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A case of the Mondays: vent your work spleen here

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Update, now I'm working at a different department same company though, this is more of an office job. Anyhow I have a slightly awkward situation. Thought maybe I'll post on here and see what people think I should do.

So like I said, it's an office job, which means a desk. Anyhow my desk (and office which I'm still not used to having) shares a wall with supervisor whose not in my department how I sometimes do work with them. Anyhow, I hear every time she has a zoom meeting, like every word. I am trying to tune her out, but it's hard as it is honestly interesting info which I may need to know at some point. However, it was especially hard today, when she mentioned me. Thankfully not any bad 😉 but still got my attention right away. I tried to find things to do that would get me away from my desk while doing productive things however her meeting could be heard from everywhere. I figured I shouldn't say anything, as she is way higher up the chain and I don't want her to know that I listened. Do you have an advice on how to block her out? I'm thinking about getting a radio or something...

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44 minutes ago, blueray said:

Update, now I'm working at a different department same company though, this is more of an office job. Anyhow I have a slightly awkward situation. Thought maybe I'll post on here and see what people think I should do.

So like I said, it's an office job, which means a desk. Anyhow my desk (and office which I'm still not used to having) shares a wall with supervisor whose not in my department how I sometimes do work with them. Anyhow, I hear every time she has a zoom meeting, like every word. I am trying to tune her out, but it's hard as it is honestly interesting info which I may need to know at some point. However, it was especially hard today, when she mentioned me. Thankfully not any bad 😉 but still got my attention right away. I tried to find things to do that would get me away from my desk while doing productive things however her meeting could be heard from everywhere. I figured I shouldn't say anything, as she is way higher up the chain and I don't want her to know that I listened. Do you have an advice on how to block her out? I'm thinking about getting a radio or something...

Can you use headphones at your job? Pre-pandemic I worked in an open office space and used noise cancelling headphones a lot. One of the people who sat next to me was very loud and it was the only way I could drown her out. I got a good pair of wireless headphones from Amazon for about $50. But, since she’s in physically separated from you, maybe you could get by with just music/radio and a pair of regular headphones.

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1 hour ago, blueray said:

Update, now I'm working at a different department same company though, this is more of an office job. Anyhow I have a slightly awkward situation. Thought maybe I'll post on here and see what people think I should do.

So like I said, it's an office job, which means a desk. Anyhow my desk (and office which I'm still not used to having) shares a wall with supervisor whose not in my department how I sometimes do work with them. Anyhow, I hear every time she has a zoom meeting, like every word. I am trying to tune her out, but it's hard as it is honestly interesting info which I may need to know at some point. However, it was especially hard today, when she mentioned me. Thankfully not any bad 😉 but still got my attention right away. I tried to find things to do that would get me away from my desk while doing productive things however her meeting could be heard from everywhere. I figured I shouldn't say anything, as she is way higher up the chain and I don't want her to know that I listened. Do you have an advice on how to block her out? I'm thinking about getting a radio or something...

Since it doesn't feel right to bring it up to her directly, maybe say something to your supervisor?  "Hey, I thought I should mention. You know how my office and Madge's share a wall?  Well, when she's having a Zoom meeting, every word come through in my office loud and clear.  I try my best to tune it out, and obviously I would never act on or pass on anything I heard, but maybe someone should give her a heads up, so if she's meeting on any sensitive topics, maybe she could get a conference room?"  And, depending on the office layout, you might not be the only one who's listening.

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1 hour ago, MargeGunderson said:

Can you use headphones at your job? Pre-pandemic I worked in an open office space and used noise cancelling headphones a lot. One of the people who sat next to me was very loud and it was the only way I could drown her out. I got a good pair of wireless headphones from Amazon for about $50. But, since she’s in physically separated from you, maybe you could get by with just music/radio and a pair of regular headphones.

Yeah, that could work too. I'll just play some music. As long as I can hear my phone, which I should as it is next to me and lights up. 

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5 hours ago, blueray said:

Update, now I'm working at a different department same company though, this is more of an office job. Anyhow I have a slightly awkward situation. Thought maybe I'll post on here and see what people think I should do.

So like I said, it's an office job, which means a desk. Anyhow my desk (and office which I'm still not used to having) shares a wall with supervisor whose not in my department how I sometimes do work with them. Anyhow, I hear every time she has a zoom meeting, like every word. I am trying to tune her out, but it's hard as it is honestly interesting info which I may need to know at some point. However, it was especially hard today, when she mentioned me. Thankfully not any bad 😉 but still got my attention right away. I tried to find things to do that would get me away from my desk while doing productive things however her meeting could be heard from everywhere. I figured I shouldn't say anything, as she is way higher up the chain and I don't want her to know that I listened. Do you have an advice on how to block her out? I'm thinking about getting a radio or something...

I had to use noise canceling headphones before because of two loud coworkers.

One time I did go to HR, because a peer, another supervisor was having a really loud, personal conversation and 8 of us left because it was so uncomfortable. Since 6 of them worked for him, I did need to go to HR (this man also happened to be in incompetent idiot).

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17 hours ago, SoMuchTV said:

Since it doesn't feel right to bring it up to her directly, maybe say something to your supervisor?  "Hey, I thought I should mention. You know how my office and Madge's share a wall?  Well, when she's having a Zoom meeting, every word come through in my office loud and clear.  I try my best to tune it out, and obviously I would never act on or pass on anything I heard, but maybe someone should give her a heads up, so if she's meeting on any sensitive topics, maybe she could get a conference room?"  And, depending on the office layout, you might not be the only one who's listening.

I second this suggestion. The supervisor may not be aware that you and possibly others can hear her zoom calls word for word. She needs to know this, so she can book a conference room for sensitive discussions, whether work-related or personal. You shouldn’t have to listen to music or buy noise-canceling headphones to avoid hearing her meetings. She shouldn’t be risking having possibly sensitive information shared with employees who have no business need to know it. 

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This is a long one.

My work partner/coworker/work wife and I have been remote the entire time we have worked for the investment firm (of sorts--it deals in land investment) for which we work. They have an office in south Charlotte, but they effectively closed the second week in March 2020. The entire staff went remote, but a few people (like four or fewer) go into the office weekly of their own accord; they do rotate a bit.

We had to go in a few weeks ago to pick up company laptops and monitors when they transitioned us from temps to contractors. The anxiety I had over that! Nothing essentially changed for us. We got company email addresses and access to the shared drive. Except for management/directors, their entire staff are contractors/paid via employment agencies, which feels...not great (and our agency keeps calling it the company's "business model", which, no), but I'm happy to have a job and trying not to feel like I could lose it at any moment even though that can happen at any job anyway because North Carolina.

We were recently christened Accounts Payable despite not having any AP experience nor interest in doing such work. They engage an entire separate AP firm to do the actual check paying, and I really don't understand that part of it because...I'm an editing/research/document specialist with an English degree and not an AP specialist. My partner was a performing artist and has a political science degree. She's half my age, but we have become the best of friends. The person they had doing this work was apparently "let go" sometime in January. There's another woman still at the company who was also doing it, but she wants to do other stuff or was promoted or something...we're not quite sure. She's a little younger than I am and has an MBA in accounting.

They tend to give us whatever they can't dump on anyone else, which kind of feels like shit, frankly. We were hired to work on quarterly reports, which fit into my wheelhouse and experience realm, and we were quickly given other things to do. I was open to that and eagerly learned because I like learning new processes, but this new AP stuff is pretty insane. It boils down to answering and sending emails all day, coding invoices (for 98 properties) that we send in those emails for payment approval from the higher-ups. We have to decide if something is coded correctly in a niche industry that I had zero knowledge of before this job. Which is fine; I can and have learned, but the folks we work with (read: our new "boss") have, like, negative patience when we have questions because we don't have a Ph.D. in this nor have done this specific job for more than four weeks.

So...our new boss, who has not bothered to so much as thank us for taking this job that no one wanted and learning it at the speed of light (she did not train us; our coworker did) but greets us every morning on MS Teams with whatever we've done wrong that day, has asked us if we were "interested in coming into the office on Tuesday and Friday afternoons and taking over her mail and bank run duties." We told her that we were uncomfortable with her request because we are not vaccinated, and we limit our excursions because of the FUCKING GLOBAL PANDEMIC and didn't feel safe running errands. We also have enough on our plates with the ENTIRE EXTRA JOB we've been given, but thanks for understanding. She didn't respond. ALSO, she was in the office the day we picked up our computers and could barely be bothered to say hello to us.

She asked again on Friday about the mail/bank run. We told her no again and  quickly set up a call with our recruiter/the account manager at our employment agency. After two conversations with the rep, during which we felt unsupported and gaslit for wanting to be safe, she said she'd talk to the boss/our boss's boss.

So, in summary, there's so much wrong with this whole thing.

1) The liability alone in a non-employee running errands for a company is a huge red flag and the fact that a SUPERVISOR doesn't acknowledge/recognize it is a big problem. It's in the agency handbook that we are supposed to call them if an employer asks a contractor to use their personal vehicle. I pointed this out to the rep. She acknowledged that it's an issue.

2) WE'RE IN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC.

3) Our jobs have always been remote and that's how they were presented going in. If that needs to change at some point, we need to talk about a different payment structure, among other things (and to reflect the fact that I/we do a whole extra job now). I live about 40 minutes from the office. I will seriously be considering moving if we are required to work in the office daily. (I have driving anxiety since my wreck last year, and my dire financial situation last year meant I moved in with my boyfriend in North Bumfuck instead of us finding a place in town.) Also, I literally send emails and work on documents all day. I don't need to be in an office for that. We were also told by our coworker that they don't have enough seats for the people they have hired since last year.

4) There's an office manager that's already going to the office several days a week. Why can't she do the mail/bank runs?

5) There are bonded/insured couriers than can take anything you need them to take anywhere. This company has no problem spending money; I know now that I've seen the invoices.

6) Why can't she ask our coworker? I suspect it's because she has children and we don't, which is bullshit.

It was a rough week. I'm really, really thankful for my job, but some of these people are serious assholes and I can't imagine having to work with them in person. Their communication skills are shit.

Edited by bilgistic
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@bilgistic, I’m a little surprised that your agency hasn’t been more concerned about the changes in the scope of your job. When I was doing contract work, the agency would pounce on this sort of thing as an opportunity to bill the client at a higher hourly rate. That said, your agency may be turning a blind eye for fear of losing the client, especially if they are supplying the client with a lot of contractors. 

Obviously you’re not thrilled with the accounts payable work; maybe just try to think of it as resume fodder that might increase your employment value in the future? However, your boss asking you to take over her bank runs is a big red flag. That’s typically something done by a regular FTE, not a contractor. It also makes me wonder if your boss is regarding you as someone she can just dump tasks onto, regardless if those tasks fall into your defined role. But there’s always the risk that your boss might end your contract if you don’t take on the additional tasks. One reason some companies rely on contractors to the extent they do is that the company can fire a contractor on the spot, without a formal warning, performance improvement plan, etc., which take more time. There are also some  accounting differences, which I no longer remember, but essentially regular salaries come out of one bucket and contractor expenses come out of a different bucket, and this somehow affects how the company reports its operating expenses and profit. 
 

My advice would be to raise your concerns with your agency, and if your boss asks you directly, calmly express that you have some concerns and are consulting your agency for clarification on which tasks align with your current job description and pay rate. Your agency should be the ones having the difficult conversations with the client if they are expecting your role to change significantly. 

Edited by BookWoman56
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The rep isn't dialed in at all to what's happening at our (virtual) workplace, and the problem seems to be twofold: the company is full of non-communicators, and the rep doesn't ask any questions of them. She has said to me of the company, "They're a great client," which translates to, "I make money off of them." (One of the accountants has been a contractor for five years!) I have figured out what the company is billed for my partner and me...because I see the invoices from our employment agency. It's exactly 25% more than our hourly wage. There are maybe a dozen people employed by my partner's and my agency and another agency supplies another group of people.

I do feel OK about doing the AP work now that I have my arms around it. It's pretty tedious and there are much better/more efficient ways things could be done, but these folks don't want to hear that. They say, "We're open to suggestions!" but when I make a suggestion, they're like, "No, that's not how we do things." OK, then. My partner and I really help each other out and we figure stuff out together, especially since no one can give us a straight answer about anything. She is planning to go to law school in the fall, though. I will be lost without her.

I'm sure it will be a while before we hear back from the rep because she'll call our boss's boss and he'll take several days to call her back.

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Not really a vent but this was pretty funny.  I just got off a Teams meeting with my staff.  There are 12 of us in our office and we work at a university in an office that does data analytics and enrollment modelling, college policy, regulatory compliance, state and federal reporting, internal academic auditing -- stuff like that.  It sounds boring but we are a super fun bunch and we are one of the rare offices that actually interacts every area of the Univ.  we have to work with staff, faculty, students, new admits, parents, auditors, athletics, our accrediting body and state and federal agencies. I am the assistant director of our division.

At the start of the meeting as we were waiting for people to settle in and get their mics and cameras on, one of the youngest guys started talking about marijuana finally being legalized in New York.  And no lie we spent the first 10 or so minutes swapping info.  Rick*, the young guy was all 'Well, now that it is legal I can let you know that I ... uh... maybe grow a few plants so if anybody wants to  some."  And then another colleague said "well now that it is legal I can let you that I... uh... have some great recipes for canna butter and might, maybe, have some edibles in my freezer."  and yet another coworker was like "Well, now that it is legal I don't think.. uh.. he'll mind but Joe* in IT has some wicked strains."  One of the older ladies (no lie she is like 65) was like "Oh, I always wanted to try to make some brownies, where can I get some to cook with" and people started sending links.

My boss was cracking up.  She's like "ok guys, I feel like I know way more about you today than I did yesterday and I am not sure how I feel about that. But I think I'll probably not record this meeting."

 

*Not their real names, obvs.

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4 hours ago, DearEvette said:

One of the older ladies (no lie she is like 65) was like "Oh, I always wanted to try to make some brownies, where can I get some to cook with" and people started sending links.

This makes me laugh.  I'm 61.. never used an illegal drug in my life until last year when my (adult) kids brought me some edibles to try (to see if it helped with my pain levels.  It is legal in their state. 

My state now allows up to 2 plants per property and small amounts for personal use legally.   So, I'm now looking for someone to sell/give me two plants to grow in my basement.  Husband (71) has the grow lights all ready set up.  But we know nothing of how this is done (the procurement)  lol. 

My son said the easiest way to make the brownies is to make canna-butter first and use that to make the brownies. 

 

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Since everyone's been waiting with baited breath for the next episode in the saga of my work life, here's an update.

I work with and for a bunch of toxic assholes. Quelle surprise. It's almost like the U.S. economy is built for companies full of people like that to thrive. It's become very obvious now why the company uses employment agencies instead of hiring people permanently—it's so we can be easily fired, as @BookWoman56 surmised.

Recap: Our "boss", S (boss over the AP work only)—the woman who couldn't be arsed to meet us the day we went in to pick up our equipment—asked us via Teams chat if we were "interested in taking over" her twice-weekly mail/bank runs. My partner and I spent an hour (we both deal with anxiety) on the phone coming up with a kind and thoughtful response to S. I replied to S by saying we are "uncomfortable" and why—pandemic, obviously.  (I am scheduled for the Covid vaccine on 4/15 and 5/5.) When she asked my coworker again directly four days later, she said she felt the same way as I did...but I had replied for us both initially.

We figured out that S lied to the bosses and said we "refused" to come in. We gleaned that from the employment agency rep (K) after we talked to her because S pushed the issue and we felt unsafe/uncomfortable with the ask and driving a personal vehicle is an issue that is supposed to be raised with the agency—per their handbook!!! The message is in Teams and I read it directly to K. We didn't "refuse" anything. S didn't respond or engage us in further discussion or negotiation (because she has no communication skills).

K said the company was "taken aback" by our "refusal" to do the tasks because they had "tried so hard to 'find us work' to keep us on." And she told them we wanted to remain remote, a separate issue we discussed with her and that she specifically said that she wouldn't address at that time; she would only address the current request. She said she was "safe to talk to" and "nothing [we] tell her will go back to them unless [we] authorize it." She's the branch manager, so we don't have anyone to go to about her for betraying our trust/verbal contract of sorts. She says the company hasn't established when they are going back into the office full-time, but basically, if we don't get on board, we are out of a job. She says all this, by the way, as she works from home while being fully vaccinated. Imagine the cognitive dissonance.

The "found us work" thing is ludicrous. They shitcanned one of the employees doing the job we're now doing and the other one has been promoted. We've done absolutely everything they've asked and more and excelled at it all. I have been conscientious, hard-working, resourceful and efficient. I care about my work. My partner is the same way. The one time we raise a concern, they threaten our jobs.

Our boss is a complete horror show. She sends hostile emails when she thinks we've done something wrong, and I've twice now kindly proven I did the correct thing, asked for her confirmation, and she didn't bother to respond, and forget about apologizing. She sends hostile messages on Teams and calls them "learning experiences." She sent two messages today, on Saturday. (We are all having to resync files to our OneDrive from the shared drive over the weekend; my partner warned me about the messages before I logged in.)

We were trained by S's other employee (who formerly did our job), and now S seems to be saying we need to do things differently than how we were trained, but she can't be bothered to train us herself. So, I'll be killing her with kindness on Monday morning, asking her sweetly how she would prefer the task to he done since we did it "wrong".

I've not responded to the company via the rep about whether I'm going to go into the office. I have therapy on Tuesday and I will be discussing how to respond in a detached manner afterward. I broke down and was very emotional with K on the phone last week and I regret it. I obviously have to acquiesce to the company's "needs" if I want to be employed, but right now, I'm committing to an unknown. K has no information about when or how the company's employees will be going back to the office. I feel like I've been gaslit and I don't trust any of them anymore except my partner/coworker.

I'm extremely fucking tired of working for toxic companies. I'm tired of having to start over and having no stability at this point in my life. My depression is peaking (or is it plummeting?) right now and my anxiety is off the charts. However, I'm looking for something else because being concerned for my basic health and safety shouldn't be a reason for termination. I realize that's the good ol' American way, but this situation feels bad and wrong and I need to address it to and for myself.

I feel so defeated and tired of living in a country that cares more about money than people.

Edited by bilgistic
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Sorry to hear about the on-site boss being a jerk and your agency rep sharing information with the client contrary to what she promised. Obviously neither one of them can be trusted. I think you’re doing the right thing in starting to look for something else. The on-site boss wants someone so desperate for a job that he/she will jump through any and all hoops to keep the job, even if those hoops are on fire. 
 

Although I share your opinion about too many corporations caring only about their profits while paying lip service to caring about their employees, I will say it’s possible to find caring, compassionate managers in many organizations. I am extremely grateful for my current manager, who has provided support and flexibility for me as needed. But finding a good fit with a company and manager frequently involves some hard decisions. In my case it took recognizing that my first manager with my current company was toxic, and just doing my job until I could move to a different area. The new manager was an improvement but had her favorite reporting to her, and I was clearly an afterthought in terms of salary and bonuses. I finally spoke up for myself to the overall director of our area and proposed expanding my scope of responsibility. That action resulted a few months later in moving to another team under my current manager. The position is a much better fit, and my salary has almost doubled in 3 years. 
 

I’m not in any way saying you should follow my path or even that a similar path is open to you right now. But you seem to be making some similar decisions, specifically that your current manager is toxic and deciding to explore other options you can use to extricate yourself from a crappy situation. Although you may need to play along with your manager’s demands for a while, at least this time as you are doing a job search, you have current relevant experience in your field, plus the AP work as well. 

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Thanks, @BookWoman56, for your thoughtful responses and to all of you for keeping this a safe place to vent.

S was online at 7am sending Teams messages. She was still online just now when I turned off my computer because I am confident the OneDrive syncing is complete after 24 hours. Obviously, she has no life outside of trying to make everyone else's miserable.

Responding to six different messages in Teams tomorrow isn't going to be efficient. She's too passive-aggressive (or "above" us) to directly approach us, so she has our coworker/former job-holder do it or sends us hostile messages/emails. I am thinking I'll attempt to get us all on a Teams meeting and ask her, "Please tell us how you want this done because you seem discontent with how we're doing it." Or something to that effect. I'm not actually concerned with making her happy, but I want to "manage up" and try to find a balance where she's not constantly on our asses. I fully realize that's just who she is, but at least I can say I tried to understand her needs or whatever. Like I actually give a fuck about her needs, but I can't work with someone constantly micromanaging me.

I am not blaming our coworker at all; I think she did her best training us but there is a ridiculous amount of minutiae we have to remember in this job. If S wants it done differently than how our coworker trained us—and how we're literally doing it and are being told it's "wrong"—then S needs to train us HER way.

And I truly don't understand why she doesn't just do our job herself if she's going to check over every single thing we do, but WHATEVER.

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4 hours ago, bilgistic said:

S was online at 7am sending Teams messages. She was still online just now when I turned off my computer because I am confident the OneDrive syncing is complete after 24 hours. Obviously, she has no life outside of trying to make everyone else's miserable.

On Easter Sunday this person is sending you work messages? That would definitely do it for me....

I've been reading your account of your experience with this company and I do want to reassure you that there are lots of companies out there that are significantly more considerate and professional towards their workers (whether perm or temp) than the one you are currently with. That being said, I also encourage you to look while you are still employed rather than just quitting. And, although it is super difficult to do, don't internalize your manager's toxicity - its NOT you....and karma, she is a bitch and she always comes back around so not to worry, in due course the universe will tilt towards righteousness and that person will be suitably "rewarded".

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This is my job.

me:  There's an iceberg

Captain: hmm.  I've really thought about this and I think the way to handle this is to rearrange the deck chairs

me: That's not going to solve anything.  I need the command to turn the boat

Captain: But if you rearrange the deck chairs the passengers won't see the iceberg

me: but there is still an iceberg

Captain: well maybe it will melt before there is a problem.  I don't want to upset the passengers.

 

I don't know why I even bother.

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Our supervisor is gaslighting us now on a daily basis. We were told Wednesday morning that we had to work late (three 12-hour days in a row) for the rest of the week because it is "quarter end", as if quarter end isn't EVERY QUARTER and she didn't know it was coming. Here's one exchange from yesterday.

Note--The quote ends before "BETTER THAN AVERAGE" but I can't get the post to edit inside the quote box, dammit.

Quote

SUPERVISOR: Bilgistic/Bilgistic's Partner - I'm a bit frustrated. You claim you want clear instructions. But when I give them they are not followed. Yesterday I requested receipts for $1000 expenses on invoice ABC. Per my email below the receipts/answer was to be uploaded to folder ABC in the 4/15 run. AP check paying company just reached out to me about a "duplicate" invoice that was uploaded to the main 4/15 folder. The "duplicate" was the revised invoice (in batch ABC) removing the $1000 charge. AFter looking at the email chain requesting the $1000 I noticed you didn't forward the email where I requested the receipts, but forwarded the original invoice submission. So that my directions don't get lost in translation, please forward my email when asking for additional information so that when you get an answer my directions are included in the email chain. Thx.

ME: Boss, I'm sorry I forgot. There were dozens and dozens of emails flying back and forth yesterday. I had to send NINE emails for one approval. I just can't remember everything in an message chain. [Aside: What I mean by this is that there's one collective thread between us and the company that actually cuts the checks and her requests for corrections are in this thread. There are a ton of posts daily.] I'll make notes going forward. Thanks for the reminder.

SUPERVISOR: My email to you included a copy of the invoice so I'm unsure why you would go find the original invoice email to request the info. Could you explain that?

ME: To be very frank, which I always am, I don't feel like I can respond in a way that's going to be satisfactory. I can't explain it because I was tired and forgot. [Aside: This particular email came in at almost 8pm on Thursday night and I went back to the vendor's original email to reply to him. I still don't understand why this was a major crime.] I'm still learning this job I've never done in an industry I've never worked in. I'm sorry is all I can say, I'm trying my best. I'm sorry that's not enough. I'm trying so hard.

SUPERVISOR: Ok.  Just trying to understand the mindset & where I'm lacking in my communication.  We are all trying to be great at our tasks & I'm still learning the best way to fit your communication needs.

Don't feel that it's "not enough".  You've asked for me to give clear & concise instructions & I'm trying to learn where the communication broke down.

Overall, your performances have been better than average & I appreciate all the hard work that has gone into learning the client inbox.

BETTER THAN AVERAGE. Imagine ripping us a new asshole for a MISFILED EMAIL that is literally of zero consequence--there was no money involved, no one lost a job--and then when I admit complete defeat, telling us we're doing "better than average". And acting like we're asking too much for CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS. YOU'RE THE BOSS AND IT'S YOUR FUCKING JOB TO TELL US HOW TO DO OURS.

I'm keeping a file on my Google Drive of all this extremely fucked stuff that has gone down and I intend to share it with the company and employment agency when I leave. This is textbook gaslighting and it's abuse.

Edited by bilgistic
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I also got in "trouble" for not correctly noting something on an email after 1) the approver to whom I had sent it had not coded/noted it himself, which is what is supposed to happen, and if that doesn't, 2) I referred to the notes file, and there wasn't an entry on it, which I'd asked to be updated by the woman who trained us, and 3) looked at a previous example, which is how we were trained by our coworker who used to do our job before the woman they fired in January. But I did it wrong because the woman who did it the last time did it wrong and I shouldn't follow her example. OH, OKAY.

I LITERALLY cannot do anything more or try any harder and I'm wrong no matter what. Imagine how that feels every day, all day. It feels like shit. But we're doing BETTER THAN AVERAGE.🙃

Edited by bilgistic
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From the kitchen window, she sees the FedEx truck start up and pull away. She thinks, "Ah! My fabric is here!" and eagerly trots to the front door. She opens the door and sees a package that's smaller than she expected. "Hmmm..." She takes the box to the dining room table and rips the tape off the box. As she peels back the plastic wrap inside, a foul stench fills her nostrils. She screams as she sees the contents of the box: animal dung.

She yells at her husband to come down from his attic hideaway. He sees the box contents and snort-laughs, but his response is immediately squelched upon looking at his wife's face. He knows this look: one of contempt, haughtiness, disgust and abject hatred all in one piercing gaze. A look he's seen every day of their 25 years of marriage.

She asks him if one of his "asshole friends" sent it. "I told you Bob doesn't like me!" He silently grabs the box and walks outside, tossing the contents into the ravine behind their land and the box into the trash. Once he goes back into the house, he wordlessly passes his wife on his way past the kitchen and back up the stairs to the attic.

Reclining in his La-Z-Boy, he sighs deeply and then, from the depths of his soul erupts a long-restrained howl of laughter. He laughs until his belly and lungs hurt and his shirt is soaked with tears. When he finally catches his breath, he texts Bob, "Thanks for the 'shitment'!💩🤣". Bob replies, "???"

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My boss is still a complete maniac, as if she would've changed. She asks us to make changes in the invoice log (per invoice/line item/row), and instead of believing that we're doing it, she checks to see if we've made the change she's asked us to make. Why the fuck not just do it herself??? The micro"management" is off the charts.

On the other side of the coin, one of the accounting managers (different department, so to speak) we work with is a dream. She was having us do some work on the quarterly reports yesterday, which was originally why we were hired.

We'd not done this particular task since last quarter, so my partner messaged me, "Where is x spreadsheet?" I replied, "In x app," and then realizing that the would obviously know that and meant where in the app, I joked immediately, "You're like, 'Duh, bitch'." Only...I replied that last comment in the thread with the accounting manager! My partner told me I replied in the wrong thread as I realized what I did, but I knew the manager wouldn't care because she has a sense of humor unlike everyone else in the company. I told the manager that my partner and I have a "special" relationship, and we all laughed and laughed at my mistake. The manager said, "It's all right; I accidentally texted to the other managers that it's National Booger Day and our son was celebrating. I meant to text it to my husband."

Edited by bilgistic
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One of our anchors was feted on air for her fifth anniversary at the station yesterday.

Last week, another anchor was feted on air for his 15th anniversary.

I celebrated my 20th anniversary at the station - in January -  on the inside.

Bitter?  Me?  Nah!

Meanwhile, it seems they're slowing bringing people back into the building.  I found out by chance that HR (aka, "Big Mouth") has been working in the building for a couple of weeks now!  Never said a word about it to me, yet my checks are still mailed to me when I used to be able to pick them up from the office at my convenience every other Friday.  I'm going to send her a nice little email tomorrow to welcome her back.  >:o) 

 

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Another resounding endorsement from our supervisor today after her audit of the last three check cycles/1.5 months: "Believe it or not you did well considering your short time administering the [AP] inbox. Although there were many corrections..." [goes on to tell us everything we did wrong].

Wow. Thanks. We are truly doing "better than average."

Edited by bilgistic
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I receive an email from HR mentioning there was a "credible threat" and that a report was made to local police and [unarmed] security will be patrolling the property during all shifts and will be available for escort in and out of the building.  When I asked who made the threat or what the person looked like (imagine being on the lookout for a specific person!!) She refuses to answer and says she wasn't at liberty to say.   

I have no idea of it's a homeless person, a former co-worker (or vengeful ex), or your garden variety malcontent who has a beef (real or imagined) with the station.   Even security said they didn't know any more than I did!!

HR is a big mouth but apparently she won't answer any questions regarding this.  WHY??

 

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4 hours ago, magicdog said:

I receive an email from HR mentioning there was a "credible threat" and that a report was made to local police and [unarmed] security will be patrolling the property during all shifts and will be available for escort in and out of the building.  When I asked who made the threat or what the person looked like (imagine being on the lookout for a specific person!!) She refuses to answer and says she wasn't at liberty to say.   

I have no idea of it's a homeless person, a former co-worker (or vengeful ex), or your garden variety malcontent who has a beef (real or imagined) with the station.   Even security said they didn't know any more than I did!!

HR is a big mouth but apparently she won't answer any questions regarding this.  WHY??

 

In that scenario I would be pretty sure its related to a threat against the company or an employee reported a concern about a personal situation.  HR generally clams up when they are worried about the consequences of sharing information about the company or employees that is sensitive.

If its some random thing that occurred on the premises usually HR is more likely to share details.

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4 hours ago, ParadoxLost said:

I would be pretty sure its related to a threat against the company or an employee reported a concern about a personal situation.  HR generally clams up when they are worried about the consequences of sharing information about the company or employees that is sensitive.

I don't have to necessarily know the person's name - just a description will do.  My life is potentially in danger and I should at least have an idea who to protect myself from and if I spotted them on the premises, I can report what I saw.

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Well, a lot happened over the weekend!

My station was just sold!!  Meredith Corp. sold us to Gray Broadcasting - so what will happen is up in the air.  I don't know if my job will be in jeopardy but since I'm just 2 years away from retiring and recently earned a scheduled merit raise, I am considering my options.  I have a ton of vacation and sick days which I have saved up but they haven't told us what if anything will change regarding that or our 401Ks, etc.

Anyone have any experience in this matter?

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2 hours ago, magicdog said:

Well, a lot happened over the weekend!

My station was just sold!!  Meredith Corp. sold us to Gray Broadcasting - so what will happen is up in the air.  I don't know if my job will be in jeopardy but since I'm just 2 years away from retiring and recently earned a scheduled merit raise, I am considering my options.  I have a ton of vacation and sick days which I have saved up but they haven't told us what if anything will change regarding that or our 401Ks, etc.

Anyone have any experience in this matter?

Wow! I'd probably add "what sort of early retirement package I would accept" to my research and also research your state laws to make sure you're appropriately cashed out if the situation arises in

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I swear I'm going to print out all these spreadsheets for the sole purpose of setting them on fire.  Unfortunately that's only burning them in effigy, and it won't kill them; they'll be back in a couple of months and I'll have to go hunt up another headache's worth of data.

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On 5/3/2021 at 12:23 PM, magicdog said:

Well, a lot happened over the weekend!

My station was just sold!!  Meredith Corp. sold us to Gray Broadcasting - so what will happen is up in the air.  I don't know if my job will be in jeopardy but since I'm just 2 years away from retiring and recently earned a scheduled merit raise, I am considering my options.  I have a ton of vacation and sick days which I have saved up but they haven't told us what if anything will change regarding that or our 401Ks, etc.

Anyone have any experience in this matter?

The new company will most likely identify redundant teams and individuals, and do a re-org of some kind. Given how close you are to retirement age, don’t be surprised if they offer you an early retirement package. Be aware that if they offer the early retirement package and you decline it, they will most likely lay you off a few months after that, with no notice. I witnessed something similar years ago, and the employees who turned down the package, and thought they were irreplaceable, got called into a conference room and laid off effective immediately. 

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On 5/10/2021 at 8:48 PM, BookWoman56 said:

The new company will most likely identify redundant teams and individuals, and do a re-org of some kind. Given how close you are to retirement age, don’t be surprised if they offer you an early retirement package.

I have considered that and will probably take it if offered. 

So far, I don't have much more to report on that front except that the deal will be finalized in December.  No mention of them likely doing much in the way of cuts.  My supervisor said he contacted people he knew who had worked for Gray and they had positive things to say, so it's possible not much will change for us at all.  It helps that we've always surpassed out sweeps goals (how much money we brought in via sales and ratings) so it could be a case of, "If it ain't broke...."

I did find out they also had the Atlanta station included in the sale, and they definitely have always underperformed in this area.  If there will be any restructuring, it will be them not us.

Meanwhile, my edit partner has given her notice.  The best one I've ever worked with too.  I'll have her until the end of the month.  She's been working remotely since this pandemic mess started so I haven't even seen her in 14 months!  She likes working remotely and decided to find work that will allow her to continue doing so.  This surprised me since I thought she could continue working as she has been with us, but apparently that will not be in the cards.  They are matriculating the remote workers back to the building and make things "normal".  They even put the chairs back in the break room (how removing them save people from covid is a medical mystery to me).   It also looks like we can finally drop the masks as well.  I'll have to wait until Monday to see if the policy has changed yet.

 

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My company has just mandated all workers back into the office in June and masks will be "recommended but not required" in our offices. And now they've said that since the CDC says vaccinated people don't need to wear masks outdoors or around other vaccinated people, they'll leave it up to individuals to decide what's best for them. As someone with autoimmune disease, I'm going to be wearing mine 24/7 while in the office, because I just can't take the risk (plus, I know of a ton of people in my building that refuse to get vaccinated and our floor is open and full of cubes). Plus, there are no more alternate work arrangements, meaning that even if working remotely worked better for you, it doesn't matter, you have to go back. I started working on my resume this weekend and have begun applying for new jobs. 

Edited by emma675
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I'm so sick of employer bully culture of "we don't give a shit what employees want; we just want what we want and that's it." Like it's so hard to accommodate employees and actually have them possibly--*gasp*--enjoy their jobs! They're pushing us to "go back to the office" when several of us were hired after the pandemic started and never worked in the office at all. The rumblings are that several people who did work in the office don't want to go back. But of course, the company is "going to accommodate those of you with children who are working out childcare as Covid plans change around that", but fuck those of us without kids.

It's going to cost me literally hundreds and hundreds of dollars to go to the office. It's a 40-minute drive one way. I'm going to have to upgrade my car insurance, pay for gas I barely use now, and buy a whole new wardrobe, pay for lunches, and for what? To sit in an office and send emails? Why do I need to be in person to do that??

And on a related tip, I'm OVER those I work with who are surly and hostile over email and Teams. I really dread working with them in person if they can't even be civil IN AN EMAIL.

Edited by bilgistic
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3 hours ago, bilgistic said:

It's going to cost me literally hundreds and hundreds of dollars to go to the office. It's a 40-minute drive one way. I'm going to have to upgrade my car insurance, pay for gas I barely use now, and buy a whole new wardrobe, pay for lunches, and for what? To sit in an office and send emails? Why do I need to be in person to do that??

Seems odd that the subject of returning to an office setting never came up in your job interview.  I know you said you were hired after wfh started, and perhaps you could work on a proposal that you stay in a wfh status.  I'd start a pro/con list, not for you but for your employer.  Convince them that it would be in their best interest and why, and you might have a shot.

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29 minutes ago, SuprSuprElevated said:

I'd start a pro/con list, not for you but for your employer.

My department has been doing that since we started WFH. We put together an action plan, cost savings for the company, showed how productivity is up since we started working from home, etc. We are really pushing for it. (fingers crossed). 

While I do miss a handful of people, I really like being able to work with the windows open, especially right now when it's been so lovely out. And having control of the temperature. It's really the little things I have enjoyed. 

Unfortunately our biggest boss is new to the job and I think he wants to be able to feel "in charge" and the way to do that is to force us all back. :(

I will say, if they expect me to sit in a mask all day I'm going to brush up the old resume and get out. 

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35 minutes ago, SuprSuprElevated said:

Seems odd that the subject of returning to an office setting never came up in your job interview.  I know you said you were hired after wfh started, and perhaps you could work on a proposal that you stay in a wfh status.  I'd start a pro/con list, not for you but for your employer.  Convince them that it would be in their best interest and why, and you might have a shot.

My work partner and I already discussed it in April with our bosses via our very shady contracting agency rep and were told we would go in when they decided it was happening or "maybe this isn't the right job for you." It isn't, for more than this one thing. I've been looking for something else.

I was hired as remote and it was never listed as anything else. This whole thing has been a disgusting mess. I have zero faith in any employer anymore. I've only ever been lied to, gaslit, dumped on, and dicked around my entire so-called "career".

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13 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

Unfortunately our biggest boss is new to the job and I think he wants to be able to feel "in charge" and the way to do that is to force us all back. :(

That's how it is at my office, too. I feel like he wants butts in seats at our office so he can walk around and see all the people who work for him. Regardless of whether it works for those people to be there or not.

It stinks because I love my team and what I do, but it's hard to work for a CEO I don't respect. Not to mention the workload is insane and won't let up even when I'm back to commuting almost two hours a day. Life is too short to put up with that crap.

Edited by emma675
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Just now, emma675 said:

back to commuting almost two hours a day.

I feel ya. I used to work in NYC and it was a 2 hour 45 minute commute each way, two trains and 2 subways, but I loved that job and my boss and the company. Now I'm like "you want me to travel 20 minutes? HELL NO!!!!!" Different job now. Also, out of NYC there was a bar car. Makes all the difference lol

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More signs of "normalcy":

The ridiculous blocking off of a set of restrooms for "field personnel only" has been taken down.  Now I don't have to look at the garish yellow crime tape and cones outside my edit bay.  Still no word on whether or not we can ditch the masks, even though the mandate has finally been lifted statewide.  

On another note, one of my co-workers needed me to help him track his new package on the disastrous HOV lanes.  While I cannot speak for all cities, they are useless in this one.  They barely get used (this is not a city for carpooling and not everyone has a convenient friend or relative to drive around town with).  My co-worker often takes subtle digs on air during traffic reports (because it's a joke to see them empty when traffic is heavy) and added a few to his report.  Unfortunately, Bitcheroo forced him to cut it all out.  I read his original script and it was on the mark and (if I had been in the AND office) wouldn't have changed a thing!   So much gets censored, when it shouldn't be.

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I'm dreading going back to work tomorrow.  Its so unbelievably busy.  Just a constant day of stress and every day a complete shit show.  Not in a 'my co-workers are terrible way' but 'has the world gone mad way'.  I've checked in with former coworkers who have gone elsewhere and apparently the grass is not greener. So that sucks.  Please for f$@(S sake stop buying stuff. We can't take much more of this.  

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I'm in my office for the first time since March 2020 and I hate it and want to go home.

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6 minutes ago, ABay said:

I'm in my office for the first time since March 2020 and I hate it and want to go home.

I’m sorry. It’s going to be a tough transition to be back in the office for a lot of people. I definitely have mixed feelings about it myself. I would like to meet my colleagues in person (I started a new job in January so I have only seen people over Zoom) but otherwise would be pretty content to be at home. 

 

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I go back to the office on June 1 and I am dreading it. I get nothing done in the office with people constantly dropping by (we have an open floor plan, no doors), and I have to have quiet to concentrate on my job (I'm in communications). Working from home was perfect for me, esp. considering our insane work load, but nooooooo, our new jackass of a CEO wants everyone back in person. 

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I was really hoping the prolonged pandemic would cause at least some businesses to realize how many jobs can be done just as if not more effectively from home and thus give those employees the option of working remotely on general principle, regardless of COVID's status, but I knew that was giving Corporate America way too much credit.

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It sounds like my workplace will be returning to the office voluntarily in July. Unofficially I’ve also heard that we aren’t expected to be in the office everyday (it will be closed one day a week for deep cleaning anyway). My manager said he will likely go in 2-3 days a week, and I think he would be fine with the rest of the team having a similar schedule. We  aren’t all in the same state (or even country) so there’s not as much pressure for face time. Anecdotally, I’m hearing about similar arrangements at other companies in my industry (biotech). 

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I go back July 12 (as far as I know). Part of me can’t wait because I am so over working from home, but I’m going to have to reorient myself to office setting. It’ll probably be easier to stay on task in the office, but I obviously can’t yell in frustration when my software slows up. I am more than leery of my coworkers that don’t want to get vaccinated; I know I’ll be okay because I’m vaccinated AND I’ll be wearing a mask but it’s hard not to feel contempt for the ones who won’t get the damn shot. One coworker across from wouldn’t give her kids the flu shot because she “didn’t like what was it it.” My tolerance for stupid people has slimmed down to the negative polynomials over the last year and it’s going to take everything I have to keep my mouth shut. I won’t exactly be sorry if some of those coworkers keep working from home.

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On 5/24/2021 at 4:49 PM, Bastet said:

I was really hoping the prolonged pandemic would cause at least some businesses to realize how many jobs can be done just as if not more effectively from home and thus give those employees the option of working remotely on general principle, regardless of COVID's status, but I knew that was giving Corporate America way too much credit.

Give it time.

What is actively happening is that corporations are developing official policies for being significantly more flexible about remote work.  The ones who haven't done this yet, or have let employees know that they don't plan to change what was in place prior to 2020, are losing talented employees at an alarming rate to the companies that have made changes.

Having an intelligent work from home policy is giving corporations a competitive advantage. Other corporations will follow suit or fall behind.  

 

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Among the many things I will miss when I’m back in the office is my very occasional lunchtime nap. I have a headache, it’s really hot here today, and my next conference session isn’t until 1:55 (I’m at a virtual conference this week), so I’m going to put on an eye mask, set the alarm for 1:45, and hopefully snooze. 

Edited by MargeGunderson
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