Sunday, September 18, 2005

Adventures in Working

Friday was spent cleaning my office, finishing up my orientation, updating my computer, and starting to read one of the papers I need to read so that I can find out what I’m getting paid to do. In the morning, I drove in to work and was treated like a real employee. I just showed my badge at the gate, and they let me on through. I parked in the real employee parking lot, and headed to my building.

I got to my office to discover that all the furniture had been rearranged. They had been installing new carpet in the building, and evidently they had installed mine on Thursday night. They took out all my furniture and all the items I had left in the room. Luckily, I hadn’t left much. Unluckily, I had left an envelope with important papers that I needed to fill out and return, including my timesheet, and that envelope was missing. I looked around and asked other people in other offices if they had seen it, but they hadn’t. So I e-mailed the woman who gave me those papers and explained the situation, asking her to send me another copy of the paperwork. I felt really incompetent having to do that, but at the same time it wasn’t exactly my fault that the papers had been misplaced.

The secretary gave me some cleaning supplies, and I went to town on the furniture in my office. Despite the fact that the furniture had been moved around a lot, it was all dusty. The previous owner of the furniture evidently drank a lot of coffee, because there were brown stains everywhere: on the desktop, on the bookshelves, and even on the sides of the furniture. (They all came off with a little [right!] elbow grease.) Also, I think that my new office hadn’t been used in quite a while, because there was an assortment of cobwebs everywhere. I even went so far as to clean the baseboards, because they were all dusty too.

All day I wore an ace bandage wrapped around my left elbow, because my hand and arm were really painful. It seemed to make a difference, and also became a source of conversation. Finally when I was able to settle down and start reading that paper, I started taking notes on paper using my right hand, but that was too difficult, so I soon switched to LaTeX on my new laptop computer. (I can’t use Word or a similar word processor, because there are formulae.) I asked people for recommendations of a good doctor, because now that I have real health insurance I am going to get this darned injury treated.

After work, I got some gas for the car (I’m using a lot more gas now than I did in Urbana!) and headed back to my apartment. I ate leftovers and I crashed early.

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