Okay World, enough please..and thanks
Where shall I start?
Well, first, I’ve just arrived home after throwing my hands in the air and leaving work 30 minutes early after a terribly unproductive meeting with one boss who couldn’t get out of the room fast enough, after having spent an entire day in meetings for them (FOR them, not with them) and then got back to a smiley bitchy boss who, oh so kindly, told me that everything in last fiscal year’s info on workload measurement was fucked. This is a point of contention between me and my bosses. I am tasked with ensuring the staff are accurately capturing their workload which is reported to the Ministry of Health (who allocates our funding in this socialized healthcare system we hold so dear in Canada – and SHOULD, mind you, in my humble opinion). I accept this willingly and I’m very, very careful when I audit to ensure we’re accurately reflecting the right numbers so that we don’t suddenly get our funding decreased. I happen to like a great deal of my coworkers and really have no desire to eliminate their job because of an entry error. Now, one would think it would be their accountability to ensure they are entering their numbers correctly but that’s an argument with one boss and a bitter point with the other. They like ME being the accountable one. Okay….I’m alright with that. I really am. It’s a part of my role and it has to be done by someone so I really, honestly, truly don’t mind spending three days slaving over the numbers to make sure we’re not missing anyone or counting things twice thanks to some student or new staff member….it’s all good. But here’s the catch: I have way too much to do in the rest of my job to get even half of it done on time and I have to drop everything to audit once a month. Logically, the bitchy boss tells me this has a simple solution…..just don’t do so much work for the second boss and audit twice a month. It sounds great in theory, until applied to boss number two (who actually does a lot of her own stuff, knowing the venom of number one).
Stopping. Breathing. Focusing.
The point here, is that it’s a shit-ton of auditing and I can barely squeak out a freaking bathroom break in my day, let alone a full half month audit. I go in early, I sit down at my desk, I work like a fiend, occasionally eating or drinking something one of my awesome coworkers brings me out of fear that I’ll die of starvation in my glass cage of an office (okay, a bit dramatic. I do bring food and have the ability to make tea so I’m not totally their prisoner) and then I look up and I’ve missed my lunch and it’s suddenly time to go home. Actually, it’s almost always 30 minutes after it’s time to go home. I only leave because I have to pick up Colt….seriously. If I didn’t have that to do, I’d likely be there until the next day….every day.
I’ve had so many meetings about this in my three years there it’s sickening. They KNOW i’m overloaded. They admit it. They tell the staff not to talk to me because I’m too busy to even say hello (yes, seriously, that is a standing agenda item on one of the staff meetings). The two bosses HATE everything I do for the other so it’s a bit of a game between who I tell what and Heaven help me if I happen to get dragged into a project for one and then don’t have the time to listen to the other one complain about their day while I’m trying like mad to get payroll in, audits done and my ten page to do list started. I have 300 unopened email in my inbox. Of those, I have something to do with about 90% of them (add this to that list or move this to that folder or change this to that schedule or budget this to that cost centre etc etc etc). Every day at least ten people say to me:
“Did you get that email I sent you?”
I smile. I answer. “Probably, yes, I’m sure it’s somewhere in there.” and just hope they go away.
Everyone understands. The staff are amazing….they constantly rally behind me and try to make a difference but the end issue is that my bosses aren’t really just assholes who want to take advantage of me, they have no funding allocation to help me. I know this because I do the fucking books too.
So back to today – The one boss came to me and informed me, smiling but not really, that ALL of her *particular stat I shouldn’t mention for confidentially* are WRONG for the last fiscal year. Funny thing that. The stat she’s talking about is audited monthly by my predecessor who only came back as a casual after retiring to help me out because she felt so bad about leaving me with that mess of a job. I don’t know what the hell is happening, but I know it’s not her. This puts me in a bad spot because I have to tell the bosses that she is the one doing the audits. I don’t want them blaming her because ultimately it’s my responsibility to ensure it’s all done correctly. So….I get to have a meeting with them so we can sit down, go over the audits (for the tenth time) and identify (for the tenth time) which ones absolutely must be done before the month closes so it doesn’t affect our budget. I’ll do it (for the tenth time) and tell them (for the tenth time) that the reason I can’t get them done along with the other 11 general and 200 staff audits along with the rest of my role for the two of them. And, we hit deadlock again…no funding. No help. No solution. I know it’s not them, but there is definitely an element in there that is me not fixing this problem. I don’t know what else to do but tell them, again, that I can’t do what they are asking of me and show them again the number of free hours I put in, trying hard to do what I can.
The mental health part of me that malfunctions here is that I feel like a failure when they are pissed off….and they are always pissed off. I can’t seem to get them to communicate and when I do manage to get them on the same page, they just start fighting against each other. I went from one, simple payroll system to two terribly divided systems with multiple issues and access points that is confusing everyone and they both insist that it is intended to HELP me somehow and get the timekeeping off my over full plate. Now, not only do I have a bunch of payroll to enter, I also have a half dozen timekeepers messing up everyone’s pay, asking me questions ten times a day (by email, which I can’t get to) and a whole bunch of irritated staff who feel like they’re being micro-managed. It’s chaos betwen those two. They don’t even have anything to do with each other aside from having to share me as an assistant so it comes as no surprise….just a lot more work for yours truly. I’m not even sure how I’m managing to get anything done, at this point.
And…..that’s just work. The rest of my life is still ongoing and I can’t quite find any solace there either. (to be continued next post…..)