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Monday, January 22, 2007

I Stink (and I'm still employed)

Thank you to everyone who offered me your support. I really do appreciate it.

So, after getting in to the office this morning and checking the emails from the weekend, I went into the boss's office for a chat. And yes, I was dreading it. I apologized for my reaction from Friday. (That's how I put it too. Damned if I was going to apologize for what I actually said! Pardon my language Mom!) So we talked about how the stress levels have been building, and I know that her job is not easy and she's just as stressed out as the rest of us.

She mentioned how she thought that the way I spoke to her on Friday was not respectful (or however she put it). I mentioned that I felt like I was under attack, and went on the defense. She didn't seem to think she was being harsh with me (but Christyn - you heard it all, back me up here) and seems to think that I perceived it wrong. (No, I'm sorry, I know when it's an attack. And she has a history of coming out of her office in a raging mood and hollering at people, usually over nothing, before she's gotten the whole story straight. We are all sick of it, and at least one of my co-workers confessed to me afterwards that she'd almost reported the boss to HR for something that had happened a few days earlier.) So, she thought that I wasn't showing her the proper respect. I was completely straight with her and didn't back down on this issue. I told her that I responded to her in the same tone that she had been using with me. Her response? "But I'm the boss." I actually said, "Yeah, but you're not God." And went on to state that being the boss doesn't make it okay to treat people like crap. I said that the rest of us deserve to be treated with respect as well, and they way she speaks to us sometimes does not show that. (Yes, I said that to her. It's true, and she's been condescending and snippy and reactionary since she started in that position. I don't care who you are, you should treat others with respect and tact.) She blamed her attitude on a lot of the stress. I mentioned that we're all under stress and have been for a long time.

(Did I mention that I was saying most of this through a haze of tears? I was so mad at myself for all the crying, but I just couldn't stop! I hate crying in the office - it is SO unprofessional!)

I did tell her that we don't want her to leave the department, and I sympathised with her having to work under the big boss (the amazing 4-faced woman - no, I did not refer to her that way in the meeting). And that we are all so overwhelmed with the amount of work and the ridiculous deadlines (which I mentioned wouldn't be ridiculous if they weren't all on top of each other). And then she gave me a big hug (which just made me cry harder) and told me to hang in there and consider all this water under the bridge. She said she loves me as an employee and that I'm good at my job, and that she loves me as a friend as well.

That's all good and fine, and I am glad we talked it out. But, really...nothing was resolved. So, I'll continue to plug away and do my best, and go back to trying to let the crap roll off my back again. It's just a job, right?

Later, I told a few co-workers about what had happened (just 2 that I trust with it) and they gave me kudos to sticking to my guns about the way the boss talks to us. (I guess I am their new crusader. But, when I believe in something, I won't back down.) It's good to have support.

Anyway, all day I was smelling some sweet florally stink...and realized that it was ME!! When the boss hugged me, I was covered in her perfume, and my shirt STILL smells like it! (Thank God it's not as strong as it was this morning - I almost couldn't eat, it was so pervasive.)


Fluffycat said...

Yeah, I've cried at work too in the same kind of situation. Even with the tears, it's awesome that you stood up to your boss like that. She sounds pretty bad with that "I'm the boss" stuff.

Joie said...

You are correct that good supervisors treat their employees with respect. It is one of the marks of a good boss. That doesn't mean they can't chew you out when you screw up. (NOT THAT YOU DID) But, a good supervisor knows how to get their point across respectfully.

You may still want to consider what your Dad suggested. If a workplace becomes "toxic" from stress, social environment, or management, it often doesn't change significantly for a long time. But only you know how toxic it is. Andy has been breathing a sigh of relief with his new office. His old one had been extremely toxic. He didn't realize how bad it was until he left.

Just a thought.

Kristin said...

Joie is right regarding the work thing. Its going to end up like me at ffic, you dont want to hate your job and going there.
Dont stress the things you have no control over. They are short staffed and they are not going to get the work ontime. (unrealistic goals, sounds like ffic) oops did I say that? I am sure I made your dad laugh. However, after many years of searching I am finally leaving. I hope its a set up and better all around.
Hang in there, dont stress about stuff that you can not fix or do. If you meet the goals, they wont look at it as being unrealistic, especially if they dont see the documented hours you are really there, and others. Good job for standing up for you and others, Good for you

Pancho said...

Good job on standing up to your boss, it's one of the hardest things to, stand up to someone who can fire you. I've had my battles in the past with "angry" bosses, been written up ("this will go in your file young man") but when you're right, don't back down. I eventually left that dept at eloan. Got a better job a different company and my old boss worked for a different dept and when he met my new boss it was great. My new boss loves me and gushed about how great an employee I was(touche). Don't under estimate how valuable you are and that other companies would be ecstatic to hire you. Anyway, keep you head high, and don't cry at work(There is no crying in cubies!)

A very proud dad said...

Tami - remember the advice I gave you at FFIC? The same holds true now. Get out....NOW. (at least start working on it)

Test the waters - put out a few resumes and go on a few interviews. You never know what's out there until you look around. trust me - you will be surprised at how valuable you are.

Calamity Jen said...

I can almost never get through those tough employee-boss conversations without tears. The one exception? When I handed in my resignation letter at my last job. In that case, only my boss cried.

I look forward to reading a post about your NEW job sometime soon!

kerri said...

I agree with everyone here Tami. The way she treated you and they was she responded to you, was absolutely inapproapriate. "Yeah, but I'm the boss"? Please. Good for you, and more hugs to you.

You know I also support the idea of looking around for other employment. No job should be THAT stressful, and don't I know it...

Dagny said...

Ewwwww. She left her stank on you?

And Joie's right about toxic work places. That's how I ended up in teaching. I was working at a place with someone vile -- so vile that I started taking sick days to avoid being there. After a couple of months of that, I knew it was time to plan my exit. (Teaching became a lot more attractive than going into another office situation.) Life's too short is the bottom line.

Maryam said...

Hey Tami, I can't thank you enough for your courage and for expressing your feelings. Everything you said was true. We are all proud of you and thank you for speaking for all of us. They should be proud to have you as their employee and should appreciate your good work, your loyalty, your honesty and your knowledge. We all love you and will always be 100% behind you. Don't ever think otherwise. I wish you happiness, continued success and everything YOU wish. Best, Maryam.