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A case of the Mondays: vent your work spleen here

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I seem to be having one of those days in which I think I'm communicating in English, but it's arriving in other people's heads as Martian.  I emailed somebody and said I needed to know who to address a letter to, and instead of a name and address, I got a request for three more of the same letter to be sent to three "other programs".  So I still don't know where I'm sending Letter #1, but I know it's going to have siblings.  Not Helpful!

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The broker I work for came to me yesterday a bit before 5:00 and gigglingly (not a word, but it fits) says, "I forgot my pitch is tomorrow [at noon] and haven't reviewed the material you prepared [several days ago]. I'm going to lock myself in the conference room and review it and bring you back my changes! Hee hee hee!" Me: *DEATH STARE*

He gave me back the edited material (a 30-page booklet with photos and a few tables, created in InDesign) roughly an hour later and bounces off home because he "has some angry in-laws at home".

Generally, I leave at 6:30ish. (I get in at 9:00.) I might take an actual lunch break once a week. Anyway...

Because my anxiety level cannot deal with procrastination and unnecessary last-minute bullshit such as this, I decided to work on it last night. I ended up staying until 9:00, because of course he wanted to add text and change photos, which shifted everything, and I'm only competent, not great, in InDesign. I sent him the revision with the email that I would see him in the morning.

I saw this morning that he'd responded last night with a few more changes (which, fine) and a note for me to get in early. Well, fuck that noise. I didn't read email on my self- (not company-) paid phone after I got home at 20 past 9 because IT WAS 20 PAST 9.

I got in at 9 this morning and had the revisions to him by 9:30. He farted around on the phone and walked around the office shooting the shit for THE NEXT HOUR while I worked and waited for his approval on or more edits to the document. So I ask: Why would I have needed to get in early??

I finally asked him when he sat back down if he had more changes. There was one more, and I finalized the document, and made it to my 11:00 grunt-worker staff meeting.

He asked me late this afternoon if the document was too big to send via email [it was 8MB, so no], so I guess he didn't send it ahead of his pitch at noon, or forward it directly from the email I sent him. Unfuckingbelievable.

Edited by bilgistic
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We've been in the new office for a couple of weeks now, staggering in shifts.  Of course nothing that was promised for us was done.  No pc's set up, nothing set up, no help or experts to help.  Shit was turned off that should not have been turned off until a month or two from now.  It's a generic new building, but the yahoos I work with think it's the bomb.  It's new and shiny, so I guess that works for most.  We are crammed in like sardines, but oooh we have windows we can see out of - sort of.  Then I get to hear the Ditz having all sorts of issues.  I mean every damned thing is an issue.  We are working out of old network (O) and a new network (N).  New network has email and HR stuff.  That's it.  So all of our apps and files and shit we use every day is in O.  Ditz announces proudly to all, I am trying to do the majority of my work out of N.  Several voices pop up, how are you doing that, do you have more stuff on N than I do?  Uhh, well, really I'm just using the email, getting used to it on N.  Well genius, both networks have email, both use Outlook.  Then when they figure out something or are told how to do something (usually simple as hell), Ditz walks around like an expert.  Oh, they figured out how to get into email in N.  Yeah, you launch Outlook.  Ta-da.  

Several months ago, there was an issue about something that ran incorrectly, due to another group's error.  It made redoing almost a month's worth of activity to be redone.  Oh, didn't know how to do the ending balancing via an automated job.  So, the manager of another area, he calls directly to the tech help desk.  Not supposed to do that but to go through the group I'm in now.  This is not new, but he acts like he's a big wig and does it anyhow.  Then another vp and svp grab me at that time to ask me about it.  Well, your boy is going at it like he's owning it, so he can own his own shit.  Handle it then.  I was on the last call regarding if this would run ok.  Yeah it should run and not blow up.  They had extra people come in early the next day to do something - not sure what.  I assumed to check shit out and balance.  Well today, almost 3 months later, I get an IM - call me.  WTF.  Pick up the damned phone and you call me asshole.  It's the wannabe big shot manager.  Oh remember that issue for client x - yeah I remember.  Well I'm looking at abcd and it's not correct.  I asked, who reviewed the reports?  What reports?  Who would do that?  Uh, I don't know, elves that come out at night - you or someone else you ass (I said that in my head but LOUDLY in my head).  I had to review it now and sure enough, the rerun came out with the same totals as the earlier run.  The report had one page of all zeroes.  It took me 10 minutes to figure all this out.  Ten minutes.  So now it's urgent and oh can you get those idiots at company 123 (we're all in the same company now, assholes), to tell us why it did not work.  Sure, let's rush around because you have no sense at all.  I asked a vp why did no one review it on the day after the run?  Well, we balanced with the other group - oh you mean the group that jacked up stuff for an entire month?  Not one mention of oh yeah, we should have checked it out thoroughly.  Now they have a client pissed off, when it could have been avoided.  Assholes.  

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All this talk of bad managers, bad project planning, and impossible expectations has reminded me of the short video The Expert, which is simultaneously hysterically funny and terrifying as all too representative of real-world project meetings. I'd like to say that their parody is OTT, but it's not that far from reality.

This video is an excellent parody of these crazy meetings where the boss only wants to please the client and you know there's no way in hell you can fulfill all the requirements. Been there, done that. Thank you so much for this - validates my move from the corporate world to the more edgy freelance one :D

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This video is an excellent parody of these crazy meetings where the boss only wants to please the client and you know there's no way in hell you can fulfill all the requirements. Been there, done that. Thank you so much for this - validates my move from the corporate world to the more edgy freelance one :D

I've been fortunate in most of my years in the corporate world to have managers who knew better than to concentrate only on pleasing the client without making sure that the client's requests were both possible to fulfill and relatively sane. Several years ago, though, a client was trying to figure ways to cut costs on process A, and came up with a different method that was so stupid it raised stupidity to an art level. My manager figured the only way to shut this down was to agree to explore the proposed method. She got me to do the research and write a feasibility report, after which the client shut the hell up about his idea as it would have been more expensive than the original Process A and more prone to major errors.

 

That said, I will never forget an internal meeting at which we were going over the client's requirements along with their requested timeline. It wasn't so much the requirements being impossible as the crazy timeline, and this was our first time to see the proposed schedule. A colleague quickly reviewed the overall timeline, and said, "Whatever drugs these people are on, I want some."  We would have been able to pull off the schedule only by putting in a lot of overtime, which would have exceeded the project's budget. Although it's been a while since I worked for that organization, one wall poster there stuck with me:

 

  1. You can have it good.*
  2. You can have it fast.*
  3. You can have it cheap.*

      * Choose any two.

 

Clients unfortunately tend to want all three.

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I've been fortunate in most of my years in the corporate world to have managers who knew better than to concentrate only on pleasing the client without making sure that the client's requests were both possible to fulfill and relatively sane. Several years ago, though, a client was trying to figure ways to cut costs on process A, and came up with a different method that was so stupid it raised stupidity to an art level. My manager figured the only way to shut this down was to agree to explore the proposed method. She got me to do the research and write a feasibility report, after which the client shut the hell up about his idea as it would have been more expensive than the original Process A and more prone to major errors.

 

That said, I will never forget an internal meeting at which we were going over the client's requirements along with their requested timeline. It wasn't so much the requirements being impossible as the crazy timeline, and this was our first time to see the proposed schedule. A colleague quickly reviewed the overall timeline, and said, "Whatever drugs these people are on, I want some."  We would have been able to pull off the schedule only by putting in a lot of overtime, which would have exceeded the project's budget. Although it's been a while since I worked for that organization, one wall poster there stuck with me:

 

  1. You can have it good.*
  2. You can have it fast.*
  3. You can have it cheap.*

      * Choose any two.

 

Clients unfortunately tend to want all three.

Perfectly said! Thanks for that :)

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I heard that some years ago and think of it often.

Broker stupidness from Friday: I'm not really his "assistant" (I do the marketing and such for the properties he sells), but he gives me his expenses to get reimbursed. He spent $1300 on a client dinner last month. For six people. This isn't uncommon. I've gotten one bonus in my nearly two years at the job, and it was $5000, which was something like a $2800 check after taxes; I can't remember. (It was over a year ago.) So, it was two client dinners. Wow, thanks! ::thumbs up::

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We used to get bonuses.  The amounts were a pittance compared to the client team, which they'd get upwards of 5 figures.  We were lucky to crack 1k; I got the highest rating and got a mere $500 one year.  There were quite a few years under the old company that we got zero, zip, nada in raises or bonuses.  The benefit - well working from home basically as much as you wanted (manager didn't care as he was out as much as possible - he was a lazy ass most of the time).  The client team would promise the moon and sun, then our team would have to find a way to make it work.  Now we are all back to hourly, which is great if you work over (next couple of weekends I will be working, so it doesn't sting as much).  The switch back to hourly was done for the company benefit, not ours, as no bonuses to hourly associates.  Whatever.  We didn't get squat anyhow.  Then, from time to time, they'd realize morale was low and do shit like pizza parties.  Wow, I'm loving this job so much more now! Pizza!  It's like I always say, you can put lipstick on a pig, and try to tell me it's something else, but all I still see is a pig with red lips.  Oink, oink.

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Yeah, I'm hourly and not a broker (not a licensed real estate salesperson), so the party line (supposed law) is that I can't be given a portion of the sales commissions, which is fine, but if they wanted to give me money, they would, period. I'm pretty sure I won't get a raise this year, either, because I'm not a clone of the broker, unlike the analyst on our team. He's being groomed to be just like the broker, and is in lockstep. I'm nothing like either one of them, but still do a great job. That doesn't matter--the politics and ass-kissing does. I've never been one to blow smoke. I just can't do it. And this is why I'm not a millionaire.

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Right after I was hired, a former employer instituted a salary freeze. I'll grant that they were having financial problems. But I was stupid enough to stay for five freaking years without a single raise or bonus (I don't count the free turkeys on Thanksgiving). When I found out that some people actually had gotten raises during the "freeze," I finally quit. Duh.

 

In my defense, I liked the work, was close with my cube-mates, and my manager left me alone. Overall job satisfaction for me pretty much relies, not on the company itself, but on my immediate supervisor.

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I've never been one to blow smoke.

 

This makes me realize I use the phrase "blow sunshine up his ass" a lot.  Back in my first career, I ended a conversation with a Sr. VP - in which I'd spent a long time going over and over and over a situation that he'd screwed up but tried to blame on my assistant, and which we had already corrected, but he still wanted ... I don't even remember what - by telling him, "If you're looking for someone to blow sunshine up your ass, you've dialed the wrong extension."  He complained to the Vice Chairman, who said I was right (he was already aware of the situation that had precipitated this) and then called me, laughing, to say I should have that engraved on my office door.

 

Every once in a while, you do get upper management who value the people who get the job done over those who play the game, but it's rare. 

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bonuses -  I remember working in a hospital when I was in college.  I worked 2nd shift, sometimes 3rd shift if they needed someone.

November of my first year, they gave frozen turkeys as a "bonus".  You were supposed to go pick them up in a certain office.   I didn't.    I had no idea they kept track, so I was called in to ask why I hadn't picked up my turkey.  I explained -  I take the bus home from work at 11PM.  I've got my school books with me, I'm not carrying a frozen turkey too.  Besides that, I live in a studio apartment with a tiny fridge, I don't have room for a turkey.  The boss said I should take it to my mother's house on thanksgiving, when I go there for dinner.    I looked at her and said "you scheduled me to work that day.  I'm having thanksgiving dinner in the cafeteria."   I said they could donate MY turkey to anyone who wanted it.

 

the next year, the "bonus"  was in the form of a grocery store gift card.  I took partial credit for that.

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Well today, I had IT types fixing more shit on my pc.  Stuff that worked one day and next day just wouldn't work.  They asked if I had installed new programs.  Yeah, like I'm allowed to add programs - NOT.  So another two hours pissed away waiting on stuff to be fixed. The fixes lasted about an hour, so I get to look forward to more time watching the IT folks try to make updates, doing the same things over and over to no avail.

 

Then, Ditz took on one update, something I've shown them a few times.  It's really an easy update.  The kicker - the items to be updated are in alphabetical order (stored that way already in the system).  A, B, C........alphabetical order.  Ditz tries to find an item - like for example - exclusion.  Ditz looks under the A's.  I'm like no..try the E's.  Then, the next item was 'forecast'.  "So, I look under the F's?"  Yes, Sherlock, that is correct.  I knew this person wasn't a genius, but I was just floored.  

Edited by hoosier80

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I had I T issues today and I think because I use my printer and certain programs a lot sometimes it gets fussy.

I printed about 12 documents in a row all fine and then it started printing the font in wingdings and as 27pg of them (each document i was doing at that pt was single pages). I called IT and the woman was so RUDE ! She acted offended i was even bothering her. Then she said something about how everyone else she speaks at other branchs to is able to fix their computers and printers on thier own. I apologized and asking if she'd talk me through it. She sighed so loud. I also explained sometimes my computer goes into power save and won't "wake up". She also reacted in some offended way to that.

I don't get why she was so appalled and resistant to helping me. I thought that was IT and Help Desks role.

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I completely lost my shit on Thursday. Long story short, my "boss", the broker through whom "my work flows" (love that corporate structure), twice in one week waited until the last possible minute to do his part, so that EVERYONE else had to scramble and stay incredibly late to accommodate him. And it happened again Friday. I was physically nauseated Friday over it. I spoke with him briefly about it Thursday afternoon, and it was deflect, deflect, deflect: "bilgiltic, you aren't communicating with me in the way I need." Well, short of carrier pigeon, smoke signals and Pony Express, I'm not sure how else to do it. It is HIM. I tell him, IM him, e-mail him. Everyone who has ever worked for him has the same problem. Fuck him and his narcissism.

Edited by bilgistic

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I called IT and the woman was so RUDE ! She acted offended i was even bothering her. Then she said something about how everyone else she speaks at other branchs to is able to fix their computers and printers on thier own. I apologized and asking if she'd talk me through it. She sighed so loud. I also explained sometimes my computer goes into power save and won't "wake up". She also reacted in some offended way to that.

 

Don't take this lying down Petunia13!  I'd report that person immediately.  That attitude is unacceptable!  Maybe she needs a reminder of how people with better attitudes are more likely to keep their jobs.  If this is something she regularly does, there is probably a record of complaints.  If not - it could be a wakeup call for her.

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 I called IT and the woman was so RUDE ! She acted offended i was even bothering her. 

 

I work in IT and see this kind of stuff all the time. Don't feel like you're being singled out. I'm willing to bet she treats everyone that way. I really don't understand this arrogance of so many IT people but I think it was propagated by people like Steve Jobs, and now there is this rampant disgusting belief that if you are smart or know about computers it gives you freedom to be an asshole. Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now, but I'm sorry this happened to you, and I agree with magicdog that you should report this woman. 

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Yeah, I've had that problem with IT people at a job.   Like They're superior to me because they know something that I don't.   Yeah, I don't have the skills to do YOUR job.   But YOU don't have the skills to do MY job either, so why don't we work together and you can help me solve my problem?

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I really don't understand this arrogance of so many IT people but I think it was propagated by people like Steve Jobs, and now there is this rampant disgusting belief that if you are smart or know about computers it gives you freedom to be an asshole.

 

 

I've seen this sort of arrogance with various skilled types - for the longest time it was common in doctors and lawyers.  Some doctors feel superior because they studied medicine and supposedly have the power to cure or kill you (actually, so do pharmacists!).  Lawyers feel superior since they can get you in and out of trouble due to their knowledge of the law - If they're prosecutors, they are smug about how they'll indict the proverbial ham sandwich.  Defense attorneys brag how they can get you off - and you can't likely do it on your own.

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I've seen this sort of arrogance with various skilled types - for the longest time it was common in doctors and lawyers.  Some doctors feel superior because they studied medicine and supposedly have the power to cure or kill you (actually, so do pharmacists!).  Lawyers feel superior since they can get you in and out of trouble due to their knowledge of the law - If they're prosecutors, they are smug about how they'll indict the proverbial ham sandwich.  Defense attorneys brag how they can get you off - and you can't likely do it on your own.

I've seen the same arrogance in just about all fields, from auto mechanics who can't believe you don't know what auto part ABC does, to IT people, to doctors and lawyers. So I think it's less about which type of skill the person has and more about certain people just having a high asshat quotient. It may well be, though, that some professions attract more people who are arrogant jerks than others. I will admit it frustrates me at times when people I work with can't write a grammatically correct sentence for anything, and ask me for help because I'm a tech writer. That frustration, though, is because putting together a subject and a verb correctly should be, at least IMO, a fairly basic skill, and in addition, when I have to spend hours correcting grammar mistakes, it gives me less time to review and rewrite the content so it flows well and makes sense.  But I would never be rude to someone who asked me for help if he/she genuinely did not know how to write a sentence correctly. Bang my head against my desk at the confusion of there/their/they're, yes; be rude to the person, no. I figure if the person is asking for help, at least he/she is trying to learn how to do it correctly.

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Scene: A group call via GoToMeeting with about 15 attendees from various departments. People were taking turns doing presentations. When it's his turn, a new-ish hire shows his screen, which includes his IM window where he and another person had been making mocking comments about the presentations, including one by his boss. He left it visible on screen for a good 10 seconds before realizing his mistake, which gave us all plenty of time to soak it in. If not, the meeting was also being recorded.

 

Relevant cast of characters:

The guy who showed his screen, a QA tech

The women he was chatting with, a support supervisor

Me, the support supervisor's manager

 

Who do you think should have been written up/spoken to out of those three?

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Lordonia, I don't know that I would formally write up any of the group, but you might give them advice. I'm not familiar with the specific meeting software you mentioned, but the one we use at work has a feature where you can set it to do not disturb, preventing any email or IM pop-ups from appearing on your screen. I suspect that feature exists in large part to prevent the scenario you described. You might suggest to them that if they are doing a presentation, they need to make sure they have that kind of feature turned on, or else save their snark for after the presentation is over.

 

Fortunately, I've never had that specific issue, in large part because I move my email and IM to a secondary screen when sharing my screen for a presentation, and make sure I limit the screen sharing to only my primary screen. I have, though, made the mistake of having two different IM conversations going on at once, one with a colleague who knew what she was doing and one with a colleague who got hired because he knew the boss, and who was completely clueless about stuff. He messaged me that he was about to do ABC, which would have been a disaster. Thinking I was replying to the IM from the good colleague, I typed in "WTH does he think he's doing? ABC is a completely stupid idea." And then realized, a minute or two later, that I had in fact sent that message to the clueless colleague. I was mortified, but sucked it up and followed that IM with another one in which I apologized for the rant but explained to him the extent to which his proposed actions would screw up our project. Since that time, I have been very careful not to repeat that kind of mistake. However, the good colleague and I regularly snarked via IM on our manager, who was a sexist, racist idiot. I have since moved to a different position within the organization, so he is no longer my manager, but I feel certain if he had ever seen a fraction of the comments that we made about him, we would both have been shown the door. (The comments were all accurate, but unflattering and contained info that might have damaged him, such as noting that we had seen an email from him to another colleague, in which he made overtly racist comments.) Even though I routinely deleted all my IM history at the end of the day, in theory he could have requested that the IT security people restore that history if he had ever wanted to check it. I just made sure I never gave him a reason to think of doing so.

 

In the case of the people who were involved in the group call, I would coach them to use it as a learning experience: If you are going to talk trash about someone via IM or email, make sure only your intended audience sees the trash talk.

 

ETA: Thanks for the clarification. I think firing the support supervisor was overkill, if that was the only incident of that kind. But I have often found that some managers are much less concerned with who is productive and more concerned with what I would consider fairly trivial stuff. Your HR department making you take a course on managing difficult employees makes no damn sense whatsoever. The support supervisor wasn't difficult; she was just expressing her opinion, admittedly in a less than tactful way, of the presentation. I can see that the person doing the presentation might have been embarrassed by the snarky comments, but when you have people mocking your presentation, you might want to get a clue and make the presentation better. So, it sounds like the result of that incident was that your company slapped the wrist of one employee, fired a supervisor who was actually very productive, and retained someone with poor presentation skills. Another day in corporate America.

Edited by BookWoman56

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Thanks, BookWoman56! I phrased my question poorly -- was trying to ask who people thought did get in trouble afterwards.

 

The guy who showed his screen and who was participating in the mocking pretty much had no consequences. His boss spoke to him about expected work etiquette and he apologized to her and the other person he had made fun of.

 

The supervisor who was on the other end of the IM with him got fired, the thinking being that she was in a higher position and should be setting an example.

 

Since she reported to me, I also got a lot of blowback because her decisions and actions are apparently my doing. It got worse when I tried to defend her and prevent her from being fired (she was my most productive employee). I was made to take an online course on managing difficult people.

 

The most aggravating and hypocritical part is that our HR manager, who fully participated in this witch trial, herself has a history of IMing during meetings to remark how much she dislikes person X, how useless the meeting is, etc.

 

This was partly what made me decide to retire early, along with the new imbecilic Director of Support who has fostered such attitudes.

Edited by lordonia
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We have a long time part timer on our team.  Well, no one remembers this person really works on the team because they're remote 100% of the time.  They live within a 40 minute drive into the office, but got the cushy job based upon a friendship with an old boss or so ago.  The subsequent bosses have believed the BS about how much this person does, which is not much.  I doubt they work even 20 hours a week, the minimum for part time.  Well, they do updates on one system, while the rest of us support multiple systems.  Then, when they get an update, they do everything at once, at their convenience.  The problem is someone has to review the updates, so that means one of us is stuck working over.  I bitched (well phrased it diplomatically) about this and manager agreed it needs to change.  Had a call with them, and you could hear crickets chirping, as the pt person didn't like it one bit.  Tough shit.  Plus, they have to show us how they go about doing the updates, which was to have been done years ago.  Why wasn't it done?  To save their job as they're the only person who can do this shit?  Seriously?  I was shown one thing today and it was easy as hell compared to the shit I've had to do on other systems.  PT person also acts like they're God's gift to mankind, the smartest, the bestest evah.  Bite me.

 

And then one vp sends me an email, are you working tomorrow?  Yes, unless i  win the lottery, asswipe.  I also mentioned it's my work from home day.  UGH.  I need you to do this, my new procedure, so I can close out this project.  Say what?  You just assumed I'd do it.  Oh, I'm the only person with access?  Sounds like a bad project plan there.  So I read this shit and it's basically taking a report (that I only have access to pick up and save) and send to some yahoos.  He wanted me to read it so I was familiar.  Yeah I can send an email, assmunch.    I do have other things to do, we have a bunch of updates that have to be done at the beginning of the quarter (4/1), so it's not like I can devote all day to your massive project (what appears to be sending an email).  I think this clown thought I'd give up my remote day for his crap.  Dream on.

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Glad I gave you a laugh Bilgistic!

 

Well I was able to send out the email for that clown.  What a pompous jackwagon!  Then our fabulous person we forget about all the time (remote person) trains us on her crap.  This person thinks they are the smartest person in the world ever.  Uh, I was licensed, passed the series 6 and 63 exams, so I do know how this shit is supposed to work.  The cherry on my day, was them explaining that a redemption moves money out of an account/fund.  Really?  Wow, normally when I redeem anything it puts money or points back into my account \sarcasm.  I had to mute my phone.  The stuff we were shown was very easy, if you have even an ounce of common sense.  Of course, then I had to shown a co worker how to do the updates (we were in the same training session), even though I'd just learned it.  I think I'm lucky I didn't get whiplash from shaking my damned head so much.  

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I am taking two vacation days and the amount of effort I'm putting into getting everything done before I go is going to make me too stressed to enjoy it.

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I am taking two vacation days and the amount of effort I'm putting into getting everything done before I go is going to make me too stressed to enjoy it.

 

The other side of the coin is that you return to work and everything has piled up in your absence so that you now have your regular job plus two days' worth of backlog to plow through.

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It's a good thing I'm not in the office today.  Stupid co-worker picked up an item, asked how do I do this?  Ok, we have procedures, and I've gone thru this at least 3 or 4 times with you.  You said you 'got it'.  Obviously, no you did not.  I outline what needs to be done.  Oh what about this?  Ok, this says on the form - use for jklm, this is abcd, so no you do not use this!  Oh so we need to change this form?  Well, yes we do but it's not an urgent deal now.  Then I get, so I need to update abcd and I can do it at any time?  No, no do not update a damned thing.  I told you to put this in a pending file, it's part of another process that gets done by end of the period and there are other things that have to be checked out first.  This is shit this dingbat checks for me, too.  So what have they been checking?  I'm sure they'll want to revamp the process, even though we've been running error free for years!  They tried that with another process and really pissed off a long term team member.  The problem is that this dingbat knows nothing, then tries to strut around like they do.  Just maybe try to learn shit first before you try to reinvent the wheel.  I'm all about making it easier; someone took what we'd been doing and revamped into the current process, which works like a dream.  And this is the same person who had to leave at 3 pm for a personal appointment (hair cut), always chit chatting about time off or socializing rather than working.  The other long term team member just looked at me, as the dingbat left (with shit left uncompleted again) and said I'd like to know when I can just up and leave early.  And the dingbat is always trying to rat out other people they think aren't doing their job!  Pot meet kettle.  I really need to win the lottery or find an old rich man!

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I quit my job last December but have been working part time as an independent contractor for the same company. The accounts payable person has to cut and mail me a check. Which she takes her damned time to do -- as much as 4-5 weeks after my monthly invoice has been approved.

It's not that I need the money or am worried that I won't be paid, but her being a total lazy ass gripes the shit out of me. I'm also sure she doesn't make the other contractors wait so long because they're not former employees.

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Lordonia, a few years ago I was doing freelance work for a reasonably large national chain. I submitted my first invoice and was expecting to get a check a few weeks later. When that did not happen, I called the manager of the specific group who had hired me, because she was a former colleague and friend from another job, and was informed it was company policy not to pay invoices until 60 days after they had been received. She said it was standard practice among many medium to large corporations. A few months later another contract with a different company had the same stipulation: submit the invoice and expect payment 60 days later. I stopped doing freelance work not long after that, but I remember being very pissed off at the delay. I'm sure these companies pay other expenses within 30 days, so it seems unfair to make anyone who does contract work wait two months to get paid. Several years prior to that, I was managing a group of employees and also had a few contractors working for our group. I made damn sure to review, approve, and submit invoices for payment asap, because I knew these people weren't getting a paycheck automatically every two weeks like the rest of us. So that kind of delay annoys the hell out of me, because I know it is possible for companies to process payment faster than that. In your case, maybe the company itself isn't at fault, but the accounts payable person is just being either lazy or petty or both.

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Put on your invoice that payments not received after 30 days will be subject to a late fee of X%, then add that on the next month that you aren't paid within that timeframe. See if she pays faster after that.

I was fortunate that it seemed to work for my (small business) clients back when I freelanced--they paid me on time, but I always had that note on my invoices. Any other service would bill them a late fee. You should, too.

Edited by bilgistic

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9 hours ago, BookWoman56 said:

In your case, maybe the company itself isn't at fault, but the accounts payable person is just being either lazy or petty or both.

She's definitely lazy but it's possible she's doing it on purpose. She also takes a long time to process refund requests for customers and I would get on her case about that when I was full time. We starting telling (already unhappy) customers to allow 7 days for processing, then 14, then 30, just because she'd let them languish so long. And I'm not exaggerating, all it took was one click on the "refund" button on our credit card processing site.

I swear, everyone's job but mine is so easy. ;)

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6 hours ago, lordonia said:

She's definitely lazy but it's possible she's doing it on purpose. She also takes a long time to process refund requests for customers and I would get on her case about that when I was full time. We starting telling (already unhappy) customers to allow 7 days for processing, then 14, then 30, just because she'd let them languish so long. And I'm not exaggerating, all it took was one click on the "refund" button on our credit card processing site.

I swear, everyone's job but mine is so easy. ;)

In that case, I retract my comment that maybe your company isn't at fault. If she's that slow to process refund requests to the point that people are having to tell unhappy customers to allow 30 days for processing, either the company is deliberately stalling the refunds or they are tolerating her incompetence. From your description, it sounds like the latter, but that doesn't let the company off the hook. Someone higher up the corporate food chain should have made it clear to her that a customer who requests a refund is already not happy in some way with the product or service. Delaying their refund for 30 days will turn a mildly annoyed customer into a very disgruntled one who will not hesitate to bash the company in person, on social media, etc.

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16 minutes ago, BookWoman56 said:

Delaying their refund for 30 days will turn a mildly annoyed customer into a very disgruntled one who will not hesitate to bash the company in person, on social media, etc.

Pretty obvious, one would think. Management, gah.

Fortunately a friend of mine recently transferred to that department and took over the refund requests. She's normal so has been processing them within a couple of hours (again, it's one freaking click). She's also trying to get the lazy-ass supervisor to give her access to pay invoices, which I'm all for.

For whatever reason this happens in the workplace, the supervisor is beloved by the president of the company so she gets away with all kind of shit.

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I am going to explode.  Not literally, of course but oh my god, I can not stand my boss.

I am a high school teacher, and we're coming up on the end of the year.  So I had to get letters out to all the students taking my class for next year that we were having a meeting to give them their summer work, and so they could sign up for summer classes.  Said letter needed my supervisor's approval. Ok, fine.  I send it in last Tuesday, and she waited until Friday to tell  me to change some of the wording in some spots because reasons.  I thought it was fine, but whatever. I made the changes and assumed (I know, I know) that that meant all was now kosher and I could distribute the letters to the kids.  So I did that Monday morning.  Then she comes to me later that day asking me if I sent them out and if so, why because I didn't have approval yet.  Ummmm....I made the changes you requested, that's why.  Is that not approval?  Apparently, it also needed to go on school letterhead (for the first time in 10 years, mind).  So now, I have to let all the teachers know not to give out the letter because it's wrong. And I'm on a time crunch because the meeting was Wednesday (this was all Monday) and the kids need notice so they can arrange rides home etc. So I put it on letterhead, but I waited to resend out the letters, because I have a feeling.  Sure enough, now she wants me to change another thing - it has to be signed with her signature at the bottom. So I make that change and have to re-address all 80 of the letters, because of course I have copious amounts of free time to be doing this in, right?  

In what universe is it ok to give people changes to make in dribs and drabs like that?! Tell me all the changes at once, or screw off. She knew there was a time issue because she read the letter with the meeting dates!  And the first time I made the changes was not 5 minutes after she told me to make the changes. When I don't hear back by Monday morning, any normal person would make the assumption is that everything is good to go. Am I wrong?  Plus there's the fact that I've been doing it for ten years without an issue, and with no oversight, and it's always worked out.  I know what I'm doing, she's just being a right bitch because she got tenure and so she can be.  She was all sweetness and honey all year while she was trying to get tenure, even though we all knew it was bullshit.  I think she might actually be a sociopath.  She doesn't just throw people under the bus, she'll gladly drive it, and then go again in reverse.    

And I know she's going to take issue with the fact that i already gave one class their final exam as practice for an assessment they're taking for credit.next week because "she didn't know about it".  Finals are technically in a few weeks.Except she did know about it, because we did the same thing last year.    Another teacher who also teaches the course gave me a heads up about her flipping out and trying to say we broke some sort of rule. An imaginary rule, because I actually checked the handbook.  And while she did previously say that we would need to discuss that there would be changes next year, she said nothing about this year. I can't wait for her to throw us under the bus on that one.  Can. Not. Wait.  She wanted to grab me this afternoon after school, and I just told her I was in a hurry and had to leave. Fuck that, it's a  holiday weekend.  My contracted hours are over for the day.

If I wasn't invested in the district I'm in because I've been there 10 plus years, I would be looking for another job, just like all the non-tenured staff are.  And who knows, maybe I still will. 

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4 hours ago, janestclair said:

In what universe is it ok to give people changes to make in dribs and drabs like that?! Tell me all the changes at once, or screw off.

So you haven't heard of my boss, Mr. I Know You Asked Me 19 Times This Month to Approve This Booklet, But I'm SOOOOO Busy; I'll Give You the Changes One at a Time Three Days After the Deadline So You Go Through 40 Drafts and When the Client Gets Pissed at Me I'll Blame it on You?

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OMG I am going to lose my mind.  Dingbat co-worker wants to be the primary person for an app, except they don't know shit about it.  Every time there's an update, oh this isn't working, what do I do?  Today, dingbat is doing updates for the holiday.  I reviewed and was like I think we did something different last holiday.  Nope.  Ok fine.  Sure enough dingbat goes to check it, and 1.  uses old info, can't even get into system to test, 2. then tests the wrong client, 3. yes, they did set it up wrong.  I had to dig through emails and send to this idiot, here's the new info (I sent last time and they were copied on original), here's the email from last time where it was explained you have to do X,Y, and Z now, too.  Ohhh.  "We'll have to remember this next time".  I said no, you need to document it. You want to own it, then own it.  "Yeah, because we're not getting a manual."  No, because we need to have our own procedures you nitwit.  I'm just about done.  When I'm out even for a day, there's a pile of shit at my desk or in my work queue because dingbat doesn't know how to do it or where to look.  I must be gifted in that I can typically ask or figure shit out myself (NOT).  Then we're short staffed with people taking time off, making 4 and 5 day weekends.  Dingbat goes on personal appointment today, leaving me alone.  Good thing we're not in a physical office today or I'd be asking for donations or setting up a fund me for bail money.  

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I think our campus police have way too much time on their hands during our summer term (there are fewer faculty and students on campus, so it's much quieter).  I was leaving campus this afternoon, driving reasonably slow from what I could tell (the same as always), but I didn't look at the speedometer.  As I exit campus, I see blue lights behind me and a patrol car (which had been parked under an oak tree as I passed by), pulls up behind me.  The officer was nice enough but informed me that I had been driving 25 miles per hour and the entire campus has a 15 MPH speed limit.  Okay, I was speeding, but you can't tell me that everyone else on campus is driving 15 MPH or slower through campus at all times.  It ticked me off because when the blue lights went on, I thought that there was something drastically wrong with my car (something that they had noticed as I passed by).  I had better see everyone else that is driving near a patrol car get pulled over if they aren't creeping along.  It's made me paranoid now, as well.  I drive through a neighborhood to enter campus and exit the same way because there's less traffic than taking the main roads.  But entering that way means that I have to drive basically through the entire campus (it's small) to get to my parking lot on the other side.  However, I plan to now take the main road and enter campus on the side where my parking spot is located, so that I only have to travel a few yards through campus before I park.  I also just checked the rules/regulations on the campus police website and it states that the speed limit through all or our campuses is 20 MPH.  So, jerks!  (Not really--we have some good campus officers, but although these guys need to keep reckless speeders off the road, I think they just were bored and wanted something to do).  

ETA:  Also, I'm on the far end of 50 in age and have never gotten a speeding ticket in my life.  I might go a few miles over now and then but I'm not a 'speed demon'.

Edited by BooksRule

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My mother boasted forever that she had never gotten a speeding ticket...until she did, in a school zone! This was just a few years ago. She just turned 67.

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Oops!  I'd better not mention it again, I might jinx it!  Hee!  (I have gotten a couple of parking 'tickets' on our parent campus over the 30-plus years I've worked there, but they were always 'this is a warning--don't do it again'-type of thing.)

Edited by BooksRule

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The last ticket I got was for going 29 in a 30mph zone.

Okay yes, it was one of those blocks that turned into a school zone during certain hours (and which did not contain the school itself), and I hadn't noticed. It also did not have flashing yellow lights or anything.

Automated camera, so I only learned about it once I got a letter in the mail containing the embarrassing evidence of what my face looks like while I'm driving.

My campus parking annoyance is that I was on the waiting list to get a garage permit for the entire 3 years I worked at a university. I usually took the campus shuttle or city bus but when I drove I had to get there early before all the spaces were gone and pay the regular daily rate. The parking space lottery was weighted and since I was staff and not faculty or administration, I'm not sure I ever would have gotten a permit. They were pretty expensive, anyway.

Edited by lordonia

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The only good thing about having to work all summer on campus is that I can park near my building and if I go home for lunch I'll find a space when I get back. 

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Back a bagrillion years ago (a.k.a. 1997–1999) when I worked for the state university from which I graduated, we had to pay to park on campus, which struck me as completely ludicrous. A) I'm working for you, state U; you are already getting my indentured servitude for $10/hour(!!) and B) why not just pay me (even) less and eliminate the middle woman rather than take money back from me to charge me to park?

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Most of the faculty/staff here on campus pay around $55 per year for their parking tags.  That's actually a little over 1/3 the cost for faculty/staff at the 'main' campus.  I forget what students pay, but they do pay so much per semester for parking.  I pay $175 per year, but that entitles me to a reserved parking spot next to the building where I work.   I don't think I would pay too much more than that, but I've found it to be worth every penny so far.  Except for the occasional yahoo that doesn't read (or reads and ignores) the sign that says that they will be towed and parks there, I know that my spot will be there for me at all times.  I do get a little bit a perverse pleasure now and then when I see a car coming around the corner and then the driver speeds up a little when they see that I'm backing out.  I always look back to see if the occupant either drives on or gets into the space, pauses and then backs out again.   (Any faculty/staff member can get one, but since only about 12 of us have ever signed up for one, I think they've limited the reserved spaces to those dozen.  Someone else can only get one if one of us drops out.  In return we all promise not to park anywhere else on campus except in our spot, since no one else is allowed to park there.)  If I see someone in my spot, I call campus police and they write a ticket for person if they're still there when they make their next campus round.

Edited by BooksRule

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