Saturday, October 18, 2008

So, I'm just finishing what amounts to a 35 hour shift.

I'm not happy.

See, it all started earlier this week. The three junior writers in the department don't have any proposals of their own to work on at the moment, so they are supposed to help the senior writers. So one of them, dutifully, asked me on Tuesday if I had anything he could do. The answer on Tuesday was no. I was waiting for inputs from our technical people so I could prep for a review team, I was waiting on inputs from another company, basically, I was just waiting.

Well, all three of the boys apparently decided that that meant that I would never need any help, ever. On Thursday, when I could have started to use some help, one called off because his wife had the sniffles, and he didn't want to pass it to anyone else. Mind you, his wife was sick, not him. The other two were helping another one of the senior writers who had a proposal going out first thing Friday morning. One thought he was helping by printing the resumes, but they hadn't been reviewed yet, and they were incorrect. Another one took two hours to write a three paragraph letter, and another two hours to put together a box. Just to give you some perspective, I put together two boxes in five minutes today. Then he couldn't figure out how to print labels to put on the tabs for the binders, even though I have shown him more times than I can count. Then he decided he had to go home because his wife had the sniffles, too.

I try to be patient and tolerant of people with families and kids. I do. But sometimes I feel like the single among us really get the short end of the stick.

Anyway, I stayed and helped the person who had a Friday morning deadline, putting off my own stuff, which I now had in droves. If I hadn't, she wouldn't have made the deadline. She ended up working all night on Thursday. Yeah, she's single, too.

She gave the two junior writers who were "helping" her on Thursday a simple list of about 7 things. Nothing complicated, nothing that required research or writing (except for the three paragraph letter that took two freaking hours), but little detail things that had to get done for her proposal to meet deadline. With two of them working on it, it took them all day to accomplish what should have been the work of about 3-4 hours, at most. It would have been 3-4 hours for any of the senior writers. And the didn't finish everything!

So on Friday, needless to say, the person who had the proposal going out that morning did not come in at all. I wouldn't have either. And one of the junior writers decided he was going to take the day off because he had his 80 hours in for the week. No big loss - if it takes you 2 hours to tape up a box, I really don't need your help, thanks. The other senior writer had to leave early because she had a contractor coming to her house to see about post-Gustav repairs.

Now, that should have left two of the junior writers. But what do they do? They decide to take the day off because there wasn't anything for them to do.

Did they ask me if I had anything for them? No. Did I have anything for them? Oh, you betcha.

So that left me, by myself, to wrap this proposal. I had to make all of the review team changes (there were 134 comments that had to be addressed) because all of the technical people were either off, at a customer site, or traveling. I had to rewrite all of the input from the other company because it reached a new level of sucking (seriously - I would be ashamed to send writing of that quality to a teaming partner - let alone someone who has been and might be again a competitor some day). I had to make 16 tabs for each of 8 binders, I had to write a cover letter, and I had to do a hundred other little detail things that someone else could have done quite easily...allegedly.

But no, I was left on my own.

Oh, and did I mention that I woke up with a raging staph infection? I called my primary, but since I am a new patient to her, they wouldn't make any effort to get me in on Friday (the earliest she could see me was Wednesday, according to whoever answered the phone), and wouldn't prescribe antibiotics for me over the phone even though I knew what I had. So I called the dermatologist who has treated me for multiple staph infections in the past. She wasn't in, and because I haven't had one on over a year, she wouldn't prescribe over the phone either. I ended up having to take time out of my day that I could ill afford to go to the urgent care center, where the doctor looked at me for all of 30 seconds and prescribed the antibiotics I needed. He also charged me $30 more than either my primary or my dermatologist would have.

So yeah, I'm sick, I have a metric buttload of work to do, and all I want to do, frankly, is go home and get naked because whenever I have a staph infection, my clothes feel like sandpaper on my skin.

TMI. I know.

Instead, I worked in the office until 8, then worked at home from 9 until 6:30 this morning when I took a shower and dozed for about an hour and a half. Then I came back in. I wrapped my proposal at 4:40 p.m. Production alone took me almost 3 hours, because I had to do it myself.

I'm really, really frustrated. I've helped all the junior writers when they've been on deadline and were in danger of missing it because they messed something up. I'll pretty much bend over backwards to be a team player. Isn't that what you are supposed to do when you are part of a team?

For two of the junior writers, I blame it on their age. They are both in their early-to-mid 20's, and I'm discovering that that generation just thinks differently about work. They don't think twice about taking time off whenever they feel like it, sometimes they work kind of haphazardly, and honestly, they are just kind of immature. They have room and time to grow, however.

The other junior writer, though, is in his 40's. He is the one who takes very, very extended lunches almost every day, who disappears to go socialize around the building several times a day, can't tape up a box without help, and will never, ever manage to make tabs on his own. I feel for him, with a wife and a baby at home (though she is a nurse, so it isn't like he's supporting them all on his own). But it is really hard to be sympathetic toward someone who slacks off as much as he does.

I don't know what to do about it, though.


Well, I'm off to buy new glasses (I'm apparently even more blind than I was 18 months ago), and then I have to go shopping for baby gifts for one of the young guys who is about to have his first (well, his wife is about to, at any rate).

Have a lovely Saturday.

1 comment:

tomzgrrl said...

I'm sorry and it TOTALLY sucks and I do feel your pain.

I was *supposed* to be off Friday (scheduled vacation day) but had to work for 75% of the day because I'm still covering for my boss who's been out for 4 months. Oh, and my co-worker comes in late every day, takes over an hour for her allotted 30 minute lunch but leaves ON TIME to the second. Every day. If you subtract the amount of time she spends chatting and the amount of time she spends saying "that's not my job" -- basically, she maybe puts in 4 hours.

She complains that "we're a team" and gets mad any time I get something extra to do yets works under the motto of "screw it up bad enough the first time and they won't ever ask you again" -- and I'm not making that up, she actually has said that upon numerous occasions.