50 DSL so long that I was speaking to "Ronnie" when I started bitching about it, and you know it had to be a long time ago if I was speaking to Ronnie. Plus, I'm dating now, and this place ain't no place to be hosting dates. So I'm leaning towards getting out of here by February, employment or no employment. Whatever happens, I am not going to ever forget my time at CEDA. What a perfect impetus to push me through school and urge me to keep going and make education a priority. Cause if I don't, I face a future of jobs in which my diligence and perfectionist nature cause me to be fired perpetually because I didn't produce enough mistake-filled, hurried work to satisfy the assholes in charge.

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