work wah wahs

After last week ended on such a high note at work – namely getting a compliment from one of the bosses on my performance in a meeting – this week started out in a deep pit, as an error that our team collectively overlooked came to light.

They told me clearly at the start of these projects, “XYZ is your part of the effort.” So I’ve been diligently working on the so-called My Part. Last week’s mistake was in the part of the project that was supposed to come to me already done. I’m not trying to make excuses… or maybe I am, a little bit. I feel so defensive about this because, somehow, it seems like everything that goes wrong is made to be my fault.

For example, when I asked a question earlier this week about some work that was passed on to me, the first thing the boss says is, “Well, so-and-so isn’t an expert in this.” Okay, A) neither am I (even close to being) an expert, and they’ve been doing it longer than I, and B) My question wasn’t intended to point out anyone’s “lack of expertise.” I was simply trying to learn what I’m supposed to do. See point A.

And on a teleconference yesterday, the boss said to me specifically, “Is there anything else we can do to help you… understand?” I felt like replying, “Am I somehow conveying that I DON’T understand?” Apparently the boss mistook my listening politely to the others rambling on as a sign that I was not following the conversation. (Note to self, next meeting say “AMEN!” whenever anyone else makes a point.) It seems like, while everyone else is supposed to be so much more experienced – just ask them! – when they make a mistake it gets excused. It also seems as if the advances I make, such as last week’s good meeting, are not as important as my general (and rampant, in their eyes) lack of knowledge.

Compounding my frustration on this is that, except for last week’s compliment and the occasional “good catch” after I bring up a point, I have no idea how my bosses think I’m doing. Despite my griping above, I really do like the work, at least most of the time. I’d like to ask for some feedback, but I’m afraid that if I try to bring up the points I just listed, it’ll sound like whining… which it pretty much is. Sigh.

Or should I say, “Wah”?

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