Well, I'm unemployed again. I walked in yesterday and gave one day's notice. I couldn't take it anymore. That place bored the hell out of me.
I've had a total of, perhaps, one week of billable hours in the six weeks I've been there, and that is being generous. All of the work has sucked. There is something very, very wrong there. They have no new business coming in the door. I wonder how long that place will last.
Here is a brief timeline of pertinent points leading to my resignation:
Week 1 - I do nothing all week, but I am happy because I like my work space and salary. My boss is out of town, so I am left to surf the web after I look around files on the client server for a day. I have yet to see the Group Creative Director who hired me because he's on vacation.
I go to a client meeting. One of the Account folks presents a Powerpoint (Oh, by the way, everything is done on Powerpoint there because, as we all know, it's cutting edge technology.) chart that makes no sense at all. There are lots of arrows pointing in different directions. I ask her what it means before the meeting. She is incapable of explaining it to me.
Week 2 - I do nothing all week. One of the Creative Directors bitches about the new business development team to me. I see the Group Creative Director once and we simply say hello. I get my first company-wide email from someone bearing the title "Director of Culture and Inclusion." This does not seem to be a valid job title to me but I keep my mouth shut.
Week 3 - The Group Creative Director announces an imminent reorganization of the company to the creative staff, kicking off what I like to call, "The Week of Frenzy." I scribble "Mass Exodus" in my notebook during the meeting. I show it to a co-worker sitting next to me, and she smiles painfully. One of the woman I had interviewed with -- the cool Senior Designer chick -- looks at me and says, "Poor Jami. She only just got here." and several people look at me. Later, in the same meeting, a Creative Director holds up a crappy Powerpoint presentation that our sucky New Business Director has designed and presented to a client. She calls it a "farce." I realize how inspired I am by the leaders in my company.
My co-workers are alternately shell-shocked and pissed. People try to figure out when they can use their vacation hours. I would describe the environment as toxic. All of my co-workers are really nice, though. We all start to email each other mp3s.
All internal projects are put on hold. We are told we should be billing at a 100 percent, even though we don't have any work. Do you understand what I'm getting at here? The global team doesn't want us to work on non-billable projects, so it is better that we just sit there and do nothing. Hello?
Total billable hours that week?
I start to look for a new job.
Week 4 - The Group Creative Director quits. He calls each member of his staff in for a fifteen-minute meeting. During my session he preaches his vision to me, and then, finally, asks me if I'm mad at him. I tell him I'm not mad, that I know he meant what he said when he hired me. I wish that he had started off the meeting with that question, however, because at that point I could give a shit about his vision.
The Director of Culture and Inclusion sends out an email informing everyone that new employees will be receiving balloons and candy at their desk on their first day. This will be a visual indicator that we should all stop by and say, "Hi." Some of my co-workers start an email dialogue suggesting we should also have clowns and ponies. A co-worker, expressing the creativity currently lying dormant in her because SHE HAS NO WORK TO DO, writes that the clown could also do cartwheels around the office and maybe even make balloon animals for everyone. I add that the clown should, in fact, be named "Skippy." I then declare myself the Director of Exclusion.
I leave for hours at a time to meet with recruiters. I walk out on a Friday after an hour of work. I am delirious. I call in sick for the second time in a month.
A mug bearing the logo of the company on one side and my name on the other side mysteriously appears on my desk.
Week 5 - I meet the indie rock guy in the office. He comes up to me and asks me if I'm the person with the Sleater-Kinney posters. He is the first person in the office to know who they are. We begin taking long coffee breaks and I start to formulate my exit strategy. The more I talk about it, the more I want to leave.
I finish two freelance pieces during the day, and that gives me a small joy. I have nine billable hours for the week.
Week 6 - I get assigned the task of writing a corporate video. It's all about how cool our company is and how cool the people are there. It's a parody of "Law and Order." The title is "Who Killed Dot Com?" I finally understand the word irony.
In the initial assignment, it is suggested that I make the killer a member of the global team. I talk my superiors out of it, as it might be offensive to, say, a member of the global team. A senior account guy says, "Ah, the members of the global team are like rats, all right?"
I suggest, kindly, that maybe we might want to make the antagonist in the film our competitive companies, maybe inspire a little corporate spirit, rather than divisiveness. I stand there, unblinking, and unsure why I have to convince my bosses not to be quite so negative. I realize there is no way I can write this script, and in fact, that I cannot work there any longer.
During a two-hour coffee break, indie rock guy tries to convince me to stay longer and just keep bringing home the fat paycheck.
"Just do whatever you want to do, come in whenever you want to come in, and then see how long it takes for you to get fired."
This sounds appealing for approximately 30 minutes. It's just not my style. I like to work. I do not believe in corporate excess.
Yesterday I quit. Nobody blamed me. Some are jealous. I got a freelance project for a few weeks, and then I'm going to go on a road trip. I have some more interviews lined up, so I'm not too worried. I am so fucking disappointed I can't stand it. I wanted this to work, I really did. I just can't stay there anymore, though. I'd rather live hand to mouth than get money for nothing.