30 September 2007

Friday I was in a mandatory corporate class. After sign-in we were free to choose our seats and I naturally chose to sit next to people in my comfort zone. Late comers (and man, did that chuff the instructors-who BTW called themselves facilitators) were of course stuck taking the only chairs they could find.

My organization is a bit troubled as of course are most organizations today-mine is not unique in it's problems. So I believe it fair to say no-one sitting in my little corner of the kingdom were pleased to see one of the HR guys slide into the spare chair and try to look as though he'd been there all along.

I am a certified member of the Nerd Herd. Need a red, blue, and/or black pen, or fluorescent highlighter-while standing on the smoking area? So not a problem if Fox's Mom is near by as Fox's Mom ALWAYS has one hanging from the badge chain.

That said, my Nerd Herd quietly-very quietly, keeps the company running and we have moles in every work area so as to facilitate the flow of intel that permits us to end-run our 'co-workers' and 'bosses' idiot/willfully ignorant/'not my table mentality'/"I'm just here for the paycheque" efforts to close down our campus. Most of the time we are frankly supremely successful although lately our patience and willingness have been sorely tried!

The HR guy we got stuck with is more of an idiot than we'd realized, and I think we were finally broken by his arrogant display of impunity.

Nerd Herders are by nature actually quite tolerant, patient, caring, and of course, the team player extra-mile types, but sitting through the morning with this pin-head may have spelled the end for most of us.

I think the final straw broke when he called me a know-it-all. Three of the four team members (we'd been assigned as teams based on seating clumps) visibly shut down at that point, and the flow never resumed.

The HR guy called me a know-it-all. I spent the rest of that day, and most of yesterday thinking about that.

In the process, I came to several valid insights, perhaps I owe the jerk a thank-you note.

The first insight is that I can still take 'developmental feedback' as an opportunity to examine my behaviour and motives-I pondered, "Am I a know-it-all"?

Ah, no.

Do I know a few things, having been around for at least the 51 years in this lifetime? Well, YEAH! Duh.

Does my behaviour indicate that I believe myself to know everything?

Only to someone with an extremely challenged sense of self-worth.

Insight #2: I work with one hell of a lot of people carrying around the terrible burden of low self-esteem who are incapable of working past that to learn from the people around them thus becoming contributive assets instead of obstructive asses.

Insight #3: I am still possessed of a high self-esteem AND the interest of meeting/exceeding team goals demonstrated by my willingness to share my knowledge and avail myself of the gift of others similar willingness to share.

Insight #4: I may be wasting my time in this organization.

16 September 2007

Just when one thinks one knows everything...

Friday afternoon I had need to put in an hour or three of overtime-something Blondie waves like a cudgel whenever she is chuffed with me, as in: "You've been working too many extra hours (usually on the stuff she didn't know how to do and quietly has shoved over to me) and I may not be able to approve the hours this pay period..." and Blondie had already decamped at the end of her eight hours, so I approached our mutual boss to ensure I knew what he wanted-the work done or me out of his sight.

In the process, he realised he'd not 'read from the bottom' and ended up profusely apologizing to me and dressing down (gently, the young man really is quite a good leader) the vault manager (and I suspect our little Blondie is in for more of the same on the morrow), which of course reduced me to tears.

How awful for him and me, that I was so overcome with several emotions that I was unable to control the breaking voice, threatening-to-overflow-tear-filled eyes; I begged to leave the room and it took me nearly a full half hour to control myself.

All weekend I've been trying not to be cynical, and think more positively-perhaps finally I'll be able to be about doing my job instead of watching my back.

I love my job. I'd like to work with people I don't have to be 24/7 wary of-bad for production, that lack of trustability:) I believe in what I do, actually.

And I've been looking for a new job that I can love, while able to trust my co-workers, too. It's been rather rough at my office for all of the days I've been there, and the past few months I've been questioning my sanity or least mental stability and self-esteem. Driving to work wondering what the hell is wrong with me that I keep going there is no way to begin a productive work day, now is it?

I'm no different from anyone else on the planet.

But it took real integrity for Young Mr. Boss to apologize, and it took more of the same for the vault manager to send an immediate email apology to me and those others who'd been on the receiving end of his somewhat blistering Thursday email outlining how we'd erred in exchanging information. Friday he made it clear that he felt quite badly about it all, and that he knew he'd been wrong both in the original email and his understanding of who I was and was not permitted to speak to.

But I reserve my deepest respect for my former supervisor, and one of my co-workers. The former supervisor came to my desk with raised voice to ask me to please run an important report for him hours before the truth had come out; he made sure Blondie and Young Mr. Boss knew he was counting on me and trusted me. My co-worker went quietly around the building investigating to discover the truth, and while she was doing so she made it clear she was reserving judgement. Before the truth came out.

Still, the problem of Blondie and her comrade in co-worker crime have yet to be addressed.

Now, Young Mr. Boss is not at all stupid. He has not missed the problems nor the source of said problems. My worry is how he is going to address the problem.

Blondie is 63+ years old, she's is trouble, she's desperate, and she is going to have a very hard time finding a job if she loses this one. I've already had to plead her case to two people in a position to send her packing by insisting she has a lot to offer-which she does, actually.

Too bad the last thing she did Friday before sliding out the back door when no-one was looking was to delete my portion of a 'request for direction' email (although not my name or the fact that it was a forward from me that caused her to contact the vendor) contact a vendor who'd overcharged us, making herself an obvious credit grabber when she forwarded the entire mess back to those I'd copied in the original email requesting direction. The deletion of my request for direction after I'd noticed an excess charge was so very clumsy! Even if she had no intention, the way she deleted made her look as though she was trying to appear in-charge and on top while cutting out an underling-bad form that.

So now our boss and our Accounting demon know that she got a good portion of the money back-and deleted my part of the chain in the process. What a 'hero' she is.

My conscience forces me to confess that I sincerely hope the back draft she started to make herself appear the hero does what most intentionally lit back drafts do-roar back in her face and scorch her beyond recognition.

However,she has just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and is utterly unable to control it-she's not at all bright (being feral is not the same as being bright) so she is incapable of learning and implementing said learning in order to save her life. She is mentally vague-disturbingly so; she gives into the cravings for all the wrong foods that typify the uncontrolled diabetic and the resulting mood swings and poor decision making are destroying her while simultaneously exposing her past mistakes as her increasingly desperate and clumsy attempts to cover fail, badly.

Before the diabetes took control of her entire self, she was a basically sweet little airhead whose pretensions to the 'elite' circle of as she would crudely phrase it-the big dogs-were controlled by her basic sweetness.

Now she is an out-of-control monster-airhead in an even greater position to tear rather huge chunks out of this company.

Being completely Celt and therefore one hell of a business-person, this outrages me.

Being completely Celt and therefore nearly completely sentimental, I am hoping a place can be found for her wherein she is incapable of inflicting any more damage without losing her much needed salary. Peter Principled, if you will-promoted at the limit of her incompetence to a position wherein she is rendered harmless...

Being completely Celt and therefore capable of utter ruthlessness when the Law of Hospitality has been so thoroughly violated by someone I come perilously close to considering little better than a mangy cur or ally cat, I hope she is rooted out Monday morning so that we can get some damn work done.

Back, forth, I feel sorry for her in the same moment I am trying to figure out her next sinister move...

14 September 2007

I work for an idiot who works for more idiots-the entire plan of the day at my office is "be a bigger ass than the next/last" and I am beyond tired of it. They are of course destroying the business-the mess reminds me in a small way of the brain drain going on globally. The incompetents drive out the competent until there is no-one left with the brains God gave a grapefruit, and then they all go on the dole. My office is a microcosm of the world and why it is currently a miserable place to live.

The little airhead who thinks she is my manager is so bloody stupid she cannot even manipulate the software required to approve a day off for any of her "employees" as she calls us. She managed to make it to 63 years of age by lying, cheating, and tossing her bouffant dyed blond hair; giggling breathlessly in that ridiculous and embarrassing manner of all social climbing trailer trash who miss the point of " A Streetcar Named Desire" and truly believe they are the quintessential Southern Belle-Miss Scarlett reborn.

Meanwhile she and her equally pretentious (but at least slightly better bred) 'friend' are putting the finishing touches on a department that had the potential to keep all of us solvent. They spend so much time covering up their mistakes that I am ceaselessly amazed when they simultaneously find the time to eliminate anyone they perceive as a threat.

The threat being of course anyone who actually does their job, can string together a coherent and comprehensible sentence, and know how to find 'spell-chek' consistently while still getting work done successfully enough to receive thanks and compliments from other team mates.

I've come to believe they lie awake nights figuring out the latest way to make life miserable for other people in an effort to reassure themselves they have worth.

I've watched them destroy four vault managers and our reputation within and without the company in the past year and a half in their drive to garner acknowledgement of their status as powerful insiders; they waste a gob-smacking amount of our employers money as they expose themselves repeatedly as petty idiots far more interested in exercizing their 'power' while they clearly demonstrate a disregard for the bottom line-the production that ultimately pays our salaries.

Ah, such is business life-EMAIL IS FOREVER, kids, never ever forget that when you are making that awful decision to either do your job and cooperate with the rest of your fellow employees OR show that you don't read to the bottom.

Too bad I got both my 'managers' in not one but several emails to clearly expose their adversarial attitude toward our fellow 'team mates' who are in other but interrelated departments of our 'one big happy team'.

Not to mention making it clear that they have created and are actively fostering a hostile workplace by failing to communicate policy to immediate 'team mates' while harshly penalizing them for failing to be a mind-reader when lack of said communication results in what to a reasonable person in a reasonable workplace would be considered team work turns out to be contrary to their latest definition of one's area of responsibility.

I wish I knew what my job is. My managers keep changing the definition.

If I ask what my job is I suffer the silent treatment that is encouraged to spread through the team, accompanied and embellished by sideways scornful looks; if I again request clarification I am subjected to Blondie calling a meeting with the 'bigger boss' (not to be confused with the Big Boss, the one I was for the longest time apparently the only person on the team who knew she was our Big Boss-ya really gotta read to the bottom, kids) to say that I am causing trouble by suggesting one of the team is pocketing the merchandise.

The first time she pulled this will hopefully be the last-I immediately requested the presence of HR in an emailed reply to 'bigger boss's emailed summons to a meeting to discuss comments I'd made to Blondie-and then proceeding to laugh when she stumblingly and in her usual poor grammar tried to make me look like a gossiping troublemaker. She tried to claim she thought it a good idea to get the team together while I pointed out the team was still downstairs and she and I were the only members of the so-called team in the bigger boss' office that morning.

Day before yesterday everyone on the team was called to a meeting to discuss how to deal with customer service requests from the CS team. Except me. Not only was I not invited, although a precedent has been clearly established (oh those pesky emails with my name in the 'to' line) with the clear approval of management that I am to be a part of CS requests, but the new policies were not communicated to me in any way.

So when CS reps contacted me requesting information for the second time because our little Blondie had ignored them all day, I replied, answering their question directed to me (again) because it was their understanding (mine too) that I was one of the people they were to direct requests for information to. After all, for years I have been answering their questions-and my managers have not once clearly stated this was not to happen but instead have relied on me to answer; they have therefore established a precedent when they made it clear they had no objection to my inclusion in the requests for information.

But Blondie really hates it when I do anything that she feels is her purvey as 'Manager' and too, she is lately becoming ridiculously ruthless in her efforts to cover her rather huge mistakes.

Including trying to enlist our mutual manager in confusing the hell out of me and everyone else in the building as to what I am or am not permitted to do or say on a particular day.

Ah, email. Email is forever. In one fell swoop I (inadvertently, I assure, I am simply not clever enough to have planned it out) exposed every damned one of them as hostile and un-cooperative towards our fellows, getting it in print and on the server that:

CS is not to know anything beyond what the rest of my immediate co-workers choose to tell them;(in response to the angry email that I was not to ever tell CS anything ever again-too bad they 'replied to all' and CS was able to read all about the utter contempt in which they are held, which generated a response from them defending their right to know, which led to...)

it is not my job to know what the policy is in regards to communications with CS although I will be subjected to public humiliation for not knowing whatever policy they've decided is in force that day; (in response to my response to CS that they should not include me anymore as the inclusion that day had resulted in an yet another angry outburst from the part-timer and Blondie. I replied to one CS team mate, and copied the vault so they too would cut me from their list of who to ask, unfortunately the vault then 'replied to all')

if I need to know something about my job all I need to do is communicate that need, and they will let me know if it is something that applies to my job;

only one of them can spell or find 'spell-chek', and even he leaves quite a lot to be desired in the grammar department-if you think my sentences are run-on you should see his:)

and finally, that none of them 'read to the bottom'. CS was trying to clear an issue that has been on the table for over a month. They were told that something is on backorder. It isn't, but it a took over a damn month for that to emerge and then only as a footnote to these idiots so intent of making sure everyone in the building knows they are the boss of me.

Blondie thinks she won a victory, as our mutual boss in his idiocy made it clear he backs Blondie-right or wrong.

She is not at all uncomfortable about bringing him down with her, and after yesterday, I think she's gonna get her way.

Email. It's forever.

10 September 2007


Happy Birthday, Pop. My dad would have been 86 cantankerous years old today if COPD hadn't claimed him at 2121 on 21st Dec 1985.

I miss him.

Happy 8th Aniversary of the Divorce, Me.

Too way cool, on 9.9.99 at 0909 hours, my divorce was final (oh yeah, well, we did have 'till November 16th to patch things up and thus render the divorce null-obviously I passed on that).

Thank-you Blake Green, and thank-you Pop.

Blake was a lawyer. Blake was a dad. Blake was something of a lush until his lung cancer metastisized to his brain and he decided to see a doctor about what was wrong. How nice, to go in to the doctor and find out:

"Hey, you've got lung cancer!" But wait, there's more-

"It's metastisized to your brain and you've a whopping big tumour going on up there...we'll do all we can to keep you comfortable."

But he passed on that so his kids would remember him drug and drink free.

And then he passed on, 4th July 1999.

I like to think that between the two of them, Pop and Blake shuffled the papers on Judge Little's desk until just the right moment.

Again, thank-you guys.

Right before I left Dothan I read in the Eagle that one of Blake's sons was in a softball championship; both on honour roll.