Tuesday, October 19, 2010

So I'm a Punk Now?

As noted in a previous post, I ran into some drama at the gig and had a "come to Jesus" talk with my boss.  I told my story, accepted responsibility for my error, yada yada yada.   Part of the drama involved another person and the way they came at the Gamma.  I told the boss what happened just so boss would be aware of conflict ... I made it clear that I would handle my issue with the other person but wanted boss to be aware.

A sista-girl co-worker (one I had to latch on to to learn the politics of this place) has been my confidant during my on-boarding.  I told her what my plan was for dealing with the other person and she basically said I was a punk for not going off on the other person and letting her know some thangs -- yes thangs.   

How I chose to handle it was, well, to not handle it.  I thought about my interactions with the person to-date and came to the conclusion that this wasn't typical behavior for her.  Something else must have been going on.  I came to find out that she has been taking kind of a corporate whipping from a new client which has increased her stress 50-fold.  Her husband hasn't been happy with the additional hours she's been working, creating more stress in her home.  The error I made caused her to take a couple of hours from the client that was whipping her so she could help me correct my mistake; therefore, ensuring her whipping went on later that night than she was prepared for or expected.  Given all that, I decided to let it slide UNLESS it happened again (it hasn't and she's been as helpful as she was from the beginning). 

I felt good about my decision until my co-worker called me a punk.  So was I wrong?   I tried to think of the long-term.  I spend 8-9 hours a day in that building and I need stress to be minimized as much as possible.  Yes, it would have felt good to go off on her but what would it have accomplished?  Is everything go-off worthy?  I've had entirely too much drama in my life and I have always tried to pick my battles carefully.  There have been some battles that I probably should have fought earlier, just as there have been some I shouldn't have taken on.   Does that make me a punk? 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Here We Go Again

Three months into the new gig and Gamma's got drama already.  Can I catch a break on the job front -- PLEASE!!  I'm getting too damn old for this. 

I've got to have a "come to Jesus" talk with my boss tomorrow.   It's our regularly scheduled "how's it going" meeting but I'm going to have to address some issues and Lawd I HATE confrontation.  The issue revolves around training (or lack, thereof).  The first few weeks of training were really good and covered most things I need to know to perform one part of the job.  The second part of training was lacking to put it nicely and it's put me in a position of not feeling comfortable to speak to all the work I've been doing.  Bascially, I've been going through the motions ... not good for any kind of analyst position.  If the Analyst is not fully understanding the pieces, no amount of faking in the world is going to make yo sound like the expert you're supposed to be.

To top it off, I made a mistake last week.  I'm okay with that, I'm human.  But what frustrates me is that I'm now put in the position of defending myself for not doing something I didn't know I had to do.  How the hell do I defend against that without coming off as making excuses?   To make matters worse, the person that called me on the mistake, approached the Gamma ALL WRONG and in a totally unprofessional manner.    I couldn't even respond to her tirade Friday as I knew it was not going to be pretty.  I just left (and went to the liquor store).  But I have to bring it up to the boss tomorrow.   The person that fell down on the second part of my training is one of the boss' pets.  Lawd why me? 

Corporate politics suck worse than the government politics we're all dealing with right now.  I think I've got my speech worked out so that I don't throw the boss' pet totally under the bus, and hopefully getting hooked up with the lady I know will teach me the right way.   Work shouldn't be this dang difficult.  Why can't we just go to work, do our jobs, without all the drama?

The world would be so much simpler. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

What Are We Becoming?

Every talk show host on radio and all of the Talking Heads on cable news outlets have covered the story of the firefighters in Obion County TN watch a family's home burn to the ground because they hadn't paid the $75 subscription fee for the services of a nearby fire department.    Here's the story in case you've been asleep and didn't catch it. Firefighters Watch as House Burns.  It's bothered me from the moment I read about it.

I think I've kept an open mind as I've listened to the paid Talking Heads.  I've listened carefully to callers on my local talk radio station and I've read comments people have left on various news sites.    I totally understand the family didn't pay the fee and therefore wasn't entitled to the services of the FD.  I'm all about personal responsibility.  The family says they forgot and having forgotten a bill or three myself I can see how that could happen.  It doesn't matter to me.   I still can't help but be bothered by the way this situation was handled.

Firefighters are our heroes.  The Love of My Life (LOML) was a firefighter for years so I know a little bit about them.  They are truly heroes ... they come when they're called.  Our local fire department handles medical calls as well so they're usually first responders to medical calls as they're able to get to a location quicker than an ambulance can.  I watched our fire department rescue my daughter from a freak accident at our house and get her to the hospital.  I kissed the captain that night because I was so happy to see him.  I knew him because of relationship with LOML but I would've kissed him if I hadn't known him.  My daughter was in trouble and I was afraid she had lost her legs. 

I watched our fire department try to save my neighbor has he lay on his front porch having suffered a heart attack.  Unfortunately, they weren't able to save him but they came and they worked so hard to get him stable enough to go to hospital.  I watched LOML cry after a house fire that killed two children.   When my daughter started driving, he used to call me after working a traumatic traffic accident, especially if it involved teenagers to make sure she was home and safe.  I've seen them fight just as hard to save a family pet as they did to save the people in the house.  They fight just as hard to save a "structure" (they call all buildings structures for some reason) that was burning due to someone burning leaves inappropriately, arson, or someone leaving a pot of food on the stove.  I say all that to say, I love firefighters.  I think it takes a special person to be one.  Period.

That's why it was so hard for me to believe that they actually let that family's home burn.  It's not in their nature NOT to help.   They don't check to see if someone has paid their taxes first before they respond (thank God ... Imma get that last few hundred paid soon -- I promise).   They are charged with saving life first and property if at all possible.

After hearing more about the story, I don't fault the firefighters -- they were following "orders".  I am surprised that not one of them said "to hell with orders" and let their training and instincts kick in but that's another issue.  I'm upset that their boss saw the only solution to this family not paying their subscription fee was to let their home burn and kill the poor doggies that were trapped inside.  They damn near crucified Michael Vick for abusing animals, but again that's another story.   I personally think they could have saved the home (and pets) and charged the family a hefty fine for having to provide service.  I know, I know if they didn't pay the $75 why would they pay a fine?  I don't know if that would have happened or not.  At the least they could have attached a lien on the home if they didn't pay that.  But I digress.  

I never thought I'd see the day when the fire department wouldn't be there to help us without checking our payment records first.  But even more bothersome is the fact that so many people have the attitude "damn right  no-pay-no-help".  What happened to that love thy neighbor thing?  Have we really become such a got-mine-get-yours society that our fire department - the very people we teach our children will help them when they're in trouble - will only help after they check to see if mommy or daddy or Gamma has paid a fee?

What in the world are we becoming?  Lord help us.