Friday, August 28, 2009
( 10:36 PM ) teahouse
My boss, the head of my department, went on vacation for a few days.
Since my department is small, I was effectively in charge for the time he was gone.
I now have a new-found appreciation for what he has to deal with on a daily basis.
The support staff in our department are constantly at each other's throats! In my years of working I've never seen anything close to it.
There's fighting, there's cattiness. There's one-upmanship. There's drama. There's crying. There's screaming. There's eye-rolling. And on top of it all, there's gross incompetence.
HR has been called, meetings have been conducted. NOTHING has worked.
The problem is, that all of them are incompetent. And ALL of them are crazy.
Here's a typical day: Imagine there are 4 support staff (Persons A through D) in our group.
10 a.m.: Person A comes in to complain, as she does like clockwork every morning, about how she's the only one who ever does any work, and Persons B, C and D are total slackers, and they should all be fired. Meanwhile, Person A is the biggest slacker in the department, and after this dramatic speech, she hands me a letter that she's prepared for me. It is full of typos.
11 a.m.: Person B comes in to talk about how he can't share an office with Person C anymore, because all she does is talk on the phone all day with her friends, and he can't get his work done. When I ask him about that report he was supposed to finish for me, he mutters, "Oh, I forgot about that!" and runs out quickly.
11:30 a.m.: Person A and Person C have a nasty email exchange, copying everyone in the group. Both accuse each other of sending "disrespecting" emails.
11:45 a.m.: Person D arrives at the office 2 hours late. When I ask why she is late, she looks at me sullenly, rolls her eyes and says, "I overslept." When I tell her that this is not acceptable, as this is the 36th time (and the 4th time this week) she's been late, she says, "Why should I come in on time when Persons B and C come in whenever they want?"
12 noon: Person C comes into my office, telling me that Person A borrowed money from her last month and never paid her back. She wants me to make Person A give her her money back, and redesign their tasks such that they don't have to talk to each other anymore in the office. I say, "Uh, no." She says, "So you're telling me that you're betraying me? You're throwing me under the bus!" And runs out of my office in tears.
1 p.m.: The head of HR comes by my office, reassuring me that after 6 months of this, it is all being handled, and I will be left alone to do my work. Someone (maybe more than one person) will be let go next week.
This reassures me enough such that I step back from the windowsill from which I had positioned myself to jump out. #
Sunday, August 23, 2009
( 11:15 PM ) teahouse
This morning at mass, the Husband and I had a strange experience.
We sat behind an engaged couple. I surmised that they were engaged because the woman had what looked like an engagement ring on her left hand, and the man had no ring.
The man was tall, Caucasian and had a military-style buzz cut.
The woman was diminutive, Asian, wore a lot of makeup, had her head bowed and didn't say anything during the entire Mass.
Periodically, we saw the man look at the woman sternly and whisper angrily at her. She appeared to be unsure of herself, and taking instructions from him.
At one point, he turned to her and said, "Your hair is crooked!" And reached over, yanked on her head and straightened the jeweled comb in the back of her hair.
During Communion, the woman stayed in the pew meekly while the man got up.
While I was standing next to him in the line for Communion, I realized with dismay, that the man was checking me out.
I shared this with the Husband after mass.
"What, was he dissatisfied with his mail order bride, and looking to upgrade?" he asked.
All joking aside, we wondered whether we should have slipped her a note saying, "You are not alone. Help is available." #
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
( 9:13 AM ) teahouse
Bow Wow Wow
It's the dog days of summer.
It's hot, I mean HOT.
Every morning on the way to work I can see hazy waves of heat emanating from the sidewalk.
The subway is emptier, and seems to run slower.
At work, all of my coworkers sit at their desks and fan themselves periodically throughout the day.
Clients and other attorneys take longer to return telephone calls. And talk more slowly.
People are dawdling over lunch, even though there's still so much to do. The sun seems to beat down on us longer and hotter.
I've seen my share of seersucker suits.
I've heard that crime is down because it's just too damn hot and humid to get off your ass and do anything harmful to anyone else's person or property.
Every night I return home, toss and turn in bed due to the heat and sweat, and then wake up the next morning and begin anew.
Labor Day, where are you? #
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
( 11:45 PM ) teahouse
A Cure for What Ails Ya
I had a tough weekend.
I had to work both days. I ended up billing something like 14 hours over Saturday and Sunday.
On Sunday night, the Husband went out with some friends while I worked.
Around 9 p.m., he came home. I barely looked up, as I was sitting at the computer, feverishly finishing up my work.
As I hit 'Send' on my email sending everything I'd done to the client, out of the corner of my eye I saw him walk toward me. He had something in his hand, but I couldn't see what it was.
"I got you a little present," he said. "I thought it might make you feel better and maybe take away some of your stress."
He plunked something down on the table, on top of my files.
It was a bottle of Jack Daniel's.
We shared a drink together. Ok, 2.
Ok, maybe more than that.
Ok, ok, I lost count.
All I know is that he was right - it did take the edge off.
I am happy I married this man. Hiccup. #
Saturday, August 08, 2009
( 3:15 PM ) teahouse
I have several friends here in New York who work in the tv/news industry.
It's always seemed to me that their lives are so glamorous!
They jet around to exotic places, producing exciting reports. They hang out in newsrooms and in press conferences and handle breaking events. They meet famous people.
But they always remind me of how un-glamorous their lives are.
Long hours, little sleep, minute-to-minute unpredictability in schedules and extremely high pressure are all par for the course.
I was reminded of this today. We had plans to meet friends for drinks tonight.
But they just canceled, due to this morning's tragic collision of the plane and helicopter over the Hudson, as well as Eunice Kennedy's illness. As a result, they had to rush off to work to get ready for the news.
I wasn't surprised. They had told me before that when they make plans with friends, they end up listing a morbid litany of things like, "See you tomorrow night! Unless someone famous gets arrested or dies or gets sick or a plane crashes or there's an Ebola outbreak or someone declares a Jihad or threatens Obama or declares war on us or Bin Laden sends out another video or a politican admits an affair or...'" #
Sunday, August 02, 2009
( 4:39 PM ) teahouse
Reverting to Childhood
Thanks for the support, everyone! It meant a lot to me.
Everything turned out fine; in the end, the partner got involved and he worked something out with the client.
He also reassured me that I'd handled everything fine, and that the client was out of line. That was the thing I cared the most about - keeping the partner happy. So overall, it was a good learning experience for me.
So over the weekend the Husband and I had out of town guests, so we did some spring cleaning in anticipation of their arrival.
The Husband dug out his collection of old cars he played with in childhood.
He was showing me all of them, explaining what make and model each car was, how he got each one, and the significance of each in his childhood.
He even showed me some Transformers.
It was interesting, seeing how the design of cars has changed since the 70s and 80s.
Will our kids be playing with hybrid toy cars?