Friday, July 22, 2005

Blah, Blah, and More Blah

Well, I just found out that I'm working all weekend, again. Thought I'd take some time at the end of the day here to blog, since it seems I will never get out of this office.

Well, I know some of you are waiting to hear what happened on the worst day of my professional life. Here's your chance.

That morning AC, J, and I were to present the work we had been doing on an analysis to T, our boss. AC, who is the analyst in our group, was out at some training class when T first got wind of the project from BB, her boss. To do the preliminary work, J, T, and I literally stayed up all night one night mining data from a variety of databases (and since my computer is not up to snuff lately and since I don't have a company laptop, I spent it in the office). When AC got back in two days later, T went over the whole scope of the project, and exactly what our roles were to be (I was to gather the needed data in certain areas, J was to do a particular type of analysis, and AC was to coordinate it all for her statistical stuff). Well, I did my part and then some. J did her part, and AC didn't do anything remotely resembling what T wanted because what she did do showed that the differences in revenue weren't statistically significant, so she figured she didn't have to do anything more, despite the fact that BB wanted the information.

Oh, and the only time that whole week that AC spoke to me was to tell me that what I was doing (what T and BB wanted) was nice, but she was going to need me to reformat all the data for her in order to do her correlation analysis. I asked her why she couldn't use the data in the form that already existed and she said, in a very condescending tone, "Well, you just wouldn't understand."

I lost it at that point and responded, "Look, I'm doing what T asked me to do. You do what you need to do, and I'll go from there."

She replied to me saying (again in a condescending tone), "I'm just trying to communicate with you, Sheryl. You do have to get so upset."

I replied saying, "I apologize if I'm a little snippy, but I'm tired. J, T and I stayed up all night working on this while you were at your class. I'm trying to do this and my regular work and core team work, and work for BB, and work for JC. Forgive me if I seem stressed." (JC is another co-worker, not Jesus - though I do try to work for Him, too)

She didn't speak to me again that whole week

Well, needless to say, T was not happy in the slightest when we "presented" our work. She put J, AC and me in a conference room and told us she expected us to have what she wanted by the end of the day. If I hadn't gone further than I was supposed to with the analysis, we wouldn't have hand any data to work with.

What an excruciatingly painful process. AC, for all her Masters degrees and statistical knowledge, has no idea about analyzing information. There was one particular statistic she kept insisting had no impact on revenue, and I kept showing her that it did, in fact, have a huge impact on revenue. We kept going around and around, AC getting more frustrated, me getting angry, and J trying her best to get the job done. Finally, J had enough and went and told T that either AC or J was going home, but that we couldn't keep going around in circles.

T came into the conference room and tried one more time to explain things to AC. She just kept getting redder and redder, and seemed on the verge of a breakdown. T then took her into her office. A few minutes later T came in to get me. She asked me to tell her exactly what transpired during the week she was gone (she was at a corporate leadership meeting). I did, and I discovered that AC was trying to pin our failure solely on me. Now, I have no problem in saying that I could have handled things better. I told T that the day before, and I said that in front of AC. But T made it clear that AC was to come to J and me and to get our information to use in her analysis, but she never did. T began to lay into AC while we were there, but before she got very far, she sent me back to the conference room.

Well, a little while later, AC came back to the room, visibly upset, to get her things. She said to me, "Sheryl, I don't know what I did to make you so angry with me, but how could you do this to me?" I told her that there was nothing personal, but that when T asked me how things went, I had to tell her the truth. She then said, "I don't understand! I've always liked you, I've always treated you well..." etc. I started to respond to her, but then I stopped myself saying that I didn't want to say something I'd regret. Like I know she pawned her work off on me when she was planning her daughter's wedding. Or I know that she was doing work for her other job while I was downloading and converting file after file that she was supposed to be doing. Or that I resented the fact that I did 3/4 of the market analyses that went out with her name on them. Or...well, you get the picture. I then went out into the hall for a bit to cool down.

When I came back, AC wasn't gone yet, and T ushered me into her office to wait until she left. After she did, T came in to see how I was, and I told her what happened, which she made me write up for HR. Then she, J and I went over what we still needed to do.

The next day when I came in, T said that AC would be in, but was to sit at her desk and work and not speak to anyone. T also told me that she was working behind closed doors that day. A little later on, T sent me an e-mail telling me to go home at 2:30, and to take J's laptop and work at home.

Oh, and AC wrote me this apology:

II apologize for anything I've done or said that offended you. It truly was unintentional. I certainly don't have any ill feelings toward you. I was happy that you got hired as you work very hard and I enjoy working with you. I hope I can make it up to you.

If you knew AC at all, you would know how insincere that really was.

Well, after I left that day, T fired AC.

I've been feeling guilty about it and making myself ill over it (plus the million things that I seem to get volunteered for) for the past two weeks. I know it isn't my fault. AC was not a competant analyst. Nonetheless, whether it is because I used to more or less work with her or because she was sick, or whatever it was, I felt guilty.

A wise person once told me (or I read somewhere) that it is the height of arrogance to feel guilty over something you can't control. Knowing that intellectually and knowing that in your heart are two different things, though.

So that's the whole sordid story. Perhaps tomorrow at the library I'll write about the crappy day I had today, which started with oversleeping, had an adventure that probably resulted in me breaking my toe in the middle, and finding out I had to work this weekend at the end.

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