Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The trouble with Tuesday....

It wasn't a bad day at work but I will be honest and say it wasn't as productive as it might have been.

The day started well enough. I ran some errands before work and then went into the office. Then I opened my email. Yeahhhh.. that was a bit of a nasty surprise. A flurry of emails about things that needed to be ordered! Right now! Today! Pronto! But, you see, there were a couple of problems with these missives.

First off, none of them were issued by my boss. Who is, by the way, traveling and so even if we did manage to research the best possible price, put together the purchase order and send it to be approved, there's not a good chance that Mr. Bossman is going to see it and approve it today.

Secondly... are you kidding me? Do you REALLY believe he's going to just say "okie dokie" to an item that costs almost $15,000.00?

Lastly, I have questions about some of these items and am not in the mood for people to be sighing and rolling their eyes at me because I cannot intuit what KIND of KVM switch they need. And did anyone bother to check if these things you are giving me links to can be shipped to places outside of the US to our affiliates? Did you stop to consider that or check? I'm guessing NO because none of the places you cited ship outside of the US which isn't going to do our non-US affiliates, for whom we are ordering some of these products in the first place, any good! *facepalm*

I pinged the boss and the person who had issued the "we need this stuff ordered TODAY" missives. The bottom line came down to this... it didn't all get ordered today because there were too many factors that were not in our control and no one but me bothered to even scout contingency plans.

Tomorrow promises to be another bonanza of clusterfuckery. The boss is returning to the office, I don't have many of my "loops" closed because I've been dealing with clever little games like "what is that noise, where is it coming from and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY MAKE IT STOP!!" And other things like needing a note pinned to my shirt to remember to bring the goddamn digital camera back to the office!

In spite of the fact that there was a little grumbling about it, I bought Truvia for the breakroom again because I am thinking it's better for those who use artificial sweeteners than the alternatives (plus, I want to support the use of stevia where I can).

Also, before today I had no idea it was even possible to eat just ONE of a two pack of Reeses's Peanut Butter Cups. There is hope for me to live a life of moderation yet!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Administrative Professional's Day

Today was Administrative Professional's Day (the holiday formerly known as Secretary's Day). It's the day of the year that the boss usually gives the Receptionist, Secretary, Administrative Assistant, Executive Assistant or Office Manager a little something to show that they're appreciated even though the other 364 days of the year they're generally treated as something just a step above slave labor.

Don't get me wrong... I've heard tales of offices where support staff are treated as valuable team members, I've just never worked anywhere that people actually believed that and acted accordingly. (I have worked for two bosses who felt that way, but the rest of the staff didn't share the feeling). And to any of you boss-type people who ever happen to read this, if you treat your support staff well all year long, kudos to you.

There have been a couple of occasions where the holiday has meant flowers AND a nice lunch out. There have been several jobs I've had where I at least got flowers. There have been a few jobs like my current one where not only were there no goodies (And yes, I completely understand that I get a paycheck and am not ENTITLED to goodies, too) but there was no acknowledgement whatsoever of the holiday.

I fairly regularly work 45+ hours a week and only put 40 hours on my timecard. I went in on a weekend and cleaned for 3.5 hours, claimed 2.5 hours of overtime and was told that there's no budget for overtime and since it was not pre-approved it would not be paid, so gave up part of my weekend essentially for no recompense. I'm a contractor who has no paid holidays or sick time who was just told that the current economy pretty much guarantees that there will be no renewal of my contract (which makes me think, shouldn't the company I am working FOR at least have sent a "Happy Administrative Professional's Day" email even if the company I am working AT didn't??). I come in early, I stay late, I don't run up $700 cell phone bills like a certain previous person in the position did and I have been told I make a damn fine cup of coffee but no one could even take a second to acknowledge Administrative Professional's Day. And since I've been reminded by MORE THAN one person that I am "just a secretary", was it really too much to believe that someone could at least verbally say "Happy Administrative Professional's Day"? Apparently, the answer is yes.

I know I should shake it off and not let it bother me. But I feel sometimes as if I am worth less than other people because I am "just a secretary". It's not a good feeling.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Big Job Ahead

For many reasons, I am needing to "repackage" myself for my next career move. I am assuming that the next job I look for will be in the state I plan to move to...where no one knows me and so I have somewhat a new start. I am not sure what the job market there is like so I am thinking that I need to start repackaging now.

The big job is going to be remembering all of the places that I have my resume posted online and going to take each of them down. I am wondering if just completely erasing the accounts and starting all over again is maybe the best way to go.

This doesn't mean that I intend to lie about my past or my experience. I think there are ways to make myself more marketable and appealing, though, and I can't do that with the current look/feel of my resume.

The hardest part is going to be references, though. Once you've left a job and haven't been there for a while, the people who knew you who might be good references go away, too. And the best reference letter I have... well.... the person who wrote it has moved on multiple times and I doubt he is still reachable.

I'm hoping to get everything tracked down and taken care of by the end of the month and then can start on the new stuff. Then, by June I will be up and running with the new look.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The shit's gonna hit the fan...

I've known for a week and a half or so that we have people coming in from out of town. I did everything I was supposed to do to make this go smoothly and... yeahhhh... not so much.

There are 6 people coming. 4 of them let me make their travel arrangements. 2 of them would not cooperate with that. Fine. At least they all got their flights booked. I did manage to get everyone booked into the same hotel but had one guy tell me he cannot sleep if there's noise. As if I can do anything about the noise level at the hotel. Whatever.

I was supposed to have agendas early last week so I could plan refreshments and lunches. Guess what I still did not have when I left Friday night? If you said agendas, you would be correct. So there are no lunches or refreshments on deck. Nor have I made any plan to pick up breakfast for tomorrow because no one gave me any instructions.

I am supposed to talk to our Borg Cube representative to get badges for visitors. Guess who was on vacation last week? So, the pseudo replacement guy, who I told on MONDAY that I needed badges pops in on FRIDAY at 4:30 to let me know that he "forgot". Well, that's SUPER. I only talked to him 3-4 times last week and he sat in my office with his laptop allegedly ordering the badges but apparently only PRETENDING to do so to placate me or something.

Now... the other part of this is... to have computer access at our facility, Computer Guru needs to have informaiton. Which I asked our travelers for. Twice. ONE of them got the information to me. One of SIX. Again, FABULOUS.

So, here's what's going to happen... we are going to have a bunch of overtired, jet-lagged visitors who won't have badges, won't have breakfast, won't have lunch, won't have computer access and won't get a damn thing accomplished because no one has any sort of organized PLAN and who is going to be the one who looks like a schmuck who didn't do her job? Yeah, that would be me.

I only hope I have the presence of mind to smile, nod my head, and take being yelled at for things that were not in my control and not totally lose my shit. I hate the whole "I'm not going to let some stupid SECRETARY tell me what to do" mentality.

I'm also looking forward to planning this big site celebration that I found out about totally accidentally and it looks like I will be given approximately a week to put together something that would optimistically take a month to put together well.

My mantra is "this is a contract position and the contract has an end". If this was going to be a long term gig, I'd be losing sleep over the problems I KNOW are coming, but.. ummmm... knowing it's only temporary I'm just trying to roll with the punches. And I have every reason to believe it is gonna be one of "those" weeks. I'll let you know.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Communication Skills

I think I may have noted that I've been told I have very inferior communication skills. But yet another situation has come up where I have to wonder if it is really MY communication skills that are the issue?

I got an email today from HR Lady @ Corporate Office. She is traveling to my office. She asked about the site celebration that is planned for the time she is in town. Wait, what? Site celebration? Not one peep had been said to ME about any site celebration.

So, I dutifully pinged Mr. Bossman. And he said "ummm, yeah, that's supposed to be a secret" and I responded that HR Lady believes that I am planning this celebration. Some of the things mentioned take WEEKS of planning. This isn't the sort of thing you can just throw together, but yet I am going to be left with approximately 2 weeks to plan and execute it.

Honestly, I am good at what I do but I will have to say that it is rare that I can pull off miracles. I plan things so I don't have to rush (rushing leads to mistakes that would have been avoided with planning) and I hate that the lack of communication now puts me on a "rush this" time schedule. Not cool.

But you all know as well as I do... when/if things don't happen perfectly, it won't be Mr. Bossman who takes the heat. It'll be the person who was tasked, however last minute, with pulling off the amazing with not enough time.