via Daily Prompt: Sludge
I feel like I am constantly wading through sludge at work, and every time there is an end in sight, it starts raining again and there is even more sludge.
We hired a new guy ehh about a month ago, maybe 5 weeks. He’s supposed to be strictly data-entry. Processing invoices for our one (big) client, and that’s it. He’s only part time, so this should fill up his time, though the plan is / was to move him to full time and have him pick up some slack for one of our other processors. Last month, we had the panic of “ok there’s a lot of invoices that haven’t been processed for month end, Tamishu needs to help process them” because I’m the next in line for knowledge on how to do this. Ok, fine. Whatever. It sucked, but we got through it. I wasn’t happy with the end result, but I wasn’t about to pull a 60 hours week outta my ass for these guys.
Guess what’s happening again this month?
Because NG (New Guy) is not processing up to speed yet, or is having trouble asking questions, or… I don’t know. Some combination of the two? He’s very, very shy. Worse than me, which is saying something. I mean, sure, when I first started, there were things I was afraid to ask too because I thought they’d be silly questions. Especially when I first started in accounting, which is more where this guy is at. But dude, I really hope you realize sooner rather than later that NOT asking questions is GOING to come back and bite you in the ass. Hopefully soonish, since I’m finding these things that are 3 weeks old that should have had some progress made on them… And you can bet your sweet ass that I’m telling my boss these things, since he’s the one who asked me to step in and help.
And of course this comes not only when it’s a short week this week, because of Thanksgiving, but I also took the early part of next week off. So I have another 1.5 days to get… a TON of shit done. And this gets added on top of it.
I kind of hate that I’m getting used to having the conversation of, “Ok, I have A, B, and C to do, and in my mind, they’re all equally important. Boss, what should I prioritize?” On one hand, it’s good, because when I have to prioritize them, I try to do them all at the same time and get stressed out. Or get a little bit of each done, realize I can’t finish any of them, and then get stressed out. So being able to recognize that someone else needs to help me make this decision is important. But on the other hand… Look, these all have deadlines, and I’m going to miss 1 or 2 of them, and that bothers me. Because there are rules (the deadlines) and I can’t follow them. I know it’s not my fault! I get that, really. But it still feels like a bit of a failure on my part.
I feel like work has been this constant uphill battle since the spring, and I still haven’t reached the top.
Or that I’m Sisyphus.
Or whatever analogy floats your boat.
I had this talk with my boss today… or last week… or something… About how I have 6 vacation days left that I need to use. And I have no idea when to use them, because I feel like I can’t take time off. If I do, things aren’t going to be done, so I’ll just have that much more shit to do when I get back. It’s not just going to magically go away when I’m not there. And while I kind of like that I’m the only one that knows how to do some things, it’s kinda stressful in this situation! I like the job security. But even if I had 100% confidence that someone could step into my job and pick up where I left off, I wouldn’t be in danger of being let go. One, they like me. Two, I have enough knowledge that it would be hard to replace me. Not impossible, but you probably couldn’t pick just anybody off the street. Three, enough people know that I’m willing to learn that they know I can pick up new things and step into a new role if need be. (You know, as long as someone else picks up mine…) Four, enough people know that I’m a good problem solver, and THAT is apparently hard to find.
So, you know, I’ve got all this going for me. I don’t NEED to be the only one who can do certain tasks. I don’t really WANT to be the only person who can do certain tasks. But I still am.
I think, and I’m trying to work on accepting this, there are certain things that will never go away. Or at least they aren’t going to go away any time soon. Now that we’re fully staffed, I can work on transitioning some of my stuff away, and hopefully it’ll be pleasantly more than I’m expecting. There’s a couple semi-complicated things, and I say semi-complicated because there are multiple steps, and the steps are different across clients, that I know will be moving eventually. And hopefully they’ll move faster than I’m anticipating. I’d love to be able to, in December, just say “Here, New Chick, do task A from start to finish.” I know that won’t happen, because NC doesn’t know task A from start to finish. But even if I can say, “Here, NC, do task A from start to half way through,” that would be a huge help. And then maybe in January NC can take it from start to almost the end.
The scary part of this whole thing is still New Guy. I really, really want him to work out. Because we did the whole “fire the person currently in that position with no immediate replacement” and that was NOT FUN AT ALL. I have no desire to repeat that. I mean, I think he’s already doing better than the last person. He at least seems to have some kind of retention and ability to learn. The other person was just… You would say, “Do X because Y.” Ok, she would do X. Then, a month later, when X rolls around again, she would do something totally different. Or you would say, “Use method A with client M and method B with client N.” And then she’d just used method A for everything, until a week later, when someone finally realized it was wrong, correct her, then she would use method B for everything, and… yeah.
But New Guy is just… so AWKWARD. He’s starting to open up to his boss, but she’s out on disability for the next two or three weeks because of a surgery coming up, so I’m a bit nervous about what might happen. I’m supposed to be his point of contact in place of her. And… I just can’t shake the feeling that he doesn’t like me. Maybe he’s just not comfortable around me. [Sidenote… I was talking with coworker A about this, and he said, “maybe he just really likes kids” because NG’s boss has a 1 year old, but the WAY he said it… Oh man, I called him out on that! Man, don’t even joke about that shit! lol] Coworker M was also relating the story about how he recently went to the bathroom, and NG was in there, he said hi to NG, NG just kinda mumbled and turned around, but then proceeded to stand in the bathroom the entire time M was in there! Not washing his hands, not really doing anything, just kinda standing off to the side…
Don’t get me wrong, bathroom etiquette is something I struggle with as well. The whole talking while you’re peeing thing? Yeah, not a fan, but some people do it, so I try to push through it. But it’s a bit different with girls than with guys! I imagine, anyway. Not a guy, so I can’t say for sure. Girls, we’re sitting in our stalls, there’s a wall between us. We can’t see each other, even though we both know what we’re doing. Guys… I dunno, I just can’t imagine it would be comfortable to be holding your dick and talking to somebody at the same time. Especially if they are also holding their dick! I feel like that just crosses some kind of personal boundary! Heck, I dunno if I’d be comfortable talking to a guy through a wall knowing they’re peeing on the other side. I think it’s the touching that bothers me more than anything.
Ok, so now that my blog post has devolved into talking about dicks…
Now’s the perfect time to bring up the teabagging conversation???
Yes, this really happened. Oh, lunch crew…
Coworker A spray painted a bunch of coworker M’s stuff gold. Random shit, like his silverware. And it really annoyed him! So… he threatened that the next time coworker A was off, he was going to teabag his whole office… Me & the other girl, we were just like, this is completely unnecessary for lunchtime. BUT I think coworker A is off tomorrow, so I’m half-tempted to go see if I can buy a jumbo box of lipton teabags at the store on my way in tomorrow and present them to coworker M, and ask him if he wants to help me tape them all over A’s office. Cause that seems like it would be hilarious. I’m thinking monitor, keyboard, writing utensils, eating utensils, random papers, chair, desk, cables… yeah.
These are the things that help me push through the sludge. Getting people just a little bit annoyed, but also making them laugh about it.