Once again I find myself at odds with a woman in power. She’s not even in a position of anything but minimal authority. But like so many women she apparently thinks she’s got something to prove. Unfortunately, an older white guy presents her with an easy target.
The older white guy in this case is me. Either I must look weak, or she figures with all the recent events, “the old guy won’t fight back because he’s white, male, and knows I’ll win.”
Here’s the crux of the issue. The rules at work say, “Document everything.” The time it takes to do this, in part due to some of the shittiest software I’ve ever seen, the complexities of proper reporting, and my admitted unfamiliarity with said software, plus a steep learning curve means that sometimes I may take 15 minutes or so collecting information or filling out the documents in the right way. Sometimes longer, If I have to ask questions.
That being said, I’m taking more calls every day, I’m documenting things better every day, and I’m getting better every day at doing all this.
I know I’m improving and I know this because Each day I’m more comfortable and not spending as much time figuring out the “usual” stuff.
The totally wacky stuff on the other hand takes a lot of time. Especially if you’ve got someone on the phone who is randomly talking about every thing they’ve ever had happen to them. It’s being recorded, and so you can be chastised for missing or not reporting things too.
Enter little miss twinkle twat…
Who walks up to my work area and never bothers to introduce herself or even say hello…
“Can I help you????” said with a sneer or nasty edge, is not what someone says when they’re honestly interested in helping.
We all know it. The implied message is “YOU’RE NOT WORKING FAST ENOUGH” or “GOD! WHY IS THIS FOOL BOTHERING ME?”
And that means, that no matter how fast, or good you ever become… You’ll never be good enough.
My response was neutral, “Nope thanks, I was just documenting all the issues a call raised.”
OOOPPPSSS! Not the right answer. This is the problem men always have with the question “Does this dress make my ass look fat?”
In retrospect I probably should have said, “Yes, oh I’m so glad you’re here and thank you for your assistance I couldn’t have possibly done anything without your intervention.”
But I’m kind of Harry Potter in that regard.
“I shouldn’t tell lies.”
Oppps, water under the bridge.
The whole call / documentation process itself is somewhat problematic. Calls come in, problems are documented. If they’re not documented correctly, an oversight team sends the documentation back telling you what is wrong and to make corrections.
The problem is, this process is by necessity asynchronous. This means that by the time you’re being asked for corrections, days or weeks have gone by and now you have to research what was happening and try to recall why you did something the way you did.
Add to that, being saddled with a non-standard keyboard that you’re chasing all over the table and having to keep up answering phone calls and you’re always behind in everything and under stress.
My nature is to front load the process and do things ”Right” the first time. Apparently, that is not the philosophy of this “supervisor”
She’s also very new to the management scene. She’s not yet learned that whipping the slaves can be effective, but that whipping the slaves too hard, or often, inevitably leads to revolt.
Initially I assumed that all the new folks, (Like me) were under her scrutiny and being asked, “CAN I HELP YOU?”
As it turns out, apparently, I’m special.
Which ties back to my initial suspicion that she’s looking to make an example of someone and I’m the “Soft” target.
The first time, I wrote it all off to just her being concerned that I was taking too much time in the documentation process. Then IT relented and gave me a “Real” keyboard. Huzzah! I can freaking type again! So I’m accelerating and streamlining the way I do things and picking up helpful hints along the way.
The second time, I was surprised when I got the “CAN I HELP YOU?” because I was in fact working more efficiently and taking more calls. “Meh, whatever…”
She’d come over to my work area, from her work area on the far side of the building to ask her question. I was in the midst of documenting 12 issues from the last call, not including the actual corrective action.
The third time, she sent a higher level manager to check on me. OK Now, I’m pretty sure, we’ve got some kind of perceived issue… But no-one is being forthcoming about what that issue may be.
Yesterday, she was particularly nasty, while I was packing up to leave. I had one of those moments where you’re tired and I was checking around my desk area to make sure I wasn’t leaving something behind or undone and she happened to be speaking to one of her peers. I was standing there scanning my area and she interrupted her conversation to turn and look at me with what I can only describe as open hostility, “CAN I HELP YOU?”
“Uh, no… Just packing up to leave…” I answered very confused by her attitude.
When I was very young, I fought back, playing the same nasty political games, as my opponent. As I matured, I’ve tried ignoring situations like this, hoping they would go away. Later in my work life I tried more centrist positions between the two.
Where I played the political games, I won. Typically, I win, by using a scorched Earth policy. This is effective as hell but doesn’t win you many friends, and usually leaves you at the bottom of the list for promotion.
Where I tried to be “above it” I lost. In both cases I was completely miserable.
Trying more centrist positions, was just exhausting. Keeping track of all the bullshit and mounting moderate defenses takes a lot of time and thought. Time that I think is better spent doing the job I’m actually being paid to do. I know… What a fucking concept!
Memorial Day, had HR been in I’d have been in their office nipping this shit right in the bud.
Yesterday, I decided it was far more important for me to get the hell out of work and on my way home. I was tired and usually when I’m tired I tend to be a bit more direct than I would be otherwise. Folks sometimes have a problem with my “moderate” directness, I can guarantee there’d have been a major problem if I was completely unfiltered.
After being pissed off about the situation on Sunday and then pissed off again on Monday, I slept on it.
I’ve decided I’m going with a more centrist position. I think I’m going to talk to the higher level manager that she drew into this situation. I’m just going to bluntly ask what I’m doing wrong.
I’ll see if this situation is salvageable. If I get some guidance, I’ll implement what I’m told to do. If that helps, great, I suspect that it won’t, and am therefore going to begin looking for another place to be either within the company or, (more likely) outside the company.
However, I’ve also decided that if this crap continues… I’m going to put the company’s “Zero Tolerance” policies to the test.
If little miss annoying continues her passive aggressive harassment I’m going to file a complaint. Let’s see how Zero Tolerance works when the aggressor is a woman and the victim is a white male.
Should be interesting…
My instincts tell me that this will not end well, but I feel like I have no choice but to respond.
So twinkle twat, this old white boy ain’t gonna get fucked over AGAIN… Let’s fucking dance!