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Away From Home

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ashburn sucks

So, you wanna know about my day. Trust me, you do. It's good for your soul. And if you don't want to, well, then don't.

Today, as you may or may not recall, I had to head out to the middle of nowhere Ashburn, Virginia for orientation. Which is actually closer to West Virginia than it is to downtown DC, let alone to my house. I left my house just after 7, hopped on the Red Line, went to Metro Center, transferred to the Orange Line, went to West Falls Church, and then switched to the Loudoun County commuter bus. By the time we turned onto the several-hundred-yard driveway into MCI (more on that in a moment), it was just before 9:00.

That's right. It took almost two hours to get there. Which meant that I had another two hour trip to look forward to in the afternoon. Joy.

My first impression of the corporate headquarters was "well this is pretty typical." The driveway led past rows of perfectly manicured, perfectly identical juvenile trees, between the two manmade ponds with juuuust enough curve to them that you can pretend that they're natural, and finally up to the 3-story plate glass front of the main lobby. Exactly what you'd expect a major corporate headquarters to be.

The building itself was, well, big. Imagine a 4-story office building. Now imagine 11 of them, all connected together. Now you get the picture.

We went through the orientation, which primarily being given a PowerPoint presentation, complete with handed-out printed copies and an HR woman reading the slides to us.

We interrupt this posting for a special announcement:

I absolutely hate it when people read PowerPoint slides, particularly if they're also going to hand out the printouts. Do people really expect that I've gone through 17 years of schooling and still lack the ability to read? It's insulting and unnecessary. The "presentation" aspect should supplement the slides. If there's nothing else to add -- if the slides say it all -- then just hand out the papers and go away. I can read it for myself, thank you very much.

And now back to your regularly-scheduled post...

Next up was filling out the various forms, including tax forms. It quickly became obvious that a significant portion of the group had never filled out tax forms before. A guy can only hear so many questions like "What is a deduction? What do I put there?", "What happens if I claim exempt?" before he just wants to smack some intelligence into someone. It's explained right on the form! Read it!

And then, this question was asked. I mention it separately because while the previous two questions were dumb, this one is just downright mind-boggling. One of the forms asked for your Educational History, and included choices such as "Completed High School," "Some College," "Bachelor's Degree," and so on. One intern asked:

So if I've completed some college but I haven't graduated yet, do I check "Some College"?

Bear in mind, she actually said this out loud. I kept waiting for her to follow up with If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college.

Oooh, now we come to the best part. The orientation was done by 12:30, but remember how I came on a commuter bus? That means it only runs during commuter hours -- so I got to wait until 3:30. Fortunately, I had the foresight to bring a book. Unfortunately, it was a mediocre one.

Thank God I never have to go back there. It's downtown from now on. *knock on wood*


  • Hmmm... Scott's all Ash-burn-ed out.

    By Blogger Logan C. Adams, at 6/01/2005 08:34:00 PM  

  • That's such a bad play on words, Logan. I just can't believe you said that...

    You know, Scott...now they'll probly send you out there for another day of training...and qute honestly, working around and knowing so many college kids, I don't doubt that MCI believes none of you can read. Hell, at least half of the people I know on-line can't spell simple words correctly, let alone read and understand half of the words I use regularly...

    By Blogger Mela, at 6/02/2005 05:48:00 PM  

  • Gee Mela, just judge everybody in the whole wide world while you're at it.

    By Blogger Logan C. Adams, at 6/08/2005 08:53:00 PM  

  • Come on Logan, admit it -- that pun was straight awful.

    By Blogger Scott, at 6/08/2005 08:57:00 PM  

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