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A tale of two jobs

September 17th, 2013 at 11:41 pm

I wrapped up my second day at the new job. It's extremely busy, and they seem grateful that I'm there.

I can't help but compare this job at a well-known real estate brokerage, recently bought by a larger and even better known name, and the upscale furniture company I worked at over the past few months.

They are both extremely successful companies, but their cultures couldn't be more different.

At the furniture company, the whole atmosphere was what I'd describe as "urbane sophisticate." Their offices were in a renovated brick factory building in a section of the city that, once downtrodden, is being reborn. Inside, the plumbing and ductwork and wiring is all exposed on the ceilings. The kitchen is humongus, with 2 stainless steel refrigerators, 3 matching dishwashers and ample room to fit a bunch of people.

No one save the president of the company has an office, and even his had just a glass wall. The rest of us sat in an open setting with work stations butting up against each other. It was often very noisy and difficult for me, as a writer, to work.

At the real estate company, they share office space with other businesses, although this, too, is the corporate HQ. They still have the old-fashioned cubicles with walls only 4 feet high. So you get a modicum of visual privacy but really very little sound privacy. Still, after working in such an exposed setting where anyone can walk by and peer at your computer screen, I relish my little cubicle.

The kitchen is laughably tiny with a small table that could fit 6 people max. It's obviously an afterthought.

At the furniture company, there was a "briefing" meeting with several people attending for even the smallest writing assignment, just to spell out the purpose of the piece, when it was due and how it would be used. My manager, the Editorial Director, extensively rewrote much of what I wrote to fit their "style."

At the real estate company, they are preparing for the official launch of their new brand and are scrambling to have everything ready by next week. They are literally throwing brochures, presentations, ads and other collateral at me, asking me to update this, edit that and rewrite this. They provide next to no direction on what they're looking for when it comes to writing new copy, but they seem very pleased with everything I've done with not too much critique in the process.

Ironically, I found it more stressful working for the furniture company. I was surrounded by 20-somethings and a lot of city-oriented people with a certain snobbish attitude.

The real estate company seems much more your everyday people. Everyone seems to know who I am and it's flattering that the woman who hired me is having me do a once over on just about everything that's going out the door. It's obvious they never invested in a professional writer because a lot of their stuff is poorly written.

I am still struggling to set an interview date/time with the bank, and until i do that, I don't want to schedule my hot water heater replacement (the one I have is leaking it is somewhat urgent) nor schedule the return trip for the guy who installed my furnace humidifier as he neglected to do something with a certain part. (Annoying.) I'm also still having a lot of trouble with headaches. Spoke to doc yesterday and she said bloodwork shows I'm negative on any of the tick-borne diseases but that my sed rate, a marker for inflammation, was elevated, so i do have an infection somewhere in my body. She is thinking nit could be sinus infection and suggested either another round of antibiotics, this time targeted toward the sinus infection, not Lyme, or a CAT scan to see if there is swelling/pressure in my sinuses.

I initially opted for the CAT scan becus i wanted to get to the bottom of my problem, but seeing as how her assistant never called me today to schedule the CAT scan, I'm going to call doc back again tomorrow and ask for the meds. Otherwise, it's wait to schedule the scan, wait for the scan itself, wait for the results...this is ridiculous. I'm struggling to keep up with a very demanding new job and having to deal with constant headaches. I don't like dosing myself repeatedly with antibiotics, but it would be quicker, with no radiation from a CAT scan.

It's frustrating becus she's so difficult to reach; you have to call and leave a message and she (hopefully) returns the call in the early evening.

I took a Sudafed pill this morning to see if that would reduce my headaches, since it's designed to reduce congestion/pressure of sinuses, but i can't say it helped. I was very headachey all day until about 4 pm, when things eased up.

5 Responses to “A tale of two jobs”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    One thing that can cause pretty severe headaches is a kidney infection. They don't always present with back pain, but they will cause headache, low grade fever, and exhaustion. A simple urine test can determine if it is the cause, if it turns out not to be your sinuses. Just throwing it out there.

  2. Miz Pat Says:

    If you are having sinus problems, a saline wash with a neil's sinus rinse and DISTILLED water is a great help. I have had chronic sinuses for the last 30 years and was getting to the point where I had a sinus infection, then bronchitis and then worked my way into the next sinus infection on a monthly basis.

    The doctor had me kick the dogs out of my bedroom (they still are upset), and had be use the sinus rinse every night. No more feeling like my sinuses were going to explode. If i miss doing the rinse, I know it later.

    I hope you do okay dear!

  3. CB in the City Says:

    Interesting comparisons. I've had two jobs in prospect research (over a long period of time). The first was in a big university; I was part of a team of eight. The staff was respected by the fundraisers. We had nice offices because it was understood that we needed quiet and privacy to do our jobs. My work was often praised and hardly ever questioned. This one is in a small college. I am the only researcher. The fundraisers think I am some kind of secretary (and they have no respect for the secretaries -- or me). I've been downgraded to a small office, after talk of making me share. My bosses try to direct and micromanage my work, yet have no clue how I do it. Everyone seems unhappy with my work, because they seem to think I can push a button and prepare a profile instantaneously. They will not share information but still expect me to somehow know what they know. It's maddening. I know my previous job wasn't perfect, but this experience is making me think bigger is better!

  4. baselle Says:

    I think I'd find it more stressful to work for the furniture company also - at least with the real estate company it very obvious you are needed and respected ... and they are BUSY, so you have a good sense that they have the cattle. The furniture place strikes me as all hat no cattle.

    Can you use headphones? Even if they don't shield everything, or you don't use music, they send a visual signal of "don't disturb".

  5. Suzanne Says:

    I have sinus headaches frequently, and the only thing that works for me is Aleve D Sinus and Headache. You have to get it from behind the counter at the pharmacy, but don't need a prescription.

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