Friday, May 16, 2008


Sometimes it's hard not to write in-depth about work. Often, I write to de-stress and find some catharsis, but because work is my primary stressor, the convolutions I have to put in to avoid identifying material can get a bit awkward. I try to avoid a lot of identifying notes for reasons I've covered before: it's bad practice to link your public view to the workplace or talk about co-workers; my closest confidants know that I'm irreligious, but few others do; I work in an industry with a lot of proprietary knowledge being bandied about; etc. That second one is even a bit more iffy now, because I submitted a "deconversion" story to a contest, but left my signature in the email, so it was published online with my real name. Admittedly, Googling my name is far more likely to bring up a porn producer than anything actually traceable to me, but it's out there now.

Back to work, though. The place is driving me crazy. My department is running at about half of ideal staffing levels right now, and at least two of the people that are there are turning out to be unemployment line material. Added to that, my direct supervisor retired last month, dumping part of that workload in my lap; our second-largest customer (whose demands were excessive to begin with) is demanding that we scale up production by 50%, where we had already moved up their entire schedule by a month. It's a recipie for disaster in a regulated environment. Now, I put in for my old manager's job; frankly, I'd take it in a heartbeat if it could just reduce my workload at all, much less pay more. When they made me salaried earlier this year, they raised my base pay by 20% to make up for the amount of overtime I put in, and it'll still be less than I made last year. If they included a designated nap time in the benefits package, I'd jump at it.

It all boils down to the fact I'm too nice to just walk up to people with a copy of their paperwork and yell, "WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?" Honestly, if they had actually written down what they were thinking when they were doing it, things would be better. If you can back up a decision, even if the reasoning is faulty, we can work with that and make it a training experience. If you give me nothing to work with, we're both dead in the water. The last answer I ever want to hear is, "I don't know why I did it that way." I hear it all too often, though.

I love the company, though. We're growing at an unheard-of rate. If it was publicly held, the stock price would be going through the roof. A lot of companies would kill to have growth of 5%; we're looking at closer to the 30-40% range. Hell, we've already almost hit the budgeted growth numbers for this year. If you can survive it, there's a lot of potential for success. Surviving it is the key. Somehow, I keep my end of things running. Hell, even the CEO likes my analysis work, although he might deliberately misread it to further his own agenda (A CEO looking to manipulate investigation statements to justify actions that will benefit the bottom line? Naaaaah...). I think I'm doing a crappy job, looking at it from the inside. My director even told me I was doing great though. My wife thinks that I'm too self-critical when it comes to my work, and that I have some issues with giving myself credit. I just see that I'm not doing the level of work that I'm probably capable of, and I see that holding me back in the future. Of course, that's not now, but I often have trouble living in the present. I usually have a forwarding address in the past, though, not the future.

At any rate, that's as much of a rant as I can sustain right now without naming people to be assassinated. Workplaces generally frown on that sort of talk these days, anyway.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Things you notice

It's an odd feeling when your blog, which has a regular readership approaching six, suddenly has a traffic spike from eastern Finland.