Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Is that a question mark at the end of your sentence or are you just trying to fool me (into doing what you want)?

Short, sweet and to the point. I really don't like when people ask a question that isn't really a question.

My husband is very good at this. "You are going to fill up the car before you come home tonight, right?"

This is not a question. This is a statement with a question mark conveniently tagged on to the end in the hopes of disguising the fact that you are telling me to do something, rather than asking me.

Work is no exception to this type of thing. Yesterday, a senior manager that has been using me more and more as a resource on her projects asked me for another "favour".

She stared right into my eyes and said, "You know that you can always say no, right?".

Uh....yes. I know what my options are.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A tale of two managers

In the span of an hour I had two very different conversations with two very different managers.

Manager #1 – Came to me because “I was never told”* that they were required to provide electronic copies of their staff’s performance reviews. They have never done this. And by the way, we don’t provide detailed enough time lines. Beside, the manager was leaving soon to go on vacation and did not intend to meet with the employees until they returned, at which point they will work on the comments.

I responded that we did communicate that we need e-copies and explained *again* why. I indicated that it was interesting that they were the only manager that was kept in the dark about this. As for deadlines, we did provide three separate due dates – each for a different step of the process, with the goal of having everything done by the end of February. I was unsure as to which part of this was confusing?

The manager’s response was “that’s not how we work in the office…we need a specific final-last chance date. We work under tight deadlines and generally run around at the last minute to get things done to meet that date. We need someone to remind of this up-coming date regularly, even though we will not likely do anything until the eleventh hour. This is also why providing an electronic copy does not work, since we are likely writing up comments the day before”.

(I would love to say that I’m twisting the manager’s words for effect, but I’m not…this is essentially what was said to me)

I asked the manager, “Do you happen to see any issue with this particular way of handling things?”

Manager, “No.”

*absolutely hate this - explain to me that you were not aware, but don't shift the blame by implying it was someone else's responsibility to tell you

Manager #2 – Came to me to discuss an upcoming return to work of an employee. The manager has never had to deal with a situation like this and it is sensitive on many levels.

The manager asked many relevant and good questions, was receptive to my feedback and suggestions. They didn’t expect or want me to tell them what to do and say. Ultimately it is their responsibility to have this conversation with the employee, but they saw the value in seeking another person’s opinion and perspective.

The manager clarified time lines and procedures. They have since provided me with updates on what has happened.

You can imagine who got the gold star that day.
You can also imagine which manager’s employees will have a better run at 2010.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Staying the course

I realize you are dying to know how I'm doing. Admit it.

In order to keep myself honest with the process and to prove that I can blog more than just petty is what I have accomplished from my list of 52 items.

Considering we are only 5 weeks in...not too shabby. This will make up for the inevitable lull that will hit in April.

2. Bring in rather than buy a coffee a work for two weeks Since original two weeks, I have continued bringing in coffee, but I've added buying a second at work...must rectify this

4. Stop by and talk to someone at work (who I generally don’t) each day for a week - will keep this up, not as bad as I thought

6. Call at least one family member once a week (and I suppose I should specify that it can’t be the same one every week)...will try to keep this up, also not as bad as I thought

13. Get a massage

17. Attend an HR association event that I have to pay for (not just the freebies) - did it. It was incredibly boring, but I've since learned they aren't all that bad.

19. Go back to being a brunette

21. Blog once a week (regardless of how inane the topic)...still going and today's topic is proof that I will resort to the inane

25. Wrangle myself an invite to attend (a portion of) the next monthly management meetings to present HR update I invited myself!

26. Challenge at least one manager in the above mentioned meetings when they inevitable say something requiring challenging You so had it coming Speakerphone Boy

28. No snacking in the car for a week - my car doesn't smell like rotting apple cores anymore!

33. Finish writing this g-d list! So done.

39. Try to go a day without saying the word “seriously” in a way other than for which it is intended I did this and did not realize it. Seriously!

New vacation policy

To all my colleagues who have a planned winter vacation that will take you away from our freezing and snowy climate and into a 5-star resort that has 16 swim-up bars, kilometres of white sandy beaches, and a hammock under a palm tree for everyone.

Shut the f-ck up.

We are trying to improve morale around here.
You are not helping.

(And yes I'm envious, but I still don't want to see the website.)

Monday, February 01, 2010

I am not amused

I am one of those people who will pay good money to get on a mechanical contraption that takes you up 20 stories and then plunges you (and the contents of your stomach) back down at a ridiculous speed.


And again.

I really enjoy the thrill of riding a rollercoaster and consider it the highlight of a trip to an amusement park.

Oddly enough though, I do not enjoy the same sensation when the conditions are considerably less mechanical and I’m getting paid to go on the ride.

With the number of climbs, dips and curves on the horizon, I should be willing to line up for hours just to experience it. And yet, I’m not all that enthusiastic about it.

Maybe if they served cotton candy in the lunchroom I would be more into it.