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Unbidden, unwanted, yet necessary work rants

Posted in Crazy Wisdom on Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at 6:30 pm by flerly.

Monday afternoon, at some location I have yet to choose, boss will be meeting me to discuss my recent letter giving notice. I’m thrilled and terrified about it. It’s beyond time to be done with this job, but without a replacement, me being done likely means the company is done. I have long battled with the notion that two other people’s jobs pretty much depend on me staying, but I simply can’t keep working at this stress level anymore.

Today has been my day to do this weeks worth of work. The day Mac built into this trip so I wouldn’t be behind for having made this journey. Brilliant plan. I’m certainly 500% productive on this crappy laptop using hotel wi-fi, so no worries on being behind. I’m especially productive when he continues to call me on the cell all day long from his classes to report issues that aren’t issues and ask questions to me about the very procedures he is here to teach agents.

Example: The “advanced” website course he “teaches” (man, I love quotes) includes a section for exporting your contacts from Outlook and importing them into our Management Center product. There is a printed manual showing the process step by step, which he has memorized. He clicks along the steps, his screen visible via the projector for all agents to see, as he says the instructions aloud. After class, one agent says she doesn’t understand that process, and wonders if he might step into her nearby office, sit down at her computer, and show her how to do it with her own contacts — essentially just do it for her. So, he sits down at her computer and calls me to walk him through the process, which is step for step the norm… no curveballs whatsoever. Yet, he can’t do it, even with me telling him the EXACT steps he has been reciting for years of doing these classes. So, he sits the customer down at her computer and puts her on the phone with me. She does it, click click click and then declares my brilliance. He thanks me, and neither of them seem to find it odd that the damn TEACHER of the class has to call somebody else to help him do this. I, however, am flabbergasted at this new display of ignorance.

You see, he has literally been doing these training classes, touring the country, for as long as I’ve been working here. The manuals are essentially unchanged from that entire time. Yet, in all these years, all he has managed to do is memorize the words and doesn’t in the slightest understand how to do any of this. I realize that it is likely that Jonathan, Pam or David usually accompanied him on these training trips, and probably were there to actually answer questions.

I also realize why he insisted to the boss that it was “imperative” that I go with him on this trip — I’m the only one left to help him. So, it doesn’t matter that I’m managing our tech support now, handling my usual graphics “pimp” orders, working on 6 brokerage redesigns, and managing critical customer Adwords campaigns — none of which I expect him to be able to do on any day — now I have to learn these training manuals and help him with the same fucking job he’s been doing for 7 years because he hasn’t learned it yet… and apparently never will.

And you want to know what is worse? This dumbass “face of our company” is making a pile more dough than I am.

SO, my dilemna:

– I’m not staying at this job without at least a $10K raise.
– Boss doesn’t have the money to give, and I know it, because it’s a sinking ship…
– EVEN IF he finds the money, I don’t honestly think I can keep juggling everything and deal with dumbass Mac
– IF I’m going to be able to manage this job, I really need a raise AND they need to hire a customer service/training person to help Mary, to help Mac, and possibly to help me connect functionality to the site graphics I’m making. And I KNOW there isn’t money for a raise AND another person.
– We are up here because we’ve just gotten a 3-year service contract signed with our largest customer, which should keep us “afloat” for that amount of time. It will include a weeklong training visit to this office every 3 months… which at present means me… with Mac.
– I am worried during this meeting Monday with the boss I’m going to lose it and tell every dumbass Mac story I can think of, and I know he and Mac are close.
– IF I say I’ll stick around long enough to train somebody… Man, I really have no idea how to train somebody on the crap I’m supposed to be doing, let alone all the crap they’ll need to know to fill in the gaps of what Mary and Mac are supposed to be doing. What poor soul do I invite into these shoes for the same bag of peanuts?
– Why is any of this my “dilemna”? Why can’t I just quit like a normal person and not be overwhelmed with guilt at what my leaving might cause? All the other “smart” people in the company did.



  1. aoide has made a Comment

    Quit! Quit! Quit! Quit! You can do it yes you can! Goooooooo Kim!!!

    February 27, 2008 @ 8:29 pm

  2. muse0fire has made a Comment

    It’s a dilemma for you because you’re someone who actually gives a crap, and that’s fairly rare. You sound like you would enjoy your job if you were given the right resources and support, which clearly, you’re not.

    Your Mac story reminds me of an MS Access class I took where the trainer couldn’t answer any of my fairly specific questions. He even said: I don’t use it, I just teach it.

    I learned the hard way that even when you actually like what you do, if the lack of support and resources is starting to wreak havoc on other aspects of your life, you should get out. Maybe they’ll hire you as an outside consultant which means generally you’re paid more but with no benefits – but with more flexibilty and control of your time.

    I wish you luck – I know it won’t be a fun conversation, but remember that it’s not your personal responsibility to fix the company. At least, not without a huge raise and massive bonus.

    February 27, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

  3. infinite1der has made a Comment

    Maybe they’ll hire you as an outside consultant which means generally you’re paid more but with no benefits – but with more flexibilty and control of your time.

    She’s currently working as 1099, so no benefits to “lose”. If the owner doesn’t/hasn’t care(d) enough to get some help in (especially at this point), he’s obviously lost interest in the company. Kim (or any subordinate) shouldn’t be in the position to make or break a company; it’s up to the owner/C-level officer to plan ahead.

    February 27, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

  4. living_tonglin has made a Comment

    While I see the nobility in having stayed as long as you have and not wanting to rat Mac out and not wanting to cost two people their jobs, I wonder if it’s not about the “dilemma”. Rather is it that, while you’re in hell there with them, it’s a known hell. And we all fear the change you are about to make because we are afraid of fresh and worse hells. Like not finding the work you want in a timely enough fashion and creating a financial catastrophe related to your newly purchased home — that awful fear of having to take a step back, lesser pay, renting again and all the other fears.

    Not that I think that will happen to you. Clearly you are a gem in your supersaturated industry. But I identify with your dilemma. I have worked over and reworked over changing jobs. Ultimately I know I will eventually have to leave my current employment because although I am presently grateful in this terrible economy for my well-paying work, I am no longer passionate about it, and success and passion for the work that you do are inextricably bound. So that’s my dilemma.

    Thanks for letting me share =P

    February 27, 2008 @ 10:20 pm

  5. flerly has made a Comment

    Is it still trite if it’s true?

    That’s where the terror lies… in the fear of the unknown and the million bad outcomes with another unknown job. I’m well aware I have extensive and intimate knowledge of a million stupid systems that I’ve learned for the last 7 years, none of which are skills that can apply anywhere else. I’ve gotten 7 years behind in my industry standard skills, and anywhere else I go, I’m bottom of the totem pole, no matter how many years I’ve been doing this.

    … which is why I’m talking to James about just starting on a whole new career path, and pushing this design crap back to the hobby that I enjoy where it should be. Now I just need to figure out what that new career path should be.

    February 27, 2008 @ 10:34 pm

  6. flerly has made a Comment

    You’re right. You won’t believe how much writing this out and reading your comments have helped me figure out how I’m going to handle this meeting Monday. It has never been my responsibility to keep this company afloat. It’s been his, and he’s lost interest. He cannot be suprised I’m ready to jump ship, and I can’t be concerned at how he’s going to handle things.

    February 27, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  7. living_tonglin has made a Comment

    What are you turning over turning a profit at?

    February 27, 2008 @ 10:43 pm

  8. flerly has made a Comment

    *snicker* On a day like today, the short answer is “pizza delivery” if I can get a job at it. Something without much brainpower. I want that job wearing the armor and picking up golf balls on the driving range….

    Most likely, I’ll work up my usual resume, apply for the usual things, and see just how far behind I am. In the meantime I’m going to look at school options and just see what kind of things are out there…

    I think the summary answer is: I haven’t got a clue. I’m just tired of this.

    February 27, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

  9. aoide has made a Comment

    I gotta tell ya, this likely doesn’t apply to everyone, but having recently changed career paths, I didn’t find “the market” as bad as you may think. I started looking at the beginning of January and by the end I was working. I SERIOUSLY thought about going back to school to get into this field, but I honestly don’t think it’s necessary, that is unless you want to be a dr. or lawyer or something degree specific. I say try and beat that fear down (with a stick) and try something new. If you don’t like it, try something else. I could see you doing really well as a photographer, but whatever you choose, you will be great at it because you are so dedicated to everything you do!

    February 28, 2008 @ 9:38 am

  10. schlemaggle has made a Comment

    It has never been my responsibility to keep this company afloat. It’s been his, and he’s lost interest. He cannot be suprised I’m ready to jump ship, and I can’t be concerned at how he’s going to handle things.


    If he hasn’t shown enough concern to treat his employees the way the deserve to be treated, then the demise of the company falls on him and no one else. GET OUT while you still have a soul, because I love you dearly. And, given my belief in karmic retribution and, well, you, I personally have zero doubt that some new fabulous opportunity will present itself to you before you’re officially out the door.

    February 28, 2008 @ 9:41 am

  11. scienceiscool has made a Comment

    if you quit your job, does that mean we can play spycraft again?

    February 28, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

  12. flerly has made a Comment

    Man, I hope so. I miss recreational activities of most types.

    February 28, 2008 @ 5:13 pm

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