Friday, May 29, 2009

A Bad Week at Work...

I've only had to work three days this week yet it feels like the longest week ever. It hasn't been a great week at work. Some weeks are just like that; no matter what you do, everything just sort of seems...wrong.

It doesn't help that I'm going through one of my phases where I wonder if I'm in the right job. I go through those periodically and, often, this is the time when I'd start checking to see what else is out there. Given this awful economy and the lack of jobs, it's not a good time for me to be getting the urge to leave.

It's not that I don't like my job. Mostly, I do. It's a little dull, I will say that. In my job in Los Angeles, I had a billion things to do, I had a student worker to supervise, I was always getting phone calls asking for assistance and I felt very necessary. This is the polar opposite of that job. I sit quietly at my desk, leaving only for meetings or lunch. I have no one calling me for help. I have no one to supervise. I'm...a little bored.

The thing with my company is that the software we build is very complex. It's complicated. It takes years to learn the nuances. Yet, I'm learning. We have other products that are not so complex and I've tried to make myself knowledgeable on those. I'm responsible for testing the products and finding bugs. I find a lot of bugs. Yet...that's pretty much all I do. This is the type of company where everyone works hard and there's no time for affirmation or validation. There's no 'gold star' system other than the politics. I'm not good at office politics. I'm also a creature who, once in a while, needs to hear 'thank you,' or 'good job' from my manager because otherwise I convince myself that I'm utterly useless to a company and if I got eaten by a landshark or knocked over by a stray cable-car, they would just hire someone else to plod along the way I do. itch to find something else. I'm sure that what I do at my job is important to someone. I know that with every new job, there is a learning curve. Yet that seems to be the excuse around here for everything. I've now been here nine months...I don't think I'm so new anymore. Truth be told, I'm bored out of my skull most days. This doesn't mean I don't get my job done, I do. I've tried to push my way to the front to let people know I'm willing to do more but my attempts seem to be futile. As long as my team 'partner' remains here, she will be more experienced and knowledgeable than me and thus be the person called on for new projects, new responsibilities.

I suppose it's a matter of putting my time in. I'm trying to work through this restless stage by remembering that I like it here, which I do. I like my coworkers. I like the casualness of the office. I just don't like being at the bottom of the food chain when I used to be a lot higher at my old job. I know, I'm just whining now. This is a rite of passage with any job. I had it at USC where I had to deal with the Franks of the world before I found my steady footing there. It's just a matter of patience.

Aside from my restlessness with my job, yesterday was not a good day. We have these listservs that allow bulk emails to be sent to the subscribers of the list. Well, we have had a little shift in our company dynamic this week leading to an employee no longer being...employed here. That's all we, as employees, know. A note from our president went to the listserv informing our clients of this staff change. As soon as I saw the note, I knew that a former colleague from USC would not be able to accept that simple statement, he'd want to know more. As predicted, less than 15 minutes later, I had an email from my close friend who still works for my old employer in which she indicated her boss, my former colleague, had asked to find out what was going on. I said the exact same thing to her as the listserv. Simple...right?

Except, no. My former colleague, never a favourite of mine, attempted to email his wife with the news, identifying both myself and my close friend by name and making it sound like I had given the information before it was public. Except, instead of emailing his wife he emailed the entire listserv.

Now the entire contingent of our clients and staff were led to think I had given out confidential information. Needless to say, I had to be on maximum damage-control with our company president and my coworkers to make sure they knew that I hadn't broken confidence, that my former collegue was just a twit. Even though I received an apology from my former colleague, the damage was done: I looked unprofessional and childish for gossiping.

Thus...bad day at work. I'm hoping today will be better. I'm hoping that if I work dillegently and test my software well, at some point, I'll get an affirmation that I don't suck at my job and that the company is glad they hired me. As I said, it's just a matter of patience.

I've just never been very good with patience.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend.

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