I am officially so bad at my day job that it’s become a running joke. A funny, but sad, running joke. I will never get fired because no one is good at my job and more importantly, no one wants it, but I am uniquely bad at it.
Lest you think I am kidding, I will go into some specifics. I work for a small specialty retail store, and am in the online sales department. Our cash register system is, I am not shitting you, has 2004 right in its name, because that is the year it was written. It is bad. It is so bad. I use a VPN to access a terminal a state away, and it’s convoluted and awful. The barcode scanner I have is faulty, and it doesn’t matter because fully half the things we sell haven’t been entered into this system’s faulty, glitchy database anyway.
But a lot of what I do is look up an item on our distributor’s warehouse’s glitchy website to find out its UPC code, write down the UPC code, and go back to this glitchy, laggy VPN, and type the UPC code into the glitchy, laggy cash register system, whereupon I wait long enough to sing the entire Jeopardy theme song once, and it either comes up with the right item, comes up with the right item in at the wrong price or under the wrong tax code, or tells me that the item’s not in the database.
Do you know how long a UPC code is? It’s a bunch of digits. Twelve. Twelve digits. I am a fast, fast typist, but not the most accurate; I frequently miss the key I meant. I am sort of uniquely bad at this kind of accurate typing. (A mistake means i have to repeat the typing-and-waiting process. It’s not a trivial amount of time.)
Worse, I have dyscalculia. Yes, that’s a real thing. Yes, it’s like dyslexia only with numbers. I am, to sum this up, also, really uniquely bad at making sure a long string of numbers contains the right number of digits in the right order. [Despite this I have memorized several UPC codes. For the record, 029144092948 is a discontinued marking pen we still sell until our stock runs out, and 074101017571 is a cheap point-and-shoot digital camera that’s near the end of its run and people are buying it in huge quantities to resell and something like that with a serial number, I have to ring singly and cannot change the quantity, so if someone buys twenty I have to type the UPC code in twenty times on their receipt. Yes.]
Plus I have a kind of, I don’t know, my attention span is not quite a correct thing. (It might be an ADHD kind of thing. A woman cannot be diagnosed with this, not as an adolescent and not as an adult, I have tried several times over the last two or so decades, and have been literally scoffed at, so– what I have, I don’t know, but it isn’t scare-quotes-normal.) I cannot handle sitting and waiting for the length of time of the Jeopardy theme song; I have to do something else, and sometimes I can do it so it’s like, I read something or sew a couple of stitches on something and then it’s the right amount of time, but mostly I just stare blankly and zone the fuck out for way too long. (Let us not speak of the time when my former boss told me I wasn’t allowed to sew. What the fuck dude. You seriously want me to read fanfic on AO3 instead? Because let me tell you, you’ll wish I was sewing, when it’s 3pm and I’m still on the first invoice. You idiot turd.)
And then like, the next thing? I have to weigh things on a postal scale and type the amount into the program on my computer, and the way the office is laid out, I cannot see the scale from my computer. (Any other position in the entire office can see the scale. I cannot.) And I can’t. I can’t remember the number long enough to get back to my seat and type it in. I can’t. Ten, twenty times a day, there’s a blank pause and I say, “… what’s the scale say?” Even if I chanted the number out loud repeatedly the entire way back to my seat, I will have to pause to click a button, and I will forget it then. Every time. Every fucking time. It’s unreal: every time.
You literally could not sit down and, like, roll stats, or however that works, to generate a character, guaranteed to be worse at the list of tasks I have to perform than I am, if you tried. [Oh! oh! let’s do a thing where she can’t remember what order numbers go in!]
Sometimes it gets to me. It was getting to me today. I AM SO BAD AT WHAT I DO. I am so bad at what I do.
It’s hilarious, but. I am so bad at what I do. So bad at it. So incredibly bad.
(This entry brought to you by my going back to full-time two weeks ago for the Christmas season, and I am losing my shit. Off tomorrow night thru Sunday for turkey slaughter, but after that I’m back until Christmas and I might not survive. I. Am. SO. Bad. At. What. I. Do. It’s not even funny, except it’s hilarious, except it’s the kind of laughing that’s sort of badly covering up crying.)
(Also: I read a great fic and I should rec it, and will, but I need a moment to process that it’s sort of like what I write, only more concise and way way way more popular and has like, Famous Fandom People reading it and commenting on it, and I am not popular or famous and no wonder, given the actual form of what I do [hello, HUNDRED THOUSAND WORD perpetually-unfinished WIPs, why do you think it is that you are not popular? should we address this?] [oh look it’s a theme! i am Bad At What I Do! Jesus! fucking! Christ! !!! !!!.] but anyway. I need a little moment to get over myself. I was rereading it and found myself looking for things not to like– in this thing that on first reading I loved so much! Ugh, why would I ruin something nice for myself because I’m jealous of it? That is so stupid and upsetting and makes all of it so much worse.)
I am so bad at what I do. Oh my god. I am so bad at what I do. Humans were not designed to do these things.
I have this exquisitely-crafted brain, and it is so good at some things, and this self, this person that I am, has such really interesting and good abilities, and none of them are applicable in any way to the life that i actually lead. It is like I am a fish born with wings. They do not work underwater. I am poorly-adapted to my environment. Everything about me that is great is irrelevant.
Oh my god.
It gets to me, sometimes.
(This upcoming weekend I am going to decorate a t-rex-shaped cake in honor of turkeys being basically dinosaurs, so I have that to look forward to. I also am going to have to eviscerate about 50 or so of those turkeys, unless I get moved over to delunging or finish plucking again, so that’s sort of– less exciting? but necessary? I am not great at evisceration but I am not bad at it okay. I am not bad at it. I don’t know about turkeys actually. But chickens, I can eviscerate, and I’m not fast, but I basically never explode the gallbladder or cut the intestines and get shit everywhere, and I am not the slowest, so I’ll take it. I’m not incompetent. I’m okay at it. That’s my life, I’m super pumped to be sort of okay at something even if that something involves getting elbow-deep in a still-warm corpse. SOMEONE HAS TO DO IT, OKAY.)