And of course it’s nobody’s fault but my own! Because I have commitment issues, or fear of being judged, or whatever other excuse you’d prefer. Or maybe I’m just easily distractable! (This is definitely part of it.)
So what’s going on in my head right now? A few things, but in particular, I need to use this space to discuss something that happened at work yesterday.
I ended up taking Oct 27 (Friday) and Oct 30 (Monday) off of work. In the back of my head, I was regretting it a bit, because it’s a bad time of the month for me to take off, and I was worried about falling behind on work. Which, yeah, happened, but I think I’m mostly caught up now, at least.
Also, right before I left, things between my department and another department started to … uhh… become a bit tense, I guess? I’ll try to give the short version here… Someone in the other department (I will call this person FF for short, no, not initials, but every time I’ve mentioned this person to another coworker, he find a way to work in “Oh you mean that fat fuck, (insert name)?” So… FF.) (Yes, it’s means, no, I don’t care, this person is not nice.) So anyway, FF is in charge of doing task B. Task B is dependent on my department doing task A. Well, due to staffing issues, task A wasn’t getting done in a timely manner. So, understandably, when there was a sudden flurry of task A being done over the past couple of weeks, I understand not being able to keep up with task B. Fine. But when I reach out to FF and ask “Hey, our cutoff deadline for October task B was yesterday, you still have A LOT of task B to do, do you think you’ll be able to make a dent in this this morning? Please let me know.” and you know…. get NO RESPONSE …. I get a little frustrated.
We tried to take steps to prevent situations like this from occurring. We… No, strike that…. *I*. I made a calendar that listed cutoff dates and deadlines, and had my manager send it out to everybody (or almost everybody) involved so that nobody could be surprised by any expectations. This apparently failed…
So I have a bit of anxiety on Monday, wondering what the hell I’m going to come back to on Tuesday. Where I left things on Thursday, my manager was talking to FF’s manager, and that FF’s manager was apparently either playing CYA or was really ignorant about what was going on.
Also, wow, this is not the short version, I apologize.
So I come back on Tuesday. Find out shit hit the fan on Monday. (1) FF stated that it was completely unreasonable to do the amount of asked task B, because of whatever reasons, but also because FF needed to work on a certain project that was assigned A MONTH AGO. (2) My manager told FF’s manager that FF was lying about frequency of doing task B. That did not go over well. (3) FF and FF’s manager went downstairs to the basement conference room and there were loud discussions about something, according to my friend, coworker A, who works RIGHT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE THIN CONFERENCE ROOM WALL. (4) When FF said, “I don’t have enough time to do task B”, the relationship manager for this client said, “Ok, fine, I’ll do task B.” And relationship manager was NOT happy about having to do (relatively low-level) task B. I talked with him on the phone a couple times on Tuesday, and you could just hear it in his voice that he was pissed off.
SO! Because shit hit the fan on Friday/Monday, the things I was expecting my manager to do did not get done. And I do not believe these were unreasonable expectations. These were things we talked about, and when I left on Thursday, it was with the promise that these things would get done. And then they weren’t. So I started my week off mad at my manager… great.
Tuesday goes by… I’m stressed out, but I get a couple specific things done, that needed to be done by the 1st. Yay!
Wednesday comes. I do a series of steps that are necessary before anybody can do the following two things for this client: Monthly financial reporting, and invoicing. The reporting is more important, by far. So I go up to my manager and say, “Hey, so I’m done with [blah blah steps]. How do you want to do the reporting this month? Do you want me to start it and you review it, or do you want to do it?” I should mention here that the first two months of reporting, he completed. Last month, I ended up doing it … because … he was sick? I think? And it needed to be done, so I took some initiative and did it, but I left it for him to review. So I do know the basics, and it’s really not that hard, but because this is something that gets passed around at a higher level (after other internal review, of course) I would feel much more comfortable with another layer of review between me and the final product. Knowing all this, and also having whatever else on his plate that needed to be done yesterday, he said I should go ahead and start it. Ok, that’s fine. Not really, but it needs to be done, and I’d rather do it and push back some of the less important stuff than have it NOT BE DONE. Which was a genuine worry.
Thursday rolls around. I spend the morning catching up on other stuff, because I realize my desk is too chaotic and I need to *finish* some things before starting in on this reporting. Thursday afternoon I spend a few hours preparing for it. While I did have all the data together and in one file to use for the reporting, it did need to be sorted and segregated and double checked and… yeah, so there’s some additional prep-work that I had to get done. I started in on it, got the first page done, decided it was about an hour till it was time to go, and I was very tired and wasn’t sure working on this would be the best use of my time. (Tired = mistakes.) So I started working on this import that I was told needed to be done. Ran a report, exported to to Excel, started sorting things and rearranging… realized I couldn’t remember a certain entity number for one of the properties… Looked up a prior one in our accounting software… Discovered that, hey wait a minute, all this data that would need to be imported because it didn’t integrate correctly? Yeah, it integrated. Somebody (my manager) didn’t actually READ the error that was generated, and just assumed the entire thing failed. Thank god I discovered this so early, or I could’ve spent major time on it unnecessarily. Still… pretty annoying to discover that I was told I would need to spend 3 hours on doing this import, and that nobody double checked to make sure I ACTUALLY would have to do that.
Ok, so… now it’s Friday. Friday is when I do my check runs. You know, one of those things that was supposed to happen while I was gone? That didn’t? So I’m a little stressed about that, but I know that I cannot do anything until my manager does the cash sheet for this week. (Basically, another check of how much money we actually have available, and it’s got a forecast built in, so it gives us an idea of an acceptable range of how much we can spend this week.) I know I’m on hold, so I go do some little things, start in on the reporting … 9am rolls around and my manager isn’t around. Ok, sometimes he’s late, but usually if he’s going to be *this* late, he lets somebody know, and if that somebody isn’t me, the somebody does let me know. So I go over to one of the other managers and ask, “Hey, did you hear from my manager this morning?” “No, why? Isn’t he here?” “Uhhh… no.” Dunno what happened, but now:
(1) I am a bit frustrated that I have to do the financial reporting, something I was not planning on having to do, on top of being behind on various things because I was off for two days.
(2) I am pretty annoyed that I almost spent a ton of time doing an import that wouldn’t have been required, goddamnit why is it so hard to double check things. (And this is a conversation we’ve had before, and his justification? Depending on the specifics, either it would take him too long to do it when someone else could do it faster, or it’s not his job, both of which are really shitty and petty excuses in my mind.)
(3) I’m really frustrated that he decided that being responsible was optional today, and was late and also didn’t let anybody know. (I actually ranted about this to two coworker, C & M, Thursday afternoon. I don’t remember how it came up, but I basically said, “Look, dude, you’re over 40. I don’t really care if you stay up too late playing video games or eat junk food and then feel shitty the next day, but goddamnit be an adult and take some fucking responsibility for your actions!” So… this was fresh in my mind Friday morning…)
WOW this really is not the short version. Sorry again. We’re almost to the end though…
Finally, he shows up. I can tell he’s not in a great mood, probably because the manager I was talking with antagonized him a bit via text, but… well… he deserved it. I let him get settled… Then go over. “Hey manager, did you do the cash sheet yet?” No. “Do you have any kind of guess for what I can spend this week?” No. “O… ok… I’m gonna go back over here and work on the reporting…”
He comes over a bit later, and we’re talking about… something or other… his phone rings, he ignores it, we’re talking … He leaves …. Then my phone rings, because the relationship manager (see above) apparently knows that if he can’t get ahold of one of us, we’re somewhat interchangeable and if the other can’t help, will know where the first one is and will make sure whatever needs to get done will get done. (I find this both funny and depressing at the same time…) RM: “Hey btw that meeting I need the reporting for is actually 2 days earlier this month, so I definitely need that report today.” Me: “Uhh.. ok, so when were you going to tell us this?” RM: “I just did! Besides, according to your calendar, it was going to be done today anyway!” Me: “Yeah, but I thought I had some buffer time in case stuff came up!” So, yeah, now I’m stressed about having a hard deadline when I thought I had a soft one. Cue panic, headphones, and loud music.
Lunch time rolls around… I go downstairs with a yogurt and an energy bar, not really feeling like eating because of stress… A wanders in, then S wanders in, so they’re getting settled, when…. my manager walks in. The jist was…. Him: “So hey, do you want to go to lunch with me & P (other coworker)?” Me: “Eh, no not really.” Him: “You sure you don’t want to go to lunch?” Me: “Nah, I’m good.” There were other words, either A or S asked why they were going to lunch, and my manager replied because it had been a shitty week, and finally my manager left, after about my third time declining.
I go back downstairs later in the afternoon for supplemental coffee, end up talking with C & M. I tell them what happened, since they missed it, and add on… “The whole time, I’m biting my tongue trying not to say, ‘the reason I don’t want to go to lunch with you is because I’m mad at you for not doing your damn job!’ Jesus fuck, dude.” And then they start laughing and comment that spending time in the basement with them is apparently rubbing off on me.
I almost always feel better after talking to them, or one of them, either one, really. I know that their area acts as a sort of confessional space. What is said down there, especially if it involves how people feel about their coworkers or work in general, stays down there.
Anyway… The thing that is really frustrating about the whole situation is that my manager either seems to be completely clueless that I’m pissed off at him, or he knows and thinks that the appropriate way to deal with this is not to buckle down and get work done, but rather to engage me in small talk that distracts me from MY work, including asking me, “So how’s it going?” (One of these days, I’m going to answer that question honestly and possibly get in trouble.) Like, “Oh, Tamishu’s not in a good mood, let’s talk to her about things that will make her feel better!” No, let’s not talk about not work, because the thing that will make me feel better is GETTING THIS SHIT FUCKING DONE. If he wasn’t the reason I was behind on stuff, I might appreciate the gesture more. (I mean, going and killing half an hour talking with C & M about whatever the hell? That made me feel better, but they weren’t the source of my frustration.)
But it boggles my mind that I can ask the question, “Did you get [task] done?” repeatedly, get the answer of “no” every single time, and this person doesn’t make this connection.
And the problem I have is: How the HELL do I tell my manager that the problem is him, and not come across like a jerk? I know I can’t do it in the moment, that will only lead bad places. But… how do I say, “Jesus dude shut the fuck up and go do what I asked you to do days ago, and then I’ll be not mad at you, ok?” Cause, you know… he’s my manager, so I can’t exactly demand that he do anything. And while we do have a degree of casualness, and I do sometimes make “demands” like that, it’s always been in a joking manner and offense has never been taken. (Or if it has, it’s been forgotten shortly thereafter, and I’m assuming not a big deal.)
I really don’t mind working with the guy 95% of the time. It’s just been one of those weeks that was going to be high stress even if everything went smoothly, which of course it didn’t, and all the things that have individually been snowballing over the past couple of weeks have now reach critical snowball all at the same time.