I felt like I had made a huge mistake the second I stepped off the bus. Waiting at the wrong bus station for my friend to come pick me up I reflected on the decisions that I had made that had gotten me to this location. The start had been that I had finally had enough of it. I was working in an accounting firm in Melbourne – a job that I had started only five months earlier. The pay was decent and it seemed like I could really employ my skills and rise through the ranks. But, of course, that was all bullshit. Just as it was in every other accounting job. I don’t know why I constantly think that actual competence or skill could get me promotions in the world of counting money, but every time I go to an interview I get conned into thinking that this is finally the opportunity I’ve been waiting for.
Anyway, I had been working my arse off every day for the past five months. When I was first hired I was assured that this was a fantastic working environment where everyone – even management – were dedicated to the well being of the workers in their little cubicles. It took less than a week for me to realise that was bullshit. That should’ve been my first red flag. The next red flag came on the third week that I went without a weekend and, since I was salaried, I obviously didn’t get any extra. I was assured that I would only have to give up my weekend “maybe once or twice every quarter. You know; when it gets really busy.” Well we were busy working, wasting every weekend I had just to get the last quarter done before the presentation to the major shareholders, and I knew I wouldn’t be getting much of a weekend after that since I then had to move onto the current quarter, and then simultaneously get a foothold working on the next quarter.
Five months I lived like that. Sitting at a tiny desk with three walls keeping me from being distracted by life and working on doing three quarters of a years work in a week. Then my boss came up to my desk (or, at least, one of my many bosses) and asked where my journals were for a certain company that should’ve gone bankrupt last year but for some reason kept on spending money on shit they didn’t need instead of paying their invoices or their workers. I said I had handed it to my higher up – another one of my bosses – and that they should’ve handed it to him after they had done their due diligence. That was the way the company structure worked, and what I was taught to do during my first few days working here. Well, that didn’t exactly tickle my boss pink.
“You have to send the reports to me, directly,” he proclaimed in an authoritative voice despite the fact that he was a tiny little balding man who, by all rights, wouldn’t be able to intimidate a flower into blooming.
“Well,” I started, “I was told to send it to Carol, who is the head of those accounts, and then she would forward them onto you when she was done with them.”“Oh please,” he said as he rolled his eyes in a dissatisfied manner, “that’s no excuse at all. You should’ve at least CC’d me in on the email that you send Carol. And I don’t think it’s appropriate for you to be blaming Carol for your tardiness. She is, after all, your boss,” he said in such a way as to remind me that, for some reason, I was directly under at least two people. “These journals are extremely important. That client has been with us for a very, very long time. It’s important that I get the information from them as soon as it comes in so that I can get that to the director. If the information doesn’t get to the director in time then the board doesn’t have all the information they need to make the correct decision. Then it all ends up anarchy and disorder. So, do you see how important it is that you get me the journals on time.” He took a pause at this point, but not to let me respond or plead my case that I had sent my reports to Carol well ahead of schedule and that if anyone were to be blamed for the lateness of the report then it would be her.
After staring at the ceiling out the left side of his eye socket for some time he came back to reality and stated “Well, now, I hope you understand the utter importance of giving in your journals on time. But, since the journals you were working on are now behind schedule I think it would be best if you took your weekend off to work on the ACMA journal. We’re going to need that by Tuesday next week. I expect you to have sent that to me well before then so that Carol can work on it and finesse up your work so it’s presentable. Is that okay with you?” he asked full of smug, knowing full well that I would either say yes or else I would give up my job.
“Yeah, sure thing. No problem,” I replied, putting a lid on my simmering anger that yelled at me to wring his scrawny neck and not let him go until he was spitting out blood. I turned back to the computer and began typing away. Solving problems that didn’t need solving for people I didn’t care about just so I could keep a job that, like all my previous jobs, I hated.
Continue the story here.