November 22, 2005

Mr Nice Guy

My job is very… unique in my company. There are only a handful of people that hold my position. Adding to the fact that I’m the Senior level, which makes it even more rare. That makes my job a lot more difficult then it really has to be. Why? Because no one else in my office understands all that I do. This has its ups and it’s downs.

The upside is that because they don’t understand what I do, including my manager, at review time I always do well as long as the goals are being received. They don’t know how I meet them, just that I do. Or if I’m not meeting them, they want to know why. When I try to explain, I can actually see their eyes glaze over. Just last week I had my manager ask me to explain to her some of the stuff that I do. After 5 minutes of just doing the basics, I could tell she was lost. The other upside is that when I do make a mistake there is a 99.99% chance that I can correct it before anyone can detect it.

The downside is that since no one knows all that I do, they tend to think I don’t do anything. Thus, they think I have a lot of spare time. This is absolutely positively not the case. I can see where they get that idea. Between gathering data and assigning work it looks like I’m walking around just chatting a lot. If they actually ever paid attention to what I was doing/saying they would see that yes, sometimes I do just chit-chat (like everyone else) but usually I’m talking about work. I’m checking on what the person is doing, what they’ve done, or trying to correct problems. Sometimes they see me sitting at my desk just reading e-mail. What they don’t realize is that I’m waiting for a program to finish compiling data for a report I’m running. While they system is doing that, I really can’t do much else until it is finished, it takes up a lot of CPU power. Hell even checking my e-mail is really slow. How slow? Think of downloading a 100k file using a 14.4 dial-up. Yea, that slow.

What inevitably happens is that when some new task needs to be done, I get volunteered to do it. Usually when I’m volunteered it’s followed up with the phrase, “He’s got the time.” That brings me to the hellacious day I had today. First there is a guy that has a related job to what I do, but they are not the same. It would be like he’s motor oil and I’m gasoline. He keeps the parts moving, but I’m making the engine run. With out the both of us the office stops functioning properly. There is a reason why corporate have two separate people doing these jobs. IT IS WAY TOO MUCH FOR ONE PERSON TO DO. Except in my office, when the other guy is gone. I have to do his job AND mine and heaven forbid something goes wrong with either. Does he have to back me up when I’m gone? Nope… he has too much work to do.

This other guy is gone this week for the holiday. The last Friday of the month is when my goals are measured, since the last Friday of this month falls on a Holiday that means I get until Wednesday. That means I loose two days of production and have lower goals. (For examples sake if I had a full 20-day work month I could only have 500 items left at the end of the month, but since I only have 18 I can only have 470. It’s hard to explain other then that with out spending three days and 5 posts.) Plus his goals are due next Wednesday and I have to do my best to meet those as well. Needless to say my life is rather frantic right now. Throw in system problems, two added assignments because I don’t do anything, and covering for a supervisor, plus my regular mentoring and my week has been hell. I know I’m good, but I’m not that good. Something had to give today, and it did. All the sensitivity training they had sent me to went right out the window.

There was no time for me to caress, finesse, argue or even instruct people today. It was barking orders, telling people off and basically taking command of the situation. Something I do a little too well from what I’m told. When I left today some of my peers where a bit annoyed, well okay they where down rite pissed at me for undermining their authority. As I told one of them, “If you had an inkling of how to do this part of your job properly, I wouldn’t have to do it for you.” When my manager came to me to talk to me about the situation I responded with, “You have me doing my coworkers job, I have my job, I have to conduct training, make sure the employees are doing their jobs, deal with system problems, help this other department, on top of trying to meet my goals that are due by end of business tomorrow. You have effectively taken away all my resources, made it so that there is a better then likely chance I will fail and you decide NOW is a good time to chat with me about my attitude? Do me a favor, schedule a meeting about it for next Wednesday, that seems to be what this office likes to do best and that is my next free time.” Her response was, “I don’t think this is a good time.” After she walked away I mumbled, “No shit, what was you first clue? The blinking red alerts on my monitor telling me we are in trouble or the blinking red alerts in my eyes that say disgruntled?”

Luckily I had enough sense to wait until she was out of earshot to say that.

***Clapping, with a big grin on my face***

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!


Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at November 22, 2005 05:43 PM | TrackBack

I can't really identify... except for that "He's got time" crap. Some guy did that to me, just the other day...


Posted by: That 1 Guy at November 22, 2005 08:13 PM

Try carrying a screwdriver and a clipboard around a lot. Then everyone will think you're very busy. It works for me, and I'm pretty sure the reason people leave me alone is NOT because the end of the screwdriver has been filed down to a sharp point...

Posted by: Ogre at November 23, 2005 05:46 AM