Work complaints. A lot of them.
*sits for long moments staring at the screen*
I don’t even know what I want to say, I’m so tired. This is a tired beyond tired and I’m not sure how to work around this. I had two days off work in the last two weeks and, predictably, work has gotten entirely out of hand. I’m struggling to keep my unopened email under 200 (I got to 198 yesterday and then 21 more came in so I just gave up) and I haven’t checked my voice mail for three days. All the phone messages are about the email I haven’t opened anyway so why bother right? Yesterday was something else….started with the passive aggressive boss being all mad at me for something she wanted but hadn’t gotten yet. I told her I’d be happy to put off paying her staff to take care of her priority item and it didn’t sit well. Resulted in a phone lecture that eventually reduced me to tears while I asked her to tell me how, exactly, I was to find the time to take care of the extra projects when I was barely able to keep up with the daily running of the office. She had sympathy, of sorts, because she well knows this is two full time jobs smashed into one 37.5 (pah!) hour week. I explained I’d been in at 6 (it’s 6:41 right now, the following day. I start at 8:00) and already had my max flex bank (i.e. already worked 15 hours unpaid overtime this month (its March 18th so I’ve only had 14 working days to accomplish this AND I was off for two of them) so I was now working for free and couldn’t even recoup the time in any way, even though taking one day off throws the entire job into chaos so I have to work extra hours to catch back up. She agrees it’s not possible to accomplish. She tells me all about how she knew the other manager had been giving me someone as help two days a month (two whole days?! Lucky me right?) I explained that I use that help for when the job is actually physically impossible to accomplish with only one person like when stats audits (takes three solid days for one) and payroll (takes three solid days for one) has to happen in the same three days. It didn’t move her much though.
“Well then you need to take on less and learn to say No” was her next suggestion.
“I just tried doing that at the beginning of his phone call, boss, and with respect, it is you and *other boss* who are the ones I’d have to say no to constantly. How would that work for me?”
She seems to be under the impression that the sizable staff here take up all my time. It’s true, they do need a lot of things and they do ask me for help quite often but I’m rarely able to leave my work to do much for them and they understand that before asking. It’s the useless two hour meetings to “catch up” with the bosses and phone calls that take my time. In fact, last week, this very boss had me “sit” in two of her meetings with her just in case she had to leave early. Just in case she had to leave. Early. Sit there. For over an hour in the middle of my freaking morning. And you know what??? She didn’t leave early so my entire time was totally wasted watching her run the same meeting twice in a row. I don’t even need to know the stuff she was presenting on….it has absolutely nothing to do with me or my role here…all order entry stuff for the practitioners. I can figure it out enough to help them if they need and can’t find anyone else to show them how to work a particular feature of the electronic patient record without having to watch her talk about it. Twice. In a fucking ROW.
*Breathe in. Breathe out.*
So it went on for a while and it was determined that the task she wanted could wait until today. I told her I’m coming in to work on the weekend, for free, to catch up and was going to get it all ready for her then when I had no interruptions so asked if we could meet Monday as I have another deadline this morning (friday) that is behind and needs to be met that cannot be negotiated. Trying again, to explain how I needed the time to do it right.
Alrighty then. We’re meeting today at two. For a stupid project that means nothing and will help nobody and will, in the end, only cause me more work and give me yet another ongoing task to manage. The other boss will be pissed that I’m not using that time to catch up on her stuff, but worry not! I’ll work for free on Saturday so they can both be mad at me for a whole new reason on Monday.
Thing is, I need to sleep the entire weekend at this point just to stay level, but, looks like that won’t be an option. So. 2.5 hours overtime yesterday, 1.5 today and at least 6 hours tomorrow and they still won’t be happy. You know what the worst part is? The end of her little tirade yesterday was a lecture about telling people when I can’t take on another task or cannot use my time the way they want me to at that moment. Like when I tried to move the meeting from this week to Monday and you said no? Or maybe when you told me, despite me drowning in work and asking you if I could get back to it you told me to sit through your second meeting just in case you needed to leave early? Plus, I’m not sure if she’s ever tried telling the aggressive one, “NO!” for any reason at any time but, let me assure you, it does not make her more understanding and realistic in expectations. haha! Nope, not in the least. In fact, it makes her angry that I dared attempt to defy her and she goes off on a rampage that can last for weeks. I don’t have the time to spent trying to break her from that or winning her over again.
The woman who last held this job (and warned me with very solemn eyes and an apologetic pat on the back about exactly this) was called in to rescue me yesterday after my weeping fit on the phone. It was rather nice of passive aggressive boss, really….she does have a heart in there, I know. The woman who retired, Shelly, came back as a casual to provide coverage and help when needed and since she knows the role inside an out she’s just about the best help I could ever ask for. She came in and worked for six solid hours on a task so that helped a lot. She sat with me and commiserated some, told me for the billionth time she was sorry for setting such a terrible precedent by working for free pretty much every day/weekend – she said she had a goal to focus on…retirement. Made it easier to get through. She told me that she’d not have stayed in this role had she not been on her way out the door and suggested I maybe follow the same train of thought. I’m angry about it, but she’s right. I’m angry because I actually love this stupid job, I love what I do and I love….and cannot stress this enough…LOVE the people I work with, if not the ones I work for. I have about 120 staff here and I have a wonderful relationship with 110 of them…the other ten I just don’t see very often, but there are no enemies. Everyone likes me and treats me with respect and kindness…it fills up all the holes in my life. I don’t feel the constantly dragging loneliness I have felt for so long and I get to take care of people…..so many people…and they are so deserving. I have patients to interact with (and I adore so many of them) and unlike my previous roles close to patients, these ones aren’t constantly dying but rather, getting better, which is so soul-feeding and refreshing, particularly in the field health care. I have friends who I get to see every day but don’t have to constantly cater to or spend time doing things with that I don’t want to spend time doing….they all understand. They all have families and things to attend to so there are no constant invites out to have a drink or go away for the weekend…we all care about and take care of each other and we spend just as much time together as we do our families! They CALL me family here. The two departments are very different, but they each think of me as theirs and we all pull together to make this happen.
I don’t want to lose this. That love and the things it brings to my life is just about worth the torment, stress and misery the bosses cause. And, truth be told, I even care about those two creeps. Aggressive has had a miserable life and has gone through some horrible, devastating things in the last decade so I try to remember how much she’s hurting while she’s in my office yelling and arguing with me over nothing, just because she feels the need to control something in her world (i.e. me or some task I’m doing, usually at her request, but wrong no matter how it comes out). The other one has no confidence and has spent her life trying to attain respect through her career. She’s a board member on several important groups in her field and she relishes every bit of respect she gets from those seats. She was given a (meaningless) award from the college here for her excellent work in keeping the student program so robust. We’re a teaching hospital and her field is not a huge one in the grand scheme of health care, so, student training opportunities are not as plentiful as, say, nursing placements. The staff here end up training a good portion of the graduating classes in the Province and beyond. We get students in from all across Canada…which is really cool. The therapists work so hard to help them (the students have three separate 12 week placements and then a final ‘apprenticeship’ in their schooling over 4 years). The boss really encourages it all by making them sign up every quarter. She bullies them into it if they don’t, unless she’s afraid of them and then she just picks on the weak. Anyway, she gets this award from the school and you know what she does? She sends the notification to her director and VP. I get that….I’d do the same, probably, and the director and VP, in the spirit of pretending they are all involved and give a shit about the front line (remember, I worked for these VP’s not two years ago) wrote her a little “thank you for contributing to the hospital’s good image” email. Here’s where it gets annoying.. She turned around and sent that email of thanks, with NO other intro from her, out to EVERYONE in the department. Admin staff, casual staff, all the teams and managers…. Everyone. We all got to read about how happy the senior staff is about her little award. She didn’t even mention her staff who do the actual student work…who take the students under their wing and drag them around for months on end, making their own caseloads take twice as long to complete. She didn’t thank them or even bother to say this award was because of them…nothing…just:
“Oh look at how proud I made my boss!!!!!”
I sent her a little note saying congrats….not too kiss-assy but she was pissed about something or other and I took the shot I was given. She didn’t respond…didn’t say thank you…didn’t even acknowledge the email and then she deleted it. !!! I mean, I wasn’t expecting her to thank me for the endless hours I spend getting the students in or coordinating their placements or anything but geez. That made me ever-so-motivated to work my arse off that day, let me tell you.
Okay. I’ve rambled enough. Time to get at it. If you read this far…lol…sorry. I tried to warn you with the title.