RHOCA: Peace Out, Corporate

Peace out, Corporate? Hold up. Rewind. What?

Yep…that’s right. No more Corporate Hell America for moi. So much for 3-6 months right? More like 6 weeks.

But who am I kidding….six weeks of hell was enough. Let’s face it:

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So what happened? By all means, allow me…

So here I was, being completely underutilized doing menial tasks day-in and day-out. In all honesty, I was bored senseless. It was the definition of H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks. Hell. Hell. Hell. Welcome to Corporate America, where talented people go to die a sad, slow quick lack-of-creativity-induced death. I was miserable to say the least. This was not what I’d signed up for.

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When I’d started back, the questions on everyone’s lips were:

“Are you really moving to California?” (That’s the plan, yes.)
“What’s in California anyways?” (Friends. Sunshine. Not you.)
“Are you set on August for sure?” (99.9% yes.)
“Who wouldn’t want to work here forever?!?” (Anyone with a brain.)

When it was announced Fiesta/Party was leaving and that a certain slacker had been canned quicker than the guy at the Bumblebee Tuna Factory, my boss harassed me with the same questions yet again – was I 100% set on moving to California at the end of my lease because there was a ton of work available if I was interested in staying on, even through summer. I reinstated that, unless a permanent offer was made by the time I’d need to notify my landlord in July as to whether or not I’d be renewing my lease come August, then yes, I’d be leaving because under no circumstances was I willing to stick around on a contract basis again. I’d learned my lesson the hard way the last time with one false promise after another.

And so it began. The tasks: more menial. The avoidance: more frequent.

I knew it wasn’t a culture I wanted to be a part of. I was miserable. While the paycheck was great, I was losing sleep at night having arguments with myself – the devil on one shoulder and the voice of a Brooklyn-born-and-raised Jewish mother on the other (and no, my mom is neither Jewish nor is she from Brooklyn) – over whether or not I would agree to stick around for another 3-month extension on my contract and give up my summer to be a corporate slave for a nice check – if an extension ended up being offered like it was sounding it would be.

NOTE TO SELF: If you’re losing sleep over whether or not a job is worth the paycheck, it’s probably not. Don’t lose sleep. Just get out. Sleep is so not overrated.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a stress eater. When I’m stressed, I eat like shit. Raisinettes. Sour Patch Kids. Burgers. Hashbrowns.

Hashbrowns. Yes. Golden, delicious, hashbrowns in all their greasy glory. McDonald’s hashbrowns. Burger King hashbrowns. Dunkin Donuts hashbrowns. I don’t care where they’re from. Just give me the hashbrowns and no one gets hurt.

Sometimes I also have a difficult time keeping my work and personal life separate. When I’m stressed, I’ll occasionally take my hashbrowns to the office.

This, ladies and gentlemen, can pose a serious issue. Especially if you take hashbrowns from a place like Dunkin Donuts into the office of a competing (yet not remotely similar in terms of target demographic, store atmosphere, etc.) coffee company.

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I was quickly informed – not by my boss, but by another designer – that I should never have brought anything from a competitor into our office because as a Partner I should live my life under the impression that we are not only The Coffee Authority, but also the all-knowing and omnipotent oppressive Food Authority. God forbid you believe for one second of your minuscule and miserable life that anything can ever compare.

And if you are craving hashbrowns? Don’t. You. Dare. Even. Think. About. It.

Crush your cravings. Do not give your money to the enemy. Dunkin Donuts is the enemy. It is Darth Vader and you are a Jedi Knight. It is your mission in life to destroy the enemy.

Needless to say, I wasn’t having any of it – especially since I hadn’t met my quota of three quad-shot Americanos for the day that early in the morning. Since I was staffed by a temp agency and had signed paperwork stating I was not a “Partner” in the company and was not actually even employed by x-company, I was essentially a free agent in an at-will employment contract. No employee discount, no approved travel for company-wide meetings. Nothing. Technically I wasn’t even permitted to sit in on company-wide town hall meetings as important information could be shared that I was not privy to.

In a nutshell: I was not a Jedi Knight. I was simply a kid in a Luke Skywalker Halloween costume living the dream of being a Jedi.

If I wanted to eat a hashbrown, then goddamnit I would eat a hashbrown and drink my iced coffee in peace — no matter where they were from.

Apparently my boss (who was out of the office the whole week) got wind of me being a traitor and and wasn’t thrilled.

Defiance is apparently not a virtue.

That Friday, there was a note on the bottom of my time sheet when it came across my email inbox.

“I need to have a conversation with the third party provider. I have been informed of some unacceptable behavior with Kristopher and need to discuss separation/termination of his contract.”

Real cute. Apparently someone wasn’t impressed with my rebellious behavior.

Or perhaps they were mad I wouldn’t share my hashbrowns.

45 minutes and a phone call with no explanation later, my contract was officially terminated, my scan card for the building was in the mail en route to the temp agency, and an email had been fired off to my boss expressing my confusion with the situation and asking if he could provide any information or elaborate on what the “unacceptable behavior” might have been — an email to which I have still never received a reply. Unacceptable behavior, eh? I’m calling your bluff. You not responding to my email is unacceptable behavior. I’d even go so far as to call it (gasp) unprofessional behavior.

So who knows. Maybe the “unacceptable behavior” was rolling my eyes too hard at something Miss Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs said. Perhaps I didn’t glue down samples quick enough.

IMG_3511More than likely, however, it was probably bringing the enemy into the office like a Trojan Horse of Greek soldiers that got my contract cut short. Since I have yet to (and probably never will) receive a follow-up email, the world may never know.

But regardless of the reason, while I may not be a Real Housewife of Corporate America anymore, I’m perfectly fine with it. Hasta la vista, Starbucks.

Oh. And P.S. — Screw you.

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