I am a WIP

Yes, I said I am a WIP not wimp! Considering I had the cahoonas (or bare-faced cheek) to tell Annie Modesitt that we’d love to see her when I saw her tweet that she was coming to Ireland. Turns out: she’d love to see us too and she’ll be here from 1st to 23rd May. She then sent me a “DM” with her email address so I replied. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens but it pretty-much made my week!

I’m a Work-In-Progress. The older you get the more you realise how true this is. I am ever-changing, ever-evolving, ever-maturing, ever-mellowing. The more I learn the more I understand how little I know. I rarely talk about work here. In part it’s because Ireland is a small pool and – as my old boss was fond of saying – everything you write is “discoverable” (He was referring to the Freedom of Information Act in Ireland but it’s sage advice re the InterWebs too – one you’d wish more people would take heed of!) These days I don’t feel like talking about work because lately it’s just “Shitty-shitty-Crap-Crap”.

One thing I know about myself is that a high proportion of my self-esteem is tied up with how much job-satisfaction I’m getting. And the big-thing that gives me job-satisfaction is getting my job done well and being acknowledged for it. The latter only comes very rarely  – most managers forget to say thanks or to even notice if you pulled out all the stops – so you make do with what little you get. Lately, I’m getting nada, zip, zilch. The former – getting to do my job well – has been made nigh-on impossible for me lately, by the powers that be. I’m at the point where I’m throwing up my hands and I’m dangerously close to throwing in the towel altogether.

I’m trying to flag as clearly as possible that certain tasks, which have been requested by our clients, will not get done unless we put staff against them. I’m being really clear in my language too. A recent, direct quote from me: “the priorities in this team are arse-over-tit!” You couldn’t get clearer than that. What do I get in return? A vague promise that Architect F will be assigned to X-project in the future, whenever he finishes the project he’s currently working on. Has that happened three weeks later? No. What am I doing about it? Well, ranting here… at DH… at my Knitting Buddies… at my close work-friends… and otherwise simmering just below boiling point.

And it’s not just having the rug pulled out from under me regarding X-project, which is – by the way – an extension for a family who are living in dire conditions of over-crowding and with a severely debilitated grand-mother (hence my vitriol about the skewed priorities in the team). I’ve recently realised it’s pointless to draw-up a work-plan for my own week’s work because of the amount of fire-fighting my boss (oops, nearly typed “superior” – HA!) likes to engage in. Picture yourself and how you behave in a recently-stocked yarn-shop. Everything’s shiny and distracting and squee and you dart from one squeeze of squishy to the next. Imagine now, trying to have a debriefing with someone who will answer any phone that rings, start reading any email that flashes up, engage with anyone who comes up to his door to ask him a question and who is quite likely to get up and walk away to deal with their query instead.

With my old boss, I’d bring him a list of queries; we’d run down through them and he’d give me a steer, guidance or advice on each item. I’d be out of his office after ten minutes and ready to work my way through my list, acting on his advice. I’ve given up bringing a list of queries to my new boss because I get as far as item one and he’ll lift the phone to try to deal with the whole issue there and then. One word I’d love for him to get to grips with is “Delegation”. That, and “Focus!”

Another thing I know about myself is that I won’t put up with crap for very long. “Grin and bear it” just doesn’t wash with me. In the past I’ve jumped ship altogether and I’m already considering a few options in that regard. In the meantime, in a move to do something constructive and positive about the situation, I started seeing the counsellor that my workplace provides. I had my first session with her this week and it was really useful to talk to someone who – unlike DH or my knitting buddies – knows some of the characters involved and has an insight into the environment that a public sector job entails. At the same time it’s not like talking with my work friends about the situation because that usually just turns into a bitch-fest about the main “villains” of the piece: a rewarding activity but not necessarily productive.

I’m having another session with her in two weeks so it’s a Work-In-Progress. Who knows how it will finish up. Now, aren’t you glad I rarely talk about my work?

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2 Responses to “I am a WIP”

  1. Averil Says:

    I know that feeling.. though now I’ve got a week off and I’m going to forget about the place entirely and hopefully go to the cinema, read, knit and finally get to see an Impressionist exhibition in the Mapfre Foundation, http://www.artknowledgenews.com/2010-01-13-00-30-32-fundacion-mapfre-in-madrid-to-host-impressionism-a-modern-renaissance.html

    And, eh, find some time to relax!

    I know it’s not the same to rant to someone who knows the ins and outs of the situation than not, but the blog-o-sphere is ready to listen.

    Look after yourself x

  2. Averil Says:

    Oh and I loved the Spanish nod at the start -I’ve had to explain recently (it cropped up in CNN news) to my advanced students that it doesn’t sound as strong when used in an English text, especially published material, as when used in Spanish, because being “exotic” it kind of tempers it.


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