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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