October 24, 2014

Core Leave

There's a nice perk to working for a bank: mandatory vacations.

Lots of companies make it difficult or impossible to use the vacation days you are given. Hil's job, for instance, gives her 45 days of vacation a year, of which 15 can be carried over. But in her prior position, she had to visit every one of her clients twice a month, and it simply wasn't doable to get days off. Only with heroic efforts and the cooperation of her coworkers could she get a week off for something important.

At the bank, in contrast, I am required to go on vacation for ten straight days at least once every calendar year. (The first year is excepted.) While on that vacation, no one from work is allowed to contact me, and I'm not allowed to contact anyone from work. (The exception is that I can contact HR if there's some kind of emergency that will change my return date.) My remote access will be turned off during this leave.

This isn't because banks are friendly companies, oh no. It's required by one of the dozens of government agencies that regulate banks. The idea is that if I'm up to some kind of shenanigans, there will be ten straight days for the auditors to catch me during which I can't cover my tracks. But I'll take it gladly, even if the reason for it is that they don't trust me.

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October 19, 2014

Call me the Stairmaster. Or is that taken?

My workspace is on the first floor of a six-story office building. The cafeteria and snack machines are all on the sixth floor, so I typically go up there twice a work day or so. (Bear in mind my work day is slightly more than thirteen hours long.)

I used to just take the elevator up, but now I'm going up the stairs. I've changed by habit not for the exercise, although to be honest I do need all the cardio I can get. No, I'm now walking all the time because with my new job, I get to do paperwork on all the elevator entrapments in the building, and it's kind of disturbing how many there actually are. I'm not claustrophobic, but I still don't want to spend an hour in an 8' cube waiting for the repair guy to show up and free me.

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October 09, 2014

Who Died and Left Me In Charge?

Exciting news, I'm done with working as a "contingent worker" (temp) for a multinational bank, and now I'm a regular employee of said multinational bank.

About a week after they hired me, I got a call and the manager said "Yeah, we're getting rid of your position. So congrats, you're getting promoted to supervisor! There's no pay raise, but it should give bigger annual raises, for what that's worth."

So hooray, I'm now officially management.

Tuesday, they issued me my company BlackBerry. I'm a little sad about that, it's like a prison ankle monitor. Plus now I have to learn yet another OS and its associated user interface. And I can't even install interesting apps on it.

I don't think I'll give out the phone number to anyone other than my wife, because if there's a situation where I can't be reached on either my personal cell phone or the office landline, then there's probably an emergency already that I'm busy dealing with.

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