Tights Are Not Pants: Variety Edition
Letting It Melt Away... At Least for Today

This Week I Blew My Top

This week I ran out of damns to give. Rats' asses too.

I have been working on this project that pretty much sucks shit through a rag. I've been calling it my "Bait and Switch" project, because I thought that I was done with it. Both the Supreme Overlord and the Overlord told me that we (meaning my group) would not be working on this project anymore. We'd already spent the entirety of last summer on this thing and we were done. At one point I actually told the Overlord that I would rather stick needles in my eyes than do any more work on it.

Of course, I am working on it again.

And the way I found out that I was working on it again? I got a meeting notice to discuss the project with the project team. Shortly after I got the meeting notice, the Almost Underlord and Keeper of the Projects called me to talk about how "we" should handle the meeting, and how "we" were going to work on the project and how "we"...

And then I interrupted her and said, "And by 'we', you mean..." I paused, because I was going to make her say it.

"You."

"That's what I thought."

Now, the right way to tell me about this change of plans would have been to come to me as soon as the project got accepted again and to say something along this lines of "Look, I know we said we weren't going to work on this anymore, but it hasn't worked out that way. I know it it sucks, but you are the best person for the job, so would you please please please please please please please please work on it? Please?"

But no. Just a meeting notice and a "We (You) are working on this."

So I have not been particularly happy, but I sucked it up and was a good doo-bee about it.

I got the first part of the project almost two weeks after I was supposed to, but hey. It's a tricky, icky project. It involves turning paragraphs of dense text into clear procedures. I was working on it very methodically: read, think, read again, sketch out the best way to formulate the procedure, rewrite. It became pretty obvious to me that I wasn't going to make the deadline, but I also saw that there was a gap in the schedule between my deadline and the time the policy group was to review it. I mentioned this to the Almost Underlord and said I was going to see if I could push out deadline. She agreed. So I did -- and got the deadline moved out by three weeks, which would cover my rewrite and a review by another, um... stakeholder.

On Monday I got an email from the Almost Underlord telling me that I had to stick to original deadline, because Q2 and Q3 were going to be crazy and "Thanks for understanding." I replied, saying that I had already gotten the deadline moved, and could she help me understand why the date couldn't be moved and what was coming up to make Q2 and Q3 crazy.

And I got an email back that basically smacked me down. The deadline was immovable, as was the deadline for another important project that I'm also working on, and she's been not assigning me maintenance projects, and there were many other projects coming up, and maybe she should just give me all the projects that I would be working on and let me balance the workload and priority -- but the deadlines and milestones were not negotiable. And she copied the Overlord.

Thanks for throwing me under the bus, Almost Underlord!! What a pal!!

God, this is getting long. Sorry.

I replied again -- copying the Overlord as well -- answering her points and making a few more of my own. I said I would try my best, but I would be sacrificing qualityl However, if making the deadline was the most important thing, so be it.

But let me tell you something. I came within a Send button of writing "I quit, effective immediately. Good luck facilitating the web seminar tomorrow and have fun meeting the procedure deadline that you set."

I was so tempted. So, so tempted. Unbelievably tempted. It's the first time in my entire career that I have even considered doing something like that. But I knew that, if I did, I would be screwing my co-workers more than the Almost Underlord (who is STILL NOT OFFICIALLY MY BOSS), and I really didn't want to do that. Also? Paycheck.

Joe picked me up that night, took one look at me, and said, "What's wrong?" And I exploded with rage. I actually screamed. I said many very very bad words. But I got it out of my system.

I worked late every day this week. I finished yesterday. Just as I thought, it's not nearly as good as it could be. I have been quite frosty in my emails. I was pretty brutal in my answers on a survey -- supposedly confidential and anonymous -- saying that I felt my opinions and expertise were not valued and that we needed a great deal more communication and collaboration rather than orders, and that the manager position needed to be finalized and announced, and then that manager should learn how to manage people. And I declined a meeting that she set up to "brainstorm the rebranding of the training pages"  -- I said that I had deadlines to meet. Heh.

Career-limiting moves? We shall see. But as I said at the beginning of this screed, I have no more damns to give.

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