Friday, October 27, 2006

Stayin' Alive

Sorry, woke up at 3 a.m. to an Airplane! rerun the other night and was only awake enough to process the dance scene. Damn those BeeGees. They were the curse of my youth. I was not into disco, but I did date a very nice guy who was. I learned to Do the Hustle. Then broke up with him for a white boy blues type. Then dated both of them for a while. This was extremely hard on my father, because this was pre-cellphones and they both had the same first name.

Imagine the message-taking. It wasn't pretty.

Neither is my job. I won't go into details, just random phrases:

Are you out of your fucking MIND?

Dumb as a box of rocks.

I have never even heard of this before.

Where the hell did we find these people?

A stopped clock is right twice a day, and a company that hires its consultants using, I don't know, a Ouija board, tea leaves, or the entrails of a goat, would still manage to find a higher level of highly paid expert than we have. I cannot imagine how this much incompetence was concentrated into one place.

I love my boss. I went to him yesterday, wild-eyed, because I had received a phone call from someone who makes shit tons more money than I do asking for guidance on some freaking thing I had no idea about, yet another intrusion on the massive pile of substantive corporate work that is legitimately mine, because when it was explained to me, I was like, "I can't believe these people and this must be addressed." So I stopped my work to go find someone who was not me to handle this radioactive dog turd innovative question. And that occupied a chunk of my morning.

Apparently my name is written on bathroom walls, "For good legal advice, call...." And I am seriously over it. So I went to the boss, and he in turn went to the VP in charge of the miscreant who called me directly with one of those "I can't fucking believe you are asking for my blessing for this!" questions, and she was aghast and will reel in her children.

I am not stupid. I am wise in the ways of the business. I know that they were not looking for an opinion, but for absolution. If it blows up, they had approval from corporate. And I'll be damned if I'll get put into the position of offering advice on business issues for people who make 3 or 4 times as much as I do for what I am getting paid. Put a VP after my name, issue me a sword to kill the stupid and pay me accordingly, sure, I'll stick my neck out, but not like this. I am but a wee little cog of corporate, and I ain't taking the fall for anybody.

The boss is a keeper. I overheard a bit of his approach to the VP on my way to the ladies room. It was, "She's really smart and I don't mind sharing her with you, but I don't want to see her overwhelmed." All sweet and friendly, but the message was clear: Don't write her number on the bathroom wall unless your department is willing to pony up the money to make it worth my/our while, because I am not in that VP's division. I have absolutely no objection to working with this VP, I love her to pieces, she's a riot and we hit it off instantly, but she really has to filter the assignments. Don't let those people call me directly! Let some of the people who get paid much more than me weigh in on this shit before it comes to me for a plan to execute. I'm working with her on several things and that's appropriate, but I don't want her people calling me directly on the spur of the moment with crazy shit where they need an answer TODAY. That shit must cease. He got it with three sentences of my description of the issue, handled it just right, and he is the Man. And he sings my praises to other VPs. I heart the boss, so far.

When I'm sitting at my desk I'm stressed, crazy and frustrated, by the time I come home I can laugh about it. But God, it's crazy, and crazy is exhausting. Oh, and let's recall I don't have an assistant, we have one department person who thinks she runs the place, so if I ask her for anything I have to deal with an endless battle of challenges, questions, arguments and foot-dragging until it's easier to do it myself, and don't worry, I'll be chatting with the boss about that shit. I would love, I crave, a stable job with stable people who do what they do without Drama and go home. The work is hard enough. But I've concluded that this is a myth. It's just how it is.

So my knitting has been limited. I want a job where I can whip out a sweater every two weeks. I did start another flat thing, photos tomorrow if it's not too dark, but we're rooting for rain so I hope it is too dark.


needlefingers said...

The higher up the food chain you get, the less stability there is.

Think of three people you know that hold doctorates. I bet at least one, maybe two of them are plumb crazy, aren't they? (says the girl surrounded by them in academia, which is weirder than most people would dream it is)

ChelleC said...

I know what you mean. My job isn't nearly as high-stress as yours, but at times when the stress-o-meter rises, I want to just do MINDLESS (totally mindless) knitting projects and my productivity slows way down.