Friday, October 11, 2013

October 10th, let's flash back to the 8th

So this picture is actually from Wednesday. Here we are in the nature lab, studying our objects!
Dear October,

Let me begin with what happened on Tuesday.
Basically I had my first work shift on Tuesday and it was very nerve wracking and exciting. I got there in the morning and the mailroom manager(?) guy led me downstairs to their package place, which I didn’t even know existed. He told me about the packets on the table, which were ordered by date of arrival of packages. So every package that arrived that day was in one thick packet, which had a long list of people’s names and and package numbers and such. I was supposed to get people to sign their name by their package on the list when they received them and beforehand had to check some stuff.

There were the shelves of packages, which were all numbered. Then there was the giant stack of boxes in the middle of the room, which was where the too-large packages went if they were too big for the shelves. Really though, Peter only told me about the packets and what I needed to ask people for, and then he left. I figured out most of the other stuff by myself, which was weird because then I wondered whether you were just thrown in for every job like this. There was another guy there named Shaun, who was friendly and somewhat upbeat and positive (all the walls were posted with very positive messages as well), and who seemed like a long-term worker, so he said hello and asked some cordial questions and such but then I went back to reading and he continued doing his thing at the computer. So I just sat on a stool by the door, which is one of those doors that split in half so that people can look in but they can’t walk through the doorway because the bottom half of the door is closed. I thought it was so cool that I was on the other side of that half door.

About 7 minutes into my shift, a boy comes up to the half-door and just stands there. Meanwhile, I’m still answering Shaun’s how-are-you-liking-it-here questions and I glance at the boy at the door and I think, I wonder why he’s there? So I finish answering pretty quickly and just wait for Shaun to ask him what he wants, because I don’t know what he wants. So I just stare at the boy and he kind of glances at me and the boxes and Shaun like he’s unsure what to do, and then Shaun says, “Now you get his package” and I’m like OH (my god) ok stand up uhhhh what’s your package number? Boy says three-three twenty-three and I think wow that’s a weird number and I go down the aisles and I see the labels on the shelves and I’m like ok so they go by 500’s ok uhh does it go up or down here oh ok it goes up in this direction ok I’m in the wrong aisle, switching aisles, nope this one only goes up to 2000, next aisle… wait there is no next aisle. Where are the other ones? Search the back shelves?? But those are labeled with departmental stuff! Wait maybe the big boxes. Search search search look at boxes there (big box pile is not organized in any way. You just read all the numbers) there is no 3000-anything oh god SHAUN HELP ME SHAUN NO DON’T LOOK I’M CAPABLE uhhhhhhhhhhh don’t look confused. No stop that spin. Go back to the shelves! Look around that second aisle again! That boy totally knows it’s your first day! Oh god he’s like oh no I got an incapable one to handle my package noooo keep looking. Boy says “Um, I think it’s right there” I turn around. “Uh, where?” Boy points kind of at me. Ok. Look at long boxes that are leaning against the sides of the shelves. Did I see those before? But no, these are all only in the hundreds. I need a three thousand! Boy says, ”That orange one?” ORANGE ONE?? THEY’RE ALL BROWN “It’s right behind you” Turn around. Wait which behind me. Like behind me from my perspective or behind me from your perspective, which is really my front (why was I even wondering this). And I look at this package that has a little orange stripe on the side made out of tape, and the box has 323 written on it in red (like they all are) and I take it and boy is like “Yeah” and shuffles around his pockets for his ID. I laugh and say haha I thought you said three-thousand twenty three! (he thinks, um that sounds nothing like three-twenty three. I really should have said three three twenty three but at the time I couldn’t remember how I got so confused) and bring this very long package over to the half door, and I’m trying to figure out how to pick it up (like a log? Over the shoulder? Just grab it? Tilt and roll a bit? Just lift? Am I breaking some kind of package-holding rule?? The guy over there, Shaun, is probably looking at me like oh god you aren’t supposed to carry long packages like THAT wow common sense) and I just end up scrabbling a bit at it and then lifting vertically and tilting slightly because making it horizontal wasn’t necessary until I got to the door and I didn’t want accidentally swing too hastily and knock some other packages, and the first thing that happens is I smile like wow I was so clueless thank god I (you) found it and I lift it a bit more and the package hits the ceiling tile with a little clonk and I’m still smiling and I say oops like oh it’s no big deal but inside I just slap my forehead. Then I do the whole check-sign-date ritual with the packet after I figure out which packet to get and familiarize myself with how many pages of same-first-letter-of-last-name people there generally are per letter so I can figure out where this boy’s name is without just flipping one page at a time, or forward and back several times like I don’t know the order of the alphabet. Yay! Then I scoot the package over the door and he picks it up also rather awkwardly and leaves. It’s all fine. I sit back on the stool. I laugh at my terrible first package and then read The Tempest. 

The next person comes about half an hour later, a girl with a friend. I think for this person I don’t even find their package. I even ask Shaun if there’s somewhere else they put packages and tell him the package number and he doesn’t see it so he tells the girl to come back later. The third person comes when the mailroom manager and Shaun are there, and for her I bypass her package because it’s on the floor and not on the shelf and I had tunnel vision apparently but luckily I checked again and found it. The fourth person is the first one that probably thought I was normal, and then for the fifth one the girl gave me two package numbers but I found three packages on the shelves with those numbers, so I brought them all over and she said oh yeah it’s possible I have three because I got a bunch of emails and wanted to get them all at the same time. So I find the several packets with her name on it (since each package arrived on a different day) and then on the last packet I say, wait. Why… are there two packages listed under your name here. I ask her and she says there might be a fourth one, so she asks me to check again and I go back to the shelves and find a fourth one and bring it back. So that was kind of a strange one too. But I learned so much! Package numbers aren’t restricted to just one package! Sometimes the same number is on two packages! You can be a person and ask them if they know when it arrived, if that helps, and they actually know sometimes! And various other things. After the first hour, Shaun left, and I wondered whether the only reason he was down there the first hour was just to make sure I knew what I was doing. Which was nice because that was comforting though scary also. Anyway in total, about 10 people came that day to get their packages, and I even met the guy who took the next shift because I stayed over my shift (is there another word for a shift) a bit since neither the mailroom manager nor shaun came by like I thought they would and I couldn’t go up to find them cause then the mailroom would be personless. But hooray the next guy came early! And in the end the mailroom manager guy saw me as I was looking around the upstairs area and it was fine and I left for my lecture.

Then I went to one of the city's public libraries and it was cute and old looking and I flipped through an encyclopedia that was out on one of the display desks like I've always wanted to do, and the first word of the page it was turned to was cool. The word was banausic. Isn't that great? Look it up and use it. Then I looked up my name and that was fun. It wasn't very interesting or useful though. I suppose we can't all have interesting names...

----back to the present
So I went to the mailroom today to apply for working Thursday morning too, and today there was another girl who was working there for the first time! She is a sophomore and her name is Cheyenne (not sure about the spelling). Our shift was two hours long, so at first we said hello and chatted a little, and then I took out The Tempest and she went back to her laptop. About an hour later, no one had come to pick up packages. No new packages were being rolled in either. It was a slow hour. Then I asked her about sophomore classes and we began talking again and this time it was less introductory, which was great! We talked about snow and New York and how peopleslip and slide a bit on your first step and then have to get down the hill somehow. We talked about classes
 from Texas really do live in cities, with highways and skyscrapers and such, and about how in the winter people shovel the snow out in New York, but here NO one shovels the snow, so you walk out and  a bit, and found out that my TA for drawing is this girl’s best friend, and my drawing teacher is one of her favorite teachers, even though he always picked on her (which I thought was great, really. That she liked him so much partly because of that). So it was a good day. What else happened. They had oreo/caramel/marshmallow pizza today, so I tried my first weird-dessert pizza and it was actually good! I sent in my answers to questions for everyone else’s sound project today, which was fun to do but frightening as all due-by-midnight online assignments are. 

Today was pants weather too. Are you going to just keep getting colder from now on? No more dips into cold and then “haha I was just joking, I’m actually going to be warm next week”’s? I suppose I am fine with either way but I just realized that long sleeve shirts are actually really necessary! I need more! Also my pants are even proving inadequate to your temperatures! Already! HOW DO YOU LAYER JEANS? The only other kind of pants I have are sweatpants, but they’re very thin and I wear them to sleep.

Problem to be solved later,

song of the day: Skinny Love by Bon Iver, Birdy's cover then covered by this girl, Bella Ferraro (phew) This is her audition for the X Factor.

I know it's not really just a song, but I really encourage you to watch this (I think you should watch the whole thing just to get the context and all, and don't just listen to her sing, look!). Try not to have high expectations from what I'm saying, because I didn't have high expectations when I watched it. It's beautiful and kind of amazing how the crowd and Bella interact with each other without meaning to. 

1 comment:

Laura Mills said...

First of all, congrats on surviving your first day! Second of all, working in the mailroom would be so cool! Do you also put mail in PO boxes in addition to retrieving packages? Your package system seems very complicated. For ours they just put a little slip in your mailbox with your package number and your name, plus they write your name on the package so it seems pretty easy to find.
Don't worry, as far as I know there isn't a package picking up protocol, unless its has a giant "this side up" sticker on it. I'm sure you'll get better at finding packages as you work more. And who cares if he thought you were incompetent (which he probably didn't) it was your FIRST DAY! Everyone feels incompetent on their first day. Glad you are at least sort of happy with your new job(?)! :D