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A case of the Mondays: vent your work spleen here

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7 hours ago, auntlada said:

I just read an article about this. I don't know if it works, but here you go: http://www.wsj.com/articles/chatty-co-worker-driving-you-crazy-try-a-smarter-white-noise-1475172822

That's interesting! Thanks! I'm so tired of using headphones, I'm going to experiment with my speaker and different white noise apps. Maybe I didn't  have the right one. If people say anything I'll straight up tell them their personal chatter is distracting. In the grand scheme of things, my work life is amazing (this is my only issue) but still, I cannot wait until I rank an office with a door to close.

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21 hours ago, bilgistic said:

I HATE cubicles. Ours don't have high walls or upper cabinets like cubes did 15 to 20 years ago. Those at least buffered noise.

Count your blessings. I once had an employer move our entire department from cubicles to a room full of these:

1tspyu.jpg

Yes, that's 3 feet wide, 2 feet deep, and 4 feet high, and that was supposed to be room enough for one of us, plus 1 or 2 PCs, 2 or 3 moving boxes, and a rolling 2 drawer file cabinet.

Our manager let us designate some of the stations as "workbenches" and places to keep our department servers so that we could alternate occupied and unoccupied stations. That helped, but it still sucked.

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Our office was recently remodeled to this type of layout. It's so open and conducive to teamwork!! They even added a ping pong table!! Isn't work FUN!!!

office.JPG

Fortunately, I work from home.

office2.jpg

Edited by lordonia
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6 hours ago, Sandman87 said:

 That helped, but it still sucked.

Oh my god. That work space is insanely unfair to the employees.

People suck. 

Edited by JTMacc99

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6 hours ago, lordonia said:

Our office was recently remodeled to this type of layout. It's so open and conducive to teamwork!! They even added a ping pong table!! Isn't work FUN!!!

office.JPG

Fortunately, I work from home.

office2.jpg

That (the first one) looks like hell to me. I'm so glad I'm not looking for a job in one of these places laid out like that. I've toured them with our communications and marketing group and wondered how on earth I'd get anything done there. One at least had closed-off offices that people could use for phone calls or when they needed quiet to get work done. I'd be planning that kind of work for every day.

I recently changed my hours to 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the hours from 6-8 a.m. are so nice.

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10 minutes ago, auntlada said:

I recently changed my hours to 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the hours from 6-8 a.m. are so nice.

Right? Here's how weird I am: Even though I'm not in the office, I still save work to do on the weekends "when it's quiet."

Apologies if I've whinged about this before, but I have an auditory processing disorder that makes it more difficult to concentrate when there's competing noise. Maybe that's something others can follow up on and, if diagnosed, request ADA compliance at work.

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8 hours ago, lordonia said:

Our office was recently remodeled to this type of layout. It's so open and conducive to teamwork!! They even added a ping pong table!! Isn't work FUN!!!

What you have in that top picture is a school cafeteria with carpeting.

And what's the deal with ping-pong tables? Seems like every employer thinks that it's mandatory to have one, even when they can't afford to buy pens and paper clips.

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1 hour ago, Sandman87 said:

 

And what's the deal with ping-pong tables? Seems like every employer thinks that it's mandatory to have one, even when they can't afford to buy pens and paper clips.

The CEO and owner of my company is an old school Italian and a banker at heart. We ain't got no ping pong tables in our office. 

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We have three half walls (as in, you see your neighbor's face when you are seated) to our cubes. However, I'm on the end of the row, so I have only two walls and a file drawer where the third wall should be at the end of the row. People phonewalk and linger at the end of my row. It's at a window, but I don't face it, and the view is another office tower. At least it's natural light.

However, I face not only my smoky mcsmokerson's neighbor's face (he takes a 20-minute smoke break every 1.5 hours), but also a row of small glass conference rooms that barely buffer noise. People hold conference calls and meetings in there at ear-splitting levels. I'm also unable to filter out noise; I can hear near-whispered conversations from across the room as clearly as one next to me, so the open workspace is an assault on my senses. I'm utterly exhausted all the time. When I bring it up, I'm "complaining", because this is just "how commercial real estate is".

Edited by bilgistic

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OMG those cubicles, and lack of, are terrible! During my interview the recruiter asked what kind of work-space I preferred and I answered cubicle and I thought open work spaces were trendy but not actually conducive to work.

My last job had super tall walls, which was awesome. They remodeled our call-center into "pods" where everyone was facing each other. They thought it would be good for each "group" to be able to talk to each other and facilitate whatever they were working on.  Then there was a department that was in a fishbowl office, basically sitting on top of each other.

I can come in at 630 but the chatterboxes start at 7 and that 30 minutes just isn't worth it. I could come in late and work late but my brain is done by the time 4 rolls around. It's also an industrial company and our customers work early.

I'm just glad I'm not alone!

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My smokestack neighbor is also a bigoted, racist asshole, so he talks on the phone to clients all day in a derogatory manner about gay people, black people, and basically anyone who isn't a rich white man like he is. He talks to his wife and kids like they are shit. He tries it with me, and I snap back at him. I'd file a complaint with HR, but he'd know it was me.

I have a calendar hanging on the glass atop our shared cube wall so I don't have to see his face when I'm seated.

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I completed about 20hrs of training for a promotion and passed the tests and was told they weren't signing off because they had guys in line for it even tho the managers involved said they would multiple x to me as I was taking and acing the tests. Also I'm confused why a business chain that is shopped by mostly by women has 43 locations .... but only 3 female store managers. (Grocery store chain)

Also when I was asked by my store manager to meet with him to discuss moving up, and answering his question about why and stating I put in the work and care. He interrupted me and then the next morning the outside compost bins and dumpster were moved inside and surrounding my desk. I have photos btw of my desk with dumpster rubbish bins pressed against it. Fun times

and when I mentioned to someone who asked about my promotion why it stagnated since no one would sign off after all and I need the money and wanted to be appreciated I was told to simply get a second job. Or that many women there have a husband or BD who helps take care of them. Ah what a perfect solution. 

And they know about two guys there who sexually harass women / behave like dicey creeps and those men have not been disciplined or fired. In fact one woman was yelled at by management. 

Edited by Petunia13
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1 hour ago, auntlada said:

I think you have the makings of a fine court case. Document and contact the EEOC.

This.  Get yourself a good lawyer, should be a slam dunk.

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funny i was off this weekend and the dumpsters with rotting food were back outside. it must be a very important policy change but only on certain times....

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Petunia, document it and get an attorney now.  Also with the creepy guy, report it to your (obviously shitty) management, attorney, and police. 

Today's work started out nicely enough as I didn't have to work with the dipshit on our team.  This person does as little as possible, and has dumped shit on me to do and ran.  Had a vendor call on the weekend, called them first - can  you test this out? Oh, all my information is at the office, had them call me.  And this was the system they "owned", except they are dumber than a box of hair, and that's an insult to hair.

The one person on the team who does a slightly different function (we have to review their work), told me this morning, they're resigning.  So my day went into the shit pile.  I used to do that job eons ago (10 plus years) but a lot has changed.  I can review just fine, but haven't done a lot in the way of setup, in ages.  I'm fully expecting to be told to do that job and mine.  Meeting tomorrow with management.  They are so clueless if they think I'll do that.  What will they do? Fire me?  Management is shitting in their collective pants about losing this person, they can't afford to lose another (even the dipshit).  We are at a skeleton crew, so right now, only one person can have a day off.  Piss poor planning by management.  What if one person got very ill, had an accident, family issue, that required them to be on leave for months?  Or this?  They fully expected because we are older, that no one would leave.  I actually was contacted first (former employer for both of us) if I wanted to go back to Co A.  No, as this current company gave me the first reasonable raise I'd had in a while; either one could fold at any point (or have layoffs etc, like any company nowdays), but I think this company is more promising.  It was rumored that Co A was going to be sold, so I think this person leaving is having a bad case of the grass is greener, when they were really frustrated at Co A about two years ago.  I'm just going to calmly say that I'm not shouldering the burden of this person leaving; basically your poor planning shouldn't fall on me to do the clean up.  And as the person leaving told me, they've needed us more than we needed them for a long time now.  Very true.   And it's doubtful the person leaving is getting a wage increase, as they know what she made before; that company never invested in the building or equipment, using stuff that is ancient.  For a long time there, we were on Office 2003, upgrading I think to 2009 in 2014.  Where I'm at now, we're on the very latest version.  Little things like that say at least they are attempting to make us competitive.  But they're playing it very tight with payroll, so that sucks - especially now.

I've got a lot of vacation time coming up, so someone is going to have to man up, because I'm not switching up any holiday plans.

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Adding to the cubicle or workspace discussion.  Found out that the former company I worked for is moving, which is a good thing as they've not done one improvement to the current building in at least 20 years.  It's a shame because with just a little care, it'd be a nice building; it's got interesting angles - not like the square "cookie cutter' buildings that are sprouting up all around this area, all very generic looking.

They are encouraging people to work remote as much as possible, which means I'd be working remote every day, not a problem for me.   If you do go into work (I have a friend who refuses to work from home), you go to a workstation, just pick one out.  You do not have an assigned desk; if you need to keep anything there, they assign you a locker.  You unlock your locker, grab your stuff, pick out a desk.  I believe the workstations are set up in circular clusters.  I'm not really a germophobe, but no, this really grosses me out.  I was initially thinking of flu/cold season, but other stuff like people who don't wash their hands after using the restroom (seen quite a few women who don't wash their hands), plus there's an outbreak of some "crusty scabies" nearby - I'm sure the list could be endless.  I'd have to use sanitizing wipes on everything before using the keyboard, phone, desk. My own laptop keyboard needs cleaning, but it's only me using it.  I thought it was bad we now have lower cubicle walls.  I guess it proves that whatever you think is bad, it could always be worse.

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4 hours ago, hoosier80 said:

They are encouraging people to work remote as much as possible, which means I'd be working remote every day, not a problem for me.   If you do go into work (I have a friend who refuses to work from home), you go to a workstation, just pick one out.  You do not have an assigned desk; if you need to keep anything there, they assign you a locker.  You unlock your locker, grab your stuff, pick out a desk.  I believe the workstations are set up in circular clusters.

What is up with companies going toward this model of random workstations rather than fixed cubicles? My employer is in the process of phasing this in, although it will take a few years and I work 100% remote anyway. If I had to work in that sort of environment, I'd have to look for another job. I am a tech writer, meaning that I need a certain amount of silence and not being distracted by people around me to get my work done. It's bad enough having to deal with colleagues' IMs throughout the day. For the last two months, I've been working on a report that was almost 500 pages long, and to write/edit something like that, you can't work effectively while having to listen to constant background conversations around you. There are many other job roles as well that need some quiet so the person can concentrate. It was bad enough when I was doing this in cubicle land (which is one reason I changed into a telecommute position), but if I had no walls at all between me and four or five other people? I would get stabby very quickly. I know the execs will retain their offices and various managers will as well, but corporate America needs to figure out that not everybody works the same way. And the idea of having to go into a workstation that might have been used the day before by someone else? The last time I changed cubes at a job, it took at least 30 minutes to wipe it down completely because the previous occupant had been a slob. The prospect of having to disinfect a different workstation every day holds absolutely no appeal.

On a different topic, I've now been in my "new" position for slightly over a year, enough that the honeymoon is over. I still much prefer this job to my previous one, but one of my colleagues is beginning to get on my nerves. She's not my manager, but she directs one of the two big projects that I work on. And after a year, it's become clear that she is frequently whinging to our mutual manager about how busy and overworked she is, when in fact she's spending most of her time getting other people to do her work for her. We just hired a new project manager for our group, and my colleague is in the process of turning this project manager into her personal admin assistant, getting her to attend meetings and take notes for her, and other stuff like that. Meanwhile, her counterpart, who is  in charge of the other big project, manages to facilitate her own meetings and take her own meeting notes, etc. The problematic colleague also regards me as if I am working only on her project, and gets very territorial/possessive if I have to tell her that I can't do XYZ for her this minute because I am working on something for the other colleague. She's figured out that I can do certain things that are really her responsibility, and so of course she's sticking me with those things rather than doing them herself. She just spends way more time bitching and moaning about how busy she is than actually doing any work. I know this type of behavior is a common problem, but I had forgotten just how irritating it can be.

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Petunia, document it and get an attorney now.  Also with the creepy guy, report it to your (obviously shitty) management, attorney, and police. 

Yes to this. Even a consult with a lawyer or documenting this type of (better be illegal) behavior gives you a bit of power back. 

 

Quote

and when I mentioned to someone who asked about my promotion why it stagnated since no one would sign off after all and I need the money and wanted to be appreciated I was told to simply get a second job. Or that many women there have a husband or BD who helps take care of them. Ah what a perfect solution. 

Oh. My. God. 

Jaw drops.

The mind boggles at the amount of blatant misogyny that goes unchecked in 2016. Seriously so sick and tired of people thinking it's their deity-given right to not question or consider how they put down and belittle someone of a different race, gender, orientation, etc., and maintaining that it's the "other's" fault for not understanding or abiding by "the rules" or denying that there's the slightest degree of any "ism" in their intent. 

Gee, I'm sorry...you're too friggin' stupid and childish to realize that there are myriad reasons you can't say sh*t like that to a coworker? Well then, you don't need to work in the modern world, do you? Go rub bear grease on yourself and beat your chest with a a piece of meat and don't come back until you've been chased by a rabid, hungry puma to clear your mind, OK?

I've been trying to play nicely in the sandbox this week and be more of a "team player" and dear goddess above...grant me patience. Or just get me drunk. You pick. My brownnosing coworker "ran the show" last weekend (if you call incessant requests for hand holding running the show) for a project and we spent the better part of Monday talking about it. Really, buddy, it wasn't a huge deal. A few "oopsies" that were fixed. Life goes on. But nooooo....he insisted on a lessons learned/debriefing meeting that he rescheduled until EVERYONE could be there and then he started pacing around the office five minutes before the meeting reminding everyone that "um...remember, we have a meeting today...whenever you're ready..." Of course, he chitchats for ten minutes before he presents a spreadsheet with one item on it that we'd already discussed. And, when it was clear that we were done talking after about fifteen minutes, he kept trying to keep things going. "Soooo...well, what about X that has zero to do with this last project? Have you thought about that, Potato?"

No, I haven't. Because I'm too busy thinking what a colossal waste of time this is and I'm passively aggressively surfing the net on my iPod*. Cripes, if you can't go five minutes without a meeting, at least learn the basic etiquette: invite only those who need to be there (not everyone who "might" need to "be aware" of something) and when it's winding down, let it die. Really, it's OK. 

*Disclaimer: I fully own my passive-aggressive, p*ssy behavior. That's all me. It in no way is to be taken as a reflection on my gender, orientation, race or anything else. Except my introversion. Perfectly fine to say that this is why introverts have a hard time constantly fronting a game face when they are incessantly dragged into useless meetings to be an extra warm body to prove how important someone else is. I will be the poster child for that.

Purposeful work free of any b-shit about people's identity. I refuse to believe that's asking too much. 

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1 hour ago, BookWoman56 said:

On a different topic, I've now been in my "new" position for slightly over a year, enough that the honeymoon is over. I still much prefer this job to my previous one, but one of my colleagues is beginning to get on my nerves. She's not my manager, but she directs one of the two big projects that I work on. And after a year, it's become clear that she is frequently whinging to our mutual manager about how busy and overworked she is, when in fact she's spending most of her time getting other people to do her work for her. We just hired a new project manager for our group, and my colleague is in the process of turning this project manager into her personal admin assistant, getting her to attend meetings and take notes for her, and other stuff like that. Meanwhile, her counterpart, who is  in charge of the other big project, manages to facilitate her own meetings and take her own meeting notes, etc. The problematic colleague also regards me as if I am working only on her project, and gets very territorial/possessive if I have to tell her that I can't do XYZ for her this minute because I am working on something for the other colleague. She's figured out that I can do certain things that are really her responsibility, and so of course she's sticking me with those things rather than doing them herself. She just spends way more time bitching and moaning about how busy she is than actually doing any work. I know this type of behavior is a common problem, but I had forgotten just how irritating it can be.

Well, you know, it takes a lot of time and work to get other people to do your work. It leaves hardly any time to do any work yourself.

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This is making  me very glad I have a classroom and can shut my door.  You still get coworkers coming in to chit chat, but if I had a cubicle with no walls?  Forget that. It was bad enough when I had to share a room and things were constantly being moved from where I left them. It was a total power move too, because I'm very neat, and had one pile of papers on a giant demonstration desk, and it would ALWAYS be moved. This year, I don't have to share, so I'm pretty damn thrilled about that.  

Not so thrilled however that technology seems to be increasing rather than decreasing my workload.  Parents can access their kids' grades 24/7, and yet we still have to do progress reports halfway through the marking period (now) AND call the parents of the kids getting less than a certain score.  What exactly is the point?  Plus they added a new website that we're supposed to post assignments on, and yet we still have to update our old websites as well,  because the parents can't access the new one. 

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On 10/6/2016 at 3:20 PM, BookWoman56 said:

. There are many other job roles as well that need some quiet so the person can concentrate. It was bad enough when I was doing this in cubicle land (which is one reason I changed into a telecommute position), but if I had no walls at all between me and four or five other people? I would get stabby very quickly. I know the execs will retain their offices and various managers will as well, but corporate America needs to figure out that not everybody works the same way.

Yes! And mumbling mary is at it again. She's talking so low into a headset attached to her cell phone so my boss can't tell. He's out of town all week and I asked if I could work in his office since between MM, the woman next to me (not in my dept) who is on her phone and the overall noise of that department I'm going crazy. He said no. I gently said, you know how you close your door when you need to focus? Now imagine you're here with this and I see you closing your door more and more often due to the noise. All he could say is he dealt with it for a year. So let me work in your office! Grrr.

It's like since they have doors they don't care about the noise level the rest of us have to deal with.

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I have a couple stories from the other night. They're more funny than annoying, though I have to say the second stung my pride for a second.  I'm a nurse in a hospital and a couple nights ago the patients got together and decided it was the night to just say strange things to me.  Oddly enough I wasn't actually either patient's nurse I had just gone into the rooms to help a co-worker.

In the first case, I helped a fellow nurse do a particular procedure with a patient, when we were done he left the room.  He was on the side of the patient's bed closer to the door and therefore got out of the room before I could.  On my way out the patient stops me and says, "I know you."  I tell her that she too looks familiar and that I think I've been her nurse in the past (I know for a fact I have and that she is a frequent flier).  She looks around quickly to make sure my coworker is out of the room and says, "No, from AA."  I tell her no, she's mistaken.  She then smiles winks and says, "It's okay."  I say, "No, really I must look like someone else."  She winks again and says, "Sure."  I am at this point trying not to laugh.  I just told her to feel better and left.  She's still convinced that she knows me from her AA meetings I'm sure.

The second patient was also no mine, but I was helping transport him off the floor.  I should preface this by saying I'm a woman and I don't think a particularly masculine looking one.  The guy while I'm getting him ready to transport says to me, "You look like a friend of mine."  I say, "Oh really?"  "Yeah it's a biker friend of mine," he tells me.  I laugh and tell him I don't ride motorcycles.  He says, "Well his name is Kevin."  I blink a few times and try not any of the vaguely nasty things I'm thinking come out of my mouth and then just tell him that I'll be right back I have to get a cord for the portable monitor.  When I come back in he says, "Well actually the difference between you and Kevin is you don't have tape on you're glasses..." and after a fairly long pause, "and you're a girl."  I bit my tongue and just smiled.  Thanks for noticing buddy.

So according to two patients I am an alcoholic biker dude.  Good to know about myself. 

Edited by Proclone
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1 hour ago, Proclone said:

So according to two patients I am an alcoholic biker dude.  Good to know about myself. 

HEE! Good heavens. It's nice to see you have a sense of humor about it. I imagine that if I had your job, I would need to rely on my ability to fight off shitty things with good humor much more heavily than I do in my current job.

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6 hours ago, Proclone said:

The second patient was also no mine, but I was helping transport him off the floor.  I should preface this by saying I'm a woman and I don't think a particularly masculine looking one.  The guy while I'm getting him ready to transport says to me, "You look like a friend of mine."  I say, "Oh really?"  "Yeah it's a biker friend of mine," he tells me.  I laugh and tell him I don't ride motorcycles.  He says, "Well his name is Kevin."  I blink a few times and try not any of the vaguely nasty things I'm thinking come out of my mouth and then just tell him that I'll be right back I have to get a cord for the portable monitor.  When I come back in he says, "Well actually the difference between you and Kevin is you don't have tape on you're glasses..." and after a fairly long pause, "and you're a girl."  I bit my tongue and just smiled.  Thanks for noticing buddy.

Were you tempted to tell him "well, I USED to be Kevin, now I go by Proclone.  my glasses aren't the only thing I fixed.  Please don't tell anyone, my co-workers don't know.  "

And then just think about the next time he runs into his friend Kevin.

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57 minutes ago, backformore said:

Were you tempted to tell him "well, I USED to be Kevin, now I go by Proclone.  my glasses aren't the only thing I fixed.  Please don't tell anyone, my co-workers don't know.  "

And then just think about the next time he runs into his friend Kevin.

I love that! I've been called "sir" before, by people approaching from the rear. Short haircut but still. The flowered J.C. Penney knit top should give you a clue.

I have a 4" scar on my back from having a lipoma removed. If a health care person or massage therapist happens to ask, I always say it was from a knife fight in a Tijuana bar.

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On Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at 2:16 PM, lordonia said:

I have a 4" scar on my back from having a lipoma removed. If a health care person or massage therapist happens to ask, I always say it was from a knife fight in a Tijuana bar.

Reminds me of a running gag in the old Jonah Hex comic book. Whenever someone asked about the grotesque gaping scarred hole in his cheek, his answer was always something like "I was powerful hungry one day..." or "toothbrush slipped."

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I really cannot stand people who start a job 5 minutes ago and feel they are entitled to privileges that other senior employees get. At my job, there are 14 of us that work in the field. 6 people on the morning crew, 2 mid-shifts, and 6 on the night crew.  2 people recently quit/got fired, so 2 people from another dept applied and got transferred to our department.  Now we have to do a "shift bid", where everyone gets to choose their schedule based on their seniority. The most senior employee gets his pick of the litter; lowest man on the totem pole gets the leftovers. 

I'm 6th in seniority (been there 5 1/2 years)  and for the past year and half I've been working the night shift with Sun/Mon off . This works best for me because I am a night owl and I love having Sundays off to relax and Mondays off to run errands. When my boss sent out a copy of the upcoming shift bid, I noticed my preferred schedule was taken off, with Monday/Tuesday off replacing it. I emailed my boss to see if my Sunday/Monday could be arranged on the schedule and he said no problem, and he fixed it, since the 5 people ahead of me all prefer to work mornings.

Well, apparently this guy who started in Dec. of last year and is 2nd from the bottom in seniority is having a conniption fit because the Monday/Tuesday night shift option was taken off the schedule and that was the one he wanted to choose. He decided he had the right to question my motives in asking to keep the shift I am working now.  I wanted so badly to tell him to fuck off.  Who the fuck does he think he is? Even if my boss said no to my request, there is no guarantee he would have gotten that shift anyway. Now he thinks he has the right to ask for it to be changed back. My boss will mostly likely say no.

If you've only been on the job less than a year, what the hell makes you think you are on equal footing with someone whose been on the job for half a decade? And this man is older than me, so he should have already learned that in life, sometimes you have to work your way from the bottom to get what you want, and not have it handed to you.  Sorry for the long post and cursing but I am so irritated that this jerk feels that I should have to explain my personal choice to him.

Edited by AgentRXS
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Oh gosh, I need this.

 

Rant 1.

Ok, I work as an associate in a small lawfirm, primarily for one named  partner.  There are other three associates work for the other named partner (and we have another small office in a neighboring state with 2 other partners).   We do mostly insurance defense work, but in professional and employment liability cases (real estate, legal, construction/architect/engineer, school district, government agency and other companies), essentially E&O work.

The partner I work with has one insurance carrier client who two years ago came up with this "brilliant" idea.  They hold a reverse auction for the firm's billing rate to the company.  In other words, you submit your bid, which is the highest billing rate you will agree to work for.  Then during the auction, you can lower your bid, i.e. lower your rate, in order to get a better ranking, but you can never raise it  (i.e. even if when you lower your rate the ranking doesn't change, you can't raise it back up to what it was).  The ranking on this reverse auction is purportedly just one of the factors the carrier considers in whether to keep using your firm for your work.

So because of this reverse auction, my boss hasn't raised his billing rates to this carrier in over 4 years.  It pisses me off.  At least part of whether I get a raise is due to whether my boss gets more money on his side of the ledger, and if the rates never increase, its hard to get more money.  And its such a scam by the insurance carrier to get firms to keep their rates lower than for other non-insurance clients.  The recent one we did, we started with our rates 4% higher, but my boss lowered them back down to our current rates.  didn't do a damn thing to our ranking, and now we're stuck again for another year.

And it really hurts small firms like ours.  larger firms can afford to bill insurance carriers very low rates because they can make it up on the higher paying corporate work.  but small firms like mine depend almost exclusively on the insurance work.  Fortunately, we do have other clients, but having to go through this scam reverse auction every year really pisses me off.

 

Rant 2.

I share a secretary with my boss.  Its fine because given I'm very computer literate, I do most of my own typing.  I really just need a secretary to handle secretary stuff, scheduling depositions, calendaring deadlines, court appearances, depos, doing the filing, serving documents (i.e. copying and mailing them out), handling bills from vendors, looking up telephone numbers for my boss (because he can't find stuff on the computer), submitting my time sheets, etc.

A little over a year ago, our secretary quit.  Instead of hiring a new one, my boss got a secretary from our other office to come here 3-4 days a week.  That meant that on the 1-2 days she wasn't in our office, I had to handle these things for my boss, while also trying to keep up with real billable work.

10 months ago, this 'part-time' secretary broke her knee.  She's been out on worker's comp ever since.  Instead of hiring a new secretary, or even a long term temp, my boss instead decided to use our firm's receptionist as a secretary.  This woman (well, almost a girl really, I think she's 22) is nice, but hasn't a clue how to be a secretary.  She will type up exactly what my boss dictates, without any double checking on spelling of names, or that captions are correct.  Any my boss, who's in his early 60s, isn't all that great in the memory department.  I can't tell you how many letters I see that have errors in them because the receptionist doesn't know any better, doesn't bother to check, and my boss doesn't adequately proof read.  I find filing mistakes all the time (i.e. letters and documents put in the wrong file).  The errors waste my time because I then have to fix things.  And I can't bill for that.  And of course because this receptionist is completely overwhelmed handling my bosses stuff, she can't do anything for me.  So I have do everything myself, which of course takes time, much of which I can't bill for.  

Plus, she has no clue on how to calendar deadlines, she doesn't know when an answer is due or discovery, so I have do it, and that's assuming I even know about it.  Most of the time I don't even see the mail unless my boss gives it to me.  I can't count the number of times he gets discovery to answer, gives it to the secretary/receptionist, who just puts in the file, and then nothing is done until the opposing party serves us with a motion to compel responses, and then its all, 'why wasn't this done?"  Um, I didn't know about it.  My boss just assumes the secretary/receptionist will tell me, but if he doesn't tell them, they don't know (neither the secretary nor the receptionist are very bright or take any initiative).

Every week I have to take a whole half day to go through each file to see if there's something new that I have to deal with, that no one told me about.  And hope that the filing is up to date and nothing's misfiled.

And while my boss doesn't bug me about my billable hours (which are definitely lower now than when I started many years ago), I know the other named partner in the firm isn't happy (and I'm sure is at least part of the reason I haven't gotten a raise in 4 years).  Frankly, the only reason I stick with the firm is because I'm not really hassled much about the billable hours because my boss hired me knowing I have a family and they are a priority for me.  He rarely complains when I have to leave early, come in late, or work from home.  I know that finding a similar situation in another firm would be very difficult.  I interviewed a whole lot of places before I found this firm.

But I know my time here is limited.  I'm sure my boss is going to retire in another year or two.  I won't be able to work for the other named partner, he's way too much of a micro-manager type A, require 2400 billable hours and work holidays and weekends type.  i.e. very typical.  Its going to be a huge pain to find another position with the perks I have here.

 

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

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I thought that was rule 1 for a lawyer - have the best legal secretary you can find and afford.

You've laid out a clear and reasonable position here - can't you just tell him that you know that dealing with the lack of support staff at the level you (the collective you) need creates a situation where things fall through the cracks and the firm is using a lawyer to cover secretarial work?

Rant 1 sounds awful, but not easily changed.  Ugh.

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The other partner seems to be doing fine because his crew have 2 very competent legal secretaries handling their cases.

I agree that having a very good legal secretary should be paramount.  Unfortunately, they tend to be desired by many firms and most are willing to pay for them.  My firm is not.  And even when a good secretary is found, the office manager here (who also is a secretary) is the most vile, wretched, mean asshole I've ever worked with.  She has driven away several good secretaries, but for some reason, they keep her here (I think its because she has no life outside the office so she is here from7am to 6pm, and she's been here for 20 years).  I don't have to deal with her too often, but I hate it when I do.

But I think that my boss hasn't hired anyone because his work load has lessened with fewer cases over the last couple of years (as I said, I'm pretty sure he's going to retire in another year or two, once his last kid is out of college), and I'd lay odds the other named partner has told him that a new assistant or better secretary would come out of his share.

I do plan to speak with him soon about what lays ahead.  He recently was out for several weeks for a medical reason, which has made him a bit more frail.  I need to know as much as possible what his plans are so I don't get caught unexpected with him leaving and suddenly needing to find a new job in  a couple months.  

It took me 9 months to find this job when I got laid off from a prior job (right before the big recession hit, so I got lucky there), because I don't want to work 12 hours a day. I accept that I will never make big bucks, but I still need to make a decent enough salary.  I need two more years at my current salary to get all our soft bills paid off (credit cards, student loans, car payment) and after that I can afford a reduced salary to cover mortgage and hard bills (utilities, phone, food, insurance, etc.).  

Of course, if my husband would get another job that pays more, that would help too.  but that's another rant, hahah.  he sortof has the same issue, a very flexible boss that allows him to work from 7-3 so he's home when our girls get home from school, to help with homework and do afternoon/early evening sports (and he stays 'on call' to handle work issues from our home computer).  He also cooks dinner. :D

Its my hope that after a couple years, three at most, he can look for a better job that pays more, even if it means more or different work hours, and I'll be able to work for less pay, maybe even part time, with our girls older, since i anticipate more difficulty in finding a job similar to my current one.

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Well, I've survived the past week.  One person on the team who did set ups, resigned.  That left me to do the heavy lifting with my nitwit co-worker to do some residual crap.  The nitwit hasn't learned a thing in two years in this restructured team, just retaining what little (very little) they did before).  They have bullshitted how much they know, and it's really nothing.  I've been able to cover their little corner of the world, just by researching and reading vendor procedure manuals.  The nitwit hoards all knowledge unique to our business, thinking then they cannot be laid off ever.  

So I hear groans and oh, do you know how do to this..........all freaking day long.  There are some automated processes to update the basic set ups.  I did 4 standalone set ups in one day.  The nitwit is still working on some residual maintenance - then said to me oh you can do this since you're almost done.  I said no, unless you want to take project A, B, C, D, and E over.  Nitwit shut up really quick.  They called the person that left a least 6 times to ask questions, which I'm sure the new employer will say no, you're on our dime, that has to stop.   We get work from home days and nitwit isn't working from home - no, too much to do, and not doing it until they're "comfortable" with new tasks.  Welp, that could take months.  Me, hell yeah I'm working from home; I figured part of it was that nitwit does not know how to do much on their own and wants to lean (have me do)their job.  Not happening.  

Then the office bitch makes a big to do about how she got World Series tickets.  Bitch hasn't ever been to a baseball game in her life.  Now, she's a Cleveland fan.  She left early (which yes, please leave annoying person) and said oh Go Indians and I said no go Cubs.  "Oh you're one of THOSE".  I said you bet I am!  This is someone who never pays any attention to sports, when yeah, I've watched and been to my fair share of games.  She didn't even know one player on either team.  A big "bitch, please" was in order, but I somehow refrained.

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My company has a new president hired from outside. I'm retired but work as an independent contractor one day a week, primarily doing records management.

The guy emails me to say everyone has told him to ask me if he has a question about "numbers." I kind of screwed my mouth sideways, because I'm pretty sure nobody used that exact word. Last week he asked me for outstanding invoice totals, a list of clients who have cancelled this year, the budget for legal services, and employee retention. I asked our accounting specialist, client retention manager, in-house attorney, and HR to please assist.

I don't care if he's new, there isn't one person in a company of 200 people who would be responsible for all that! Use your damned head.

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Here I go again. Venting here to keep myself from getting in a disciplinary meeting in real life for mouthing off, heh.

Ok,so the aggravating newbie I vented about last time got his precious Monday/Tuesday days off schedule and I got to keep my Sunday/Monday days off schedule. Which means Tuesdays are the only day out of the week that I have free from this jerk.

I am so tired of dealing with him. His grammar/spelling in his reports is horrific. It looks like a 3rd grader wrote the report.  Its like he's never heard of spell check/ word editing in his life.  He's always asking for assistance with cases and hates doing his own work. Purposely takes a long time to work on a case so that he can avoid doing other tasks.  Thinks he knows everything about the job and that he's God's gift to the Animal Control Officer profession even though he's only been doing the job 6 months.

I am now giving him the silent treatment because I cannot deal with his arrogance and entitlement. The supervisors apparently don't care about his mediocre work and I am tired of complaining. If he complains that I'm not speaking to him, so be it. I'm done.

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About 2 weeks ago. One of my coworkers went on some powertrip rant and was throwing plastic crates and one hit me. I told him if that ever happened again there'd be a problem. He responded by yelling at me I'm stupid and say stupid crap all the time and to shut the fuck up. He did this in front of witnesses and cameras. They initially gave him a verbal warning but I stood firm with management that it was hostile and intimidating and wrote about all his behavior and tied it to policy written guidelines. So... He was suspended a week without pay. 

I am thankful you guys tell me to stand up to abuse and sexism in the workplace. It should not be tolerated. 

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Wow.  Sincerely sorry that happened.  Sounds like quite the toxic workplace between the trash incident, the weirdo following you and now this.  The company is practically gift wrapping a lawsuit for you.

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It actually does bother me. Even now most know he's suspended and why but like for everyone "oh it's better now." But there's still a lot of things wrong going on others do.  And even if he comes back, we'd have to work together alone. And even if he struck me accidentally it was done in anger & he dimished it and abused me verbally after. But I really appreciate what you guys said about following my instincts and speaking out. I honestly think he should have been fired but that's IMHO. I work in a grocery store btw so I don't know if that is why they allow so much dicey behavior to occur except ...maybe that the corp takes whatever they can get in terms of employees, even leaders. However at the same time valuable professional women are treated inferior. That they can conduct themselves intelligently w reason and not be recognized and there's men there who behave like barbarians and it's justified or hand waved. No one asked me, btw,  even today if I was hurt or needed medical attention after I was struck. I was under the impression even after a minor fall or cut management was supposed to offer that or ask. 

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Petunia, do you have a union? Even if your store management doesn't care, the union should.  We had a union in the store where I worked back in the day, and nothing like that would've ever been tolerated.   

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Yea, take that to the union, even if he is suspended. The union will go to bat for you.

So today chatty cathy asked me if it was just her, or did the guy on the other side of the cube seem excessively loud during personal calls. I took that as my entry to slide in how all the personal calls going on drive me batty. She picked up on that and asked if she drove me batty. So I had to dodge that but what I wanted to say was yes! And I have no idea how you get any work done with all the personal calls you take. Several months ago I was training her on something and she took a call in the middle of it*. So I went back to my desk and never completed the training.

*It's one thing if it's an emergency call, this was not.

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This just drives me friggin nuts.

So I am an attorney/associate working from home a few days a week due to the SEPTA strike.  I have computer access at home, so I can do most things.  The one thing I can't do at home is monitor my boss and the girl he's using as a secretary (real legal sec'y been out since last December on worker's comp and the firm won't hire someone to replace her, even a temp, so  my boss is using the firm's receptionist, who frankly, doesn't know shit about being a legal secretary and doesn't even know enough to ask someone else - she just muddles everything and I end up having to fix her mistakes).

So yesterday while at home, I finish up a draft motion  for my boss to review and tell the girl to print it out and give it to him.  Apparently, he reviewed it, signed it, and gave it back to the girl, and she just shoves it into an envelope with a cover letter to the court to file.  I find this out today.  She didn't attach the exhibits to the motion, she didn't do the cover page, she didn't attach the blue-back to the motion (which this particular county court requires).  She didn't even bother to look on the computer where I had typed up a "Filing Instructions" memo with all the steps we have to follow (because this was a county court we hadn't previously appeared in, so even I didn't know the procedure until I looked it up and then called the court clerk to ask more questions). So now I have redo the whole damn thing and refile it.

Of course my boss should have known better.  He could clearly see there was no exhibit attached.  He should have just put it back on my desk since I said I'd be in today, and let me get it ready to file.  

Fortunately, we had plenty of time to file the motion, it wasn't past the deadline.  But still, it makes us look like idiots to the other counsel and it wastes my time having to fix this crap. at least I fixed it before it got before the judge, so the judge won't think we're idiots (yet).

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Your use of the word "girl" several times to refer to an adult female is troubling.  I've worked with male lawyers in their 70s, and they knew better than to call the support staff "girls". 

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Fuming (again).  Major project being executed this weekend.  Dipshit co-worker was to handle some shit, and I'm doing some major lifting tomorrow.  Of course, I get a call last night, group A didn't check for shit, wasn't set up, and it has to be done NOW.  So I drive into the office.  Did they call Dipshit?  Nope, because they even know it would be a waste of time.  I was at least thanked for taking care of it.  Trying to sleep in a big this morning, nope.  Dipshit calling.  A friend said turn your phone off because they'd predicted the Dip would be calling.  Sure enough.

We need to get the details about ABC, do you have the number?   Yes, you moron, I copied you YESTERDAY on the email, and you were copied on the response YESTERDAY.  The vm I got (I didn't answer) said maybe I didn't see it............why do I even bother?   And the Dip has a couple of things to do, most of which could have been done well in advance (this was months and months in the making/planning).  I got a deer in the headlights look when I said you know you could have done everything up to entering 3 codes.  Huh?  Oh, well.  Well, sure, time to milk OT hours.  My bad.  I'm sure the Dip will fuck it up somehow.  Tried to pawn it off to me, but no, you claim to be an expert on that, so be that bad expert you claim to be!

Oh and the ABC shit they needed - yeah everything was in good order, jobs ran just fine.  Apparently another idiot couldn't read.  

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On 10/31/2016 at 1:34 PM, Petunia13 said:

Even now most know he's suspended and why but like for everyone "oh it's better now."

I've been in similar situations myself - I still don't understand it either.  They act like abused spouses who think the abuser apologized and therefore everything's fine.  Sick!

On 10/31/2016 at 1:34 PM, Petunia13 said:

And even if he comes back, we'd have to work together alone.

I'd be very concerned for my safety.  He might decide to take it out on you in the future.  Have you seen an attorney?  You may have to take this to the next level if you can't find work elsewhere and this nut keeps making your work life miserable.  Keep recording everything you can and document beyond documenting.

 

On 10/31/2016 at 1:34 PM, Petunia13 said:

I don't know if that is why they allow so much dicey behavior to occur

Either the rest of management is like this or this guy is related to (or sleeping with) someone with juice who's making excuses for him.

 

On 11/4/2016 at 3:29 PM, Quof said:

[Hanahope's] use of the word "girl" several times to refer to an adult female is troubling.

 Speaking as a woman myself, being referred to as a girl doesn't offend me in the slightest.  I've known adult women who refer to their friendship groups as "the girls".  

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