Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Well. Now that point is moot ( about the budget). I got fired today.

I had an inkling something was up, after this big dustup with one of the estheticians last week. Never mind that they're on their way to firing her, and the customer in question was calling me up and yelling at me repeatedly COULD SHE SPEAK TO RAQUEL when Raquel wasn't in. ( For the record, I was polite to the woman, but I didn't know what to tell her, other than asking if I could take a message). Then when I made mention of it in the Daily Incident Report ( exactly what it sounds like) Abbie, the loud, obnoxious 24 year old know-it-all who's been there for 4 years jumped all over my ass. Abbie hasn't liked me since I got there, for reasons that are inexplicable. They're probably having to do with the fact that I could give a shit less that she's the Center of The Universe and likes to make Executive Decisions when management isn't around that serve her purposes, and that frankly, at 39, I don't CARE enough about whatever Personality Tap Dance she needs to do today unless it's in my way, which of course it was.( Otherwise, what would be the point of having it? Ugh.) BUT of course she is beloved and adorable and so on so you can guess how that went.
Mr. S (owner) said I worked hard enough and my math skills were competent enough, I just was a little short with people when I was overwhelmed and stressed out, and that he'd had complaints. ( "From whom?" "Oh, just customers. Therapists." Gosh, could you be more vague?)

I won't say I was fired unfairly, because that would be feeling sorrier for myself than I probably need to be. It's no big secret that when I get overwhelmed and stressed, I get short. As R ( who's worked with me repeatedly and still managed to be my friend and offer candor when I need it) said, "You're just not very good with people being stupid, or slow, or alot of bullshit office politics. And you can be very abrupt and short, and some people don't take that well. " He wasn't expressing it as a major shortcoming of my character, more like a tempermental orientation that would neccessarily make working in customer service problematic.

And he's right; I tend to get this "Are you kidding me, lady?" look on my face and in my tone when there are 3 lines ringing off the hook and She wants to dither with me ( yet AGAIN, as she does EVERY TIME SHE SHOWS UP) about how our parking situation is SO bad that she might not EVER come here again , which would be TRULY tragic because she's been coming here for 12 years, SINCE we opened, and she has just HAD it, and yes, she knows there's free valet parking, but in NO WAY is she handing HER car over to that MAN, blah blah blah...... my instinct in those situations is to say ( but I don't) ,"Let me drop everything and work on your stupid problem which clearly has more to do with the stick up your ass than anything real; while I'm at it let me take this oppportunity to remind you than since you live in LA, and we are on Ventura Blvd, one of the busiest stretches of real estate in this town, that parking notoriously SUCKS, as it does everywhere here, but especially within this 10 mile radius. Having lived here for I-don't-know-how-many years,how is it possible that you forgot to prepare for such inevitability? Ah. Clearly your sense of entitlement allows you to delude yourself into thinking that the laws of space and time fail to apply."

Which doesn't make me a really good candidate for customer service, I admit. Spas are nothing but sheer indulgence, and at a cost, and people expect to be pampered for what they're paying. They're coming to relax. It's a luxury item, not a neccessity, so they could easily decide to spend their money on more worthwhile things, so the trick is to lull them into this sense of such complete comfort and accomodation that coming on a regular basis seems ideal,and key to their overall health. I don't mind getting on board with that, on the whole, but I do mind getting on board with the entitlement and the attitude that comes with a client who Just Expects Because She Lives and Breathes. Everyone wants to feel catered to in that situaton, of course. I don't have a problem with that. It's the I'm-Special-And-Deserve-Excessive-Ass-Kissing-Because-I-Exist I have a problem with. It's quite rampant in this town anyway ( a fact I can't seem to emphasize enough when I call home; no one can imagine a whole city running on that kind of behavior or something) bit it runs rampant in situations like this. In my Midwestern pragmatism, I just want to laugh at their inflated notions of how the world works.

Which of course, is exactly what R is trying to express, and which again, doesn't make me an ideal candidate for this kind of work.

In a random side note, I DO do better at hair salons, where people are there for more practical reasons and while they expect a little pampering, they realize everyone is on a time schedule and once I'm nice to them while they're checking in, it's up to the stylist to give them the whole package. And there's even a level of snottiness expected. The drama there is a little high for me, though- hairdressers are very catty and gossipy. And the owners tend to be out of their minds, but that's just a personality type. Any manner of dealing with it is highly contingent on your level of tolerance; for as long as you can take it, of course.

Shit, I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I've done everything I can to try and change my attitude into Accomodating and Friendly, and I work hard, I do the best job I can, I don't wait to be told to do something, and I'm a nice coworker. I feel that going any farther down the road into being Exceptionally Brownnosing would conflict deeply with my personal beliefs about entitlement and all the manners of bullshit I believe are the corruption of community life ( don't get me started) and personal growth. Why can't I just have a job where I'm nice, I do my work, I'm able to get things done, I can be friendly, polite, sociable and accomodating, but I am not expected a.) be smiles and leis to everyone when I've got so many irons in the fire my brain is on overload or b.) to hand everyone a cookie just for showing up?

I'm a good person and a good employee. The latter may not have always been so, but I know now that it is, after trial and error through many jobs, and trying to glean as much learning as I can from them. I just clearly don't fit in this arena, and I don't know what else to do to make money so I can you know, move forward into my life and on to better things. ::Sighing::

If anyone has any ideas on what might be a good job for me, lemmee know. At this point, as long as it doesn't involve retail or working in a meat packing plant, I'm open for ideas.