Sunday, July 13, 2008

Answer The Phone

I sit in a "unit", which is a medium-sized room with desks and chairs, computers and a printer, and eight other Welfare Workers. Our areas are personalized; pictures, plants and whatnot littering the desks. Each desk has a phone and the unit has a Community Line, which is a phone line that is mandatory that somebody answer it. The phones ring quite a bit. I'd say that the ringing phones are a big part of the overall Unit-ness. So much, in fact, that I titled this post as such.

Each Unit has a Supervisor. Some Supervisors are great, some are shit. Thank goodness I've never had a shit Supervisor. It can make the job way more stressful. Anyhow,

N~ my Supervisor. She's fair and knows her stuff. She likes her job, enjoys helping people, is an overall good person with one fault. She refuses to take initiative with the members of her Unit when there's a problem. She tends to not be very assertive if there's a skirmish amongst the others. I love that word, skirmish.

SM~ fellow Unit Member. He's a funny guy, older man, married. He loves to answer the Community Line. The is because answering the CL allows him not do anything else. Like, working. And he smells.

L~ is an okay worker. She has a chip on her shoulder about something. But I'm not interested enough to get to know her any better. She was a bitch one day about the ones that are "supposed" to answer the CL, and pissed me off. Whatever. She fades into the background. Nothing great is on her desk.

Y~ is misunderstood. She doesn't seem to have any friends, and everyone in the building is superficially nice to her. Her marriage is a sham, her best friend is her dog. She makes snide comments. For some reason, I really like her. I think she's funny, and I think she feels sad. There's something about her that people just don't like, but it doesn't seem to bother me. She knows her stuff, works hard, but her people skills leave something to be desired.

T~ is whiny. She whines about her life in a trying to be nonchalant attitude way, and I can see through it. She's nice and always willing to help when somebody needs it, but she's a complainer and a gossip. If someone is willing to gossip to me about others, I wonder what she says behind my back.

A~ is a larger woman, sweet and knows her resources. She's not afraid to get to the bottom of any bullshit a client is telling us. I have no problems with her. Scratch that- she keeps her radio a little louder than I like. Mine is on the same station, but softer. Why don't I turn mine off, you ask? Because I shouldn't have too, dammit. Moving on.

K~ is a quiet man, does okay work and keeps to himself. Frequently he says amusing things and we all have a good laugh.

U~ is a helper, a do-gooder. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders and she likes it, it fuels her.

B~ is a newbie. She's a smoker. She sits right across from me and when she comes in from her break she always smells like smoke. It bothers me. It bothers me so much that I asked her to start washing her hands when she comes in from her breaks. She apologized and agreed, but sometimes she forgets and it bugs the shit out of me. I really really hate the smell of smoke. I write suggestions to the Suggestion Box that read, "The law says smokers must stay 20 feet away from doorways. Let's reinforce this, shall we?" and other snide remarks. I sign my name.

Then there's me, Brokemom. I have a rubberband ball on my desk. I have pictures of my husband and children on my bulletin board. I am organized. I answer my damn phone.

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