Sorry I didn’t have a moment to call today to check in with you as you’d asked. Today was just fine, if not a bit challenging.
After receiving instructions for completing my assigned tasks, I went to work earnestly, filling out the empty fields of a database for what seemed like a start-up. I suspect it was a start-up because Ludicrous played at a reasonable volume over speakers throughout the day. And because there was no one over 35 there. And because out of a group of 30, there were only 4 women. Including me. And because there was a ping pong table.
Two people watched my work from remote screens — every click and keystroke, making sure I was doing things correctly and in an efficient manner. The work was equal parts research and data entry.
At regular intervals, one of these two men would offer advice for completing the tasks faster, urging me to move faster, asking what it was I was “getting hung up on.” I began to feel inadequate because I am human and not a machine. Were I am machine, not only could I have completed my assigned tasks without any learning curve, but I could have impressed the supervisor enough to offer me a full time job after the first day. A machine can offer it all without sacrificing anything in the giving. A human, however, has to choose between quantity and quality.
I am not a machine. I am pitifully human. The same way I know I will never be a prolific writer, I know I will never be a data entry specialist. I suspect I will write a small handful of slender books in my life. That is all, and that is fine with me.
At the end of the day, _________ challenged me to work faster tomorrow. No, strike that word “challenged” and replace it with “dared.” _________ asked what I could do to turn my 10 entries an hour into 20. “IF we try this again tomorrow,” he said. I told him I could work faster. But specifically, he wanted to know. How could I make the process go faster.
The only reasonable reply that came to mind was “do it yourself.” I realized immediately that sounded indignant and I surely would not be allowed back tomorrow if I said it aloud. But the only other honest reply I could think of was “figure out how a rig a computer to do it.”
I assured him I was working as fast as I could in order to maintain a certain level of accuracy, and also given that is was my first day. I told him I was sure my speed would continue to improve as it did throughout the course of today.
__________, you interviewed me for your temp agency, but I’m not sure if you grasped the extent to which I am adaptable by nature. It is one of my strengths (though some might say it’s really a weakness). Even if I can’t give a person what they want, I will try like hell anyhow. I understand “the impossible.”
I’m tired from a hard day’s work. Especially my eyes. I’d say it’s from staring at a computer screen without pause for a continuous 7 hours, but really I was staring at 2 computer screens — they were hooked together so the cursor could transmigrate between one domain and the other. So I could preside over two worlds at once.
Tomorrow, I’m going to ask for a short lunch break. Perhaps eating at some point during the day will improve my speed.
I promise to check in tomorrow after 5pm.