Friday, September 5, 2008

Idiots...God Save Me From Them

Author's Note:
I know these entries are always a lot more entertaining to my colleagues who live this job with me every day than the general blogosphere. So please forgive my indulgence as I get snarky over our work place.

Author's Note #2:
Have you noticed that everyone seems to be putting a great premium on their own time, and a low value on everyone else's? Have you also noticed in tight economies that the problem is never with our own budget and how we handle money, but the OTHER department that has the issue?

Example #1: Data Management
Ok, Garbage In = Garbage Out, right? But no one ever wants to take ownership of the garbage. I took some of my own precious time to clean up some client records this week. While doing that I sent a note to the Client Managers (who are supposed to manage this data) giving them an update on the records and asking that they check those clients I had not reviewed for potential updates.


Idiot #1: "If I had a marketing assistant I could get this done"
{note - I am a marketing manager and I don't have a marketing assistant].
{note 2 - he proceeded to email me 10 more times with complaints - if he had just done the data cleanup instead it would be complete}

Idiot #2: "Why do I have to keep updating these?"
{note - you are kidding right? One returned mail item I got on this genius' client organization was that the person we addressed the mail to had DIED in!!!!!}

Idiot #3: "How do I know which clients are mine?"
{note - OMG...These guys get paid HOW much more than me?}

Idiot #4: "I spend 4 days of my week out of the office - how am I supposed to manage this?"
{note - I don't know, somehow when I travel I manage it.}

Is it any wonder that when another of the client managers actually picked up the phone to call me and beg forgiveness and ask me to yet again walk him through the process I found this to be the best response of the week? In fact, he then passed a message of "how to" and "please do" to his team to work on their updates as well. My hero.

Example #2: Do It Your Damn Self
My boss, as webmaster, receives all of the general responses from our website. She passed on a request from a client for a publication. Turns out the publication will need to be purchased. The manager who was identified as the right point of contact then asked my boss, a Sr. Manager, to please purchase the publication, mail it to him, and he would hand deliver to client.


Is it me?

He could have ordered it directly...or at the very least asked his very own administrative assistant...but his time is obviously more valuable than my boss'.

Example #3: We Four Mice in A Communication Maze
I was amazed to find that Idiot #1 from above - who has no time to manage his data and needs an assistant - took the time to email three different individuals with unique messages about the SAME ISSUE and ask all of them to solve it. What is this? Competitive problem solving? It's a good thing they all looked at the issue and each independently recognized it was my responsibility (the only person he DIDN'T email) to fix. I took all of their forwarded emails and bit my tongue while I responded to Idiot #1 with a reassuring message that I had it under control. I even deleted the line that said, "In the future, one email request for resolution to an issue like this would be sufficient and might even provide you with some valuable time to take care of your data management problems."

Example #4: Flood Control
I return to school this weekend...first time back after a glorious summer off. And we're expecting the remnants of one of these tropical storms...what are we on now, Hannah? So the Dean sends an email, "Severe flooding of roads is predicted for our area, but we are still holding classes. In the event of a power outage, you can get a flashlight from the Campus Safety office."


Lady, forgive me, but if there is severe flooding and a power outage I am NOT coming to class. You can penalize me by lowering my grade, but I'm ok with that.

Example #4: Short Attention Span Theater
Our department - in the face of budget cuts and threats of ANOTHER reorganization - was recently called upon yet again to "Defend Our Existence" at a meeting. After the higher ranking players finished shoving us Pawns around the board for a while, they concluded that they wanted some reports on our utilization and assignments, to see where we are actually spending our time and money. The report, with cross-references and details, was created with some considerable effort by our resident data guru and distributed to the people who participated in the meeting.

The response?

"What are we trying to report and why?"

Are you kidding me? Why do we even bother to be responsive to these idiots?

In Summary:
Look guys, I know I am PMS-ing today, and maybe I should hang up a warning sign, but give me a break, okay? My admittedly normally short fuse is down to about a millimeter in length and I am just not up to taking a deep breath and counting to 10.

I saw a t-shirt the other day, and I think I may buy it and frame it for my office. It said, "Put on Your Big Girl Panties and Deal With It!" I haven't decided yet if that is a message to the general public at XYZ company or if it is a reminder to me that I sometimes need to just suck it up.

After all, Hubby has it much worse than me. He and his lodge brothers are hosting a pig roast this weekend. And did I mention that Tropical Storm Hannah has some interesting plans for them? Nothing like spending 24-36 hours in the rain roasting a pig.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I don't spend a lot of time in the work world, but I do have a huge pet peeve about my few hours a week as a Pharmacy Technician.

If I send a fax to a Dr.'s office and that Dr. is at another (affiliated) office that day why would you fax ME back telling me where to fax it rather than just forwarding the fax yourself?!

KiKi said...

Send this blog entry to Scott Adams or the producers of The Office. You'll get paid while bringing mirth to the masses.