Friday, June 04, 2004

I know that one classic storyline on TV, in the movies, etc, is to describe how a kid feels when EVERY other classmate except him or her is invited to a party. I've even seen letters to Ann Landers, Dear Abby, etc, on the subject.

Of course, I could have told you that it happens in real life, because it actually did happen to me. Sort of. There was this kid who lived on the street where I grew up, and when we were in 6th grade, she invited the majority of our class to her birthday party one Saturday afternoon. The one difference is that she didn't invite ANY of the "out crowd" -- I guess that's what you'd call the people who are the total opposite of the "in crowd", wouldn't you? -- which meant that my few friends and I were left off the guest list.

Of course, I wasn't exactly traumatized by this. To put it politely, she really wasn't a nice person at all. Plus, she had as her guests the very people who went out of their way to make my friends' and my lives a living hell every day at school. So the idea of having to spend a few extra hours in that group of people's company wouldn't have been an appealing prospect, even if I HAD been invited.

At least she didn't make a point of letting me know, in advance, that I'd been snubbed. Of course, most likely this stemmed from a fear that I'd ask to be invited and she wouldn't have a good reason to refuse, rather than out of fear of hurting my feelings. But hey. Whatever. I didn't hear of the party until the following Monday at school, when everywhere I turned I was overhearing classmates talking about the party. After the fourth or fifth conversation that I heard in passing, I deduced who had thrown the party, and judging from the number of people talking about it, the gathering must have been huge. The only reason I'd managed to miss seeing any evidence of it was that I'd been out the entire day anyway. Therefore, I didn't witness any of my classmates passing through my street as they arrived or left.

For the rest of that day and into Tuesday, all I heard as I walked by people was "Ann G's party" this and "Ann G's party" that. So, more from a desire to tweak Ann G (for once! instead of the other way around) than anything, I went over to her and in an offhand way, said, "Must have been some party on Saturday. Everyone's talking about it". She got flustered but recovered herself and said, "It wasn't much. I only had a few people over".

I don't know how I didn't laugh in her face. If I'd heard one person discussing it, I'd heard thirty people. But I kept a straight face and said something to the effect of "That's OK, I wasn't home anyway". Which was true.

Given the circumstances, the only thing that annoyed me was that she lied right to my face. Mind you, that was neither the first nor the last time she lied to me -- did I mention she wasn't a nice person? -- but I hate dishonesty.

Anyway, as I said, given the choice between spending an afternoon with a nasty person and the people whose hazing I had to deal with every school day, or doing something else, I'd have preferred to do something else 10 out of 10 times.

However, if I didn't feel like the One Kid Who's Left Out that day, I made up for it today. This was the day when the majority of the employees, along with their spouses/kids in some cases, went on an overnight trip. It's the company's 25th anniversary, and this was the way they chose to reward their employees.

Don't get me wrong -- I think it's wonderful that this company actually cares enough about its employees to make concrete gestures like this.

It's just that as a temp, all I get to do is watch from the sidelines as everyone else, who I work just as hard as, gets recognized for their contributions to the company.

At least I got to have the catered breakfast that everyone else had (mini bagels, pastries, omelette cooked to order, etc). And as I posted yesterday, I made a point of wearing something comfortable (sneakers and a casual shirt) that I probably wouldn't have worn to work otherwise.

But it still was a bit depressing when I was asked by a few people, "Are you going?" and had to answer "No". I bit my tongue on finishing the sentence with, "I'm only a temp", though. THAT sentiment, I kept to myself.

And it was depressing when the mass exodus took place this morning, and just a skeleton crew of workers remained on the premises.

It's ironic. When I actually WAS a *kid* who was left out of a big event, I didn't mind being passed over. But now, as an adult, I have an empty, left-out feeling that has weighed on me all day. I'm so sick of being on the outside looking in.

BTW, I applied to two openings for permanent jobs that are going to be created at this company. One was for Karla's department, and the other one is a different job in the department where I am now. That was a few weeks ago, and since I provided my resume to the appropriate parties, I've heard nothing. Plus, I recently distributed some copies of my resume to a couple other friends who might... MIGHT... be able to submit it where they work. So it's not like I'm sitting around, doing nothing but moping and complaining. It's just that the freaking openings are hard to come by, and I'm frustrated.

When they fill the permanent position that was created in my department -- a different job than mine, but one that will take on duties that I now perform -- my temp assignment will be ended. That much, I found out a couple weeks ago. I also was informed that employees from other departments applied for this opening, and they will be considered ahead of me. So anyone's guess is as good as mine whether I'll be sent on my way, or whether I'll finally be a real employee again, instead of someone on the fringes who's regarded by higher-ups as an expense that needs to be cut ASAP.

Everyone I tell that I've applied for these openings is all happy for me. I wish I felt happy for me, too. But three years of disappointments have worn away my ability to expect good things to happen. I'll believe that good things happen when or if I see them, and not before.

No comments: