Saturday, August 28, 2010

There's a Thought

“Your thoughts shape everything you do so it’s important to be careful with what you’re thinking. A successful strategy for positive thinking is to have a bank of ideas, affirmations and positive notions that you can refer to and that will always ensure you have an optimistic frame of mind.”— excerpt from Be Your Own Life Coach by Jeff Archer

The book goes on to say that the thoughts could be anything from ideas you or others have had that inspired you to quotes from movies or books. So whenever I see my boss it is important to remind myself he is the way he is because:

“We must have ourselves an asshole shortage” (from Point Break)

Okay, that probably wasn’t what Mr. Archer had in mind. A better thought would be:

“He’s working for me.”

And in a way it’s true because he’s part of a group of people who have inspired me. Their crazy, selfish actions have fueled this blog along with other various stories. So the next time my boss is screaming at some innocent kid who walked off the street to hand out solicitation, instead of cringing, I’ll take notes. It might be a moment that will end up in a story that will one day make me money. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vacation SmackDown!

I don’t know what it is about me requesting to use my vacation days that brings out the worst in my boss, but it never fails. It is always a fight with him and today he was extra awful.

First, he has to go to the woman who keeps track of vacation and ask how many days I have left. He does this every time I ask, even the very first time I asked to use ONE DAY in January, like I would ask for a vacation day I didn’t have coming. But I can get over him thinking I would cheat him out of time.

Second, he has to make sure no one else is using a vacation day, even when I tell him I checked with the other women to make sure they would be there. One extra special time he insisted one of them was taking a day I wanted even after I specifically double check and told him that person would be there. He wouldn’t believe me. She had to tell him herself she would be there. But I can get over him thinking of me as a liar.

But today, after all the above, he added something new. He decided he wasn’t going to give me the extra week of vacation I earned (for being there for more years than I ever wanted). He told the woman who handles the vacation that no one (meaning me) was getting accrued vacation anymore. When she tried to explain that I’d been given the week back in January, he yelled, “No, she’s not getting it.” And the reason... because the company is having a bad year.

Okay, now if that were true (and it totally isn’t), I could understand something like not being able to give employees raises (which he hasn’t done in two years). But, no, I can’t see how our “bad year” has any bearing on vacation time (and did I mention how the factory has been working overtime, every Saturday, since before Memorial Day to try to keep up with all our orders). And, no, the overtime isn’t because people’s vacations are causing us to get behind, nor do we need to hire temps to cover vacations.

As further proof of how “hurt” we are for business. Today a customer called the sales line (the line he handles) saying he needed to order replacement parts (my boss played the message on speaker phone). Now he didn’t write anything down, what he did was delete the message. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with it because he had more important, personal, things to take care of. No reason to let incoming orders get in the way when you can just take people’s vacation away from them to make up for the loss, however that works out.

Later in the afternoon the same customer called and talked to me and I sold him the replacement parts. No, the size of the order didn’t cover the cost of my vacation time, but that isn’t the point. What is, is he will pick and choose (and it’s based on his personal feelings) what is good or bad for our company. And me taking vacation is bad business and him not taking or returning calls to potential customers is good business. Hmmm, too bad business savvy isn’t a prerequisite for owning your own company.

Alas, I did get to keep my extra week. Be by the grace of my good karma, or eyes that fell somewhere between sad puppy dog and crazy PMS, or a passing touch of sanity on his part -- whatever it was, I’m relieved it worked out in my favor.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Drama Free Zone

Some days my boss is grumpy. No one wants to talk to him for fear of getting his or her ass chewed over a simple good morning. My boss just wants to be left alone and I can relate to that. Some days I want to be left alone too. I’m not quite as likely to rip someone a new one, instead I tend to get quiet. I’m sure my co-workers prefer my method for handling a bad morning, but they shouldn’t have to be subjected to either. Whatever issues we are having don’t belong in the work place because, I can guarantee, neither one of us is upset over a “work issue.” Whatever is wrong is personnel and should be left at home. One of my better bosses had the policy that our personal issues must be left on the road outside our parking lot. And it made for a good work environment. It seems like a good policy for me to start living by again. So my first goal will be to leave my personal issues out of the work place. My wish for my boss to do the same highlights what might need to be my next goal: learning to only worry about what I’m doing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maybe It's Me

My current office job is the fourth of its kind in my life. The similar issue with those jobs, and now this one, has me questioning whether it’s me. The quest to discover if all bosses are bad has me stagnant. In this horrible economy, where finding a new job is nearly impossible, not to mention holding onto a new job when you are the last one in with companies closing/laying off at an alarming rate, are all only part of what is keeping me stuck. The biggest influence comes from my belief that even if I got another job, whose doors stayed wide open for years to come, I’d hate that boss and in turn that job too. So this circles me back to the same wonder: is it me?

It is reasonable to assume that each person (rich or boss, beautiful or ugly, charismatic or creepy) has to endure his or her own personal hell before reaching peace. And I’m starting to have the sneaking suspicion that mine is my job.

The thing is, I don’t want to find peace in any nine-to-five office job. This is what my whole problem comes down to. I need to find a way to convince myself that finding peace in it isn’t surrendering to it forever. If I could give myself over to it maybe that is the only way through it. This new way of thinking is easier when I force myself into self-examination, but it is not able to hold its place in my day-to-day thoughts.

I hope by putting myself out there, with the world my witness, I’ll be able to let go and move on to the place and people waiting for me.