Sunday, November 19

Last week was, oh, probably the most boring week of my life.

My former job was one which had more free time than responsibilities. That’s not to say that being a secretary to Saudi Arabian engineers was easy—it’s just that after internalizing my tasks I could work almost subconsciously. And as long as I had the status and location of every important document memorized and was one step ahead of my boss’ needs, it was totally kosher to just play around on the internet during any lengthy stint of downtime.

So, how does one train someone to take over a job like this? Especially when I had no training myself: all of my duties were self-developed over months of chasing engineers and reading my boss’s mind.

Head office had an idea of how training should go. My replacement would job-shadow me for a week. 44 hours of sitting beside me was what it would take for her to become a secretary. And, um, 4 hours of her sitting beside me was what it would take for me to hate her.

She was a talker. And not a “I’m nervous because this is my first day” talker but a pointless-stories talker. A “I will keep talking so much as to not notice that you’re looking in the other direction and not listening to me” talker. Which meant I was forced to learn pretty much everything about her (and her husband). From allergies to nightly habits to where the grandparents grew up to the intimately-dull conversations she and hubby had on the commute each morning, I got to hear it all. BORING.

But the best past was the discussion about what her and hubby’s future was going to be like. Currently they’re living with her parents, but she could barely contain revealing that this new employment (her first job post-graduation) meant they would start looking to buy a loft. A 1200+ square foot fixer-upper loft in downtown Toronto for under $275,000, with low/no maintenance fees, 16ft ceilings, and a huge kitchen. A place they could put in a second-floor loft bedroom and a his-and-hers bathroom.

Insert here me nodding politely and trying not to burst out laughing.

Never mind for a second that such an inexpensively large loft doesn’t even exist (unless you want to move to Hamilton, as both my father and boyfriend joked). But let’s mock because they both have NO savings and together cannot be making more than $100,000 a year. And also they both pay $500 a month in student loans. I’m no financial expert, but that doesn’t exactly make you a great candidate for a (hefty) mortgage.

Then consider that she spent most of our week complaining about how cold the office was. And that she wants to stay working as a secretary “for a few years” until her first maternity leave. FYI, girlie: a drafty loft isn’t the ideal residence for those afraid of the cold, nor is it the place to buy if you’re planning on having babies.

And some of you thought I was only capable of romanticizing married life. Ha!