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::Shellshocked Kitty::

So, the last couple days (and for the indefinite future), my colleagues and I have been working ten- to twelve-hour days as a result of the enormous workload we've suddenly developed. Apparently, or so they tell me, the economy is going down. As this tends to make it harder for a company to make its bottom line, companies tend to try to boost their profits. The easiest way for them to do this is to eliminate what is termed "non-value-added labor"--essentially, the people who simply move parts between conveyors, or the people who inspect for quality some percentage of the outgoing product. Here is where our company steps in--we make systems that, for a simple, one-time expense, will eliminate that non-value-added labor, which tends to be a recurring expense. Thus, in a sense, my company actually does better (to a point) in a dropping economy.

However, that's not what I came here to tell you. I mentioned that I've been working ten to twelve hours a day. I'm pretty much OK with this--I like money, and I am paid hourly and overtime rates apply to anything over forty hours a week. However, it's draining, to say the least, especially today, which was spent (except for a brief lunch break) in front of my test stand, getting a major part of an even more major contract finished. I finished it around 16:45, and, looking around, noticed there was no one else at my end of the building. "OK," I thought, "I don't think I can be terribly productive on any new projects today, so...I'ma gonna take off now." I shut down the test stand computer and lights, packed up my laptop, tidied my work area, and headed downstairs to clock out. As I was swiping out, my boss waved me over to the president's office, where he sat me down and the two of them launched into a presentation, primarily about me. I fought pretty hard to appear alert, and the things that I caught from the presentation (at which were, in attendance, most of the rest of the company--we still only have like twenty employees) were:

  • "Andrew's recent study and subsequent report are of a quality equal to or greater than something that I could put together, and should stand as an example to the rest of the company." --president.

  • "We're looking to do a bit more research on the matter, I was thinking he could do it, and then publish the study as a white paper, all credits to Andrew." --president.

  • "Andrew is a valuable asset, and I've been more than pleasantly surprised to find that he and I are running on the same wavelength. He's an amazing person to manage." --boss.

And then, the rest were dismissed, but for the president, my boss, and I. Again, I was able to appear attentive, and I caught the following fragments:

  • "Unless you had any objections, I'd like to raise your rates 25%." --president.

  • "You have a very bright future, Andrew, and I want you to continue working for us after you get your degree." --my boss.

  • "Let us know how your schedule is up at school and over breaks--we're more than happy to give you studies and projects to do and we're willing to pay you for the time you take on them." --president.

Then we all shook hands, and I somehow ended up sitting in my car, the AC blasting to cool it down from nine hours in the sun, entirely empty of any emotional energy whatsoever, and a phrase going through my mind: "I've been working at the company for three weeks."

I'm just now, an hour after this all went down, starting to gain enough energy to react to the news. I can see that, if I weren't so tired, I'd be bouncing off the walls with excitement, and I likely will do that when it all finally hits me. For now, I'm gonna have some supper, and then take an early trip to bed and sleep for eleven or twelve hours.

EDIT: Oh, and, by the way, according to this quiz, I am:

You are Grace!
(shameless, perceiving, good-natured, outgoing, intuitive)

Pretty accurate, I'd say. Besides, who doesn't love Grace? Seriously.