Friday, August 28, 2009

      ( 10:36 PM ) teahouse
Drama School

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.



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THIRTYSOMETHING (!!) year old Asian American New Yorker, lawyer, amateur musician, curious girl taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Don't mess with me - I'm short and I look demure, but I carry a big purse. And I've just embarked on the journey of married life in Manhattan.

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