Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Working-gal Blues, #3

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1
Part 2

Way back in the first installment, I opened with a comment to the effect of "just when you think it can't get any worse...", so I figured I'd relate what happened this past week that made it so stressful. If you've read through the previous installments, this will make more sense to you!

The previous week had been busy because of "end of month" duties that had to be accomplished rapidly while still managing to stay on top of the regular demands, and with many interruptions from the boss seeking "assistance" for various aspects of her duties relative to the end-of-month balancing and reporting requirements, as well as the usual urgent requests from folks in other departments for assistance in servicing clients and convention participants. Busy, yes. Unusual? No. This is a typical scenario of the first week of the month for us.

This past week, my former manager (who now handles those client payments I spoke of), went on vacation. Because of my knowledge and former responsibilities for said client payments, I am her backup. She busted her buttons the prior week to get everything as set up as she could, even to processing most of the reports for the most complicated of the payments that were due this particular week, since they are the only ones who's reports run the prior Friday. I'm soooo glad she was able to do that! So, along with that mostly completed one, there were a total of 7 client payments that had to be processed and sent last week, in addition to my own duties. Not a problem.
But then...

One of our clients who's meetings had run in May called, looking for their final payment, which hadn't been done yet (there is alot of post-meeting cleanups and adjustments that have to be processed before the final payment can be done, usually takes anywhere from a month up to 2 months before they are ready). They had to have the reports RIGHT AWAY, as they were closing their fiscal books and had to have those figures! That very same day, in addition to the 3 scheduled payments I had to process, I also had a large rooming list request to process, with a total of 43 checks to produce. When I went to run the reports for the client payments, I discovered that the computer I had to use to access the reporting program had mysteriously DIED and refused to be resuscitated. Sent an urgent work order to our technology department, and the guy who handles these issues was also out on vacation, not due to return until Monday (tomorrow)! So I contacted the guy, same department, that is in charge of the program I needed to use, and requested that he install it on my primary computer ASAP, explaining my urgency. He said "sure", and then proceeded to go to lunch for an hour! Then twaddled around for another hour, at which point I called him again, near hysteria by this point, as it was 2:30 pm and I hadn't even been able to START on the payments! Being the lazy lout that he is (can you tell I don't like the guy?!), he decided he'd rather do the installation remotely rather than physically walking down from the 4th floor to the 2nd to get the installation done. I sat for another hour and a half with no clue what was going on and unable to do anything else - he had some problems with the installation process, but how the hell was I to know? And of course, it was still too much trouble to come down and do it. Sometimes technology can be a real curse, especially combined with meatheads like this guy! I had to keep calling him to find out what was going on. He also has a huge reputation of never communicating with anybody, so had I not continuously called him, the job could have been all done and I wouldn't even have known it!

So now, here it was 4 pm, and I was just now starting to schedule the reports I needed in order to process the 4 payments I needed to do that day. Other than the rooming list, which I had been smart enough to process first, none of my other regular work was touched either. Obviously I wasn't going to be able to get all 4 of my payments done that day, unless I camped out overnight. No way! I went ahead and ran all of the reports for the payments, finished up the nearly-completed one so that the checks (there are two payments associated with this one) could be cut the next day, and processed that urgent final report so the wire payment would be able to be sent and the reports faxed to the anxious client, both a day late unfortunately, as it was just too late to do it same day. I stayed an extra hour over my regular schedule (and will probably hear about it, but we will cover that later).

So now, on Wednesday, I had the prospect of processing FIVE payments instead of the scheduled 3, and of course, trying to catch up with my regular work as well. Thanks to numerous interruptions and other distractions, I had only managed to prepare 3 out of the five for payment by the end of the day, and it was too late to cut the checks for them. I also received more nasty news: two more clients were demanding their final reports ASAP, for the same reason! And BOTH of these were of the more complicated variety, meaning it would take hours to get the job done on each!

Despite intensive scrambling and nearly 3 hours of overtime (for which I will be chewed out, because I didn't beg and grovel for permission so I could suffer through the usual "should" lectures), I was only able to complete and send 9 out of the 10 payments I ended up being responsible for this past week - and I got very little of my own work done. And I was a nervous wreck by the time I left the office on Friday, but then again, that is my usual state of mind on Fridays.

I still have residual work sitting on my desk to complete tomorrow, including that last payment, which I will have to do despite the gal being back from vacation. But she's going to have her hands full catching up on her other work anyway, and I am also anticipating a blow-out between her and our boss over those final payments, because when something like this happens, our boss blames us for somehow "failing" to do something, even when it has nothing to do with us. This gal has been working for the company for over 26 years, is seriously ready to retire, and will NOT take it lying down! She also has a long laundry list of complaints against our boss, and it won't take much for her to just say "screw you - I quit!" Which wouldn't be a good thing for me, since guess who would be forced to pick up that slack? I've also been nervous because the guy who is doing the refunds has been making similar sounds! I wish I had that option myself, especially if either (or, godforbid, both) decided to do that. I shudder to think about it, and try real hard not to... The climate we are currently working in, they would not be likely to rush to hire someone else to replace these people if they left. And we still have serious restrictions on the overtime. Can you see the picture now?

Well, it is getting late, and I hope to get a bunch more crocheting done (so far haven't gotten as much as I would have liked accomplished, but that seems to be the normal state of my affairs lately), so my last installment of this work saga will have to wait. Seeing as how it's the most important one, I need to take my time with it, and think through all the elements I want to write about, as I am hoping to use it for future "crib notes" in possible discussions with my boss. In order to understand the problem, it will be necessary to talk a little bit about this gal, so you can understand why we have such a challenging relationship, and how it is intertwining with the larger issues being faced by all of the employees at my company.

Because I would much rather end my blogging day on a more positive note, I will have one more post - a crochet-related one! - after this one. I will gladly risk the accusations of torture it will provoke to make it, lol!

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