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Step Up

7 Dec

Part of the reason my ass is so fat is that I suffer from an affliction that many Americans suffer from: laziness.  Why walk 3 blocks when you can drive?  Why get out of the car at the Starbucks when you can sit in your car an extra 20 minutes to order your venti whole milk extra whip hot cocoa latte frappuccino latte?  Why climb 2 fights of stairs when there’s an elevator?  Why cook when you can order fried chicken and have it delivered via Uber Eats?

I’m busy.  I have things to do.  I have cookies to eat.  And my Netflix queue isn’t going to watch itself. I don’t have time for fitness, and health, and that shit.

I live a mile from work and can’t be bothered to walk.  Instead I drive everyday, and park in the garage like my coworkers.  Walk up the 5 flights of stairs from the garage to the lobby?  Ha!  No way.  Fuck that for a joke.  I don’t bother entertaining walking from the lobby up the 3 flights of steps to my office.  In the elevator I go with all the other overweight folks who should cut back on carbs and try to get in 10,000 steps instead of just 5,000.  My big step intake is walking from the garage elevator to the office elevator.  62 steps.  Round trip.

So, you can imagine my dismay when the garage elevator broke yesterday.  I was riding up with a coworker when we started hearing lots of grinding.  The kind of grinding you don’t ever want to hear on an elevator.  20 minutes later a message was sent to all staff that the elevator was closed for repairs.  Closed for weeks until the needed part was ordered and arrived.

Great.  That means walking up 5 flights of stairs every morning.  Better not forget anything in my car because I’m not going back down to get it.

Even better?  Today our other elevator broke.  And we have no idea when that one is going to get repaired because we can’t get a fucking call back from our maintenance office.

Awesome.  Really fucking great.  8 fucking flights of stairs every god damned morning.

To add insult to injury you need to swipe in to use access our floor from the stairwell.  And guess whose office is immediately next to the stairwell.  Yup.  That would be mine.  I’ve already opened the door eleventy twelve times because the receptionist is too busy gabbing on the fucking phone.  I already got an earful from the Fed Ex dude that had to run up and down the stairs because he had too much to be able to carry in one load.

On the bright side I guess it means that I can shove a few extra Christmas cookies down my throat.

 

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C- for Effort

1 Dec

I had a boss who used to tell me that “A players hired A players, and B players hired C players.”  You could always tell how good a leader was by who she hired.  It’s been interesting coming to an institution like this and seeing what happens with a bunch of C players. Disaster of a place to work.  I don’t recommend it.  In fact, when I had a friend reach out because he had seen a job posted, I told him the truth and recommended that he run away as fast as he can.

My first boss* here at the University of Broken Dreams was hilarious, and a terrible boss.  Those 2 things are totally unrelated.  Great to hang out with him in his office and have him laugh at all of my hilarious jokes-because my jokes are hilarious.  When it came to actually getting the work done, or influencing the people at the top of the house he was completely inept.  More of a yes man than anything else.

It’s no surprise I found myself on a team with a bunch of people who were absolutely satisfied with doing the bare minimum.  Pretty much everyone was so happy to provide any excuse as to why the job wasn’t getting done.  And man how they resist change.  Hearing things like, “we’ve always done it this way,” or “we tried that once and it didn’t work,” or “we’ll never get so-and-so to buy that” gets old really fast.

My first boss is no longer here, he left several months ago to “pursue a different opportunity.”  For those of you who don’t know, that’s code for “was fired.”  We have a new sheriff in town and she is a ROCK STAR!  Fucking dream come true.  No nonsense, tells it like it is, has high standards, and is giving everyone a kick in the ass that the team needs.  It’s awesome!  Finally, someone with high expectations.  I love her.  The rest of the team is struggling.

One of my teammates doesn’t care for how much work she has to do.  Like that she actually has to do her entire job now, not just 75% of it.  She can’t stand that instead of working 37.5 hours a week sometimes she has to work 40.  Because,  you know, she came to the University of Broken Dreams for work/life balance.

Maybe it’s me, but I always took work/life balance to mean that you still do your job and you have a life.  Not that you half ass your job so you can have a life.  Call me crazy.

Working for a boss who is smart, capable, and holds you to high standards is far better than working for someone who doesn’t care, doesn’t know what they’re doing, has a personal agenda, or is anything like Matt Lauer.  No thank you, I’ll pass.  Life’s too short to work for a shitty boss, and we live in a world where there are plenty of opportunities out there.

 

*To be clear here, he wasn’t responsible for hiring me.  His boss was, and she had inherited him.  She is excellent.

I’m an inspiration to the people

9 Nov

Okay, maybe not to the people.  I am, however, a true inspiration to myself.  And probably to my cat.

Had an incredibly powerful leadership moment in my office yesterday.  End of the day.  Everyone had gone home. And I was left to deal with some of the typical bullshit that we deal with here at the University of Broken Dreams.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of working in higher education, it’s an experience.  An awful experience in which you’re supposed to play nice and make sure you ask every single person at the university their opinion on a decision. If there’s a single person – no matter their level or experience – who doesn’t agree or who has concerns, then you immediately throw out your idea and start all over again.

Why on earth would we take the time to identify the key decision makers? Or explain to people that not everyone gets a vote?  Probably because someone’s feelings would get hurt, and dealing with feelings is difficult and kind of uncomfortable.  Instead we think it’s better to slow everything w  a  y down and extend too much effort and entirely too much time on the most menial projects.  Great.  Good call.  Awesome for innovation.

Won’t bore you with the details of my most recent project.  The twitter version is a junior staff member was chosen by the VP to lead a project.

I got a call from her manager’s manager’s manager (that’s right, he’s 3 levels up from her and reports into the VP) who wasn’t too thrilled with the decision that had been made.  Even though he had blessed her nomination as a candidate.  He wanted to talk to his direct reports before something was communicated to the junior staff member.  He wasn’t sure if the staffer’s leader would support said decision or not.  And blah blah prolong everything and let’s call a meeting with all the senior leaders to discuss.

As soon as I got off the phone I got an email from the staff member’s leader stating how thrilled he was about that choice.

My reaction? I flipped off my screen and said the following out loud: “Doesn’t look like HE’S got any concerns.  Suck on that dick.”

I’m a fucking professional.

You is not so smrt

8 Nov

One of the women on my team is an absolute idiot.  Like stupid.  She was hired a few weeks before I was, and I’ve always wondered how the interviews went.  Not sure how she happened to get past some of the basic questions like: Tell me about a time you were able to count to 2.  Craziest part was they hired her to figure out our recruiting strategy.  Super senior level job.  She had 2 years of recruiting experience.  She still lives at home with mom and dad where mom does her laundry and makes her lunch for her everyday.  I’m not saying that a young person can’t do a big job, but if you still need instructions to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich perhaps you’re not cut out to lead strategic initiatives.

Let’s call her Smarty Pants.  Being in the same room with her makes my brain hurt when she talks.

She looks confused most of the time.  Probably because she is.  It’s kind of like we hired a 16 year old to do the job.  You know what I mean.  Think back to when you were 16 and you knew it all.  So much life experience at that age and you were the definitive expert on everything.  And sometimes you talked big about shit you legitimately knew nothing at all – pretended you practically wrote the book on it.  Smarty Pants is like that.  She thinks she’s the expert on all things hiring and recruiting and she can hardly figure out how to take the cap off her pen.

Last year we had a consulting firm do an analysis on our recruiting function.  The lead consultant had been in recruiting for 20 plus years, worked in a number of industries, frequently spoke at conferences, etc.  Smarty Pants was not impressed.  During a team meeting she made a point of saying that he didn’t really know what he was talking about and that she was “more smarter” than he was.

Right.

Okay.

Over the summer she spent some time with her fiance and his family at their house in Florida.  Of course it was the “coolest” vacation she’d ever been on.  She told us that one of the things that she loved most about being with his family is that they’re all such humanitarians.  I love people that take care of people.  They’re good people.  Smarty Pants has a different definition of what a humanitarian does.  Another coworker, the Complainer, and I asked her (because we like torturing ourselves) about what her fiance’s family did that made her think that.  Her eyes got all wide and lovey and she told us how one night on when they were on the beach the baby sea turtles started to hatch.  The family helped the baby sea turtles make it to the ocean safely.  And that’s why there were humanitarians.

Fuck me.

And this, my friends, is what it’s like to work in higher education.

Dishing it Out

31 Oct

Let me ask you a question here, and give me your honest response.  Like your real response, what you really think.

So, if you worked in a place that had signs that said things like, I don’t know, something along the lines of:

Please wash your dishes.

This sink does not have a garbage disposal.

If there are dirty dishes in the sink, the sink will not be cleaned by cleaning staff.

Would you be an asshole and leave your dirty dish in the sink?  Would you expect someone like the dish washing fairy to appear, wave her wand, and magically wash your dishes?  Are you that person that hates their job so much that you think, “fuck this place and everyone here, I’m going to leave the container with yesterdays half eaten oatmeal in the sink.”  Is that you?

I don’t know why it continues to surprise me that people can be so disrespectful that they ignore the signs.  Everyone here reads, everyone speaks the English, and yet not everyone can be bothered to clean up after themselves.  Me not know why.

This afternoon I found the sink half filled with someone’s leftover salad.  Why? There’s flipping sign that says there’s no garbage disposal.  We have a composting bin immediately behind the sink, and yet this turn dumped their salad and dirty plate and walked away.  And now, again, the sink is clogged.  Shocking.  I know.  Last week when I encountered a similar encounter I took pity on my other work makes and scooped out all the limp lettuce that some douche bag had left behind.  Pretty sure that I have some kind of awful skin condition that will never be cured.

I dream about finding out who the dirty dish bandit is.  I dream about going to their house and leaving dirty dishes in their house.  Granted, lord knows what I’d be walking into.  Perhaps their sink is just as disgusting as the one here.  Maybe I’d take their dishes and put them on their pillow so they’d have to take notice.

Oh to dream…

Surely Working in Hell Can’t Be That Bad

18 May

I’ve been around the block, sure not with any men in the last 1 zillion years, but at work I have.  I kind of sometimes sort of know what I’m doing.  I know that leaders have to believe their employees matter and make a difference if they want the organization to perform well.  I know that ego has a way of derailing progress.  I know that leaders who think they should be the smartest in the room are usually the worst leaders out there.  I know that a leader who doesn’t know what competency is and cancels all of his one on ones with his direct reports is going to probably going to have an under performing team.  I know that if you think diversity and inclusion efforts are just about getting more jobs for women and black people that you’re probably sexist and racist.  And I know that when your senior most leader is the worst at recognizing his staff’s contributions that it’s going to have a negative impact on the entire organization.

Help me.  I’m confused.  How is it possible that an organization that has a world class reputation is run by idiots?  Help me understand.

I sit in meetings with some of the these people and it perplexes me.  How were they promoted?  How have they not been fired?  Can someone truly be so ignorant as to believe that the company employees are all happy?  I don’t get it.  In all seriousness some of them make Trump seem like a genius.  Now that’s bad.

Here’s what I’m dealing with…

A few weeks ago we had a leader who with one email violated federal regulations, organizational policy, and client confidentiality.  Based on her actions there were 3 separate and concrete reasons that she could have been fired.  A situation that should have been sent to the president’s office, and Legal counsel.  Know what the leaders decided to do?  They chose to hide her actions.  And then you know what they did?  They promoted her.

What the double fuck?

This place is playing with my mind.  I gotta get out, right?  It feels like all of this nonsense is starting to play with my reality.  I’m beginning to question whether maybe I’m the one that’s wrong here.  But promoting someone based on style and not substance is bad, right?  And keeping people in jobs where they are terrible and not telling them for years and then eliminating their position because you don’t want to have a conversation about under performing is wrong, right?

Maybe I’m living in the Twilight Zone.  Or maybe it’s a temporary stay in Hell.

I gotta go, right?

There’s only so long one can play on the internet

4 Apr

Think I’ve reached the max.  It’s gotten to the point that I can’t find anything to do on the interwebs.

This job I started last summer has me doing a whole lot of nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  I just sit and stare at the computer, update Facebook, online shop, and stare out my door longingly hoping someone will come and talk to me.

Mixed blessing having an office.  On the one hand I can surf the web all day and take online surveys for airline miles.  On the other it’s so painfully boring that I sometimes pretend I have to go to the bathroom just so I can talk to people.  Legit the people are are totes anti social.  Do you have any idea what it’s like for an extrovert to work with a bunch of people who hate talking to other people?  I hope you never have to find out.  Ever.

Totes boring.

So boring.

Gag.

It’s barely noon and so far I’ve already: looked at Facebook 16 times, read all the celebrity gossip TMZ had to offer, attempted to find pants that fit my ample ass, looked for patio furniture, responded to 3 emails, went back to Facebook, and updated my resume.

What the fuck am I supposed to do for the rest of the day?