Thursday, December 04, 2008

How to care just the right amount

Balance seems to be the theme of my life right now. Yesterday I worked 13.5 hours so I rewarded myself by going in an hour late. I felt like I totally paid for that when I received a long email from the president of my company with a thousand and one details that needed to be checked up for the event on Tuesday. Let's just ignore the part where there should be an established check list in the files for this event as they have been doing it forever and I just started a month ago. As well as another email ragging on how I did not follow the procedure correctly on one of their systems. Never mind I didn't even know about this system until Monday afternoon, tried to accommodate the request using said system on Tuesday and busted my butt to finish it on Wednesday before leaving at 3 for a different event.

While trying not to curse out loud, while trying to not cry in utter frustration I turned her brain dump email into a table with columns for draft dates, proofing responsibility, etc. I sent it her and received a positive comment about how it would certainly prove to be a useful document to have. Also she noted that as the event manager it was my responsibility to make sure it was all done and that some items were already late. Um, excuse me but I did not have a reference for 80% of the tasks or know of a place that anywhere that had all that data, and if it existed as it certainly should (since they have been doing this event for literally over 10 years) it should have been known to me long before 3 working days before the frigging event!

Did I mention their "training" sucks? That files are buried under seven layers of directories? That this place functions in crisis mode, a lot?

In the end I threw my hands up several time about several things spanning two associations and quite a few events. I stayed half an hour late which mean the net gain of time off today was half an hour. Most people who work here work late, a lot. The place is understaffed and needs a major dose of organizational management to restructure how it runs things. So how do I do enough work to keep things running reasonably, but not trying for a level of perfection that cannot be done here? How do I accept the limitations of not just myself but the whole company since there is little hope of things changing here. Things could run better but it would require someone, even little old me, to look over all the systems and create calendars for each association which would then be coalesced to figure out the crunch times and make recommendations on how to shift staffing, hire more employees, how to incorporate temps during heavy work times. Something, anything like that would help so much.

But since the likelihood of that happening is close to nil, how to I make this work in way that won't make me crazy. I am writing up notes by association where things are summarized, as I learn them; building calendars for events. To do my job reasonably well and work on creating systems because I just need to do that but be able to let it go when I leave, to not feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster while there, to have things roll off my back and not really touch me. That is the trick, that is my zen riddle.


goblinbox said...

They need collaboration. A collaboration server. Like an Exchange or Zimbra box. Email, shared calendars, assignable tasks, shit like that.

And you need a Xanax habit!

LittleWit said...

Documenting all their requests as they come through will probably help the company immensely. Would reveling in that knowledge make you happy? :)