January 20, 2006

When the wrong button is pushed.

It happened finally. After weeks of crap being dumped upon me, I snapped. Don’t worry my fine contaminants; I still have a job. I said I snapped, not I went postal. I can’t go into too much detail on here for numerous reasons. It all started off with upper management questioning a decision I made. Fine, I don’t have a problem with that. They just wanted to know why I did what I did. I explained it’s because I didn’t have the resources/tools to do the job. They didn’t understand what I meant, so I gave this example: Sliding a piece of paper across the desk. “Your goal is to sign this piece of paper in under 30 seconds. It’s an easy enough goal. However, you can not use a pen or pencil, the signature has to be clear and legible.”

When I was told that isn’t possible. I explained yes it is, Just very difficulty with a bit of sacrifice and a lot of pain. They asked me then if I didn’t have the resources/tools to get do the job, then how did I meet the goal last year. I responded with, “I made them. Take a hammer away from a blacksmith and he can’t do his job. Now he may be able find a makeshift hammer that just barely works. Yet this hammer may be just good enough to make a better hammer. Then he may use that better hammer to make an even better hammer. Now he can do his job properly again. That is what I did, I found makeshift resources, used them to create better resources, and then even better resources. Finally I was able to do my job properly.” Fortunately they actually understood that analogy.

So the decision they where questioning is why I used resources outside the norm instead of the ones I was given this year. When I explained that instead of spending months starting over, I went to the reliable resources and tapped them. While they are getting the job done, I’m making new resources to take over. They understood that, and wanted me to send an e-mail going into detail the whole process. Which I sent out, to all management in my office, VP’s and Executive Directors explaining my actions, including hard data to support my decisions.

Then I was asked a question about our inventory. I told them that I didn’t know and I’ll have an answer for them as soon as possible. In the past when they asked I had always had the information for them with in minutes. When they asked me why it would take so long, it was then that my gasket blew.

Contagion: “Why? You want to know why? Do you really want to know why? Because you have me using the other offices reports and flows to do my job. It takes them two weeks to get this information; I can get it in a matter of minutes. But my way sucks, so I had to use their glorious system that was so much better. You want your data, I’ll start running it now and you can have it as soon as I get it, probably about a week.”

Upper Manager: “Why would you switch flows to something slower? If your system works better, why not use that?”

Contagion: “I’m not going to point fingers to the person sitting to my right or her counterpart, but they said how great this other system was and wanted me to use that. Since I report to those people, that is what I had to do.”

Now my Asst Manager is glaring at me. If looks could kill my head would have exploded like a watermelon being hit with a .50 cal rifle.

Asst. Manager: “When did I say that, and why didn’t you say your system was better.”

Contagion: “Last week, and I did. I said that I can get the same data faster, but everyone was all enthralled with my counterparts `success’ that they ignored me. I’m used to that. I could tell you that your chair is on fire and everyone would ignore me. When someone else points out the chair is on fire, then I get yelled at for not pointing out the fire.”

Asst Manager: “I don’t think we understood…”

Contagion: “Maybe if you guys weren’t busy telling me how everyone else is better at my job then I and listen to me, then you might have.”

Now both my Manager and Asst. Manager is looking at me as if I just physically assaulted my Asst. Manager. My Asst. Managers eyes where filled with the flames of anger. The conversation went on, but you get the idea. It was not pleasant for anyone else but me. Hell, I even made the comment in the middle of it, “Well there goes my raise for the year.”

The funny thing is that I had to do a self-evaluation today. I hate these things. If the person I report to/who supervises me, actually did their job, they would know how I’m doing. I’m not expecting a raise this year, not that I didn’t meet my goals or that I don’t think I deserve one. It’s because the person giving me the review thinks I suck. Then again I don’t think the above conversation helped any.

She also wasn’t amused when I turned in my self-evaluation. The last question on the form was, “What could I (Your supervisor) do to become a stronger leader for you?”

I answered with: “Nothing, you are practically perfect in every way.”

She sent it back with a note to change that. I don’t know why.

Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at January 20, 2006 05:46 PM | TrackBack

Aaaaah how I dream of being in a position of being able to make an outburst like that and not get fired for it.
For example, in cases like during a meeting we had this week where we were all informed of a new process that was to be enforced, a process that made absolutely no logical sense whatsoever to anybody in the meeting, including the people saying it's being enforced - and when I asked why on earth we were enforcing an illogical and confusing procedure, the answer I got, and I kid you not, was "Because we say so."
I deleted before sending off a very long-winded email I was about to send to the supervisors asking them to make sense to me how we test new systems after they go live instead of before, and then wonder why things don't work right once they get going.

Posted by: Shadoglare at January 20, 2006 06:25 PM

I applaud you my friend! Nice job.

Posted by: caltechgirl at January 20, 2006 07:22 PM

Heheh... well done.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at January 20, 2006 07:47 PM

I needed a smile and that was perfect. Great job. Nice to know you have the facts Sir.

Posted by: vw bug at January 20, 2006 08:06 PM

Ahhhh. Very satisfying... :) If I were there I would buy you a shot and toast you. :)

Posted by: Richmond at January 20, 2006 08:07 PM

I don't know how you stay sane. My blood pressure rises just reading it.

As for the eveluation of your supervisor: Awesome. Just awesome.

Posted by: Sarah at January 20, 2006 08:16 PM

We are much alike, you and I. EXCELLENT way to handle the situation. Perfect in every way.

And I LOVED your review of your boss.

I may be a soft touch in real life - but at work? Yeah, I'm a bitch on wheels - plain and simple!

Well done Sir.

Posted by: Tammi at January 21, 2006 09:22 AM

So... she was pissed that she was only "practically" perfect? :-)

Posted by: Harvey at January 23, 2006 07:02 AM

Damn, where's my hidden camera video when I need it?

Posted by: Ogre at January 23, 2006 02:31 PM