In case you hadn’t noticed, I deal with quite a few idiots every day at my job. This never ends well for me.
It’s hard being one of the only competent people of your immediate co-workers. Lucky for me, my company has a better capable-to-incapable ratio than Significant Other’s company, where she appears to be the only person who can rub at least two brain cells together, and she’s been working there the shortest amount of time.
It’s no secret really that I work in some form of publishing. And in publishing, we have these things called style guides. If you can read, I bet you can figure out what they’re used for. But I’ll tell you anyway, because the Space Crew that I work with doesn’t seem to know, so I can’t rely on the level of one’s reading comprehension to reveal the mystery: It’s so from publication to publication, everything looks uniform (such as Oxford commas, or where to put citation numbers in the text! Exciting, no?). And it covers a lot more than you might expect. Some publishing places don’t go so in-depth, but we do where I work. And not only do we have the overall house style guide, but then there’s the style guide for the particular niche in which I work, which overrides some house styles thanks to the stupid style of the Space Crew’s publications. We had to compromise, and unfortunately we adopted a LOT of their idiotic styles (this was before I was hired, as you can imagine).
You would THINK this would mean that all the Space Minions who work under Space Cadet (who I’ve written about before) would have impeccable style, since most of it is THEIR HOUSE STYLE ALREADY. But no. It’s like at the end of every week the style-sensitive part of their brains gets erased so they make the SAME FUCKING STYLE ERRORS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. Breaking news: We have a style guide so that I don’t have to have an aneurysm every week correcting your fucking stupid mistakes. Also, I update this style guide EVERY WEEK, so it is always current. THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR YOUR IDIOCY.
Now, it’s my job to know the style better than anyone else; I’m not complaining about that. But if I have to constantly be correcting the same mistakes, it gives me less time to see if there are new and exciting mistakes that also need correcting, because I’m too busy living in fucking Groundhog Day, where I’m doing the same thing over and over and over again with the hopes that SOMETHING WILL BE DIFFERENT THIS TIME. It’s enough to truly drive a person to insanity. Blissful, blissful insanity.
Is it too much to ask that the Space Crew make my job a little easier by cracking open the fucking style guide to look something up? Apparently so. But my favorite is when they e-mail me (or call!) to ask me a style question that’s answered in the style guide. Because I’m not fucking busy or anything making up for how late the Space Crew is always sending me things. I just sit around with my thumb up my ass waiting until they call with a question. Just use the fucking search function and check the style guide FIRST. THAT’S WHAT IT’S THERE FOR. You would think if they’re going to consistently blow past deadlines they could at LEAST use that extra time to read the fucking style guide. But no. I don’t know what the fuck they do with that extra time, but it isn’t anything that generates tangible results. Each Minion so consistently makes the same style (and grammar) mistakes that if their names were removed from their stories, I could still tell who wrote which one based on the errors. If I were feeling generous, I might at least give them points for consistency. But even still, the detraction for inability to learn from one’s mistakes would far outweigh any positive balance.
Significant Other has an interesting situation at her company as well. She’s so competent at her job that she has to do OTHER PEOPLE’S JOBS all the time. At first it was a favor that she did for her boss, because she likes her boss. But now it’s become this thing where she’s like the fucking guiding light for her co-workers. Which is way more annoying than it sounds. There is one person, who has worked at this company for far longer than SO, who literally cannot do anything now without getting SO’s opinion on it. Even when SO is in the middle of doing her own job or having a conversation. I don’t know how this person got along for so many years without SO there if they have always been this crippled by decision making. Breaking news: Sometimes you have to make work-related choices on your own. Also, you’ve been TRAINED to make these choices. You know what choice to make ALREADY. It’s not even really a CHOICE. So what is the fucking issue here?
This is a result of the fact that SO has a lot of free time at her job, so that’s originally why she started helping in this way. But get this: she asked her boss’s boss for more work, and that asshole said no. Now half the time, SO sits there with nothing to do, her competence wasted, and the rest of the time she’s trying to do not only her job, but also the jobs of her handful of co-workers. She wasn’t even asking for a raise or anything. She’s literally so bored at work that she just wanted something else to do, and the head boss refused her. That has to be the height of corporate idiocy. It’s not that there’s a lack of other things that she could be doing, it’s that that asshole, for some reason, doesn’t want her doing them. Probably because then his superiors would wake up and realize how fucking inefficient everyone else is, and we can’t harm the corporate status quo!
In this economy, it just baffles me that these assholes can continue to be employed. In my situation, it’s because the Space Crew is full of giant egos who have all learned to coexist, so you can’t upset that balance without causing a shitstorm. Collectively, they’re the most important group of people on the planet and they expect us all to treat them as such, and they’ve got a specific pecking order that cannot be disturbed. I’m not sure how they can all be in the same room together since their egos must suck all the oxygen away, but alas none of them have died of asphyxiation yet. Sadly. But a lot of the Space Crew is fucking moronic, and I know I could probably pull two dozen random names of unemployed people out of a hat and get a better, more hard-working group than these assholes. And yet these assholes are the ones I’m stuck with because I have no hiring/firing power. In SO’s situation, we can’t figure out how the head boss is still in charge, since that asshole has made numerous completely terrible business decisions this year alone. We also can’t figure out how any of her co-workers are still employed because these people just aren’t doing their jobs at all. At least for me, the co-workers are doing their job, eventually, at their own pace. But for SO, she’s often making up those people’s slack. So why are they still employed? Breaking news: You were hired to do a specific job, so DO IT. Otherwise, you should be fired. Again: hat, random names, better workers.
Considering how many people are unemployed right now, I say companies everywhere fire the obvious idiots and give someone new a chance. Sure, they might be an idiot too, but hey, maybe they won’t be! After all the work-related frustration SO and I put up with each week, that’s a gamble I’m willing to take.