update!

Apr. 26th, 2009 06:00 pm
spiffikins: (daisy)
[personal profile] spiffikins





What type of Fae are you?



Have realized that I am Stressed with a capital "S" - have been feeling overwhelmed and panicky the last month or so, and this week, what with having a coding project (which I enjoy) on top of the million things that went wrong (nothing unusual) it all came to a head and I realized (again) that I'm in an impossible situation in my job.
The company expects me to handle all the stuff nobody else can do/wants to do, and doesn't give me any ability to get problems solved or to escalate things - what do you do when you escalate a customer problem to the CEO and it doesn't get resolved? And the customer continues to call you and complain (rightly) about the problem? And it's your largest and oldest customer?

I've been given advice to literally tell the customer "I've escalated your problem to the CEO and you should direct further phone calls on this matter directly to him". But it doesn't feel right to air our company's dirty laundry and internal issues to customers. I've done it before - although not quite so blatantly - I've suggested to this customer and to another that the "squeaky wheel" gets attention and that a direct call to my manager (the VP of Operations) or the CEO wouldn't go amiss. But it's tricky.

Well-meaning friends tell me not to care so much - to distance myself and just put in my 9-5 and go home. That's not my personality - I get that from my mom, in that I've never figured out how to *not* put forth my best effort in something - I actually envied some people I knew in university who had figured out exactly how much effort they needed to expend to get the grades they were happy with - whereas I was just attacking every class with full on effort. I got better grades, but they got good ones, and put out much less effort.

This weekend I *really* wanted to get away from work and do completely different stuff. I had to move all my files off the old drive - I got an external enclosure for the desktop drive, since my video card died and the one from work didn't match the slot I have in my computer.

But of course, at 3:30am Saturday morning, I get paged - one of the servers was down - turns out it appears that the network card died - I could get in for about 10-20 seconds at a time, and managed to see the log files. We tried rebooting and using the other ethernet port, but neither of the network interfaces was available to the o/s - and without network access, it's a giant 50lb pizza box paperweight.

By 4:30am we had determined we couldn't get it back up, and my boss was online so I talked to him on MSN for a bit. He agreed (again) that we need to find a better solution for our ASP hosting. All the hardware is going on 4 years old and this kind of thing is going to start happening more often. And I am not a hardware person, nor do I wish to be. I mentioned that this was extremely bad timing, given my mental state and need for distance from work-related things right now. He indicated he would be in the office Monday and we should probably talk.

What to say? He likes to focus on immediate problems that he can solve. My problem is that there is an underlying way of running the business that causes these problems over and over again. I'm overwhelmed, I cannot get anyone to take ownership of problems that I cannot fix - and therefore I cannot get them fixed, yet I'm in the middle between the customer and management. My personality is such that I can't help but see all the things that need doing, and then I see that nobody else is doing them, and so I kill myself trying to get them done - and the company takes advantage of this. But I'm burnt out and can't do it any more.



I did manage to move all my files off my desktop drive and onto the TERABYTE external drive that I bought - sooo much room!! I cleaned up all the wires and plugs and organized them into some sort of order although it never lasts. I have to get rid of the desktop carcass - I keep hearing about "green spot" recycling centers so I'll need to look that up.

Went to the store today and picked up some more plants - every few years I get into a mood where I want plants around - bought some bigger pots and some soil and repotted them all - so now I have 5 eight-inch pots with some nice sized plants, and 4 six-inch pots with some smallers ones. I've put them all on the windowsills of my bedroom window and we'll see how that works. It's light in my room, but only the window really gets direct light in the afternoon. Looking at the plants, makes me happy - I hope I can keep them alive :)

Even though I'm swamped at work, I offered minions the option of doing a training class on SQL - they both jumped at it eagerly, so we're starting on Monday at 11am - we'll try to do 30-45 minutes of basic SQL - I find this quite hilarious, because I'm not sure how I became qualified to teach, but I know more than they do, so it's a place to start :)


New roommate has moved in, and there is a mountain of Stuff in the living room - I laughingly asked if she felt this was all going to fit in the kitchen, cuz kitchen? Not so large. She said no, she had to get rid of a lot of it - she just ran out of time before she had to move out of the other place. Should be interesting.

Met her son - he's 41, working in a telemarketing job, but was *VERY* quick to tell me all about how in the dot.com boom he was making $65 an hour building web pages and video games all with no training and just a GED - but that was 10 years ago, and he's been out of it for so long, his knowledge is not longer relevant and so he's doomed. Definitely struck me as one of those people who talk quickly and interrupt you to say "yeah, yeah, I know all about that..." - the kind of person that knows a little bit about some stuff, and leverages that to sound important about everything technical. But, he's going to get her a wireless card and set up her computer, so it won't be something *I* need to do. Since *she* was trying to tell my landlord that we didn't need a phone line, because we have *wireless* internet...landlord is like "which comes from DSL, attached to the *phone* line..." and housemate is like "nooo it's wireless".

Okay....



I need to start looking for flights for June - I'm going home for a few days to visit my mom. My brother is going home next week, and my uncle is visiting at the end of May some time. My mom asked me, very tentatively, "when were you planning on coming out?" When I said June, she was all "oh thank god". I guess she was concerned about having visitors *all* of May but didn't want to say "no don't come home" :)







Despite having to spend 7 hours yesterday working on stupid dead server and recovering, I did get some time off today, and feel slightly better than I did on Friday.

Date: 2009-04-27 03:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saminz.livejournal.com
I feel like I rather understand you situation there, job-wise....

These well-meaning people are right, you know. Either that, or burn out eventually. Hinting, complaining, nagging - nothing will make this better. Not if you go and do it in the end, most of the time.

I have no idea what to do about it, sadly. I ran away - but of course, I basically hated it all, while you seem to rather like it at times, right?

Maybe you could find someone to share with you? Of course, that would mean less money, and you would probably have to find and test the person yourself and still have most of the responsibility. But at least they could take some of the workload from you.
It seems that you got plenty more of a 100% schedule there. Maybe you could do a time-table for a while where you record what you did every day, how long it took, who demanded it and what else should have been done at the same time..?

Wish you luck - with that housemate, too :-)!

Date: 2009-04-28 04:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spiffikins.livejournal.com
We have tried in the past to hire people to help take some of the burden off - the problem is that the job is 25% of each of a number or really rather different jobs - and until management is willing to hire a full time person for each of those positions, we haven't been able to find anyone qualified and willing to do some of each of the different jobs.

When we were doing my permanent resident application, part of the process was to advertise my job and interview applicants, the theory being in order to find an American to do my job so that they didn't have to hire a foreigner (me).

I was so excited, because if we *found* someone, we were going to hire them in *addition* to me, because we actually needed two of me. But not a single person was qualified and very few people actually applied.

My job is weird :)

Date: 2009-04-28 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saminz.livejournal.com
...and you are probably very, very good at it, right?

Can be a real curse, that.
On the other hand: Makes you safer than most of us, at the moment.

I really have no idea what to tell you. I guess it's either overworked or unemployed, these days :-(.

Date: 2009-04-27 06:08 pm (UTC)

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