Thursday, February 7, 2008

No. More. Managing. People. Ever.

[Imagine me screaming this like Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. ]

I was astounded when attending class this past weekend (hip hip hoorah - another semester complete!!!) when the professor asked, "How many of you manage people?" and I was the only one to raise their hand. I was astounded and J.E.A.L.O.U.S.

You see in Jan 2007, I took on the motherload of staff. Not in quantity, but in need. I mean this group is like the craziest (and not in a good way) bunch of have ever met. To be fair, there are some gems buried under the muck, but for the most part - U.G.H.

Truthfully, they are all good people. Really. Not a wicked douchebag in the mix at all. But as employees - my God these people are killing me.

One cannot get her ass in on time, ever. But she must leave every day at the dot of 4:30. One loves to stir the pot and tattle on everyone. One is the sweetest person alive and puts in the most effort of anyone you've ever seen, but is slow as molasses and I get constant complaints about her work. One is so ambitious that his lips are permanently glued to my ass - unless he gets busy up the ladder with our VP or other execs. Another threatened to quit unless he was given an impressive title and role as national leader, but he never leaves his office, or his desk for that matter, and he's the only one in the entire company that uses a MAC - so he is pretty much useless as a shared resource. One gets praise for her work, but I think her stuff looks like a bad patchwork quilt...nothing clean, crisp or professional in the batch. Yet another thinks she is brilliant but is actually more of an airhead without a filter between her thoughts and her mouth.

These people are truly draining the life out of me.

Why? Because I care.

I care about doing a good job. I care about this stupid company and the work we do. I care about how my group is perceived and how it reflects on me. I care that these people have put in a lot of years and no one ever took the time to tell them they suck and to do a better job. I care that these are good people and I delude myself into believing I can make a difference in their career and reputation if I just spend a little more time and effort on them. I believe I have the potential to be the "WORLD'S BEST BOSS"...

I care and I don't want to fire anyone. My hubby? He's earning a new nickname - "The Donald". He started his job in July and has fired 3 people. Well actually, he scared them into quitting. To be accurate, he confronted two on misconduct and they resigned; the third he lucked out on since he was about to fire him for non-performance when the guy's mother-in-law got sick and he had to move out of State.

Three people. In seven months.

Most of my staff have been here longer than me, and I started as a SECRETARY and I'm now their boss! Can it be true that they really don't care? Should I not worry about it and start pink slipping everyone? Outsourcing sounds mighty fine I must say...although hard to manage too.

I've been reading Chick's sad tales of woe with her work and her manager and I'm struggling because I would never want to bring that kind of misery to an undeserving person (and because I love Chick and I firmly believe she is good, talented, and professional, despite a few cola-snorting, bon-bon eating ass comments I know she is undeserving of misery) I am totally at a loss.

This week I actually went beyond the over-the-counter Prilosec and got a prescription to try and alleviate my chronic and continuing heartburn. I sit in my office rubbing my neck like it's going to help.
I have had heartburn for the past 6 weeks - unrelenting. And I can pretty much attribute all of it to my job...and most of the people who work for me. The last time I remember having a week of no heartburn? When I was on vacation at the AUGUST!

I read Mrs. G's post this week about being discovered by a friend while she was filling her Zoloft prescription at Walgreen's. First, of course, I laughed at the hysterical picture that she painted. Especially the post-friend-visit where she dry-swallowed the Zoloft. But then I was like, hmmmm....Zoloft.....

So, I've been feeling a little like Mommie Dearest in my emotional control for the past few days. Yesterday I told a very nice VP that I would NOT redesign his website tool unless he guaranteed the team would use it because it was for damn sure they weren't using the one I originally designed for them last year. OUCH. He totally didn't deserve my snottiness.

But, you know, he was there.

And I? am not on Zoloft.


A's Mom said...

Ahhh. Zoloft the wonder drug. And now you wonder why I was subway surfing with you guys in NYC?! I'm thinking about getting back on it as well, but I have to tell you the withdraw side effects are a killer. But for you, it may not matter.

That Chick Over There said...

I need Zoloft.

KiKi said...


I am sorry - I haven't even finished reading the entire post yet. I have to come back later - I promise I'll be more constructive next time. But I can't finish reading because tears are streaming down my face.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That caring thing can be a bitch.

Jude said...

what do I say..I know what you are going through, kind of....just think of it as a special ed class like I had! it's a good excuse anyways....otherwise, start taking your hubby's advice and go by the BITCHES! as for zoloft...I don't know, but sometimes think I would like too!

Stephanie said...

I think I need Zoloft, too... For work AND home. :)

AmyBow said...

Wouldn't it be sweet to have a "BEST BOSS" mug full of spiked coffee to down your zoloft with? Maybe if you start every day like that these problems will work themselves out. Rigggghhhttttt. Only your husband gets so lucky.

KiKi said...

Okay, I was finally able to finish reading this post (I had to skip over reading the stuff that cracks me up). I've seen how hard you try - hell, I've even tried to make it easier - but as we know we can only lead a horse to water. Caring sucks sometimes and leads to lots of headaches and heartburn as you already know.

But I really do think you are one of the best bosses I have ever met - and I think every one of your team knows it. They may not tell you but with the exception of Airhead they have all told me at different times how much they think you rock. They really appreciate you, even during tough feedback times. They also want you to like/be impressed by them. For some reason, however, there is a disconnect between them wanting this and actually, well - DOING something to deserve it. Duh.

Take some lessons from hub. Zoloft + firing = utopia.

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