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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Yes Kristin, I do work too much

And it was proven this last Saturday, as I drove in to the office and toiled for 5 1/2 hours to attempt to make a dent in the huge list of loans that I have on my list to review. I felt like I got a lot done on 1 file, which is good. However, I wasn't able to get to any of the other files on my list (and there are a ton), so they continue to loom over me like a thunder cloud of doom. And the whole time I was there, I was completely resenting the fact that I was giving up a good chunk of my weekend for work.

Melodramatic? Maybe. But my workload (and the workload of all of my other co-workers) has been completely unmanageable for the last 10 months. Upper management only seems to be concerned with the numbers and pushing us to meet our deadlines. Unfortunately for us, there is way more work than time in the day. Especially in the past year, when so many new duties have been piled on us - we spend more time filling out reports and spreadsheets than actually reviewing our loans. And the volume of loans that come through our department for review has greatly increased over the last 2 years, with no additional staffing, and additional work duties to boot.

Then last Tuesday, when I asked for 2 days of vacation at the end of next week, the first response I got from the boss was to ask how my pipeline looked. That got to me, as I felt it was implied that I might have to give up my vacation time, which is part of my benefits plan, due to my ridiculous workload (and then at the end of the year the bosses complain that everyone has so much vacation time left!). I was almost in tears at that, because I didn't think that I would get my vacation - my mom and I had been planning to go down to Southern California to visit my aunt and uncle that I haven't seen in 2 years. The boss states she doesn't want us to ask for vacation at the last minute, but I really don't think that 2 weeks in advance (or rather, just under 2 weeks) is last minute. Ideally, our workload shouldn't be so heavy that we can't take a day or 2 once in a while. So, I'm resenting that as well. And since I have about 5 full weeks of vacation this year (since some rolled over from '05), I don't know how I'll be able to take that vacation either, since my pipeline will never be ideal, at this rate.

And if I was a less responsible person, I wouldn't care, and would have no problem letting my loans expire (we have to respond to the issues within a certain amount of time, per our contracts with the investors). But, I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish everything, and consequently I stay late a lot working. Over the past year, it has not been enough. Nothing we (me and my co-workers) is enough. We are working ourselves crazy and management just keeps pushing. So, when my boss starting whining on Friday about how we (me & co-workers) can't leave our loans until the last minute because it takes her a long time to read our recommendations and make the decisions, I had pretty much had it. I snapped at her in defense of us lowly schlepps. I don't even completely remember what I said, but I couldn't stop myself. She was making it sound like we were all sitting around doing nothing all day, when we're actually working ourselves to the bone. She didn't seem to understand why we can't meet our deadlines - when the deadlines aren't the problem. It's the amount of work we have leading up to them.

I am not one to shy away from hard work (physical labor aside). So don't think I'm complaining because I don't have a cushy job. I just can't always take the sneery bitchy attitude of the boss. And I know that she takes a lot of crap from the boss above her (who I used to work directly under, and know has more faces than a deck of cards), and does defend us and our position. But she has to know that when she's overwhelmed, so are the rest of us. If we didn't have so much work, she wouldn't either.

Anyway, she ended up almost in tears, and coming out of her office to tell everyone she's done and do it all without her. The big boss heard the commotion and came out they disappeared for about an hour. I still don't know what they talked about or what came of it, because my direct boss went home right after they came back in. (Her stuff is still in her office, so I don't think she quit.) The boss above her went into her office and continued with work as usual, and never said anything to me. So, I don't know if I'm in trouble or what's going on.

After the "altercation" (which makes it sound worse than it really was), I did get the thumbs up from one co-worker, and two very supporting emails when I got back to my desk. Everyone has been feeling this ridiculous pressure, and a few were happy I had said something and told me they would be 100% behind me if it came down to anything where that would be needed. But I am paranoid, and so I worry about what will happen now. I was in tears at my desk afterwards on Friday. I think the stress and the fact that I snapped like that got to me. It was bound to happen though. And I only spoke to her in the tone that she had been using with me.

One co-worker (who I made the mistake of asking if she thought I was out of line) thinks I should apologize. I don't think I will though. I am not sorry about what I said. I think I will go in to the boss's office tomorrow and talk with her about where I'm coming from, and maybe apologize for how it came about. But everything I said was the truth.

Anyway...wish me luck! (And continued employment!)

So, because of the blowout on Friday, I am a bit paranoid of going in to work tomorrow.


Caitlin said...

I'm so sorry about all this. How stressful. As you know my job is pretty cushy so I can't imagine what you must be going through. I think you did the right this as you can only take so much. You spoke the truth and sometime it hurts. Let us know how Monday goes. I'll be thinking of you. Hey, feel free to come visit us in MA to burn some of that vacation. We have a spare bedroom!
Big hugs. Cait

Dagny said...

Best of luck. And any good boss should recognize that people need time off if they want to continue to be productive.

Fluffycat said...

I hope everything works out today. It's good to stand up for yourself and your vacation time.

Joie said...


I'm so sorry you have been having such a hard time of it. I know it takes quite a bit to make you blow your top!

Let me know how Today goes. I hope it goes well.

And like Cait, you can come visit us if you want to. I'd wait 'til spring if I were you though. :)
(I know, at this point you don't know if you'll get the chance to, but the invitation is here.)

Lots of hugs!!

Dad said...

Tami - with your experience and smarts - you could get a better (and probably better paying) job anywhere. Time to polish up the old resume and test the waters out there. Trust the old man...the longer you wait around the less lkely you are to improve your situation. As for your actions with your boss - good for you!

Calamity Jen said...

Listen to your dad, Tami. Father knows best.

A few months ago I quit my job after nearly seven years of nonsense. I took a pay cut, lost my job security and said good-bye to some kick-ass benefits. And you know what? I've never been happier.

Joie said...

Um, if you do decide to follow your Pop's advice, my hubby says that there are First American branches out in Novato, actually. He'd be happy to give you the info.

Hope today was better!!

Christyn said...

I keep thinking of looking for a job at First American - do you know if the pay is good? We signed our loan docs there, for our house, (wow) a year ago. They seemed very nice there and laid just seems you need a lot of experience to get a job there (I've been at GPM for 3.5yrs...too long!!)

And Tami,
Good job. I am behind you, and you know that. Being that I am writing on Tuesday, I'm glad you are still here and you made it through the weekend!!! I was worried when I got in before you that I wouldn't see anything at your desk. It was a sigh of relief, however I am sure I would have gotten a call from you if something had happened, or if you had decided to leave. If you do take your dad's advice, let me know where you go....and I'll follow. LOL!

kerri said...

Just giving you more hugs Tami. :)))