Monday, June 28, 2010

Zen and the Art of (Not) Getting Fired

So I turned 30 this month. That probably means that this post should be all about how my youth is slipping through my fingers, and that I can feel the cold touch of death causing the hairs on my neck stand on end, but frankly, I kind of enjoyed turning the big 3-0. There was a fantastic party, and Adam and Josh flew a total of 6,000 miles between them to be there, which is approximately (on a scale of 1 to 10) how happy I was to see those two California defectors. However, if you weren't there I don't want to make you jealous by describing it in detail; suffice it to say that if I can ever successfully upload it to Facebook, there is a three-and-a-half minute performance of "Proud Mary" that I think would do Tina...well, proud.

Moving on, far more delicious is my continued quest to get canned from the hotel. This is not only my fondest wish, but has now spread to my entire department; we're currently working at approximately 30% efficiency, and regularly leaving our shifts one to two hours early. We're on the carousel of life, and we keep trying to grab that big brass ring called unemployment and missing it by inches. As I'm sure everyone knows, you can't just quit to get unemployment, you need to be fired. And you need to be fired in such a way that your employer can't claim just cause. This leads to a lot of passive resistance when one is looking to get the axe; you can't do something that you would really want to do, like urinate on the germophobic GM's desk after-hours or hauling off and kicking the slutty HR director square in the baby-maker. As satisfying as these things may be, they won't result in a weekly check from the government. Instead, you have to walk the tightrope of irritating everybody to the point of blind fury, but never, ever do anything that could actually be considered a fire-able offense. It reminds me of the way that my father can walk into the kitchen and get my mother to throw him out in about 15 seconds flat by doing almost nothing. The man is an artist.

Luckily, when trying to find an angle to do something like this, we felt we had an advantage: the rampant stupidity of the people we were trying to hose. They provided us with what we felt was a perfect opportunity, the details of which I won't get into here. Let me just say they wanted us to sign something that basically had us relinquish our right to be paid out our vacation time if we resign or were fired with cause. We felt that we shouldn't have to sign it, as our vacation time is earned; they bullied the rest of their employees into signing and we prepared to make a stand. The air in the department was thick with the stench of opportunity; the promise of a summer spent unemployed lounging on the beach was dangling in front of our collective faces like the proverbial carrot, and we were all showing just a touch of drool at the side of our mouths. We could taste victory...and we liked the flavor.

Once, they asked us to sign. We quietly ignored them. Again, they asked. Again, we ignored. They threatened our boss, and told him that he had to get us to sign it. We responded with a letter saying that we wouldn't be signing, and that they should leave our boss out of it. They called a meeting with all of us together. We calmly said that they could do whatever they wanted to us, but we weren't signing the policy. At this point, the executive office was abuzz with frustration. The useless HR Director called us up to her office to plead with us to sign it, frantic that she was going to catch hell for allowing it to get as far as it did. The gnome-like General Manager stalked around the hotel spouted off ridiculous statements like "There's an INSURRECTION in Reservations!!" Gleefully, we celebrated in our department, sure in our knowledge that we had them cornered. They couldn't NOT fire us after forcing the hands of every other employee in the hotel, and we were certain we had poked the sleeping lion enough that the GM wouldn't care if firing us would probably bring the whole operation crashing down; his pride and temper would take care of that. And when our unemployment claims went through, he could spend his time in his office chewing on his own liver.

Alas, we celebrated too soon. Somehow, someway, someone on the executive committee realized that they couldn't make us sign anything...I suspect one of those gibbering idiots finally called an attorney, who said something along the lines of "What are you, a complete fucking moron!?" Ultimately, we received a letter from the HR Director stating that even though we refused to sign the memo, we were still subject to the policy. That was that. There was no going down in a blaze of glory. No final middle finger to throw as we were escorted out of the hotel. The fact that, ultimately, we had won the argument was cold comfort indeed.

As Icarus taught us, when one flies too close to the sun, the fall from grace is tragic. In fact, if given the opportunity, there probably would have been a mass flinging of ourselves into the sea if we could have mustered the strength to get ourselves to the pier. The failure of our grand scheme to elicit a department-wide cleanse has sent us into a downward spiral of ennui, which has (if possible) decreased our production even further. And in the midst of this fog of boredom and soulless monotony, I received the following news:

I'm Employee of the Month.

I'm now going to sign off and repeatedly bang my head on a desk. Scratch that, can't hurt the money-maker. I'm going to sign off and drink heavily. Yes, that sounds better.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm sorry? Employee of the month? That can't be true.