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A case of the Mondays: vent your work spleen here

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But your girlfriends aren't your superiors in the workplace.  "Girl" used in this context is intended to demean the status of an adult female.   I say this as a female who began practising law at the age of 23.   None of the older lawyers, male or female, called me a girl, nor were the support staff called girls.  (It was a long time ago, but it wasn't 1950).

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My brother uses the term gal - this gal he works with, this gal he knows from karate...makes me crazy.  The gal he works with is most likely an electronic engineer working in a high demand job for a company whose clients include the military and NASA.  He'll say "the engineer on the project" or "the tech engineer on this", but only if he is referring to a guy.

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Using a term like girl or gal is fine when you're talking about friends. 

Use in the work place is different. The history is that the term "my girl" was used to mean "my secretary", and "girls" meant the people who answered the phone, filed things, typed, and made Coffee for the men.  The implication was that men were the bosses who did important jobs, women were inferior and subservient.  the job was even sometimes called "gal Friday", in the help wanted ad.

For those who are younger, newspapers had job listings. That was how you looked for work.  And, there were two sections, "help wanted male" and "help wanted female".  Executive, supervisor, manager jobs were advertised in the male section .  Secretary, file clerk, typist, general office work, were in the female section.  We were "office gals", with no chance of any promotion, except maybe supervising other office gals. This was in the 1970's.  

It's offensive because it assumes two things: women can't be bosses, and men can't be secretary/support staff. 

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Kidding. It's fucked up that a lot of organizations still have that mentality and structure. Like every single place I've worked. I'm a female POC btw so esp notice it. 

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On 11/4/2016 at 6:29 PM, Quof said:

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". 

Sorry.  She's 18, so still a "girl" to me.  I guess 18 is technically an adult.  Actually, she's turning 19 next week.  She'd actually been working for our firm since high school as a part-time clerk (did copies, sorted/passed out mail, did some filing), then when our former receptionist left (who was the aunt of the girl), they promoted her, since she was now out of school, even though she had just turned 18 and had no other experience.  Then just a couple weeks later, my boss starts using her as a legal secretary.  I think there was a thought that his real secretary wouldn't be out long, but they had to know she'd be out for months, and in another seven weeks, it'll be a year.

Edited by Hanahope

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In an earlier post, you called her a girl when you thought she was 22.   She's an adult.  Please refer to her as such. 

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Yeah, I didn't know her exact age.  I knew she was young, but I never got the exact number before (I thought before she was part time in college, not high school - that was surprising).  but I bet I'm not the first to refer to a millenial (or any younger generation) as a 'girl' or 'boy' when they don't act very professional.

Edited by Hanahope
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Does anyone else work with an older (elderly) person in their 70s that just sort of feels the need to have some kind of weird power issue over you?

I work in what I think is a dysfunctional office. My boss is never around. I have no work to do ever. Like the job of the people in this office could be done by one person and then a temp for vacations. I am underworked and overpaid, but that's a different complaint. 

Anyway, I have two degrees over this person, and believe me I am not the type of person to be like "I am more educated than you therefore I am better than you." And if she treated me like an equal, I would have no complaints. Like I have _____ degree and all that it took to get that, I would love to see her try and do it. But this person only has a high school diploma and she constantly acts like she is smarter and better than me. My 2nd degree would really prove to beg her wrong. I am in a position where I am not really using that degree which I guess is my fault but this is my first job, so you can't really be that picky at that point. She just constantly does stuff like announce to the whole office that my work on this letter/memo, whatever, is "not up to my usual standards." Which she just did and half those "grammar" issues were my boss's and yeah, guess what, you don't catch every little thing when you are reading it over for the 10th time. She thinks she is like the Grammar Queen and believe me, she's made mistakes/typos on plenty of things too (in final form) and I don't announce it to the whole office. And this thing was going to go through about another 5 rounds of people looking it over anyway.

She just always picks on little things like that. She acts like she's above me in the rankings, but we are completely on the same level. The difference is this is her last job and this is my first job. She is also only working a few days a week now but still acts like she is hot shit. She will leave me out of stuff with the other worker but then I am expected to tell them everything. I truly think it's because she's old and a woman and has never been able to have any power in her life due to that and so she takes it out on the one person she can (me). I find that a lot of my friends/people my age have the same complaints about older women especially in that age range. My husband at his job once got called down to the principal's office (he works at a school) because one of his co-workers said he "wasn't walking a kid to his lunch table fast enough."

Mostly, at this point, I just tell myself to try not to care but it's just wearing. She is the type of person I hate. Has some kind of weird power issues and is really fake to rich men, but demeaning to low-wage workers we come across in our job. Between her and just really having no work at all, I've started looking for another job but that takes time and being overpaid is going to make it difficult, I think. And my husband has been looking for a new job for 10 months and....nothing. If she actually retired over choosing only to work a couple days a week, I would have work to do. I don't know. I want to get a better position but I don't know how easy it will be. I know these problems may not seem as big in comparison to some other people's work problems, but I just needed (another) place to vent. I complain to my husband every day! LOL

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@BrittaBot, my Dipstick co-worker is older, not quite 70.  She's acted like she's the boss to me and to another co-worker.  It's only when she thinks she knows what she's doing.  If it's a real issues, then she's no where to be found.  Did something today, asked for info - like she'll be handling it.  Right.  Hasn't the first clue how to do it.  Does one little smidgeon of work.  I found out later today the Dipstick was on the phone last week with a former co-worker, saying how she'd done so much and I'd basically had it easy.  Uh, no.  She asked me questions on how to basic functions today, at least a half dozen times.  That's a low amount.  She also points out any time anyone else makes an error, say if you type something wrong.  Never mind that she doesn't write complete or understandable emails all the time.  I keep hoping she'll retire or I'll get lucky and win the lottery.

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On 11/7/2016 at 4:55 PM, Hanahope said:

Yeah, I didn't know her exact age.  I knew she was young, but I never got the exact number before (I thought before she was part time in college, not high school - that was surprising).  but I bet I'm not the first to refer to a millenial (or any younger generation) as a 'girl' or 'boy' when they don't act very professional.

So...this is the older millenial in me...Is anyone ever going to teach her what a legal secretary should be doing?

It might be a little more work on the front side but if the job is fairly rote once you know what you're doing, someone should sit her down and give her a small manual she can look through to complete her tasks.

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I'm ready to pull my hair out.  I have a few vacation days upcoming.  There are some tasks that need done ahead of that time, but there could be some updates while I'm out.  I set up a meeting, well ahead of time, to go through what would need to be updated by my Dipstick co-worker.  She gets to meeting, now what is this about?  I'd already told her, specified the topics on the meeting invite, plus I told her she'd want to take notes about all of this.  Sigh.  I spent an hour explaining something very simple, and she still did not get it.  I showed multiple screen updates - I did right in front of her, let her ask questions, but I could see, nah, did not understand at all.  I said I will do like 99.99999% of everything, you would have to do maybe 1 update, if that.  Just want to make sure you're able to do it (so I am not called - I know I'll be called, but still).  

So the info we need will be finalized on Friday.  I will work on those updates when I get the final list (there could be more later, but this will be the majority of stuff).  That department keeps sending revisions today, list upon list.  Questions from the Dip:  why is A more than B on list 2 to 3.  I don't know.  I'm not wasting time on it until I get final list on FRIDAY.  I swear to God if she asks me one more time I will reach through the screen and strangle her.   I also had a chat with my boss, and said I'd have it done before I log out for vacation.  I said she's freaking out, not sure why.  She asked me a question yesterday re: terminology on the system she's supposedly the expert (which is a crock of shit - there's not much to do with it, and it's not difficult to pick up - just a way she thinks of securing her job).  The terms are basic industry terms; she's been working for this company at least 20 years, so nothing has sunk in within that time.  I mean the terms are basic, basic, basic - like you'd explain that to someone on day 1.  I explained it, and it was like talking to a brick wall.  

In meetings for upcoming events, I've noticed recently, she sticks to her two little items she needs to do.  Beyond that, it's deer in the headlights.  I do not know how someone stays so willing to be clueless.  I have to learn and understand or it drives me crazy.   Someone else told me she was on the phone telling someone how hard it's been, and how I had it easy as all of the stuff I'd had to do on the last big project was already completed by someone else.  Uh, no.  I showed her yesterday some of the stuff I had done and completed, and she was stunned.  Oh, so we have program for that?  Yes, I found it because I LOOKED and ASKED.  Oh.    ::::pounding head on desk::::::

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Is it possible for you to be unreachable on your vacation days?  The downside of all this technology - no one feels bad about reaching out to you on your personal time because it will "just take a minute" (liar liar pants on fire).  And you feel like you have to have an excuse to be incommunicado on your vacation days.

What I have done before is tell them my cell was acting funny, so best send me an email explaining anything in detail that I am needed for.  Cut down the contacts by about a 1/3 when they had to explain the problem in writing.  Cut down a bit more when I kept replying "You did not send enough background and I can't answer until you give me the detail".

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Although my situation is not nearly as severe as yours, @hoosier80, I always get email requests for help on weekends and holidays. My favorites are the ones that start "Sorry to bother you on a holiday..." No, you aren't. Or the ones that come in Friday afternoon--it's clear the person did it to clear off their to-do list and then pretend it doesn't hang over my weekend even though they claim they don't expect an answer until Monday. Fuck that. The last few times I've taken a long weekend, I've said "and I won't have access to email" on the auto-reply. Which, by the way, pops up as soon as you address an email if you're using the work system, so you know before you type the request the person you're burdening is on vacation.

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Hoosier80, in your case I would not answer the phone while on vacation if it's a work call. Unless you have it written into some kind of contract that you have to be on call 24/7, you are not obligated to take work calls during your time off. You could just as easily be going somewhere on vacation where cell phone reception is lousy or nonexistent, decide to leave your cell phone at home while on vacation, or any number of things, none of which are their business. I always include the "will have no access to phone or email" text in my auto-reply. Fortunately, neither my manager nor my colleagues are the type to call my personal cell when I am out of office. I'd be okay with a call about something urgent/huge, like "we just had a major re-org, so you will have a new boss when you come back on Monday," or something similar, but for just routine work crap, hell no.

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That guy who threw the crate that hit me and then cussed me out returned from his suspension and was like reserved for a half a day then back at his same antics. Nothing reportable just showing up wherever I am constantly and talking loudly to himself, singing annoying songs or making shrill sounds like a beat boxer on crack,  standing very near me but not touching. His bad hygiene has worsened almost out of spite, so he literally looks and smells like a derelict. I almost lost my cool today since he also interrupts my work/convos w others to interject inane comments not speaking to me but my supervisor or colleagues. It's all very grade school bullying ("I'm not touching you...nah nah nah") 

a manager above us both was ranting to me about what a piece of shit he was fucking up HIS work and snitching to the store director to undermine him, he called him a cocksucker when he was venting to me,  and I told him he was preaching to the choir and non verbally said in my head, "welcome to my world. Y'all had a chance to get rid of him. Perfectly gift wrapped when he assaulted me and choose to retain him." That's the problem with toxic people they drag others down. Either by messing up their flow or infiltrating their mindset so they're more negative.  

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Quote

And you feel like you have to have an excuse to be incommunicado on your vacation days.

Boy, I don't; no one needs any explanation beyond "I'm on vacation."  Only my assistant has my cell phone number, anyway, so she'd need to forward someone to me and she knows not to do that (and knows not to call me herself unless it's a true emergency - which has never happened).  But with email and voice mail, I just make clear in my out-of-office reply and voice mail greeting that I am not checking messages until I'm back (which shouldn't need to be clarified, but that's the world in which we live) so if it's time-sensitive contact someone else.

Edited by Bastet
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Our out-of-office auto-reply template includes a place for us to list a contact person just in case someone needs to get in touch about something time-sensitive or urgent. So, Hoosier80, you might consider adding your co-worker's name, email, and phone to your auto-reply, instructing anyone who needs assistance with X, Y, or Z to contact the co-worker.

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3 hours ago, DeLurker said:

You should put that on your resume.

I'm going steal it and use it as the opening line on my Tinder blurb. 

Edited by JTMacc99

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The Dipstick is already on my out of office response, but yeah, she will still call.  Clueless.  The good news I finally finished up stuff today, got a review from another department who is impacted by the task list, said they agreed.  I still send lists to the Dip to review.  There's an event coming up in about 3 weeks; I have run this event since about 2005.  I've got it memorized on how stuff should go, but now Dip is saying oh I can help - sure with the shit that happens during regular business hours.  I wouldn't trust her anyhow.  The stuff from the other day, I was simply astounded by how little she knows.  We're talking basic industry terms.  I wish I could let stuff slide, but this impacts financial transactions that are posted daily, so no it cannot wait on most items.  

Dip is still calling for help from someone who left the company a month or so ago.  So, yeah, she won't hesitate to call me.  I'm expecting it.

Then it kills me like she wants to act like she's my boss.  Uh, no.  I had a mini blow up the other day, where I said and she heard, I'm so tired of people wanting to take charge when they have no f'ing clue what they are doing.  It got very quiet.  Heh, heh, heh.  

I had almost an 11 hour day today, getting stuff together.  And my time off won't be just relaxing.  I need a vacation from my vacation days.

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9 hours ago, DeLurker said:

You should put that on your resume.

For some reason, this reminds me of a situation I was in a long time ago. We had a client who was notorious for a mercurial temperament and who would go ballistic if things were not done the way she thought they should be. At that time, as part of our performance appraisal, we had what were then called KJRs (key job responsibilities). I of course had the formal set of KJRs, but my manager added an informal one that never made it onto paper: Refrained from killing the client, even under extreme provocation. To be fair, though, the client was much nicer to me than to most of my colleagues. I attribute this to the fact that I was in charge of getting publications written, edited, and printed (told you this was a long time ago), and those were tangible results that she could see, show off to other people, etc. I was also able to alert her that some materials she'd had printed by another company were completely misprinted, and explain to her that because of their mistake, she needed to demand that the other company do a rush reprint, absorb the additional cost themselves, then ship the correct booklets to us also on a rush basis so we could include them in the packages of materials we were sending out for the client. She could at times be very reasonable, but you would never know how she would react to something. But I clearly remember the day my manager said to me, "Your colleague Tim ShitForBrains just fucked up project ABC for this client. Can you call her and explain what happened? She's only hung up on you once."

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After 10+ years of shitty jobs and shitty bosses I truly have my dream job with my dream boss. We work together so well. All I have to bitch about are my annoying cube-farm neighbors and how freezing it is in my office.

Chatty Cathy is on leave until January. She's injured and I feel really bad for her (because other than being CC, she's awesome). But now, the woman on the other side of the cube wall has taken to snapping and cracking her gum. 

And my office is freezing cold on oru side of the building. The women on the other side of the building can wear sandals and sun dresses in the sumemr and we're wearing sweaters and jackets. It's completely lopsided and facilities won't do shit about it since the HVAC company says there are no issues and they've already redirected all the vents near me. I email the facilities manager 2-3 times a day to adjust the temperature and it only lasts 30-60 minutes at a time. I am getting sick from the freezing air blowing on me (no more vents can be redirected because they impact others). All the people around me are freezing too but I'm the only one who complains. I want to bring in a heater but it's against policy. 

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20 hours ago, BookWoman56 said:

I of course had the formal set of KJRs, but my manager added an informal one that never made it onto paper: Refrained from killing the client, even under extreme provocation. To be fair, though, the client was much nicer to me than to most of my colleagues.

I apparently had a similar knack for getting along with raging, fire-breathing clients. Probably because I had had several weeks of customer service training, instead of the single day's worth that everyone else had. It's not that hard. The Cliff's Notes version of all that training:

  • Don't be incompetent.
  • Don't be an asshole.
  • Don't bullshit the customer.
  • Explain the situation to the customer.
  • Educate the customer if they show any interest in the details.
  • Do what you say you'll do.
  • Respond to all email or voice mail ASAP, even if it's only to say "we're still working on it."

Incidentally, we were taught that "the customer" meant everyone that we interacted with as part of our job, including each other.

19 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

It's completely lopsided and facilities won't do shit about it since the HVAC company says there are no issues and they've already redirected all the vents near me. I email the facilities manager 2-3 times a day to adjust the temperature and it only lasts 30-60 minutes at a time. I am getting sick from the freezing air blowing on me (no more vents can be redirected because they impact others).

How about the air intakes? It can still get awfully cold if you're sitting in the path of the air-flow.

Edited by Sandman87
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7 minutes ago, Sandman87 said:

How about the air intakes? It can still get awfully cold if you're sitting in the path of the air-flow.

Nope. And the only place to move to is another building 20 miles away (further, I live 5 miles, all surface streets) from my office.

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The new president at my company has banned telecommuting for anyone who lives within 90 minutes of the office. Shades of Yahoo.

About 60% of employees work remotely. I'm safely five states away, but 90 minutes in the DC metro area traffic seems cruel and unusual.

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Yeah, that'll teach him.  Your employer doesn't care, nor need to care, how far away you live.  I used to work with a woman who would saunter into the office around 9:30 (all other assistants worked 8:30-4:30 or 9-5). She would explain "If I got on the bus at 8, I would just be sitting in traffic, so I wait until 9".  Yet she would leave at 5.   Not your employer`s problem - figure out a way to get to work by the designated time. 

Edited by Quof
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My desk in in receiving so there's giant garage doors open all the time yr round. Also so many coworkers work in freezers or refrigerators their entire shift chopping fruit and veggies or cutting meat. I did a shift for produce in the cut room. My crush is a butcher so he wears long underwear under his clothes even in the summer since yea 40 plus hrs a week in a freezer On the other side working in kitchens can be hot by a grill or BBQ. Such is the blue collar life

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While I agree that employees should get to work by the designated time, I also think employers need to take into account how long the average commute is to their office. If you live in a large enough city, the commute could easily be 1-2 hours each way, and it's ridiculous to expect someone to put in an extra 3-4 hours per day driving in insane traffic and still do a good job in the designated 8 hours of paid work. I telecommute full-time because there is no aspect of my job that requires F2F interaction, and the nature of my job means that I need a lot of quiet and preferably solitude to work. I frankly wish more companies would implement telecommuting as an option because it would mean reduced daily traffic, less stress from dealing with rush hour traffic, etc. In my situation, there is a large facility about 10 miles away from me where I could theoretically go to work if I were required to work in an office setting. However, nobody on my team is there (or in this state for that matter), and because of the way internal budgeting works, if I got assigned a cubicle at that site, my team would have to pay "rent" each month for me to sit there surrounded by a bunch of people that I have no reason to interact with. Before I changed positions within the same organization, I did work at that facility and the commute was a bitch. My last few months in the old position, I was telecommuting based on ADA accommodations, as my vision had deteriorated to the point that I could no longer legally drive, using public transportation would have been a 2-3 hour commute each way (public transportation here sucks)  with a 1-mile walk added onto it, and taxi service would have been $50-75 each way daily. When I began applying for different positions within the company, I stipulated that I needed to be able to telecommute full-time, and there was no problem with it from my new manager (and area of the company). As noted, nothing about my job requires me to be in a F2F setting with other people, so I much prefer avoiding the stress of a commute. I do recognize that there are jobs where F2F interaction is necessary, but I think companies need to get past the idea that every single employee needs to be in the same office.

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OK, Can say a word against Hurricane Eyes?

 

 These folks will pick up on every little vibe  of dissatisfaction  with management or other coworkers then endlessly 'advise' and gossip about these problems til the cows come home but offer NO constructive solutions or directly talk to those they have problems with. I think more than any other group, they are the worst morale killers.

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On 11/20/2016 at 4:37 PM, BookWoman56 said:

While I agree that employees should get to work by the designated time, I also think employers need to take into account how long the average commute is to their office. If you live in a large enough city, the commute could easily be 1-2 hours each way, and it's ridiculous to expect someone to put in an extra 3-4 hours per day driving in insane traffic and still do a good job in the designated 8 hours of paid work. 

If telecommuting was a perk that was offered when the job offer was made then I would completely agree the new President needs to take a good hard look at the impact their new policy will have. If it was an unofficial perk then it's up to the employee to decide if they want to make that drive every day, or relocate closer to the position before they take that job. It does suck for the employees who are going to have to haul their asses in every day going forward.

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I know a number of people who take advantage of telecommuting.  they "work from home"  a day or two a week, and run errands, go to doctor appointments, get haircuts, mow the lawn, go out to lunch, visit family -  and do almost no work at all.  But they have the type of job where it's hard to quantify how much tie they spend working.  

I think companies have been taken advantage of by people "working from home" and are trying to crack down.  unfortunately, some people who legitimately DO work from home, will get burned. 

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We're supposed to be allowed to work from home, but my boss is such a control freak and micromanager, he has to know what I'm doing every moment of the day. If I'm sick and need to stay home, though, he weirdly expects me to work from home. If I'm sick, I need to be allowed to rest!

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23 hours ago, backformore said:

I know a number of people who take advantage of telecommuting.  they "work from home"  a day or two a week, and run errands, go to doctor appointments, get haircuts, mow the lawn, go out to lunch, visit family -  and do almost no work at all.  But they have the type of job where it's hard to quantify how much tie they spend working.  

I think companies have been taken advantage of by people "working from home" and are trying to crack down.  unfortunately, some people who legitimately DO work from home, will get burned. 

I've seen that occur where people take advantage of telecommuting, but I've also much more frequently seen situations where people go into the office and don't do a damn bit of work all day either, or what amounts to an hour of work and 7 hours of avoiding work. From my perspective, it's less about whether someone telecommutes or is in the office, and more about what kind of work ethic the person has.  In my case, I negotiated the telecommute option during the hiring process. I've done it previously with other companies as well with no problems on either side. Part of it is a function of my job; there's no way in hell I can write and edit 400-500 page reports surrounded by chatty cubicle neighbors who destroy my concentration. Not everything I work on is that length, but 50 pages is a short document for me. I could survive in an office setting if I had an office with a door, but that's difficult to find these days.

The other part of my preference for telecommuting is just personality type. I am not a social butterfly at all, just the opposite. Almost every tech writer I've ever worked with is the same way; it's sort of an inside joke among many tech writers I know that we are all, like Sherlock, high-functioning sociopaths. We like writing; we dislike people in general although we can like/care about individuals; and having to be surrounded physically by other people and engage in office gossip and small talk makes us stabby. I'm fine to talk about actual work; I can facilitate teleconferences and so forth to get information needed to write procedures, reports, etc. But the purely social expectations of an office setting cause me extreme discomfort, often to the point of anxiety attacks and having to go outside or hide in the restroom just to be alone for a few minutes.  Consequently, my productivity in an office setting is probably 25% lower than when I telecommute, and while I've always been able to get my work done on time, and have consistently gotten performance appraisals of exceeding or far exceeding expectations, it would annoy me to feel that I could be doing much better work at home.  I realize that's not how everybody works, but for some of us, telecommuting is much better for us and our employers than working in the office would be.

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If one hates one's job, is it too much to ask to not broadcast one's job searches or bragging about other places wanting to hire them to coworkers until one has ACTUALLY gotten hired by somewhere else? Just asking.     

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@BookWoman56, that's exactly what no one gets about my job. I research and write all day for commercial real estate. I'm extremely introverted, but beyond that, my work requires quiet concentration. I work in a bullpen of loud brokers who are on the phone all day. It's miserable. I can't have an office because no one but the Managing Director and a select few other bigwigs have offices. It's not based on work performed, but title. As a culture and economy, we need to do away with this perception of "more important" = "I get an office", particularly when some of those office-holding folks are in meetings most of the time. The "co-working" and cube farm work environment is for the birds.

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Blergh, no, that's not too much to ask. IMO, it's stupid to tell all your colleagues that you are actively looking for another job (unless the circumstances are such that everybody already knows you are because of impending layoffs or something similar). For starters, I've met more than a few managers who would have regarded anyone doing a job search as disloyal and gone looking for excuses to let the person go. In addition, talking/bragging about your current job search will create the impression among your colleagues that you're not doing your fair share of the current work because you are focused on getting out of there. There's also the question of whether you are conducting your job search on your own time or company time. Finally, it sounds a little too much like you are self-congratulating on being willing/able to get other job offers while your colleagues are not. The last time I changed jobs (from one part of the company to another), I did not let anyone know I was looking, until the hiring manager for the new job called my existing manager to negotiate the date for when I could switch over to the new job. Even though HR had told me a few days prior that an offer was forthcoming, I didn't tell anyone else until I had the offer letter in my hands (well, in my inbox).

Bilgistic, I've been lucky in most of my jobs to be in (1) a cubicle setting but one which had higher walls than normal and also neighbors who were doing similar work and therefore very quiet; (2) in a separate office with a door; or (3) working from home where I could control the noise level. The position I had prior to this one was the first I'd ever been in where the noise level was so bad I couldn't deal with it, in an area that sounds like your loud brokers. They were project managers of some sort who were also on the phone all day, and not a single one of them had an inside voice. The funniest situation I've ever been in regarding having a separate office was ironically because I was a contractor. Someone came up with the bright idea of converting a former conference room/exec office to a place to put all the contractors in my area so we weren't working in cubicles alongside the regular FTEs. A few of the contractors who initially were with me in the contractor room accepted full-time job offers and a few got laid off, until I was the only one left in that office. So, for close to a year I had my own private large office when neither my manager nor his director did and instead had cubes. When we needed to meet, they would come to my office instead of the other way around. At the point they offered me a regular full-time position, one reason I declined the offer was that it would have meant going from the private office to a cubicle (not the main reason, but still a factor). I completely understand your situation. Some job roles need a quiet area and a competent manager would realize that and try to provide one, whether in the office area itself or via telecommuting. How the hell are you supposed to get your work done, which requires a huge amount of concentration, when you are surrounded by constant noise? This is not rocket science. Cubicle farms may work for some types of jobs, but not for all. And don't even get me started on the concept of completely open work areas, without even the faux privacy of cubicle walls. That is one of my versions of hell.

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You know what would make awkward socializing with your coworkers and even some of their spouses at the annual Christmas party less awkward?  An employee talent show!

Or at least that's my guess of how the conversation went down with the folks in charge of these things at work.

It's always been my base instinct to head for the bar in the farthest back corner from where the main activities are will take place. The first time I did this at this job, to the surprise of no one I found the group of people I considered my work friends already gathering around the back corner bar. Birds of a feather flock together at the back corner bar I believe is how the saying goes. I'm thinking that I'm going to need to find someplace even further away from the center stage this year. Hopefully it's not too cold that night, and I can go hang with the smokers.

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We had an employee pumpkin carving  contest I won. It was Frankenstein's monster crying. The top tier management had a chili backoff recently. If they ever had a bake off or pie contest I'd enter I am not a bad baker and have some old recipes. 

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Yesterday, I had wanted to start on new setups, but the Dipstick had to ask me about shit they have to do next Monday.  There's a whole big checklist on what needs to happen, but apparently reading is just too "hard".  Half of the items didn't apply due to the type of updates going on - and I kept saying that over and over what exactly was being done.  It had been explained in one meeting.  Then "what do I do with this" when it say that 'John Smith' was doing it.  Uh, let 'John' do his job?  Dip comes in around 6 a.m., which is ridiculous.  Does NOTHING.  Oh I catch up on my work.  No sits and surfs the internet.  When I come in, then I'm bombarded with questions, with items sitting that they've not worked on, sitting in a work queue.  

Today was the worst.  Dip runs monthly statistical reports, shown to them by another person (who has departed the company).  Been doing it a couple of months.  Today, nope, apparently forgotten how they've done it.  I've never run the reports - using Access and importing files.  There are copious amounts of procedures, step by step with illustrations.  I get sent an email asking for help.  Been working on it since 6 a.m.  I read the one part (there were like 10 steps - asking where are you stuck - which they didn't think to tell me), then opened the database, ran the damned query per the instructions.  Voila.  All of maybe 5 minutes.  I am asked about this around 10:30.  So you sat for 4.5 hours doing what exactly?  Now they want to go over it with me.  Ok, I have never ran the reports nor was I trained on it.  I'm so weaseling out of it.  Sorry, not sorry.  When I found out I'd be taking on new duties, I read the procedures and asked questions before I took over - and before the person leaving left the company.  It's been 3 months.  

Yesterday, Dip came in at the early bird special time, and left by 3:30.  So I'm there, ready to leave at 5, then get at least 10 new items in queue.  Some had to be done last night.  I left around 6:15, only to get in the middle of a pouring rain/wind storm.  Yeah, I was beyond pissed.   I've got an event coming up in a couple of weeks, to which the Dip loudly said (in manager's office, of course) oh I can help out!  Except that the Dip has scheduled vacation for that date.  Never asked what can I do to help or read the procedures for the event.  One small event happening tomorrow, and of course, dumped a task to me.  It's small and I have everything all scheduled.  Dumped because they have to take care of something else (small task, but makes it a big dog & pony show).  I really need to win the lottery.  I'd go to manager, but he won't do a thing.  

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