Me “Rob, I needed a weekly report from you yesterday. Can you put one together for me this morning?”
Rob “I’m not sure if I need to provide one as I am reporting to the big guys in the front office.”
Me “So you sent one to them yesterday? If that’s the case it’ll be easy to send me a copy for my report.”
A few minutes later…
Me “What’s this line about “reduction in force,” under risks?”
Rob “That means I’m gone in a week.”
Me “Oh back to MD, right…”
Poor guy hasn’t heard that the office out in MD has personally requested that we not send Rob back for follow up work.
Robert “Nope gone from the company.”
Me “Whao, wait a second. What’s going on?”
Rob “They’re apparently trying to cut costs. Oh well, good thing I had alternate plans.”
Me “Getting your master’s degree?”
Rob “Yep, thank God for that! Besides I can at least say I’m home in Washington and out of Minneapolis. There was no work in that town! There’s lots to do here… Just a rule to remember, if your time card starts getting signed off by someone else…Start asking questions
Rob “Just before x-mas my timecard changed from being signed off by my manager to her manager. Then the RIFF. That means something was up.”
Me “That’s weird…” (I still have no idea who or what a RIFF is)
Hearing this was funny because all the managers have been talking about not wanting to be responsible for Rob anymore.
Rob “Oh well, as they say in Sales ‘PUNT!’”
Me “Damn, who knew sales were so heartless.”
Rob “That’s my Universe, Its calling me back. He he”
Me “Hey, gotta’ do what you love.”
Rob “Mo money mo money mo money!”
Up until that point I was actually starting to feel sorry for the guy. But after that I just felt dirty… Oh well, he still lives at home with his mom, so he probably doesn’t have too many bills.
Me “…Look, Rob…”
Rob “Hey, I know, you don’t need to say it…”
Me “…I’ve always hated you.”
Rob “I know buddy, I know.”
Today Rob asked me if he could go home at 2:30. Today we also have to deliver all the work we’ve done over the last three months! There are tons of things to do before I can accomplish that. Plus Samantha Shrieker already skipped out on work. I can’t have both of them gone, there’s no way I’d be able to get all of the work done by myself (Though my head is still spinning trying to figure out how having Rob involved will be beneficial).
Rob “Dude, if there’s nothing more for me to do I’m just going to head off.”
Me “Rob, we’re nowhere near being done with our deliverable. I don’t have anything for you now, but there’s going to be tons of things coming up shortly.”
Rob “Well, I got in at 6:15 today. I’m not working more than eight hours. So I’m out of here at 2-ish.”
Me “Didn’t you get in at 7?”
Robert “Ok, 3pm!”
Me “Didn’t you take a half-hour lunch?”
Rob “I really think you missing the point. I’ll have put in either 44 or 45 hours by the end of the day. Which means a four day weekend either way next week.”
Me “Look, no offence, but considering that you wanted to leave at 2:00 & I had to remind you how many hours you’ve actually done today, I’m not really sure about the whole 44 or 45 hours thing. That being said though, I honestly don’t care what you do at this point. I’m not your manager & I don’t know why your manager wants you to check in with me about leaving early.”
Robert “The point is I have over forty hours in this week. I don’t mind staying if you need me but, really…”
Me “Rob, you’re asking me to Ok you leaving early & taking time off next week! I can’t do that, I’m not a manager, and I’ve never been one.”
On second thought, I it might be better to get him out of my face for the rest of the day…
So for some reason the powers-that-be decided to place Redneck Barry in charge of our holiday fundraiser. Every year we get a few dollars together & put it towards a good cause. I think last year we raised money for neglected children… or something…
Anyway, because Barry is in charge this year our money is going to military personnel who are overseas for the holidays. Now, look, I’m going to sound like an ass for saying the things I’m about to say & I just want all of you to know, though I have some issues with the way this country is run I do love America & what I was raised to think that stood for. I grew up an army brat, & to this day I still have a great deal of respect for people who devoted their lives to the armed services, it just wasn’t for me.
So that being said, fuck helping people who are in the military. Are you fucking serious?!? It’s their fucking jobs to be over there, no one asked them to enlist. The only reason they’re there is because of the life choices they made that got them to that point. I have absolutely no sympathy for people in their situation. I mean they’re at least getting paid to be over there. I’m not going to feel sorry for them, especially when there are people in our neighborhood that would benefit much more from our charity. Personally I’ve always supported breast cancer research, because well, tities are awesome (On a serious note, I’ve lost three grandparents to cancer & my mother & sister run a high risk for breast cancer, so I really support breast cancer research & awareness. That & gay rights! Because tities are awesome, but two pairs of tities rubbing on one another are even better)! Shit, if we’re going off of that logic I’ve only been at home for three month out of the last nine. Where the hell is my care package?
To add insult to injury, Barry asked his good buddy (only buddy) Rob to help make this fundraiser happen. So what’s Rob’s plan? He wants to send them care packages full of food! Only a fat fuck like Rob would think of that. Dude, they have a mess hall! They get fed. Shit, when my mom left our dad home to watch us we’d eat MREs (meals ready to eat, they’re like military rations) they’re not that bad.
So never mind all the work Rob should be doing, what really gets to me are the constant e-mails he sends out whenever someone gives him money. It’s doesn’t even seem like we have a choice. He’s walked around twice asking people for money. Don’t get me started on the way he addresses people in his e-mails either. He makes it sound like he’s the only one contributing!
Rob “We, I’ve manage to raise another $100 for the troops.”
Fuck you Rob, that’s not your money. It was also fun to read the countless e-mail suggesting we invest into gifts more practical than peanut butter & playing cards, like I don’t know, phone cards & web cams.
I don’t always have the most charming of personalities, in-fact one could say I’m downright awkward in public. Have you ever been in a situation where it’d just be best for you to walk away, but for some reason you can’t?
So for the holidays my sister asked if I’d join her on a shopping trip to pick up presents for our parents. I, being the most devoted son in the world jumped at this opportunity, seeing as I have absolutely no idea what my parents like. A date was set, & the plan was for us to meet up at the mall one day after work.
My instructions were simple, my sister was on the second floor of Nordstrom’s looking at purses. So I parked my car, went inside the mall, took the escalator to the second floor, & made my way to the purses. Upon my arrival I saw my sister, her back turned to me, looking at purses. But for some reason she had tried to bleach her hair. My sister & I have very dark brown hair, if there’s one thing we’re happy about inheriting from our parents it’s our nice hair. She had done this once before in college. I think it was her attempt to rebel against our parents for one reason or another.
Me “What the hell did you do to your hair?!?”
That’s when the pregnant lady, who was clearly not my sister, turned around… fuck…
Me “Wow! You are not my sister.”
Lady “I know.”
Me “… But you should take it as a compliment. Because she’s…”
Ohhh no, I’m not going to put my foot in my mouth again. I was going to say “Because she younger than you & totally not pregnant.”
Me “…Because she’s young, & very athletic (which is totally true, as she constantly proves by beating me up).”
I’m a glutton for punishment, & in stressful situation I just don’t know when to quit.
Me “So, when’s the baby due?”
Lady “… No baby…”
Me “Well no fruitcake for you this year. HAhah haha hahaaaaaaaa aaahhhhh… Yeah, this is awkward… I’m just going to go now…”
Lady “You should do that.”
Ok, let’s see if I remember how to do this… Oh, right… I fucking hate Robert J!
I still got it.
Sorry for my second little hiatus, but sh!t got real while I was away. Being in charge is not something you want to do when the people working under you are spastic yellers, prone to panic attacks, & Robert J. Last week was a living hell, for example.
We have a process for everything we do in this office. There’s a list of procedures we have to perform before documents/software/or what-ever-the-hell-else-we-do-around-here gets released. One of those steps is to submit our documents to our editors. Nothing serious right, I mean it sounds like a practical thing to do, right? Well not for Samantha Shrieker! Hell no, she’s convinced everyone is out to get her & that she’s hanging on to her job by a thread. Seriously home-girl, if Rob can stay employed for all this time then you have nothing to worry about.
Our typical post edit conversations go like this:
Sam “No, no no no no nononononoNONOnONoNonoNoNOnOnOno.”
Me “… What’s going on now?”
Sam “The editors, I’m telling you! They’re out to get me! They want…. They want to sabotage my work!”
Sam “YES! Look at this! Look at what they said about this document!”
Me “… It looks like all you need to do is un-bold a few words & add a few punctuations after these line items… I don’t really see what’s so bad about that.”
Sam “I KNEW YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND! I’m sorry, but I can’t do it! I can’t make these changes!”
Me “Well, why don’t you go take a long lunch & think about things. In the mean time though we need to make those editing changes & get those documents prepped to go.”
Sam “Oh, So you’re going to take credit for my work?”
Me “What? No, edits are virtually untraceable. No one will care as long as they get done, & I really need those documents out the door tomorrow.”
Sam “Nothing I do is good enough for this place!”
*Then she runs away crying.*
D-R-A-M-A! How am I expected to get things done when one of my writers refuses to apply edits? It sucks, I feel like I’m her on-call life coach. I spend far too much of my time talking to her & trying to calm her down. Doesn’t she realize I have all of Rob’s work to do?
I’m a bad boss, I know it. I think my biggest flaw is not accepting mediocre work from people when I know they’re capable of doing better. I want the people who work under me to be proud of what they do for a living. I want them to become the best they can be. Some people just don’t get it…
Rob (via e-mail): What are we doing as far as work goes? Can you assign me something? Sorry I have been out with the flu so you may not want to have direct contact with me until my cough is gone?
Me (via e-mail): Rob I’ve never wanted to have direct contact with you… Hahahha, just kidding buddy (not really). Glad to have you back. Rob, why don’t you make me an itemized list of work packets that Weren’t delivered by the Seattle team while we were in MD. Please label the list “2nd Qtr.”
Rob (via e-mail): I seem to remember someone giving me list of these work packets. I might have the numbers in my bag otherwise they are on a yellow pad at my house. I do know that they did not reside anywhere on the server out in Baltimore after doing a extensive serach on the server. Let me take a look and see if I have the numbers with me as i know i wrote them down.
Me (via e-mail): Keep me posted on what you find out Rob.
Rob (via e-mail): The attachment is a quick rundown of the work packets that wetre missing from the 2nd qtr delivery. Before we left Baltimore I was only able to locate one of the work packets in question. I did a extensive search of the server before we left and I could not locate the rest of these anywhere on the server. I have my doubts after that search if they were ever developed.
Me (via e-mail): Ok, sorry if I wasn’t clear Rob. What I need is for you to find out what work packets weren’t delivered from Seattle in the 2nd Qtr.
Rob (via e-mail): I found the email which sent over the 19 work packets. However as for a excel spread sheet its coming up empty. I did take a look into my private reserve folder and found the following? Would this be what your looking for?
Me (via e-mail): No Rob, that’s from our work in MD. I’m asking you to find a list of Seattle work packages from 2nd Qtr. I want to know what was scheduled for the 2nd Qtr, & what was actually delivered. Make me an excel list with the WP #s, Technames, & Info Names.
Rob (via e-mail the next day): I’ve been looking but I don’t think it is residing there? I’ll get back with you when I sort this out.
Me (via e-mail, two minutes later): I found the long term quarterly breakdown & attached it to this e-mail.
Rob (via e-mail): I have found the email that was sent with the 2nd qtr delivery listed all that actually went to the customer. For the excel spreadsheet is this going to be used for internal use or will it be used in Baltimore as well? I basically need to know as I put this together. Also do you want the actual list that was delivered or do you want a side by side comparison list of the list on the Long Term quarterly breakdown?
Me (via e-mail): This is for our own use. I need the information to organize our workload for the next three months. Just give me a list of the PWs that were scheduled to be delivered in the 2nd Qtr but were not. Include the WP#, Techname, & Infoname into the excel spread sheet.
Rob (via e-mail): In the items for delivery do you want to include graphics delivered during that period of time? I hope this answer you question. After reviewing the LT Qtrly and compatring to the items listed on the delivery email I has listed the following that have not been delivered. I have also attached a excel spreadsheet.
(Rob lists for items)
Let me know if you need more digging.
Me (via e-mail): Ok Rob, I had a chance to double check your work & there are a few things I need you to look up. The Long Term Quarterly Breakdown states that 70 WPs were scheduled for last Quarter (2nd Qtr). I need you to find out what the other 51 work packages were.
Rob (yelling): OK, *cough* I’LL GET BACK WITH YOU WHEN I HAVE THIS TOGETHER.
Me (via e-mail): Rob, please e-mail me. I have a bad memorie. 😀 (aka I don’t want to hear his voice) Judging from your last attempt, how long do you think this will take you? I want to have something lined up for you when you’re done.
Rob (via e-mail): Well first I need to find some supporting docs for each of these systems that were to be delivered. Give me a day and I’ll give you a status. If I get it sooner fantastic, but I want to make sure I’m getting you the right info. (mind you, he’s already been working on this for two days).
Me (via e-mail the next day): Rob I think it’s time we moved on to another task…
My day hasn’t been so bad.
I’ve made Rob my personal secretary. Now whenever I want to know something I task Rob & play solitaire until he give me an answer.
Right now I have one goal in life. That goal is to never see Robert J again, by (almost) any means necessary. I’ve done a lot in my day to avoid him, from extended breaks to skipping team building exercises. I was young & I had apathy, it was my friend. Things have changed a lot over the year, I’ve grown older & more mature. My apathy has been replaced with cynicism & sloth (they’re more mature states of mind). My fear of rubber bands & love of Big League Chew have… well, grown…
I’ve also stopped trying to inadvertently get laid off. It’s something that I really haven’t talked about in the blog, but I assure you between my indifference towards work, being young, & having to deal with Robby J, I haven’t always put my best foot forward when it came to the jobby job. But after a while I realized, if they’re not going to fire that asshole Rob, they sure as hell aren’t going to fire me. Seriously, at least I get things done.
All of this came to a head, just minuets ago, when I received some disturbing new. I’ve been made a project lead. It’s a thankless job, basically I get to act as a mediator between the evil project managers & the rest of us grunts. I get a laundry list of new weekly tasks to accomplish as well as being required to complete my regularly assigned work (but I draw pictures for a living so that won’t be too bad). I have to go to meetings with smelly old men who hate me because I’m 25. I get to write up weekly reports on the status of our project. But what I dread most, is now I have to answer all of Rob’s dumb-ass questions. That’s right, I’m responsible for Robert J’s productivity, & if you’ve read any previous blogs before now you know he’s exactly not that.
Because of my new title change I’m also forced to become impartial to all of Rob’s activates (or lack there of). It’s the curse of middle management, I have no real authority, but I’m responsible when things go wrong. I’m not Rob’s manager but I have to manage the work that he does. It fucking sucks. So, from this point on I don’t just hate Robert J, I fucking hate work!
You know what, fuck it! I’ll just pay a professional…
So I’ve been reading over my old blogs (as I do from time to time) & I’ve realized that I often use the annotation *Sigh* when expressing a particularly stressful situation, or as a sigh of relief. When pondering why I so eagerly add these small nuances in my blogs (my favorite is & will always be the *snicker snicker snort*, I really do laugh like that) it made me reflect on my own personal growth. Not as a writer, but as a person, because we all know that my stories are real. Thanks to this form of, free, online therapy I think I’ve become a very creative person.
Ideas flow like a fountain from this twisted little mind of mine, concepts of Rob’s ultimate demise, dreams of being free from his complete ineptitude, Big League chew… Aaaahhh, it’s the simple things in life that give us the most pleasure.
Today is the last working day of my three month exile to MD. On Saturday I’ll be flying back to Seattle, back where everything (except for Rob’s employment) makes sense, & thanks to this medium I’m able to leave a lot of excess baggage behind. The stress of the job ended last Thursday, after we sent off our deliverable. I’ve moved out of my temporary housing & in with my family for the last two days I’m going to be here. I’m packed, & I have an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
*Sigh* This is usually the part where I add a little story about how Rob is ruining my day. Instead, I will simply bit you all adieu. Today, nothing can get me down. *snicker snicker snort*
I’m hurtn’ here.
It’s official, they’ve stopped giving Rob work. The managers & leads have lost all faith in him & his ability to get things done. They’re pissed off that our office would send someone like him out to MD. Now Samantha & I have to pick up his slack. In a perfect world he will be fired as soon as we return to Seattle, but we don’t live in a perfect world do we? Nope, we live in our world. Where fucked up things happen so often they’ve become expectable. *Sigh* Two more days…