29 May, 2014

who you calling bozo?

thing is, i'm working now, and i know y'all are just dying to find out if it's all it's cracked up to be. short answer: no. why no? you holler like some sort of lightly deranged international greek chorus, complete with rending of garments and pouring ashes on your heads (seriously? enough with the drama already!) and lo, i shall tell you:

the best part of last year was being surrounded by heaps and oodles of like-minded individooooals who were funny and witty and awesome and friendly. this year, as some sort of bizarre punishment and/or an attempt to prevent me from decreasing the productivity of the entire third floor (as i suspect i did last year), i have been placed in isolation on the fourth floor. no big, right? wrong.

the fourth floor (a.k.a. the gulag) is home to just a small pile of largely absent planners (more on that later) and a whole host of landscape architects. what's wrong with landscape architects? well, given my less than stellar experience with the head of our school who was initially a landscape architect, i should have been worried. i wasn't. but i should have been. turns out she was a classic example of a typical landscape architect: socially awkward, unable to maintain eye contact, incapable of the simplest human interactions, and refusing to acknowledge the existence of Strangers. turns out, i'm a Stranger.

my desk is placed right by the door to the kitchen (my cubicle with window of yesteryear is but a faint memory…) through which pours a countless stream of landscape architects who REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT I AM SITTING RIGHT THERE. RIGHT. THE. FUCK. THERE!!!! like, right there! you know they can see me, because they would have to be legally blind not to, and yet as they near the entrance to the kitchen, their gaze is magically whisked away from me, and into the wildly exciting wall to their right. you know the way two magnets repel each other? that shit is what fuels the eyeballs of landscape architects.

so, since i tend towards egomaniacal paranoia (you likely have noticed but were too polite to say anything, i know, i know), i took it personally. it was one of two things: either a. word went out from the top, for everyone to stay the fuck away from me, or b. there was some sort of aura of ill-concealed violence and hatred emanating from me (what?! one doesn't always notice these sorts of things about oneself!). then i started talking to my people. turns out, it's not me, it's landscape architecture.

both the planning group and the environmental group, AND my boss, AND several unrelated people have told me, on their own, that landscape architects are an odd bunch. yeah. odd. rainman odd. i'm thinking low-to-moderate-functioning asperger's but less sociable. with a few exceptions, natch, like my old pal n, and the top boss who is a lovely lovely guy. but other than that? i feel like i am actually hurting them when i can't hold back any longer and say hello. oh, they answer, but it costs them a lot. i betcha they have had to up their meds since i arrived on monday.

but back to the whole work thing: it'll be fine. i have two neighbours who have the potential to be pretty awesome, and there is one guy whom i will LOVE (it has been promised. i'd better love him or heads will roll…) who is currently away. and really, i'm there to work and not to party. plus heading down to the third floor every once in a while and getting all the positive feedback is highly gratifying. and also, i am currently doing sweet fuck all, while on tuesday my real work begins. i am being tossed into the seething cauldron of public engagement and will be travelling all over alberta for all of june, during which time it is possible i shall be insulted, yelled at, and possibly even have projectiles hurled at me. at least that's what i'm told public engagement is all about. frankly, i'm pretty stoked: hell, i might even have to get a company american express card, and if that doesn't impress you, you are cold and dead inside.

as for the titular bozo? y'all will have to wait. i ran out of room and i generally hate lengthy posts like this.


Anonymous said...

"you holler like some sort of lightly deranged international greek chorus, complete with rending of garments and pouring ashes on your heads" is my favourite turn of phrase of the last year or so. Well done.

Tom said...

What a thoroughly delightful and descriptive post. One might almost wish, (almost, but not really) wish that the work experience would continue thus, just as a source of further interesting observations on work life, as seen from your perspective. But I would imagine that, no matter how well (or badly, Heaven forfend!) things go, you will continue to write with your usual flair. Life never seems to get boring around you.

Zhoen said...

Um, would you rather they stare at you? You are being given your privacy.

Keep saying hello, smiling, in a way that expects no answer, until their brain gives up and assumes you are a Friend not a Stranger.

But then, I get along fine with Aspy folks, as a dyed in the wool introvert.