Saturday, March 19, 2011

So after a pretty intense night of bad & good dreams, I think I finally discovered the root problem to my bad day yesterday. As a friend of mine said last night "people suck."

I used to work for Capital One and Circuit City. As you know, Cap One is a pretty large company & CC was @ one time. It was stressful environment in both companies & for different reasons. Cap One is a large company that is always trying new things. They form new dept, committees all of the time to test new ideas. Which sounds really good when they are hiring a million people and then reality sets in and all of those people are laid off when the test don't go so well. The plus side, Cap One actually pays you well & has the best benefits in the Richmond area (that I've seen). Circuit City was just poor all the way around. There was poor management, high ego coupled with greed, denial, and the icing on the cake was the weak economy.

I now work for a water treatment company. I prayed to God that I would have a job in a secure environment since upon leaving CC the economy was crashing. I'm not an economist so I know I'm blowing this all out of proportion. Everyone needs clean water. Even if you don't have any money, you have to have clean water. This local water treatment company is profitable. When I researched it online, they were ESOP, and they were growing. What I learned is, they were acquired 6 months before my initial interview and no longer ESOP. I started there the Monday after Thanksgiving of 2007. It's now March 2011 and the parent company has really worsened the environment.

I now work on the third floor of a pretty small building set in Innsbrook. The area in the office where I work has about 50 people in 3 depts (accounting, CS, and purchasing). All of our jobs affect the other departments. However, the company doesn't have any processes in place and none of us really know how our jobs affect the other departments. We just have "our" way of doing things. In the midst of turn over, restructures, promotions, and so forth it has become chaotic. We are stretched pretty thin and we're expected to grow with our current staff. We are all overwhelmed with no light at the end of the tunnel. It's quite exhausting.

If you haven't noticed, my second language is sarcasm. Actual, sarcasm is my first language. I joke and tease people all of the time. I have nonchalant conversations in the middle of a serious issue to lighten the tone & make people laugh. Some people "get" me and enjoy it. One of my vendor reps said that I am one of the funniest 5 people he knows. What a compliment!! I do keep people laughing. Sometimes the way I proudly display my ignorance on a topic makes people laugh. One thing that you cannot hear or feel in an email is TONE. You can't hear some one's tone of voice in an email. You can't see their facial expressions. And if you're at the end of your rope already, you might just misunderstand the writers intent.

Yesterday some one emailed me asking me to do something. The subject line simply read a PO#. I have about 40 emails with PO# or acct# in the subject line and will get to them when I can. This particular email was pretty critical. I return from a doc appt and started working on quotes. I was BURIED with work yesterday. Around 2pm I received an email that simply said "do you have an update on this?" I hadn't had a chance to read the first 3 emails on this situation and didn't have a clue what was happening. So as I read the entire email chain I replied offering a tip to mark an urgent email with ! so I know to read it right away. However, then I told the person that I wasn't going to do what they asked me to do. I needed to research some things first. The recipient didn't handle it well at all. Within 10 minutes I receive an email from the manager with raised font (which I was specifically requested not to use raised font with the manager because it's offensive) using lots of sarcasm in the email (which I was told by this same manager not to do) and questioning my work ethic. I was boiling over with rage. In my response to the manager I started the email with "I'm sorry Pat, I'm not trying to be rude." I started the email with this because it was apparent to me that the recipients of the original email didn't understand my intent. So I explained the "tip" that I gave and that I give those all of the time and have never received a complaint. Then I further explained my process on handling this type of situation and the manager didn't like my answer either.

So, after about 4 emails the entire situation was BLOWN UP!!!!!!! I mean BLOWN UP!!!!! We're all pissed. These people who were offended by my emails sit right around the corner from me. I am a rather loud person. They can hear everything that I say. As a matter of fact, they often eavesdrop and then run to my desk when they don't like what I say on a phone call. Have I complained about that? No, of course not. I work with these people. I have to see them 40 hours a week. I go outside & scream and then return to my desk and laugh about other stuff.

Back to my original point, people suck. This grown woman didn't like what I said and ran to her manager to tell on me. Are you 4 years old? You can only imagine how badly I wanted to go to her desk and drop some F bombs. But once again, I work with these people. I need to maintain composure. I can't go into my boss' office and quit. I can't display my anger. I can however schedule a massage immediately after work & eat chocolate pop tarts :) Yes, I turn to chocolate when I want sex. That should explain the extra cellulite I'm carrying around. But we can discuss that topic later :)

She asked me to do something. I told her no. I did not meet her expectations and this angered her. People don't meet other people's expectations. We all have these undefined expectations in other people and we become upset when that expectation isn't met. The reason that this took me over the edge yesterday is that people in that department complain about everybody in my department on a regular basis. Our departments which are supposed to work together, have procedures in place that work against each other and it is so darn frustrating. Management directs their people to do things and it is in complete contradiction to the policies & procedures in place with the other departments.

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