« My First Surreal Crush | Main | The Anniversary »

January 26, 2005

Other Sucky Fields of Employment

Last night I dreamt I was in an endless series of plane crashes. They were little dinky planes, but planes all the same. We landed in water every time, coming to a jolting halt as water gushed in through the windows and doors.

'Did you sleep ok?' Angus asks as I wake up.

'Kafka dreams.' I croak, smoothing the sandman out of my eyes. 'Plane crashes. Kind of like my career.'

'Hmm. And us about to go on holiday.' He replies.

'No worries. We survive the impact. I land in lakes filled with alligators.'

'Oh excellent! We survive then!' he says brightly.

So it's a Toastie Wednesday and it's already feeling very toastie indeed. After wrestling my ass out of bed and seeing that I already had emails waiting for me in my inbox that would piss me off, I get ready. Once dressed, I realize I am dressed like a monochromatic wet dream, but at this point I simply don't care. I head out to the car to scrape off the ice-once again I have limited time to get to the train station and work to do before my meeting starts. I have three meetings in a row then, ideally, I really do need to leave since I have scheduled and cancelled my yearly woman doctor check-up three times now, and nothing says 'Party!' like an afternoon pap smear.

It doesn't help that I am in the throes of PMS so severe that I would wipe out whole sections of rainforest if I thought it would alleviate the symptoms.

The ice on the windshield won't budge. I keep trying to chip it away. I was hoping to do both cars-I know ice scraping is Angus' hate job so I like to surprise him-but this was super ice, the Arnold Schwarzenegger of ice, more tenacious than Bob Saget at a Cub Scout meeting. It just wouldn't come off on the all-important circles that would be the driver's line of sight. I keep trying then start screaming at the car. I am yelling at the car and on the verge of tears, and I think: Oh yeah. You're handling this stress well.

So now that I'm on the train, dressed as a colorblind darling, heading to London to enjoy a day of Microsoft Project and arguments before spreading my legs and having more KY inserted than I had in the entire duration of my college years, I start thinking: OK, my job sucks. I have had sucky jobs before, and I likely will again. Suck jobs happen. My mind starts wandering to other potential Suck Jobs, and with my ice scraping on my mind, I latch onto an idea of a Sucky Job. In my escapist mind, I write up a diary of what it would be like to have this Suck Job-working as a penguin research Ph.D. candidate in Antarctica.

Oh yeah. That'd suck.

Day One

I land here at the outpost full of thrilling anticipation. This is what I have wanted my entire life. This is what I worked double shifts at the Gap to pay for, this is why I expurgated my family, who mocked my suitability to cold environments and told me that my youth spent raising yucca plants in Death Valley would make living in Antarctica a fool's dream. Ha! I will show them! I am here to study penguins. Penguins-perfect little bowling pins of biology. I go to the zoo all the time and stare at them, mesmerized. Their sleek swimming skills, the fact that the females are a bit chubby but the men don't care, the fact that the men take care of incubating the egg. Perfect symbiosis. I will make the penguins here my friends. They will love me and follow me around like the Aviary Jane Goodall. I don't mind that I am alone on this outpost as the other scientists are on a cruise to Acapulco-I enjoy my solitude and their not being here proves my utmost dedication to this project.

It's definitely cold here.

Time to unpack.

Day Two

Have spent some time locating various colonies of penguins. There is one colony that I think will be my main focus group, a group I shall name ZX2-F1. It's important not to assign human emotions to these animals as it may corrupt my data. The penguins wouldn't let me get close, but soon I think they will. They will. Animals love me, after all-look at Chad's dog Scruffy? He liked me. Surely that's a perfect barometer of potential animal affection for me.

The accommodation here is basic but clean. Never before have I had to go to bed fully dressed. That was interesting, and hopefully over time I will learn to actually be able to sleep in this situation. Going to the toilet is hell though-my beaver frosted right over within seconds of exposure to the air, so I had to crack the ice to pee through. Ha! And they called me the Ice Queen in college! Ha!

Awfully cold out there.

Day Four

I tried to get close to ZX2-F1 but the possible lead penguin, the one I numbered Z1-Alpha, wouldn't let me close. I will keep trying-they'll like me when they get to know me. Must study the penguins-perfect creatures.

It's really cold. No, I mean really cold. As in: Kill People Cold. I hadn't expected to be this cold. I also hadn't expected to wish other people were around. I can see the solitude may be affecting me, so I will just go talk to-er, I mean observe-Z1-Alpha.


Bob-I mean Z1-Alpha, sorry, of course I should only call him Bob in my head, not my notes-chased me away again. I will work on it. Am sick of packaged food. Longing for M&Ms. I'll even take just one M. I could also do with some sex but there's no one here and am not tempted to have hand freeze to minge. Would also mean I'd have to break the ice down there, but that's one area that I don't want an ice pick near. Could read penguin research book but wish I hadn't been so practical about books-I could've done with a bodice ripper novel.

The cold is just so cold.

Day Eight

Bob keeps chasing me away! I keep trying to get close to him. Is it me? Is it my clothes, my perfume? Is it my iced-over beaver? Bob, why won't you like me, why? No one ever likes me! Oh Bob! We could've been so great together!

I can't stop crying from the horrible cold! Hell hath frozen over and I am living on it!

Day Ten

Penguins are not cute little items of biology-they're fucking evil, smelly creatures. They're foul and hateful and want to kill me. I hate penguins. Hate them! How could I ever have thought about throwing my life away to study fucking penguins! Chad wanted to marry me! Chad! And yes-even though he had the weird webbed toes thing and wouldn't eat if his food groups were touching each other, he was a much better option than throwing it away on fucking BIRDS! They don't deserve studying! Debating eating the little flippered bastards, but can't-I'm a vegetarian.

God I need a shag.

Fucking cold.

Day Twelve

You know, penguins are vibrator-shaped, if you look at them at a certain angle. Hmm...

Day Fourteen


Day Fifteen


Day Sixteen


Day Eighteen

Penguin flambé. Penguin tartare. Penguin casserole. Penguin fillet steaks. Penguin stew.

Day Twenty

Dr. Anderson here. I have found the journal that Helen left behind, although there's no sign of Helen. There are an awful lot of beaks and feet lying around, an ice pick, and one unfortunate penguin that appears to have had two double-AA batteries stuffed up it. Can only assume she's gone back to the States with her research complete.


Fantasy aside, my Suck Job is still pretty suck right now.


Posted by Everydaystranger at January 26, 2005 09:32 AM .

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'Other Sucky Fields of Employment' from Everyday Stranger.
Sexual Frustration ... and Penguins?

Maybe I should resurrect my round up posts tat I used to do on Monday morning… Only I could do them on Thursday and call it "Over the Hump"

Anyway, in the spirit of free linky love I would like you all to look this way for a...

Weblog: XSet
Tracked: January 27, 2005 03:58 PM
Beaks and Feet...
Excerpt: … I’ve always enjoyed reading Helen’s blog… she was one of the very first people on my blogroll… she’s a trooper… a combination of fighting spirit, sexiness, attitude, and an incredibly appealing delicateness… Hell, I even took care of her...
Weblog: Straight White Guy
Tracked: January 28, 2005 02:17 PM


Link did not work:

Posted by: Amy at January 28, 2005 03:27 AM

I think this job would suck

Posted by: Amy at January 28, 2005 03:26 AM

HeeHeeHee, I can't wipe the smile off my face. What a sense of humor! I'll always look at penguins differently now, with a big grin.

Posted by: Irene at January 27, 2005 08:32 AM

LOL! Well timed post for me. My job sucked today. I didn't want to get out of bed. But in the words of my mother, "They don't call labor that because it is fun." At least you aren't having to dig ditches all day so at night you are too tired to shag. Check out the positives ;))

Posted by: Marie at January 27, 2005 12:43 AM

Helen - this has nothing to do with your post but... has anyone ever told you that you look like the teacher from the movie Rushmore?

You do!

her name is olivia williams.

I was watching the movie this weekend and thought, that actress looks like someone else I know.

Posted by: Snidget at January 26, 2005 08:48 PM

AHAHAHAHA! Thank you. :-)

Posted by: Amber at January 26, 2005 08:20 PM

Yep, my job has been less than stellar the last two months due to HUGE! make that HUUUGE!!!! personality conflicts with another employee. I can but hope it looks up sometime soon. As required sometimes, I took a mental health day on Monday and watched the E! True Hollywood story - 8 in a row - and now feel much better.

Hope dream job turns dreamy again soon.

Posted by: Oda Mae at January 26, 2005 07:56 PM

The batteries - LOL!

I also have that all-annoying appt today with the Dr. Yuck.

When I go to the dentist, I always floss, brush extra long and use mouth wash.

I feel there's something that I should do today. I did trim the other day. hmmm.

Posted by: GrumpyBunny at January 26, 2005 04:27 PM

I think what finally drove "Adventurer Helen" over the edge was the lack of a Star.bucks gingerbread latte for 20 days.
Your stories are so funny! :) Maybe Adventurer Helen was rescued by Indiana Angus!

Posted by: John at January 26, 2005 03:33 PM

you have a great way of providing perspective Helen!

I honestly cant stop laughing... took my mind off of my current job situation and I love you for that!

Posted by: stinkerbell at January 26, 2005 03:23 PM

I haven't been here lately and this was the perfect post to return to. Thanks for the perspective!

And the smile.

Posted by: Amy at January 26, 2005 03:17 PM

Penguins-perfect little bowling pins of biology.

I had to take a break from reading this because for some reason that line had me laughing so hard I literally became short of breath.

Several other similar pauses followed. I don't think I've ever taken this long to read one of your posts before.

Mmm . . . penguin fillet steaks!

Posted by: ilyka at January 26, 2005 02:39 PM

As you've so comically pointed out, it could always be worse. Some day you'll look back at this fondly. Not sure what sadistic mindset it'll take to turn this into a fond memory, but one day you'll be lamenting about the good ol' days when you were swamped with e-mails, meetings, deadlines, and lame vendors...good times:)

Posted by: Solomon at January 26, 2005 02:20 PM

Ugh, I have my yearly tomorrow morning. I just took the whole day off because there's no way in hell I'll want to try to make it to work being all sticky.

Posted by: jadewolff at January 26, 2005 02:09 PM

If you're still mad at the penguins, you can go here--

The Yeti games are a wonderful waste of time

Posted by: Easy at January 26, 2005 01:25 PM

It is 6:05 a.m. here in NY where we have a mix of freezing rain and snow and I just came back inside after shovelling the stairs and walk and, moved by the same impulse that caused you to try to chip ice from Angus' car, I de-iced my wife's car. I was uniquely in tune with today's post. All expect the pms, pap smear, and ky part, that is.

Posted by: RP at January 26, 2005 11:07 AM


Posted by: TimT at January 26, 2005 11:02 AM

"There are an awful lot of beaks and feet lying around"

That's going to make it into my corporate lingo.



Posted by: Jim at January 26, 2005 11:00 AM
Site Meter