Today I did something that I wasn’t really proud of at work today. I snapped at someone whom I consider a friend and whom I respect, even though he did absolutely nothing to deserve it.
It’s been a really stressful time at work these last few weeks. We’re currently facing a labour crunch (of course, who else isn’t here in Calgary?) as there has been a smallish cycle of turnover with no relief brought in yet. So we’re back at doing multiple roles again.
I honestly don’t know how much more I can take. For two years now, I’ve been doing everything from customer service, systems and network administration, shipping & receiving (both coordinating and lugging 70 lbs boxes up and down stairs), purchasing and supply chain management, documentation and technical writing, office coordination, events planning, human resources stuff, basic finance and accounting, psychiatrist (someone needs to listen to the workers when they bitch); basically bouncing from role to role and back again (“floating in the ether” is the way someone put it). I’ve touched upon all levels of the company, from doing the grunt work at the bottom (ex. communicating directly with customers) to trying to figure out how to improve things from the top down (or at least as high as I can go).
The worst part of it is that I’ve essentially assumed managerial duties but without the authority of a full-fledged manager (so I can’t thump anyone in any meaningful way if they’ve screwed up, nor can I reward anyone if they’ve done an exceptional job and I have no power to fix things the way I want them to be fixed, especially if it requires financial resources to do so). This makes it difficult to make any policies and procedures I create to fix problems stick in any meaningful way. Therefore, I’ve noticed that problems that have been dealt with and/or fixed in the past, keep cropping up and have to be dealt with again, usually on short notice. I then usually have to deal with these problems myself, in addition to dealing with the other responsibilities I currently hold (which seems to increase every month).
I can’t count how many times people have said to me “Reg, if you leave the company, the company is doomed”. However, I’m beginning to think that no matter what I do, it really won’t matter in the end.
Anyways, I’m sure I’m not the only one who says they hate their job. But that really isn’t true. I actually love my job and what I do. I love it when people come to me asking for help (although these days, it’s eating up into the time I need to finish my work, which is starting to get mildly annoying). Where else can I touch upon all aspects of the company and have some level of influence in how everything operates, after only two years of working there? Sure, the pay sucks (small company), but I was never in it for the pay (if I was, I would have left after the first year). It’s offered a number of unparalleled chances to grow, personally and professionally.
No, my problem is that stuff I fix doesn’t stay fixed. My problem is having to deal with the same problems over and over again. My problem is the reactive mentality of the company and the complete lack of foresight and proactive thinking. My problem is that I keep getting overruled when I identify high priority items that need to be fixed in order to function, only to have to watch my warnings go unheeded and then have to clean up the mess afterwards when what I foretell actually happens (it’s this one item that really kills me). My problem is that I’m 90% of the time a happy-go-lucky person and 10% of the time a bitch, but it seems that that is reversed at work these days.
I’m beginning to think that I’ve progressed as far as I can go here. Perhaps it’s time for a (really long) vacation. Anyone know of any good places to go? Or of any “solutions” that can help solve my current dilemma? 😉