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employer's endless ennui

<< Dec 15, 2004 @ 17:27 >>

My boss never smiles. They have pills for that...

I was at MPR again today. I should get some pictures of the corner I work on, the high rises around it are kinda cool. I spent the whole day formatting transcripts of speeches. This is the kind of fucking monkey work I tried to explain to sith33 that they'd make me do, which is why I was considering not taking the position in the first place. More on that later.

This is definitely my first big company / big city job. My old employers include a 50-person or so outfit and the gigantic Unions of the U of MN which still felt very small... my department was probably only 20 people. Both of these places had like one, maybe two, HR people not counting payroll. There was lots of babying and handholding for new employees. MPR is fricken huge. Like I said, 500 employees, 3 buildings (then the out of state stuff). I had to walk down the block to do HR stuff today. My boss came over to my desk and was like, "write this down..." He then proceeded to give me the names of the people to call for all the various things I needed (key card, login, software, timesheet, parking) and directed me to the list of names and phone numbers and left me to handle it all on my own. It was different, but I'm a big boy so I kind of appreciated it.

I bitched about IE yesterday, well even worse-- much, much worse in terms of computer safety-- they use Outlook for email. Even so, I liked how the first time I logged in with my account Outlook was already automagically configured to send/receive my email.

I met the third intern today. Turns out it is News Nate from Radio K, and I totally know him. He was transcribing speech into text by hand all day. He types with enormous amounts of force and makes incredible amounts of old-school-typewriter style noise. My monitor was shaking.

Like I was saying earlier, I spent all day formatting speeches into HTML. I have to use AP (Associated Press) style guidelines. Now the AP book says, "don't use [brackets] because they can't be transmitted on news wires." I asked boss man about this and he said of course you can use brackets. Well, I'm glad we choose to ignore some of the AP guidelines we so strictly follow. That makes things much easier.

I only want to (have the will to) work if the opportunity is good or the experience is worthwhile. My other jobs have definitely fallen into these categories, but so far MPR is proving to be the let down I was worried it might turn out to be. It basically amounts to being paid almost nothing for data entry. Anybody who actually can code I'm sure shares my sentiment when I say that data entry is against our very principles since we are all lazy bastards who believe anything that we can make our computer do for us should never have to be done by hand, by us. If you don't agree, trust me, you only think you know how to program. Data entry is degrading to me.

I figure I only have so many years left before my hands and eyes prohibit me from being productive on a computer anymore. I don't want to waste any of that precious time doing data entry. The completely not-ergonomic keyboard, chair, and screen at MPR really help.

If I had BBEdit it would be so much better. I could use all the formatting macros, not to mention the built in features to repair nasty gremlins and high ASCII characters I'm currently trying to deal with using search and replace. Of course I can't install my own editing software either. Remember: IT department separation.

Nate, in some respects, has it even worse with the transcribing-- by "some" I mean "all." He was complaining about the data entry aspect and decided to drop in what he was being paid (for obvious reasons to the paranoid me). How dare they pay the journalist/radio intern more than the technology intern. Salt in the wound. SALT... in the WOUND.

I was and maybe am still hopeful that the "Web Documentary Intern" title of my position will facilitate me actually doing some web documentary work. That's why I took the position. I enjoy web design and proliferation. I enjoy documentaries on MPR, NPR, TPT, PBS, Discovery, National Geographic, etc. Perfect marriage? Apparently not. Well, at least I'll come out of this knowing for sure that the only job I could stand would be web programming and not web maintenance and probably not even web design. I think I really am a programmer and not a designer / artist. I mean, I can design, but I'm so picky and self-critical and talent-impaired that it takes me awhile. Coding is only limited by my laziness. How many lines do I feel like doing today? (hmm...)

One may point out Cub isn't exactly a great opportunity nor is it a great experience. I'd agree... it is a fucking grocery store job. However, I've never had a shit job before ever-- so it has given me perspective. More importantly for the moment, it pays much more than MPR which reminds me of the third reason I'd work-- for lots of money.

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Reader Comments...

December 15, 2004 @ 18:30:07

marilyn.pngsith33 (#999)

I rock.

December 15, 2004 @ 18:31:39

coleco.pngxopl (#001)

True. You did post comment number 100.

December 16, 2004 @ 13:18:01

marilyn.pngsith33 (#999)

I demand more blog entries!

December 16, 2004 @ 15:39:02

marilyn.pngsith33 (#999)

Do you have an RSS feed?

December 16, 2004 @ 16:43:52

coleco.pngxopl (#001)

RSS is an inferior and dieing technology. I'll adopt the next gen equivalent when it comes around. I don't want some stupid RSS bot blindly and idiotically polling my site for updates, nor does the one person who reads this need an RSS feed of it.

December 16, 2004 @ 18:40:03

coleco.pngxopl (#001)

The way trackbacks are done now is also fucked, but more importantly nobody deep links to my blog entries so there is no need for trackbacks now.

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