About Me

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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Wolf

Apparently, I have a knack for cleaning up messes, and I'm not talking about the mess in the kitchen (I'm terrible about that). I'm talking about logistical messes. This is something that I've learned about myself over the past few years. And it isn't necessarily something that I do consciously or intentionally, per se, I just... sit down and do it. I do it for selfish reasons more than anything, because it makes my life easier. It's a matter of survival in the work place. I open my eyes to find myself stuck in a position at work where what they've given me to work with isn't functioning properly and, well, that gets on my nerves so I fix it. If I can get everything running smoothly and efficiently, then I can come into the office, coast through my day, and go home a happy woman. The problem is, management has caught on to this trait of mine and, well, like the A student that gets pushed into advanced placement classes, I get pushed into all the messes (they never let me coast for too long).

I was recently "promoted" (and I use that word lightly) to something called "the government liaison." They said something like, "This is an important move for you, and it's an extremely important position to us. You're not only the department liaison to the engineers, but you are also our representative to the local governments. We need someone who communicates well and gets the job done and we believe you're the perfect person for the job. We already know you have a good rapport with the engineers, and we believe you'll be the one to help grow our relationships with the cities. This is an excellent opportunity for you in your development with the company, at least we see it that way and we hope you do too."

What they meant to say was, "The last agent screwed around on the internet all day and let everything go. Because of this, the inmates are now running the asylum. We need you to go in there and straighten them out. Thanks a lot. If you do a good job, we'll consider giving you a raise."

Anyway, I smiled and said thank you and passed off all my old work (that I spent the last year and a half coasting through)only to find myself in one of the biggest logistical messes I've run into yet. As if it isn't enough that I'm quite literally "working for the man" now, I have a mess on my hands that seemingly requires six more hands to get it done right. And the biggest problem, in situations like mine, is the multiple people that are involved: people that are set in their ways, people that believe their way is the right way, people that don't want change, people who are comfortable with their mess, and people who aren't used to working with someone like me.

I am, more often than not, the shoot from the hip woman. I will use proper grammar and I will be polite, but I refuse to beat around the bush. Because of this, I have, amongst some people, earned the reputation of being scary (which makes me laugh). I have never cussed anyone out in a professional setting, I have never lost my temper, I have never raised my voice to anyone. I have always stayed calm, cool, and collected (at least externally), and I have always been cordial and polite. But if I see something, I won't hesitate to say something. I call it like I see it and I do it that way to save time. We have a mess on our hands, people. We don't have time to play patty cake. We have a business to run and cities to improve, expand, and build. There's no time to bicker and there's no time to take anything I say personal. This isn't personal, it's business. You don't like the way this is running? You want it to work for you? Then stop crying and listen to me. (No joke about the crying part. I sent out a mass email once, during my last clean up mission, that apparently made a fifty year old man cry and, for the life of me, I can't figure out how or why he responded that way. All I did in that email was point out facts A through D and then explained how it was supposed to be. That individual's manager called me up and said, "There was nothing wrong with the email, Pandora. I think the guy got upset because your use of correct grammar is intimidating and I'm pretty sure he had to use the dictionary a few times.")

But this time, this mess I'm in, I have a manager from a different department fighting me tooth and nail. It's one thing when I have worker bees that want to resist change, it's another thing when the Queen Bee wants to resist change. Unfortunately for the Queen Bee, names and titles don't intimidate me. In a situation like this, I run on facts. And facts A through Z indicate to me that we have a problem here and, despite the title, Queen Bees don't really run the hive. So, like the good overachiever that I am, I went to the office on Saturday, gathered facts A through Z, wrote them up in prime Master Of English fashion, and fully intend on making a presentation that will help me turn this thing around. Will I have to apologize for using a four syllable word? Perhaps. But in my experience, once I fearlessly call it out, they never interfere with my "house keeping" again and a few months from now they will be singing my praises. Why? Because all people involved will come to work and coast between the hours of 8 and 5.

If I'm curt with you it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this. So, pretty please, with sugar on top... Clean the fucking car. -- The Wolf, Pulp Fiction