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13 October 2009

Would anyone like an olive? Anyone? The publishing company where I work is undergoing a big reorganization and work flow process change initiative. As a part of this my department is being split up. Today at work we had a departmental meeting about these changes and were also told in personal meetings with our director what our new jobs would be and to whom we’d be reporting. We all still have a job, and will all be working for the same salary as before, so no worries on that score. But I guess I was worried about it, because last night I had a dream about the meeting.
In my dream we were all told what our new jobs would be in the big general meeting. The first person on the list was told he would have a job at a grocery store owned by our parent company, and that the job would consist of passing out olive samples to the customers. I started to feel unwell, so I left the room. By the time I felt better and came back the meeting was over. As people streamed out of the meeting room, a lot of people looked very excited over their new jobs. A co-worker of mine grabbed my arm and told me that her new job was great, that it involved a lot of travelling and free Armani suits. I got excited over the prospect that I might have a great new job too. So I started asking the people around me what my new job was. Everyone looked uncomfortable, and then one of my co-workers came up to me and told me gently that my new job was as assistant to the guy who was to pass out the olive samples.
How odd!

*waits for her sample*
posted by gomichild 13 October | 13:46
That's funny. Glad your job and salary are ok.
What would an olive asst even do? Replenish the toothpicks?
posted by rmless2 13 October | 14:27
A short while ago, I went on a Bloody-Marys-are-good-at-any-time-of-the-day-or-night kick, and since one of my favorite local bars made them with olives, I followed suit and soon found out that there were alternative fillings beside pimiento: jalapeños, whole garlic cloves, bits of anchovies, etc. You could have fun turning people on to some of those. (Warning, though: the bottled ones with feta cheese aren't so great, although the ones that you may have in the deli section that are hand-filled without having soaked in the "olive juice" are probably OK.)
posted by Halloween Jack 13 October | 14:28
I actually didn't get around to wondering what my specific job responsibilities would be in my dream. I was much more concerned with a very likely big pay cut, and whether I should quit the company on the spot or try to get them to fire me so I could get severence.

But I'm thinking I'd probably be the one to open the jars.
posted by Orange Swan 13 October | 14:59
I imagine that you'll get the peptalk about how change is always an opportunity for growth, etc.
posted by danf 13 October | 15:27
Yes, please. I love me some olives.

*spits pit into Swan's palm*
posted by Pips 13 October | 16:40
Hey, Orange - take this from someone who's been there. If this is the first re-org, others will follow, and soon. You might think about how up the food chain you are, and polish your resume.

I don't want to be the bringer of doom, but once these things start, they continue. My last job went through three re-orgs and roughly 300 people lost their jobs.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 13 October | 17:06
Given that there are only about 200 people in the Toronto office of my company, it would be some trick for 300 people to lose their jobs.

I'm not too worried about job security. They told us that this initiative would likely only result in 10-15 jobs gone by the end of 2011. There have been four people laid off so far, and some other jobs eliminated painlessly through attrition - but even then, we're hiring contract workers because someone has to do the work, and the contract workers are being told their prospects of staying with the company longer term are good.

I do want a new job because I've been at my company too long (nine years!) and am bored, so I'll likely be moving on for that reason.
posted by Orange Swan 13 October | 21:31
The sheer randomness of dreams delights me. Why olives and not, say, chicken wings, or ranch dressing, or sorbet?
posted by mdonley 14 October | 01:11
I had made a salad the previous day and put olives in it, so that's likely where the olives cames from.
posted by Orange Swan 14 October | 08:00
Aw, it wouldn't be such a bad job. One of the things I did at the Italian restaurant where I worked a few years ago was to stuff the olives for the special martinis. Mostly with various cheeses (bleu, gorgonzola, feta). I imagine they would get watery and yuck if preserved in liquid for very long, but ours were very tasty and the bin was constantly, mysteriously in need of refilling. If one were paid decently for it...
posted by notquitemaryann 14 October | 13:00
Delicious! Thank you.
posted by tangerine 14 October | 13:16
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