You have read my banter of incompetence and the blind leading the blind and either found them quite amusing and tolerable or could even relate. Not surprisingly to say even to fathom, but those idiosyncrasies of the employment world exist and will never go away. So my fellow readers and daily stressers, what does one do about dealing with the inevitable? If you are anything like me, you will step up, shut people up, show and scold the higher-ups that you are one of the power houses in your company. You see I am like a well-versed travel agent. I tell people where to go and where to go to get the best bang for their buck.
Every year, your life should have those defining moments that make up who you are and what you believe in, no matter regardless of how insignificant or grandiose those moments may be. Whether it be a small email to the head honcho saying how excited it is for a new project at work to commence, or extreme measures of getting into someones personal space and showing them reality. Your actions and words at work define who you are as a person and as an employee, dedicated and indispensable or gabby and a disposable asset. Which one are you, or will you be this year?
A short description of my basic characteristics while I am at work, I am known as “The Bear,” yes that is my nickname at the office. That alone should give you some idea of how I am at work. I hunker down and get things done, focused and determined to get what I need done. I utilize and take advantages of the things and people around me that I know can gain me knowledge and a clearer path to my destination. When things aren’t quite right around me, I let it be known and loudly. And, if I don’t like you and find you useless to the cause or organization I let it be known.
Two instances this past year solidified my position and identity as an indispensable individual at my place of employment and why I am where I am in my career.
The first instance, and many of you have read in the past about this situation, was of constant complaining, whining and the sever lack of efforts or knowledge some of my “colleagues” posses. Granted I do my fair share of complaining, as well as the entire IT staff, but it is of due cause and is a right. This individual cross the proverbial line of idle ridicule to down right challenging and degrading my integrity and performance. Crossing that line is like entering my den during the winter and smacking my ass to wake me up, bad very bad choice. Now this particular individual is your typical office gossip and complainer, you know the type. This is the type that sits around all day talking about how hard they have it at work (yet do only the bare minimum to get by), how they only perform up to their position description (because it is above their pay-grade) and yet complain about being under paid and unappreciated. On a side-note but on the same tangent, you only get paid for as much as you are willing to put forth the effort into doing, sitting on your ass is going to get you to shit… literally. Now back to the program… Sometime in October, this individual in-front of my immediate supervisor, all of his fellow department colleagues as well as the head director of our company, proceeded to say, with his feet on his desk and a Google Search screen up for type of doll or something, “Let Matt do it, I have tested it the first time and it didn’t work so obviously he has no idea what he is doing and he has tons of time to do user testing. Also I need him to do some data entry because that is above my pay-grade.” Oh boy, in front of everyone I let this shit-lazy worker know where I stood and where he stood (beneath me) and told him two things. “First of all, I am a developer, and unlike common users I think logically not emotionally, therefore I cannot perform user tests to test out the stupid things that you common users do to software applications, and all software applications go through testing stages, A bug in the software is not a warrant for judging someones capabilities, however, feet on a desk while surfing the internet while work is needed to be done and at the same time complaining about not being paid enough is a warrant to judge the dedication and mental capacity of an office worker. And second you lazy ass, maybe instead of complaining about being underpaid, show some initiative and do work duties that are not in your description and go above and beyond.” With mouths dropped and eyes bugging out by everyone in the office I turned and walked away saying “I have to get back to my office and continue with my job of making your lives easier.” What I am trying to say hear is, don’t let those less productive push you around and make an unintelligible attack on your character or your skills.
The second instance, and this one was even bigger than the first one, was one that had me walking a fine line on professionalism and personally attacking a higher up for their inaccuracies and mistakes in a project. A short history lesson of last year in regards to this project, my company took on a gigantic undertaking of hiring an outside company to completely redo our website, not to mention allowing an individual with a high ranking power to prepare and deliver the project contract. The entire year this project was underway, my fellow IT colleague and myself kept pushing our immediate supervisor for a “reclass,” basically a promotion, due to an overwhelmingly alteration and increase in our job duties but with his lack of commitment to getting things done at the office nothing came to light with that request, just stay with me, this last statement is an important factor in this instance and promotes the integrity of the first. Ok, back to the project. I was able to get my hands on the contract as well as the financials of how much the company was paying to complete this project. Two things, the first being the contract was missing many key aspects of a website contract not to mention a severe misstep that could have cost my company more than just the money, and second we were way over-paying for what was to be done and what was done. Fast-forward to the end of the year. The CFO approached me to discuss some issues people were having with my immediate supervisor and the conversation got around to the major project of the year. He asked my opinion about the overall aspect of it, and well laughing and head shaking aside, I let him know, professionally, what was done wrong and who did wrong. knowing all to well that he was the one that created the project contract and negotiated the overall cost. I let him know that with my previously contract work, I was involved and personally have created multiple project contracts, most of which could protect a single person against a large corporation like ours, with proof of concept of copies of previous contracts to back up my claims. After a long talk with him about many other things, it was exposed that the throughout the company more importantly within the management there is a “list and ranking” of all the personnel in which they rank each employee based on how they spend their time during the day. This list is their way of seeing who is reliable, who works the most and who gabs and waste time the most, ranked best personnel to least favorable. Yours truly is #2 on the list, and the only reason I am not on top is because as I was told “You don’t have good PR skills with the other personnel.” And I was told that I need to work on that skill, for which I responded by telling the CFO that my desire is to only have good PR skills and meaningful conversations with those that can get the company ahead, meaning the management. Fast foward a little more, the CFO approached me and said that he spoke with the head director about everything I mentioned and said. With that feeling of overwhelming stress when you are stopped by a police officer, he informed me that the head director and himself are going to push forward with my reclass and basically skip over dealing with it through my direct supervisor. As well, they are going to be requiring me to be included in all software and website projects from now on with my words being put at the forefront. In this I am trying to show you that it is not what you say but how and to whom you say it to, and to show and open the eyes of your higher powered colleagues that you are a force to be dealt with and someone that they want with them in the long run. Show them that you have the skills and knowledge to make yourself indispensable and you will go through the roof, and leave all of those “It’s above my pay-grade.” co-workers in the dust.
I am sure there are going to be stresses throughout the new year, but as long as we all stay strong with our heads held up high and our convictions staying true, we all will persevere.