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Wednesday, August 23, 2006
The Changes At The Office...

... so, where I left you yesterday, I mentioned how my entire support base at work has been turned upside down like a snow globe you shake and some pieces inside came loose, and then someone dropped the darn thing, put more water and snow in it and left out a few pieces. Yes, I know that's a long run-on sentence that's confusing - that's how it is in the office.

My so-called boss is a piss-poor communicator, if you've not figured that out already. He also can't string words together in a meaningful way where you can get what he's really saying. He's that bad. When they told me that I would be reporting to this guy, it was the big boss and this guy and me in an office together. With an open door.

Talk about bad way to present any change in reporting structure to anyone - I never got a chance to fire back with the why's and wherefores. Instead I got escorted out by my new boss so that we could talk about the changes. He even asked me, after so many years without a *real* promotion, why I was still there. I should have taken that as an immediate sign. It took me about a month to catch up with reality and make plans to leave.

Anyway, the new so-called boss' mission is to pare down all the metrics models that I've been working on for so long because he thinks that no one looks at all that information. He's right, sort of. The audience for these files look at everything but about 15 items, and only 10 of them can go away because the other 5 are support for other things that people *do* depend on. The other idea was to automate everything, but it's all automating towards cost instead of throughput. Apparently no one cares about throughput anymore except where it figures into a cost statement, and that's why my data is considered irrelevant. But I'm paring down what I can, and the big boss and the so-called boss just want to look at pretty automated charts that aren't dependent on my models (most of the charts are in my models, but the so-called boss likes re-inventing the wheel because it makes him feel important and useful) and thus that part of my job is becoming less and less useful.

Then there's the changes on the materials side of the world. That's the other part of my job. See, for those who don't know, I've been the 'Jill of All Trades' in the office for a long long time. I'd really like to have just one job at one time, but for some reason that just hasn't been in the cards. Anyway, I handle the consumable material inventory levels for fulfillment. I'm attempting to train a temp to take this part over from me. As to whether or not she'll be successful at it I could not tell you. I was offered that position - to move over to take on just materials full time, but they gave me about 1 minute to think about it - really. I was hit with it from my so-called boss at the beginning of a meeting (I'd been off work for the previous week) and was told they needed an answer right then and there because they had someone hanging on their decision and they didn't want to lose her.

Ok, so here I have to make a snap decision about my career path with about a minute to think about it. I asked what the package would be, had to explain "Title, Compensation change?" and was told it would be a "lateral move". I said no. I'm done with lateral move/lateral responsibility in this organization, but there's clearly no room for me to move up, so I knew my decision to leave the company was a good one. That's right - I'd made the decision to leave when the director of materials had submitted his resignation, independently of him, and didn't want to take on a new position that would ultimately be abandoned. Oh, I also asked what would happen to the data model upkeep if I did take this position and was told it "isn't a priority". That's the big fat writing on the wall, alarm bells, and flashing red lights in case anyone is paying attention.

I know, I know... this is sounding like a 'rant blog', but I need to get this out, and I need for my readers to understand what's going on. I've always been honest with you, and I've never really hid what's been going on until now. And I don't think that I should hide it because it affects my viewpoint and affects the way I write (and the frequency, as evidenced in June and July).

So, I'm training this temp (who wasn't the first choice that they had to 'snap up' because the first temp didn't even *show up* or call) to take over materials, I know my data models aren't a priority, and they're being whittled down behind my back without my input. My job, if this path continues on, is going to be about 1/5th of what it was, or less.

By the way, the temp? Dumber than a box of bricks would be a compliment. For someone who supposedly has purchasing experience she can't navigate her way around an invoice to save her life, she had to ask me what a P.O.D. (Proof of Delivery) is, and is afraid of 'bothering' the hub managers by asking them to confirm receipts of materials. She's been here about 5 weeks now, and during that time we have moved one printer and decommissioned another. She just asked IT to bring the old printer back up because otherwise she cannot print. Hello? There are two other serviceable printers and she knows about both of them - she even took notes on them when I mentioned the various printers around the office. She seriously needs a to buy a . Maybe that is what all those cosmic nickels were for...

Then there's the "consultant" they hired. He's gone so far as to call me by a nickname that's more suitable for a 5 year old than for a 35 year old business analyst. Now I think he's afraid to talk to me at all for fear of calling me that and incurring my wrath (because I told him that I was documenting all of this). There are things that I should have known about - like an additional supply coming on board with a different yield. I didn't know about that, and it was the vendor that blindsided me with it. He's promised to make sure I know these things, but it's been radio silence since then. He needs one of those nickels too I think. There are people who are way removed from the materials processes who are going through other people to place orders, and I find out about them after the fact (and the orders are wrong - usually way, way too big of an order is placed). What do I do about these things? I make sure my so-called boss knows, he's copied on the emails to the other individuals involved when I tell them that these things can't go past me, and he nods and says Oh Sure we'll make sure that's correct going forward, and nothing is done. Ineffective. He's never managed people before as far as I can tell either and it shows. He's a numbers guy, counting pennies. He has poor people skills, and he shouldn't be managing people, least of all me. Ah, but I digress.

Icing on the cake? It's review time again. The anonymous peer reviews, and two of the people who knew my work the best are no longer here. I've got to expand the circle to people that don't work with me all that often, or don't know how to work with me (because they don't realize that while I am very skilled, I'm not all-knowing and all-seeing and I need communication and they don't get that no matter how many times I tell them this). And the new boss, who I am sure is going to either give me all 1's (the lowest I can get) or all 5's (because he wants to be loved, cute little puppy with the wagging tail syndrome). I'm betting on the all 1's because they can use this review to give me my nice parting gifts and say 'Thanks for Playing'.

What does all this tell you - reducing my responsibilities, handing off others, no communication? Yeah, tells me to get out, and Get Out Now. I'm trying... believe me, I am, but I'm being met with some resistance on that front. Tomorrow I'll talk about what's happened so far on the interview/job front and other strange things that are going on around the office...