silailo: (belldandy)
[personal profile] silailo
Remember my last post about how disappointed I was about work? Well, I heard two interesting stories at work the other day that made me think.

So, the last forest archaeologist was on this forest for about eight years. Then, a few years ago, he went through a major mental health crisis following a bad divorce. Twice he threatened to commit suicide, once by jumping off a bridge, and another time he wanted to shoot himself in the head with a nail gun. He was admitted to an inpatient facility while another archaeologist detailed in his place. Later he got a job on another forest and moved, and I've heard it's one of the worst forests in that particular state. Word is he's still having issues.

I was pretty shocked to hear this story. I don't know if this is why the Heritage Program here is in such chaos, or if it's always been like this. The story on my old forest was the archaeologist before the current one got sick with cancer and eventually passed away. As he got worse, the program started to come apart at the seams. Now they're trying to put it back together again. This may be the case for the forest I'm on now. They're definitely trying to clean stuff up. They act like everything is in disarray, and the office certainly looks like it.

Then I learned the current forest archaeologist didn't sell his house in the state he moved from. Some people had made an offer on it, but then backed out of the deal after the inspector supposedly gave them the wrong impression about his inspection report. But the archaeologist's family is already here, so now he has to pay rent and a mortgage until his house sells. His family will be strapped for cash for a while. I had no idea he was under that much stress. His job is hard enough as it is.

I realized then that I needed to help in any way I can, even if it's something small. At that point, I stopped being angry. But in order to be the most effective, I need to have the kinds of tasks that will reduce their workload, and that includes fieldwork and more relevant office work. This is why they hired me. They told me they had to fight to get funding to hire a seasonal, so unless they use me to my fullest potential, they'll have a hard time justifying the costs next time around. I'm pretty sure other people in the office have seen me sitting around doing almost nothing.

Today I went out on a UTV with a district ranger and someone from rec. I needed to survey a proposed trail reroute. They told me their funding for various trail projects will disappear at the end of September, and they need all the paperwork ready to go by the start of September. They've kept putting it off because our Heritage office has put off our end of the work for whatever reason. The ranger couldn't understand why because supposedly we've had plenty of time to do it. Now they can't put it off anymore. So I told him I'd get started right away on the report and tell our archaeologist the details.

It's all so frustrating because the assistant archaeologist, the person who knows the most about the goings-on around here, where stuff is at in the files/computer, and what's expected of us by the state, isn't here. I guess he's doing some projects up north with that crew (who actually are with the Forest Service, but a different forest). This is partly why I feel abandoned. The person who should be training me is training someone else who's not even on our forest. I don't know the whole story behind why he's doing this, but from the way it sounds, it wasn't entirely his choice.

It felt so good to get out and feel useful today, though. I don't care that I had to work on a Friday and worked more than 40 hours this week. When I got back to the office my supervisor let me start filling out a site form for something I found today.




But, ugh, now my loud roommate is home. Let the door-slamming, muttering, and LOUD NORMAL TALKING VOICE commence.

Also, I think I've gained a little weight. I eat high calorie food because during the work season I figure it's okay because I burn so many calories in the field anyway. But since I haven't been out in the field much... Man, I wish I could cook more so I can eat healthier food, but our kitchen is so............blech. And there isn't much room available to store my own cookware. Pretty much all the drawers and cabinets are taken. I was lucky to get one drawer for my silverware and I share a cabinet with someone for my pot and pan. There's absolutely no room on the counter for my coffee maker. The only available area that has at least a little room gets splattered with grease. One girl just has to have her Kitchen Aid, blender, food processor, toaster, toaster oven, and something like five canisters of shake mixes on the counter, which takes up 50% of the counter space. She doesn't use most of them that often.

The rest of it is taken up by everyone's dish drying mats with dishes that are always sitting on them, except me because there's no room for me anyway. I finally had to unload the dishwasher with one girl's crap still in it from two days ago. I set it all on the dirty table, because there was literally nowhere else to put it.

Someone put a box of random trash in the pantry and there's a box of moldy strawberries sitting on it. WTF.
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