Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Scheming Lazy Co-Worker

It never fails. This happens every time I try to get a new job.

First of all, my apologies to those struggling to find work or who have a hard time finding jobs. I don’t want it to seem like I’m bragging. When I lived in Chicago, I had a hard time finding a job the second time I was looking. And I had a hard time finding a job after both graduations from universities. For some reason, I don’t have a hard time where I currently live (and it’s probably not anything about where I live because I know a lot of people struggle to find work here), and I know I’ve also learned a lot of great things about job hunting that I haven’t always known.

That out of the way…

It seems like every time I’m looking for a job, I get several opportunities around the same time. And one of those opportunities is one I really want and am excited about, but then there’s another opportunity or two that comes up and they move faster than the job I want does. This seriously happens every time I am on the job hunt.

Tell you what happened:

Today, I’m sitting at work. I’m really irritated because the day sucks. People are like, “Happy Halloween,” and I’m like, “Yeah, yeah…can I go home yet?” I don’t care about holidays or fake holidays–whatever the hell Halloween is–anyways, but I really wasn’t into it today and didn’t even want to eat candy, which is odd for me (the candy part). I was checking my phone a lot, just hoping my new job would call with a start date. But at some point, I do get a call but it’s a number I don’t recognize. I don’t answer my cell phone at work anyways, but I also don’t answer when I see numbers I don’t know. Usually, I open a web browser and search the number, which is what I did.

Turns out it was the employment agency the lazy afternoon tech who quit a while ago put me in touch with. This is the place that found him a good job, allowing him to quit. They left a voice message, and I do check voice messages at work. The caller basically said they have a job for me.

Maybe not even 10 minutes later do I get an IM from the lazy guy telling me why they contacted me–the job is where he works. He works at a good company, and they pay well. But he does the same thing I currently do where I work, and when he first told me that’s what he’d be doing–he told me before he left my current employer–I was just like, thinking, “Why would you go somewhere else and do the same thing when all you do is say ‘I hate people, I hate people, I hate people’?” I mean, we support users on the phone and via email where I work, and he does the same thing at his new job. And this is what I’d be doing if I went there, which is something I’m trying to get away from.

He made it even harder to want that job, too, although he probably didn’t realize it. We were chatting on IM, and he told me some key things. They do a lot more work there than we do at my current job, which is good and bad. But it’s really bad if you hate dealing with people, which I do. It sounds like there’s more people to deal with. And he said he is the only one doing that job until they fill the open position they have. This lets me know that if I take that job it will be me and him working together only.

Um, problem–he’s lazy. Cool dude for helping me as he has with so many things, but I know that if I take that job I’ll be doing almost all the work.

He tells me they do more work, but the money makes it worth it. Okay. I’m not that into money, though. I have tried to be, but I’m not.

And then…I finally talk to the guy from the agency and find out exactly how much I’d be making.

Hmmmmmm.

Quite a bit more than I could get anywhere else at this stage in my career. I really wasn’t expecting it. I know my new job won’t pay that, and according to the guy at the agency I could make even more than that with each year just doing the same job at this place, not even moving up.

But, frankly, that’d be the only positive thing out of it, other than I get away from where I work now.

And then the agency guy was telling me this place is huge on “cultural fit.” Oh, Lawd. I don’t fit “cultures.” (Well, that’s not true–I would be perfect for a work culture in which everyone had his/her own office and stayed locked up in it all day with music or sports talk shows blasting through headphones on their ears while they do A+ work and don’t talk to anyone. Unfortunately…that doesn’t really exist.) And knowing lazy tech, the “culture” is probably lame, lazy white guys who sit around talking about dumb crap and who can overlook not liking a job if the price is right. I mean, again, it’s cool he’s even trying to help me, but I just have to tell it like it is. According to agency guy, if you fit the culture you get leeway on stuff, including being qualified for the job.

Now, see…this is exactly what’s wrong with places of employment nowadays. I can’t hang with anything like that, because what’s going to happen is I’d get there, lazy tech would be doing nothing and I’d be doing a great job, but he’d be the one everyone likes so it’d be okay.

Last year I would have taken a job like this and ignored a lot of things going into it, but I’ve really learned to read between the lines and I don’t like what I’m reading. I think lazy tech wants to get me out there quickly so he can have someone he knows is reliable to dump work on, and, of course, he’s willing to vouch for me with the employer. On one hand, it’s hard to ignore the money and the fact that I am so ready to move on. But on the other hand, I don’t exactly need the money. And my goal was to get back to doing something I like, something I’m good at and something I feel like I’m good at. And to deal with less people.

The agency wants to move quickly on this, though (like, they want to submit paperwork to the employer and speak with them about interview times tomorrow and then have me interview Friday), and I don’t want to say I’m not interested without knowing for sure that I will or won’t get a start date for the job I’m already supposed to have lined up (I won’t relax and feel like I have a new job until I get a start date). Part of me also says if I’m going to dislike what I do, why not dislike it with a lot more money (meaning that if, for some reason, my new job falls through, why not take this position)?

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Competition Between Women At Work and Life

Everything cleared with the background check, so it seems like I’m just waiting to hear about when training begins on the new job. Still haven’t quit the old one, just in case something goes wrong and the new job falls through.

So, my current employer started a new employee this past week. It’s a guy to replace the lazy afternoon tech who quit. It took weeks for them to find someone decent. At this point, he is being trained even worse than I was. I was trained for, like, a day and a half and then immediately thrown right into the fire. This guy basically comes to work and sits and does nothing. No one is really training him. At this rate, I don’t know if he will actually get trained at all. It’s worse to not train him than it would have been to not train me because he is eventually going to work all by himself since he will be working the shift that goes into the night as opposed to my working with people in the day. The new guy was kind of trained part of the first day he came, and then the rest of the days the guy whom my employer makes train everyone has barely interacted with him.

One day last week, the trainer actually didn’t show up–he called in “sick.” I didn’t really think about it, but this was going to affect me. I had no idea how much so. The one thing I should have realized, though, was that this would mean I’d be asked to stay late that day. I ended up staying at work 10 hours that day. Extra money for me, sure, but money vs getting out of a hellhole–I want out of the hellhole. I already lament working a 40-hour week…don’t really want to work more than that.

What I didn’t see coming, though, is that my supervisor would essentially ask me to train the new employee that day.

Um…been working at this place for, like, 6 months…or just a tad longer. Don’t really know the job well myself. My bitch co-worker, the female tech geek (FTG), has been there, like, 8 & 1/2 years. But my supervisor came straight to me with this. I was just kind of thinking to myself, “Um…why would you ask me?!” I had an idea why, though, which was later confirmed. But my supervisor was asking me to train him that day and was complimentary towards my performance, saying this is why she was asking me. She did all of this in front of FTG.

Now a while back, I had started forming a theory about the type of person FTG is. I know in one post I had written that she seemed like one of those kids you had a class with in school who was known for being a nerd and always having the right answer when the teacher called on them, and that’s the only reason you noticed them (I had part of this confirmed not long ago, the part about being a good student…). She’s just very reliable and pretty much always does her job well. But I have also almost always felt like she’s competitive (because of how she never helps anyone, steals work from me, races to answer the phone at times, leaves bitchy and/or tattle tail-ish notes in work tickets and doesn’t communicate with people regarding important work-related information), and I started putting two and two together to get the sense that she uses doing her job well to feel better about herself and to feel better than other people at work…which is why she reacts very badly if she feels there is any insinuation she didn’t do something correctly or if she’s given constructive criticism from our supervisor.

I’m kind of realizing that one of the reasons she’d need to feel better than other people at work is because she’s not really accepted at work, which I’d honestly say is her fault. But…people who lack adequate or typical social skills sometimes don’t seem to realize they’re a big part of the problem, and I really don’t think she does realize that. People like her tend to think people are just mean to them, don’t speak to them or alienate them for no reason, and they use being even more alienating than they already are as a coping/defense mechanism. It’s kind of funny how that works. Anyway.

Didn’t mean to turn this into a psychology session, but I’m bringing all this up because I think that I just had a good chunk of this theory confirmed with my supervisor coming to me and not her to train the new co-worker, offering me praise and not her, etc.

Here’s why:

I didn’t want to be bothered with the new kid because, honestly, I am lacking on the social side of life myself (I just flatout dislike people)–I just hide it better than FTG does. Plus, I have started keeping myself occupied at work by listening to sports talk shows and blogging over at my college football blog during the day. My supervisor told me I could say no, but I didn’t think that’d look good. So I was stuck with the new kid. Being as such forced me to talk and interact with people at work more than I like to–you know, pretend to be friendly and all that. It wasn’t that bad, though–it’s just not something I like to do. I like to be left alone. I could hear FTG at the back of the room talking to herself all day. No clue what she was saying, and I don’t sit near her so I can’t see her reactions or anything. There were four of us in the room, and three of us were actually speaking TO other people all day–each other.

At some point, FTG goes to lunch. Almost immediately afterwards, the field tech comes up to me and is like, “So, what is her problem today? Did you two get into it or something?” He actually does sit right in front of her, so he could probably hear her better. At first, I was like, “I don’t know.” And then I told him what our supervisor did and what she said to me about my work performance, and he was like, “Oh, that’s probably it.” And we talked a little about her, and at some point I was like, “She seems like she’s competitive,” and he nodded vigorously. The new kid also said that when our supervisor called him into her office to let him know he’d be working with me, she basically told him not to seek help from FTG because she’s not going to give it to him.

I was just like…”Why are people warning you about her, but no one warned me when I first got here?” Because this was one of his first days there, and pretty much all of us told him essentially everything he needed to know about FTG. I basically had to learn about her myself. One of the guys who works for my employer but doesn’t work in network support with us said he thinks it was an experiment to see how things would go between us since I was the first female that had worked in network support in a long time. I have definitely noticed she doesn’t seem to have any issues with the guys who have worked with us, and I haven’t seen any sign of her having a problem with one of the guys getting promoted when he was hired years after her.

I have started wondering, though, if it’s really just about being female or if it’s race or both. She seems like a redneck (which means something different when black people say it than when white people do–something along the lines of an ignorant or narrowminded white person, at best, and a racist, at worst…and no, I don’t think of racism as ignorance). I mean, this is someone who is in her 30s, has a kid and still makes fun of the accents people from other countries have. That’s something you do when you’re a kid or a teenager who doesn’t fully know any better. If someone is doing that as an adult, you’re damn right it makes me wonder how they, in turn, feel about black people, too, especially in the South. Regardless, it’s not the kind of thing I want to hear, i.e. her sitting there mimicking an Indian’s accent and laughing when all she has to do is say, “[Whatever his name is] is calling for you.”

Where I’m from, a lot of white people have a problem when they can tell a black person is intelligent, isn’t poor or both. That was something I experienced even before I hit high school and then several times thereafter. And most of my actual conversations with FTG have consisted of her asking me about my educational background. I attended better schools than she did and went to graduate school when she hasn’t. And as I’ve kind of suggested with the “nerd who has all the answers in school” description, she seems like the kind of person who prides herself on being the smartest, knowing everything and doing everything right in order to boost her self-esteem. She doesn’t seem to have a problem with my white male co-worker knowing more than she does. Don’t know if it’s the “white” part or the “male” part that makes it okay, though.

I don’t think I’ve ever really had a competition/jealousy issue with a white female. I have never understood women being competitive with each other or jealous of each other, except maybe in something that’s competitive by nature such as sports. Well, that’s not entirely accurate–once when I was in elementary school. But it has been a really, really long time. I used to feel like being around white women was safe, for that reason. I just used to think white women didn’t see black women as competition or anything to be jealous of–and somewhat vice versa–however racist that might sound, so it would cause less problems in my interactions with them. And I do think this used to be true to some extent. I just think there used to be more of a recognition and acceptance of the fact that black women tend to differ quite a bit from white women and vice versa, which makes it harder to compare the two and see competition in the other and such, whereas now there’s more denial of that in the name of political correctness and colorblindness. When I was growing up where I was growing up, white girls had petty issues with other white girls and black girls had petty issues with other black girls, and that pretty much never happened interracially (at least not between white girls and black girls). So, this situation at work is weird to me, but it’s also funny because she’s so ridiculous, caring about schitt that doesn’t mean schitt instead of focusing on herself.

Either way, it’s really going to kill her when she finds out I managed to get another job, because she was whining that same day about how hard it is to get a job. I know she wants another job, so I know that situation and her reaction will be hysterical. I used to get pissed about how she acts, but now I just laugh. I mean, imagine someone on a basketball court knocking himself out scoring points, hot doggin’, rebounding, shooting layups, going for three pointers and thinking he’s in a serious game with someone who is just standing on the sidelines checking his iPhone or hitting on cheerleaders.

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Take This Job and Shove It

After almost two months, it looks as if I’ve finally gotten an IT position with one of the most coveted employers around–pending a successful background check, you understand. It had taken so long to hear anything that I’d just about started to move on. In fact…

Someone else quit at work a few weeks ago, beating me to the punch. Back then, I had several possible opportunities lined up…two at pretty good companies, including the opportunity that looks as if it will finally result in a new job. I felt that it was just a matter of time before I was out of tech hell. Then one Thursday the lazy afternoon tech guy comes in whispering with the bitchy field tech guy. I don’t remember everything I heard…I knew something was about to happen, though. I could tell the lazy tech had something to speak with our supervisor about. And then when he left the room, the field tech said something like, “Ohhhh, that’s not going to be good.”

Lazy tech had found another job and was about to quit.

Oh, damn. Big problem for me.

Why?

For one thing, it was going to be hard enough to quit. With someone else just having quit? Not the best timing.

For another thing, I knew I was going to be expected to pick up some of the slack from lazy tech’s quitting. With his working what is basically 2nd shift, his quitting was a problem for the company because he was the only one who worked that shift. It wasn’t like working 1st shift, which is when I work, when they have several techs working at the same time. I was worried they were going to expect me to start working his shift since I was the last one hired after him. I knew that’s how lazy tech got that shift–he worked 1st shift until someone got fired, and then they moved him to that 2nd shift. Luckily, my employer doesn’t believe in having women working by themselves at night–otherwise, I would have been moved to that crappy shift.

His quitting still has had ways of coming back on me, though. For one, the tech who trained me and who helps me out a lot was affected quite a bit by this. His work schedule changed, and now I have to spend, essentially, three hours every day alone with the creepy, bitchy female tech who refuses to help me with schitt but still finds ways to be critical. Second, this bitch decided not long after lazy tech quit that she wanted to take all these days off work, knowing we were already kind of stretching to make the schedule work (my employer needs people working 24/7). Normally when she’d take all these days off, my supervisor would schedule lazy tech to come in to help on 1st shift. But with him gone, this left two people working days. And wouldn’t you know, this is exactly when schitt decided to fall apart at work and we got tons of calls and emails to handle all by ourselves. Truthfully, while she was gone, I did over 90% of the network support by myself. The tech who trained me is more like a manager than a regular tech because he has been there so long and knows so much. He gets special projects and the most difficult things to handle, so he barely does normal network support. With the female tech out and no one else there to help, that means I handled most of the calls and emails.

One day, the nosy chatty Cathy of this workplace came in and asked about the female tech geek (FTG) being out. We told her all the days she’d taken off, and she asked, “Is she interviewing for jobs?”

Uh huh.

Hadn’t really thought of that, but it makes sense. Chatty Cathy (CC) proceeded to make it make even more sense. Apparently, FTG had been looking for a job ever since she graduated from some program last year, and she asked CC for a reference. FTG was also kind of…curious after she found out the lazy tech geek was leaving. She doesn’t speak to anyone at work unless she needs something, really, except the tech geek who trained me and CC. But when she found out lazy tech was leaving, she was asking him questions about the job he got. And then after he left, she kept asking the tech who trained me if lazy tech likes his new job, even after he would tell her he doesn’t know and hasn’t spoken with lazy tech. CC and I also had a conversation about how inconsiderate it was of FTG to take all those days off at that time, and CC was saying that it makes sense if FTG is interviewing…because if you’ve got one foot out the door, you just don’t care about the job or how doing these things affects others.

So, after FTG came back to work, I almost essentially quit doing work. Even called in one day last week for no reason–just didn’t feel like going to work. I behave similarly to how lazy tech used to, but I do it for three reasons: 1) I started thinking that, one way or the other, I’m out of here soon…so I don’t care, 2) I know they’re not going to do anything about my barely doing work (they let everyone else get away with bullschitt, so I’m done knocking myself out), especially if I do just enough or keep tackling all the easier things to do while leaving everything else to FTG or undone, and 3) I was forced to do nearly all the work because she wasn’t there for nearly a week’s worth of time, so I’m going to force her to do nearly all the work. I was pissed enough that she took all those days off that I basically told our supervisor she shouldn’t have given her all those days off because it was poor timing. The field tech geek was put out with it, too.

I was worried for a while that FTG would come back from all those days off and quit or quit soon after. That would not only make it seem even more “heartless” for me to quit than it already will appear since lazy tech quit, but it would make work absolute hell for me given that I’d be doing almost all the work and would have to alter my work hours, too. But then I realized that she probably will never be able to get another job. She’s too socially awkward. There’s no way she passes interviews. I am pretty much never face to face with her, so I wouldn’t know–but everyone at work keeps saying how she can’t even look at people. Imagine someone going through a job interview looking down the whole time and mumbling, talking abnormally loud or alternating between both just the way that she does. She also just sounds rude at times. When she asked CC for a job reference, according to CC she was like, “Will you be a reference” (looking at the ground)…and CC said, “For what?” FTG snapped, “For jobs” as if CC was stupid. She approached someone she was asking for a big favor this way.

Long story short–it looks like everyone wants to ditch this place. I think that should tell my employer a lot. According to CC, everyone knows FTG wants out. When she first started looking for another job, she wasn’t even hiding it well, which tells me she wasn’t trying to hide it. She’d come to work dressed for interviews. The laziest guy quit. Let me put that another way–the guy who got paid to do absolutely nothing and absolutely nothing was done about it ever quit his cushy job. One of the lazy server engineers quit a few months before lazy tech quit. And now the most recent hire (me) is about to quit.

Apparently, I’m cool enough to be let in on the secret. See, lazy tech told me to send him my resume as he was leaving. I thought about it for a while, just wondering if I should trust him, and then I sent it to him. The next day, I received an email from a staffing agency that has helped all these guys where I currently work get the hell out by finding better positions. They placed lazy tech, lazy server engineer and other guys I never even heard of who used to work where I work. These guys all now have good jobs making good money. Either FTG doesn’t have the hookup or she was too awkward with the hookup for it to work. I’m betting she doesn’t have it. Apparently, I won’t need the hookup. But FTG actually busted out the tech who trained me and told CC in front of me that he has been looking for another job. To thank him for everything he has done for me and to help him out–I’ll feel bad for leaving him with everything I’ll be leaving him with–I think I will shoot him the hookup on my last day.

Lazy tech told me my employer is going to be pissed if I quit. [sighs] Already know, man. Already know. But it’s the weekend. I’m going to try not to stress about it for a couple of days, at least.

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