Either that’s the weather outside right now or what I should be drinking to dull my animosity… or both.
Yesterday I left the office at 4PM tired and frustrated. I had been there since 7 trying to make progress on a project. The VPN connection is so unstable and if it is idle for more than 15 seconds, you have to either wait for it to reconnect or just disconnect and reconnect again. It’s madness. I’ve also had demands from my old boss creeping into my email lately and most of it is fairly basic, but it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
On one hand I hear “prod issues and revenue are the highest two priorities”, but then every other day there is some other random thing that pops up with verbiage attached that contradicts that. Yesterday it was the 7PM email asking for a status on something that is 1.) Not revenue or production 2.) Has been pending and in progress since 2015 and 3.) Not at all under my control to move forward. Seriously.
To top it off, I respond with my reply which was basically forwarding the email I sent to my new boss last Friday who was also asking for the status. Why they don’t talk, I’m not sure, but she forwarded the email I sent to another co-worker telling them to work on it with me because “it is highly visible to the board”. You know what else is highly visible to the board? The revenue we are bringing in this month because of a big project going live. My priority is that work and those customers.
I’ve never met most of the people I am doing work for. I’m just a voice on the other end of the phone but my primary objective is always to make the customer happy and exceed their expectations. I’m dedicated to doing good work and turning out a product that does what is advertised and runs without issue. If I do my job right, nobody even knows what is going on “behind the curtain”.
I also want them to have a good implementation experience and I am dedicated to that. That’s what I get job satisfaction from. That’s where I’m getting my feels. At the end of the day or the end of a project when I hear positive feedback, I’m elevated. I’m more motivated. I’m feeling good about my contribution. I don’t think I’m special in that way, but I do think I’m more motivated by that feedback than some. With regard to my management, it’s very different.
I want to please them too, and I have from the moment I started at this company. In the first year, I was able to bring lots of improvements to the organization. My experience is something they never had before in this role. Things run smooth now. Their are processes and procedures and standards in place that never existed before. We have a team of people and everyone follows and also (I hope) feels open to continue to make adjustments to continue to improve the process. These changes are how I came to be the lead of the team. But I’ve hit a wall now where nothing is good enough.
I’ve learned that they will take and take, and never be satisfied. I’m never going to get that positive feedback unless I am sacrificing my life for it, and it is just not worth it. I see others in the organization around me who are doing just that. They are giving up their free time, their family time, and basically bending over backwards to try and get an ounce back, but it’s never going to be enough. They might get something, but next time, they will have to give even more.
It also does not help when the way people are treated is sometimes rotten. We are all human beings and deserve to be treated with respect. It’s not OK to treat a member of your team as an outsider. It’s not OK to command people and bark demands just because you can and because “that’s just your management style”. It’s not OK to make your employees walk on eggshells when you are in a bad mood but, in-turn, not respect their mood or situation. It’s a small company and culture starts from the top down. Negativity is a cancer. People don’t want to follow a dictator. They want to follow a leader.
So yesterday at 4PM I had had about all I could stand of the environment and went home. There, I worked the rest of the day and felt better. I also had a 7PM call with a customer since they are two time zones west of here. I don’t mind doing that, because its part of who I am and what I want to be doing. If I could just let go of all the animosity I have with the management and the company, I would be home free. I think.
On that note, it is time to get back to it. When I started writing this it was so dark outside and the sky was rumbling. Now, the rain has stopped and it is getting brighter outside… perhaps this day will not be dark and stormy after all. We shall see.