Month: October 2007

under pressure

Helpful Hint of the Day: when you casually ask your boss, “Hey, is the trip to Houston still on?” do *not* expect him to understand that you sincerely and frantically want to know, “Is the trip to Houston still on, and if so, could I PLEASE get some travel arrangements, since the trip is next week?!”

In the boss’s defense, he does have bigger concerns, not the least of which is the constant stream of turmoil that is our place of employment. At the risk of revealing too much – :polite wave to the company’s lawyers: – I work for a small-ish company owned by a larger company. Yet, what we lack in size, we make up for in drama(!). To start with, just about everyone in our department of fifteen or so people is dissatisfied with their jobs, be it from unsteady work levels or from the air of instability, wondering if the owner company will sell and/or shut us down. In the last few weeks four people have resigned, looking for greener pastures elsewhere.

Now that my OfficeMate has turned in his notice, that leaves just me and the guy that trains OM and me to do what we do. I’m told it took two years to find someone (i.e. OM and me) who would accept the job. One logical solution to this problem is to rehire the Former Employee that I’ve mentioned before. He knows the job and would definitely be an asset.

Ah, but then drama and high school antics come into play. FE is not liked by everyone there, least of all by the boss, as FE was, in the past, very outspoken in his criticism of the boss. I seriously think that the boss would let me and Trainer Guy drown in all this work rather than hire FE back. The good thing is that I’m not sure it’s entirely the boss’s decision, and the people at the owner company are impressed with FE’s skills.

Also, Trainer Guy also doesn’t like FE, and FE doesn’t like Trainer Guy because he’s selfish. I’m trying to remain somewhat neutral here – hello, public forum – but TG does exhibit some selfish tendencies. Just this morning he declares that since our overtime hasn’t been approved, let’s him and me only work 40 hours, okay? Forget that we are expected to work 45 hours (above 45 is OT), and beyond that, forget that the people in drafting and the people in the factory need us to do our part or they have no work and they get sent home. TG says that he’s trying to make a point. Are you really, TG? Or is it that you want to work only 40 hours and yet justify it as some Norma Rae, power-to-the-people thing?

Plus, this morning as TG is rambling about not letting the company run over him, I’m sitting there trying in vain to accomplish something on my late project while simultaneously falling behind on other projects. TG doesn’t notice, or at least he doesn’t offer to help. Maybe he can’t see me from way up there on his soapbox.

And on top of all this, the people at the owner company truly have no idea what our problem is. My guess is that someone – the boss, perhaps? – gives only glowing, positive reports about the state of our business. Yet morale is low, people keep quitting, and we still can’t turn a profit.

I may be new to this industry, but I know that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Oh, and my sinuses flared up over the weekend. Thank goodness they seem to be getting better. Or maybe that’s just the Sudafed talking.

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going and gone

And now for some News That Will Surprise No One: last week my officemate turned in his two-week notice. (Okay, if you haven’t read my blog before you’re probably surprised by that. Or maybe you’re not. Maybe you saw it coming. Maybe you just know these things.)

I heard about this last week while I was on my third trip to Nebraska, spending time at my company’s parent company. I was passing by the Big Cahuna’s office, and I was just going to wave and walk on, but he called me in. He was talking to Big Cahuna #2, and they asked if I’d heard what was going on back home. I answered honestly that I hadn’t, and they said I might want to sit down. Of course at this, inside I’m about to freak out wondering if they were all fired, or blown away by a tornado or something.

As I said, the news that OfficeMate was leaving didn’t really surprise me, to the point where Big Cahuna #1 actually said, “You don’t seem too surprised by this.” I simply said that I knew OM has been frustrated for a while now. They were going to try to talk him into staying. I wished them luck with that.

Although the Cahunas weren’t upset, they probably thought that I knew. But if I had known, what was I supposed to say? “OM is mad”? That sounds childish, and besides that, they’d be thinking (logically) that if the guy was that angry, he should probably speak up and try to work it out himself.

Anyway, that same day I actually got an email from OM. That in itself surprised me since we’ve not spoken much since the big blowup. But then, in the email, he said he was sorry I had to hear the news through the grapevine – he must’ve heard this from a co-worker that we both talk to. He also said that so-and-so and so-and-so can help me at work after he leaves, “and I will too.” o.0 I guess since he’s leaving, he’s feeling gracious enough to put our squabble behind him. Taking his lead, I wrote back, warning him that they’ll probably try to talk him into staying.

Beyond that, the week passed largely without incident. My biggest complaint is that they flew me up there “to train” and yet they mostly gave me two large, tough projects to work on and left me to it. Then, when I tried to seek help, I received short, non-helpful answers. So, yeah, it was kinda like I never left my own company. :rollseyes:

Now that OM is leaving at least four different people have asked me if I’m doing okay, like they think I’m about to quit, too. I don’t think they believe me when I say that I’m fine and not looking for a job. So I try to convince them with logic: “I just now feel that I’m starting to learn some things, so why would I throw all that away and start completely over new somewhere else?” If they still don’t believe that … well, maybe they’ll start being *very* nice to me. 😀

Pictures from the trip are posted.
 

the dead package office

Remember yesterday, and the post with the bashing of Amazon dot com? Well, today, I have my package, and I must say that Amazon did their part, right on time.

I had noticed when tracking the package at the USPS site, the last recorded entry was on September 22, saying the package left Atlanta. This is why I started to think that surely the package had been delivered and subsequently stolen out of the mailbox.

But! As it turns out it was at the Post Office, and no doubt has been since it left Atlanta, and no doubt would still be had someone not gone to mail something and decided to ask about the package, just in case. And why was it still at the Post Office? “Because the regular mail carrier had been out and the temp doesn’t yet know the route too well.” Wha…? “Didn’t know the route”? The package has my name and address on it, just like the other mail that I *have* been getting!

In any event, my package is home. As you may have gleaned from yesterday’s post, I had truly given up on it, thinking it had been stolen. I was positive that Amazon would be all, “We gave it to USPS. Our job is done. We’ve washed our hands of your whole DVDs.” I even grr-ed at them. :hangs head in shame:

Now that Amazon and I are on good terms again, I had been planning to preorder the re-release of My So-Called Life, but I’m scared of another ordeal with the PO. I think I’ll preorder it from Wal-Mart instead – if they’ll match Amazon’s price – and just go pick it up myself. :sigh: 

stop the madness

Earlier, my officemate and another co-worker ticked me off by poking fun (!) at the way I was doing a project(!!). I was going to rant and rage about it … but that was all about eight hours ago, and now, happily, I’m just not feelin’ it. So, I’ll take the subject line’s advice and just stop the madness.

Or perhaps I’ll just focus it in a different direction. Three words: Amazon. Dot. Com. On September 16th, I ordered three DVD sets – nothing fancy, no new releases – and I have yet to receive them. And Amazon’s info page is so much less than helpful, with their estimated ship date of “between now and 2012” or whatever lame thing it says.

If I don’t receive it soon, I’m going to call Amazon (rather, email them and have them call me, like their site requires) and ask them about it. However, if they say it’s shipped and the Post Office has it, I can just picture them being all, “We can’t help you.” Grr.

I’m starting to fear that my package was stolen out of the mailbox. Some dirty so-and-so could be watching my A-Team, my Dukes of Hazzard and my 3rd Rock From the Sun right now. If that’s true, I hope they find the action boring, the car jumps lame, and the jokes unfunny.

think outside the number

My birthday was Monday. I took the day off of work and went shopping with my sister but didn’t find anything. On a related note, I plan to email most of the clothing stores I frequent and ask them why they don’t stock clothes that real-sized, quasi-professional women can wear, opting instead to focus on choices more suitable for size-zero twelve-year-olds.

On Tuesday, I returned to work to discover that someone I’d confided my age to last week announced it in Monday’s meeting. It seriously bummed me out that suddenly everyone knew, and like that. Sure, I knew when I confessed it that everyone would probably know before too long, and I thought I was ready for it, but when people are saying, “Wow, you look good for your age!” … ouch.

Even more than that pseudo-compliment (“Wow, you don’t look old, even though you really, really are!!”), I hate for people to try to put me in some box based on who they think I should be at this age. “She’s blah-di-blah years old, and she’s not married yet? What’s wrong with her?” or “Whoa, at her age, she’s just starting a career? What’s she been doing all this time?”

I especially did not need salt on that particular wound after yet another bad haircut on Monday. I really thought I had a safe plan to ensure success with my hair trim, too: I was going to ask for a trim of one-half inch, and then casually pick the stylist’s brain for new ‘do ideas “for next time.” I kept my resolution of trying a new salon, but the stylist was so busy training someone on the cash register that she didn’t have much time for me at all, nor did she seem to care. She did trim the back like I asked, but then she butchered my bangs, cutting them too short and straight across which looks TERRIBLE with my face shape.

I’ve *really* got to find a picture to show what I want. The thing about that is, the person in the picture probably has gorgeous thick hair to begin with, so their current style probably wouldn’t work with my hair on its best day. I’m hoping that at some point, I’ll get a decent cut, so I can take pictures, and then I’ll know it can work for me. Maybe at the very least I should take pictures of my hair with what I *don’t* want it to look like.

In any event, it didn’t take long until I reverted back to my normal “loving that I’m not ‘normal'” self. As far as age is concerned, I don’t think I could be any age or have done any thing that some small-minded person couldn’t find a criticism for. As for my hair, I figure that I won’t like it in any ‘do  until it grows a bit, so I’m embracing the change by trying a new hairstyle or two. I don’t think the one today was too well-received by my co-workers, but whatever. Maybe they’ll appreciate my old style more, when it returns. I know I will.