Thursday, January 21, 2010

De-Motivational Staff Meetings....

Tomorrow is Friday. Which means the lovely and welcome weekend is just around the corner. I, for one, am glad about that.

I woke up in a foul mood today. I think I was just irritated with myself for wasting so much time the night before on the computer issues and I also didn't want to get out of my comfy bed to go to work. Over the course of the morning, I did get in a better mood though why, I really don't know unless it was because time was passing.

Still, by lunch, I was in a pretty decent mood. I'm glad because after lunch, we had a staff meeting. It was not an impromptu staff meeting, thank goodness because those inspire fear and worry in most of us at work. I think we all worry we're being told someone just got fired...and then we realize that in our office, if someone gets fired, we get an email to tell us and that's it. No discussion allowed.

Today's meeting was scheduled. By the time I came out, I was in a ridiculously goofy mood. I can't explain why, really....I think it's a result of my newfound ability to care about my job enough that I do it well but not enough that I take it home with me so much anymore. This attitude has done wonders- I've stopped being bitter towards my coworkers and I've stopped resenting the fact that I continue to be invisible. Not much has changed there, to be honest. My coworker still gets asked to give all the webinars on our shared software and be on all the commmitees while I plod away on the work that gets done. Yet rather than resent it, I tend to rejoice in the fact that I don't have to do it. Granted, it is a little unbalanced but it's not going to change and, honestly, that's ok by me.
The scary thing is that I mean all of what I'm saying. I don't know, it's like someone flipped a switch on inside my brain. Today, I discovered my coworker had been asked to do a webinar on the software we share yet again even though I've made it widely known that I would like to at least co-present at the next one and for a brief minute, a surge of frustration flared and was gone. There was no harboured resentment, just a nice resignation that I can't change anything and I'm ok with that.

So, back to the staff meeting. Today, we had another pep talk. Fortunately, this one did not involve budgets and numbers. Instead, we were told that because salary is one of our company's biggest expenditures, the ratio of work to salary was going to be examined and analyzed.

I think this is the point at which I started to get giddy. It's the type of fodder you can't ask for but just falls in your lap. After all, as one of the, uh, lower paid employees in the company, that sort of works in my favour, right?

Here's my logic, you see. My salary is quite a lot less than what I'd consider the average. I know this because when we were going through the nightmare of being sold last year, they had to post our salaries on the web for due diligence purposes. Thus, the first thing we all did was go out to the website and see what people were making. I didn't exactly memorize it but it stuck with me. Let's just say I'm making quite a fair amount below average.

Anyways, so, if the average salary is, say, about $12K more than mine, that means those people are expected to work at a ratio of 1 days work for the average daily salary. Thus, since I fall below average, doesn't that mean that I have to do less work?

I admit, I did consider asking my boss for daily thumb-twiddling time but then realized he wouldn't be amused. Also, we're supposed to pretend we have no clue what anyone makes even though I know my boss and his boss make at least triple my salary.

So, that was my first moment of glee- when my snarky sense of logic kicked off. The comment about salary to work ratio was followed by another encouraging statement of how in the immediate future, our jobs are going to be analyzed so that the company can best find how to use our talents and skills because there are a "lot of really smart people" who aren't being "used efficiently."

You think? Really? I've now told my boss this no less than three times.

The sad thing is that I know, in my area, nothing will change. Besides, I'm using my talent right now...writing...a snarky blog about my company.

Besides that, I think I have a bit of a talent for making soup. However, I don't think they're going to find much of a use for that in the office....though it'd be fun to see them try. Software and Soup: Guiding the Future of Education while Comforting your Soul with the Power of Soup!

I like that idea. I have a feeling my boss wouldn't.

The sad thing is I have skills that I've honed in my last few jobs...they're wasting away because I don't get the opportunity to use them. For some reason, I'm always kept back from dealing with clients even though, prior to this position, that was one of my biggest assets and strongest skills. I used to be a good liaison between technical people and non-technical people, breaking down complicated stuff into terms that a non-computer-savvy person could understand. I think our company could use that but, alas, even though I've asked to do more of that, it's not considered part of my job so my suggestions are ignored.

So, you can understand why I was so amused during our staff meeting. We've become a corporation. We've transitioned from this nice, friendly, family-like company where we were allowed to speak out and say what we thought and have some input to a corporation where we get pep talks every week. I'm telling you, if they start putting up those motivation posters that say things "TEAMWORK: When we all work together, we all win together," I'm really going to go around a replace them with the Demotivator version that says "TEAMWORK: A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction."

We've become a corporation that needs meetings to say "Go Team!".

I am amused. Our corporation recently hid the cable boxes away from us in a locked room because they were afraid we'd steal them. Now me, personally, I'd go for the big flat screen TV rather than the cable box but, hey, that's just me. We're also getting new cameras added around the building for 'security'. We don't have much to steal, not really. Ok, so we have computer servers but we always had those and no one stole them. I think our 'security' really means that we're going to be monitored so that we behave ourselves.

I know, I sound loopy. I am, I suppose. I'm entirely amused at my company. It might wear off tomorrow but, for now, I have to admit, I've always liked the non-impromptu staff meetings. I usually find some form of entertainment in them. I preferred it when the vocal folks would stir up trouble and speak their minds. Now, they just quietly sit there and while you can see their irritation by their change in postures, they don't speak up so much anymore. It's a shame, really. Still, as long as I can be amused by something in our meetings, they can't be all bad.

At the very least, they give me great blog fodder.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Happy Friday and have a good weekend!


CindyK said...

I LOVE Demotivators! Here's my favorite:

susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Captain Monkeypants said...

Thanks for reading, Alisha! It's always nice when people stumble upon me. Feel free to comment as often as you'd like :)