I will, quite often, remark that the reason I must have lost my job from Greed, Inc was probably due to my being a bad manager. Whether or not this is true, I’ve decided that this is the best way to look at the situation. This allots for whatever mistakes I may or may not have made (that were never pointed out to me, after the fact or prior to the fact) that could be lumped into the “why” category. But this also gives me the ability to at least assume that I really did have some responsibility for what ended up happening. I’ve since learned that this is probably not the case and chances are, I’m a decent manager. Until such a time where I can test that ability out again, I have to assume that I screwed the pooch in some arena or another and I just haven’t quite figured out where that particular “arena” is.
The reason I mention this is because it’s possible that I don’t know what quite makes a “good boss” because I, myself, was not what would be considered a “good boss.” Let’s keep that in mind as we continue…
I have a fairly decent relationship with my direct supervisor. She’s not actually a supervisor in the traditional capacity. She’s the lead on two of the largest portfolios that our consulting firm handles. She’s fairly busy a lot of the time because one portfolio has nearly 600 properties associated with it and the other, while only at 46 properties, needs a lot of hand holding. I support her on both of these portfolios, extensively, as well as have lead over my own sets of portfolios. (None of which require as much time and effort as the two she is lead over.) We talk regularly. We joke regularly. We complain about the same items on both portfolios regularly. All in all, I wouldn’t say that we were friends, per se, but I would say that we have a decent communication line between us. I have no problem telling her that my plate is too full for more items to add to it – since she turns to me first for delegating tasks – and she respects the boundaries that I set. I will admit that I don’t set as many boundaries as I probably should but, honestly, she doesn’t have many people to choose from. There are two other leads, of other portfolios, in the office and three support roles. I’m the quickest to respond when she needs something and, aside from one other person in the office, am probably the most capable for some of the stranger items that she needs me to work on.
All in all, I’m awesome.
But in all seriousness, I know what my job entails, I know how to do it, and I can do efficiently.
However, in the last week, she’s had some personal issues popping up. Frankly, I’m not going to discuss what the items are because they are numerous and convoluted. I know about her personal life because she feels like sharing, though I do not reciprocate because I’m a private person. (Not to mention, being a pagan in an Evangelical Christian’s office setting leaves me feeling that I need to keep most items private in case I misstep or misspeak and end up without a job.) I feel her pain and I commiserate with her over the issues she’s face. They are large. They are very important. And they are mentally and emotionally consuming. As I’ve mentioned to her before, she needs to get better about her spoon management when it comes to both work and personal life items. However, we are all different and how we go about working things out are entirely different from one person to another. As these personal issues have cropped up, I’ve noticed a marked difference in her personality, her habits, and her remarks concerning work.
Honestly, the job isn’t the best one to have. It pays the bills, but it takes a lot out of you most days. On days like that, you’re lucky if you can clock out ten minutes after the close of business. On days like that, you’re often day-dreaming about the really horrible things you can do to your customers and their needs because they are stupid, foolish, or a mix therein. On days like that, you are staring moodily at the clock, hoping for it to move faster so that the end of the day comes quicker. On days like that, you’re probably surfing Facebook or Tumblr to keep your mind off of how bad your day is going.
The rest of the time, you’re patting yourself on the back for a job well done.
Whatever is going on inside of her head, she’s been taking it out on everyone directly beneath her lately and it’s starting to grate on my damn nerves. At first, I was exempt from these peevish remarks. She made them in regards, mostly, to the new girl. “What does she do all day,” she’d snap at me. I’d have to explain that she was either doing side work for me or any of the other leads in the office. The girl has been there for not quite a month and is still learning. I hate to break it to my supervisor but she was pretty babied when it came to me. I came to her previously trained by someone else and I am a fast study. The two new hires haven’t been as quick studies as I was and so, it’s taking the full three months of training to get them up to snuff. Not only that, but they are all being inundated with requests from every lead in the office (of which there are four) for assistance with minor items like getting contract information, getting pricing information, and things of that nature. We all forget how time consuming that can be, but it really can take a while to get any of the carriers to give us the information we want. Sometimes, it means we have to call back 6 times before we get a rep that isn’t going to ask us stupid questions.
I think I really started getting snotty when she asked me, “Do you think she’ll ever grow up?”
The girl is young. She is very, very immature in the ways of the world. She is also very, very blonde. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, but she can be incredibly ditzy. It happens, though. We all make mistakes; that’s how you learn what you need to do. What makes all these snarky remarks about the new girl that much worse is the fact that (A) I don’t have to monitor her every movement or E-mail like I did with the other new person and (B) my supervisor is the person who made me like the new girl! When I found out how old she was and how little telecommunications experience she had, I immediately wasn’t to black ball her. But, now I have to defend her youth and inexperience to the very person who did this to me? I understand that my supervisor’s previous remarks were before she was tried and tested, but frankly, if you don’t watch her, help her, or even remotely look over her shoulder in regards to what projects she’s working on, you really shouldn’t bitch about it. And considering that the owner of the company has point-blank said to all of us that mistakes are healthy because they teach us lessons, I don’t really think getting pissy over the fact that she forgot to attach a document to an E-mail is really necessary.
Maybe I’m just feeling a little weird because I don’t see it from my supervisor’s perspective? I saw the very same things as she did when it came to the guy who entered our office. He’s really just not worth it and they should have removed him before now. However, with all of us working on HUGE PROJECTS, we need someone to do the little things like get pricing, create documents, and call for contract information. But we were both in total agreement about how he is not cut out for this job and any work besides the basics. All of a sudden, we’re at odds over a new person because she’s doing her job but making mistakes (as I did and do) during the learning process. It just smacks as… well, it sounds like a pretty shitty way to go about being a boss.
And if there are legitimate worries and issues she has with the girl, then she should probably have those discussions with the person in question instead of making snarky comments to me about it.
Today, however, I got kind of slammed into the “snark zone” with her commentary. And now, I’m kind of angry.
As a quick remark: I only work 30 hours a week instead of the 40 like everyone else. And in those 30 hours, I have to do the same amount of work as everyone else in the office. Since I am as quick and efficient as I am, I can do this. However, if you start inundating me with requests to do things before I even walk in, then things are going to slide.
I walked in this morning to an E-mail request to reach out to a site that was having computer issues. We don’t actually treat any computer related issues, but we do deal with Internet items. So, I was tasked to reach out to this site. Then, it was asked that I very carefully and personally handle a billing discrepancy for a site that has been having issues since they went from standard phone lines to a hosted phone system (voice over Internet). It took me an hour and a half, amid meeting with various people in the office to discuss the issues at hand that were a little out of my relatively new-to-hosted viewpoint, creating the documents that the site would need to understand my investigative findings, as well as working on my own projects. I had repairs to complete and check the status on today. I had my own portfolios to follow-up with, ongoing projects to work on, and billing disputes to file. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to drop my stuff to come running to fix an issue that wasn’t caused by me and I’m sorry if I don’t give a shit if some guy needs computer help.
“Have you called them yet?” She asked me about 2PM.
“I’ve been working on the billing issue you needed me to work on,” I explained. “It’s taken me a while to figure everything out to report back to the site.”
“Ugh.” And if that response wasn’t bad enough, the stomping out of the office to take her lunch, the angrily punching out, and the slamming of the door behind her was kind of an indicator that she was in a pissy mood.
Well, you know, I’m sorry that things don’t move as quickly as you want them to, but if you really wanted that dealt with before the sensitive billing issue, then you probably should have said something.
What really aggravates me about this is that she knows, clearly, how busy I am. I know she goes into my task tracking document and sees how many projects I’ve been working on. Many of the open tickets in our repair/project ticket program are mine. I update each one of those tickets at least once a day. It’s not like I’m sitting around with my fingers up my butt and singing the National Anthem off-key to myself. I am legitimately busy. I am legitimately doing things. I am legitimately stopping those things and teaching the new girl when she has a new question or needs assistance. I am legitimately doing my fucking job and if it was that fucking important then maybe speaking up was in your best interest.
And what makes this all worse is that I know this is because of her personal issues. She was fine up until last Monday when she told me about her myriad of personal issues. I know that the change in behavior is specifically related to her personal life and that drives me insane. As much as your life, at home or with your family, may absolutely suck, you still have to go to work. There is no one else who is going to pay your bills if you get suspended for bad behavior or fired because of bad behavior. You need to keep your personal things at home where they belong. It’s one thing to joke around about how you got a sunburn on a cloudy while at a craft fair and entirely another to take out shitty fucking personal things on your employees because your personal life is really shitty.
So, while it’s possible I don’t know how to be a lead and direct underlings, I have to say that not taking out your personal life on your underlings is probably top of the fucking list.