Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 4746389 times)

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15600 on: October 27, 2016, 08:54:58 AM »
I think some of the reluctance to do more menial tasks comes down to a longer-term view.  If you accept the menial tasks, more people will ask you to do them, and you'll be less available to handle more visible/high-priority/career-enhancing work.  And without the flashy stuff in your portfolio, you're less likely to get the next raise/promotion.

Torran

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15601 on: October 27, 2016, 09:22:50 AM »
On the females being expected to make coffee thing:

Me (female): "Hey co-worker, would you like a drink?" (I was going to the kitchen to make one for myself, it was understood we all offered each time we did).

Co-worker (male): "Yes please, I'll have a tea. After all, making tea is women's work!" [Chuckle].

I went and made myself a drink, returned to my desk.

Co-worker: "Hey, where's my drink?!"

Me: "Oh, you said that was women's work. So I didn't make you one. You see, I'm a lady".

This tale maybe only works in an English accent? Anyway, he got the message.

And I know I played into other class stereotypes, but seriously, he was so taken aback. He was slack-jawed speechless that I didn't make him a drink. The joke was a way to make it less confrontational. After all, he was just joking, right? Well, me too!

Oh this is fabulous. I'm gonna tuck this away for an opportune moment.

I'm female (maybe not obvious from my username) and the particular office i'm in is not rife with any sexist BS. At least not that I've come across. Sometimes I've be making coffee for a meeting of female senior managers and clients etc.
But if any guy tried to 'jokingly' make a 'joke' about tea/sandwiches/kitchens and where women 'belong' I would 100% make him a cup of fuck you. It's just, why? Why be that asshole?

Raging but also celebrating on your behalf for how you responded.

I like how delicately this was done, gets the point across without causing unnecessary conflict. If the co-worker complained further, he would be the one isolated, whereas unfortunately if theadvicist had started something, she would be the one looking bad.

I personally hate this shit and hate anyone thinks there automatically has to be gender roles. At a previous job I was bored one night and baked cookies, mostly because I wanted them. Since I had extras and knew that if I kept them they would be promptly consumed by me, I brought them into work. I can't tell you how many snide comments were said about how "women bake cookies," as if I was any less of a man for baking. Very few people said thank you, and as a result I stopped bringing them in. Each time I baked them, I would share them with my friends, people that would at least have the decency to show some appreciation.

Uuughhh people. What a load of total crap they talk. You have to have a certain number of x chromosomes to be allowed to bake cookies huh. My boyfriend bakes amazing cakes and cookies all the time and I 100% support this. Only for gender equality reasons obviously ;)

Your (ex) colleagues don't deserve cookies.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15602 on: October 27, 2016, 09:23:01 AM »
So my wife is decluttering and we have these nice candlesticks. We got them when my bro's ex was throwing them away. Checked on ebay to humor my wife and they retail for $3,000 new EACH. This just happened like 10 minutes ago. I'm still sitting here and can't grasp this. Someone spent $6,000 of two nice candlesticks and then threw them away.
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onlykelsey

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15603 on: October 27, 2016, 09:26:30 AM »

Uuughhh people. What a load of total crap they talk. You have to have a certain number of x chromosomes to be allowed to bake cookies huh. My boyfriend bakes amazing cakes and cookies all the time and I 100% support this. Only for gender equality reasons obviously ;)

Your (ex) colleagues don't deserve cookies.

My husband is the official sewer/mender.  I support it solely for gender equality reasons and not for the health of my fingerpads or general laziness.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15604 on: October 27, 2016, 09:33:45 AM »
Funny, this reminds me of when I was a highly paid summer associate (internship) at a law firm.  Now, I was never personally asked to get a partner coffee, but some other interns were and complained about it.  I'm like, hey guys, if they want to pay me $100/hour to get them coffee, that's fine by me.
Man, this sounds like me. I don't make anywhere near $100/hr, but I definitely have thought many times in my career "Hey, you want to pay me $X to hand out name tags? Cool!"
On Friday, a certain senior manager stopped by my cube while I was finishing up a draft of our weekly report. I told him that I could add the final piece of XYZ missing information to a report via a 5-minute phone call to my counterpart in the organization that produced that section.

My organization being what it is, people thinking the way they do, he decided it was better to stand over me while dictating a phone call to a higher-ranking guy in the same shop, then give up and drag us both to his office while they debated for half an hour over how to write... a single sentence.

FTR, I called the 30-min duration in my head, in advance - that is how predictably inefficient this guy is with time.

The single sentence, which I had already proposed in concept, and which really could not have ended up much differently than it did, was something along the lines of "we are awaiting a decision by (other agency) on this proposal." Because that's what was happening at the time, and nothing else. But, the more people you get involved in these things, the longer it takes.

Because these guys are both so much higher than I am in the chain, I knew in advance that I wouldn't really be part of the conversation. This could be really frustrating on some level, but I managed to take the same approach as above. At least I wasn't under the gun for any other deadlines, the chairs up there are comfy, and I was getting about forty bucks an hour to lean back in said chair and stay just awake enough to engage, if/when invited. No need to be mad, except as a taxpayer....
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 09:35:34 AM by zephyr911 »
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mlejw6

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15605 on: October 27, 2016, 10:09:00 AM »

Uuughhh people. What a load of total crap they talk. You have to have a certain number of x chromosomes to be allowed to bake cookies huh. My boyfriend bakes amazing cakes and cookies all the time and I 100% support this. Only for gender equality reasons obviously ;)

Your (ex) colleagues don't deserve cookies.

My husband is the official sewer/mender.  I support it solely for gender equality reasons and not for the health of my fingerpads or general laziness.

My husband is a brilliant chef, and does all our cooking. So much so that he took over the kitchen when we moved in together. But his baking is... less brilliant. He loves to experiment, which doesn't work as well as a baker. I've gotten him to refine his chocolate chip cookie recipe and his brownie recipe because those are important to me, but every once in a while he decides to experiment again. It rarely goes well.

I used to make great banana bread because I'd memorized my grandmother's recipe. Whenever he makes banana bread, it's crap.

I've stopped asking for banana bread. At least I still make the pies. I refuse to give him the chance to screw those up.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15606 on: October 27, 2016, 10:14:53 AM »
Meetings like your's Zephyr911 sometimes make me question whether what I was witnessing was reality b/c they are so absurd.

I attended a meeting with a couple dozen people once only to have it devolve into discussion about a few keywords and statements (basically editing the mission statement of the department).

This went on and on with the rest of us watching/listening until a few of us just stood up and left. Let the ~ three people (boss and two senior subordinates) most vested in this debate work it out - the rest of us have alot of work to do.

The amount of money that meeting cost indirectly (manhours, salaries) was incredible. For a mission statement level paragraph.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15607 on: October 27, 2016, 10:37:02 AM »

Funny, this reminds me of when I was a highly paid summer associate (internship) at a law firm.  Now, I was never personally asked to get a partner coffee, but some other interns were and complained about it.  I'm like, hey guys, if they want to pay me $100/hour to get them coffee, that's fine by me.

Man, this sounds like me. I don't make anywhere near $100/hr, but I definitely have thought many times in my career "Hey, you want to pay me $X to hand out name tags? Cool!"

My boyfriend used to do exam invigilating for the long ones like the LSAT, and I think he felt pretty similarly - he'd just bring a book with him. It paid a little over minimum wage, but it was on the weekend, and more than you make reading at home.
I feel like the more you make, the more you should be willing to do whatever is needed.  You should not ask the receptionist who makes minimum wage to handle the company's 401k.

Yep, couldn't agree more. It's outrageous when junior/inexperienced members of staff are casually asked to create a 'strategy' for a dept (I speak from experience here, not me, but colleagues) and then criticised because it's not 'right' or good enough. Gives me the rage.

But on the other hand, I've heard so many colleagues get very angry about being asked to make coffee for a meeting of senior management. I will happily do that job because it's freaking EASY and if they want to pay me x amount to go make people coffees, then uh yes I'm gonna be ok with that. People can be really snobby about it though (it's 'beneath' them).

I used to agree with the "well they are paying me X per hour to be a glorified secretary" until I went on vacation and came back to a STACK of unopened boxes, an old molded pizza on the breakroom counter, and a list on my desk of supplies we were out of.  They were all SO fucking lazy that they couldn't cut open the boxes that got delivered (that had office supplies in them), couldn't throw out their own ordered food, and couldn't email our office manager in GA to order crap they were out of.

I was a senior software engineer BTW.  It was simply the fact that I, the only woman in the office, routinely did the "bitch" tasks of cleaning up and ordering/organizing and every single one of them thought it was beneath them to do it while I was out.  I refused to do it after that and to say the break room went to shit is an understatement.

I can definitely relate. It all depends on the workplace.  When my startup was a startup, the CEO would routinely take out the trash on trash day.  We were expected to keep the place tidy, etc.

But then we grew to over 100 people. It comes with growing pains.  And then shrinking pains.  I do lots of things that are "beneath" me, but you know - I had to draw the line at Fed Ex.  I'm no better at it than anyone else, and it got old doing Fed Ex for 4-7 other people who "don't know how and only need the help once a month".  Part of it is that I watched a guy we hired...he didn't do his job at all.  Slacked off.  Took credit for everyone's work.  In meetings would talk loudly about things...he was usually wrong, but he was loudly wrong.  He would throw other people under the bus.  And then he'd expect me (and another woman) to do the tasks that he didn't want to do (documentation) because "he didn't know how".  Talk about savvy.  ONLY working on high profile projects, even if you are bad at them.  Yeah, he got promoted twice.

Doing the crap work gets you nowhere.  At least not here.

dividendman

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15608 on: October 27, 2016, 11:14:47 AM »
Keeping with the "doing the crap" theme:

I'm a fairly high ranking upper-middle management person at MegaCorp. I drink coffee when I get into work early in the morning, usually a cup or three. Since we're in software and I get in early, I'm usually the one making the first 2-3 jugs of coffee simultaneously. I don't mind doing it.

When I go for my second cup, and they're all empty, I am fairly annoyed and usually say, pretty loudly "Can't we be human beings? If you finish the coffee make some more!". Then I proceed to make more coffee.

Once I was making the second round of coffee and some person came in and goes "YOU'RE making coffee?" like someone of my rank can't make coffee. What the fuck? I just said "Uhh, yeah, it's not going to make itself."

Why do people think being a person isn't required at work?

If you make a mess, clean it up. If you finish something, get some more. Are people just stupid or something?

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15609 on: October 27, 2016, 11:22:48 AM »
I think some of the reluctance to do more menial tasks comes down to a longer-term view.  If you accept the menial tasks, more people will ask you to do them, and you'll be less available to handle more visible/high-priority/career-enhancing work.  And without the flashy stuff in your portfolio, you're less likely to get the next raise/promotion.

This is true if it legitimately takes away from your productive time or alters others perception of you.  But if you aren't doing anything productive at the moment, I think getting coffee makes you look like a team player. 


Another example from work is assistant use.  Some people will push anything and everything to their assistant, even if it doesn't save any time.  Some people will ask their assistant to print documents and bring it to their desk.  Now if you have a million files that need to be collated, tabbed, and bindered that makes sense.  But it takes me more time to attach a file to an email and send it to my assistant than to just print it out and grab it from the printer 20 feet away.  I can even get coffee for me and my neighbor on the way.  I'm not above printing, faxing, or anything else and certainly nobody ever refused to staff me on a project because "oh he's the guy who prints his own files!"

PMG

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15610 on: October 27, 2016, 11:36:12 AM »
You could hang passive aggressive notes on the coffeemaker.

Keeping with the "doing the crap" theme:

I'm a fairly high ranking upper-middle management person at MegaCorp. I drink coffee when I get into work early in the morning, usually a cup or three. Since we're in software and I get in early, I'm usually the one making the first 2-3 jugs of coffee simultaneously. I don't mind doing it.

When I go for my second cup, and they're all empty, I am fairly annoyed and usually say, pretty loudly "Can't we be human beings? If you finish the coffee make some more!". Then I proceed to make more coffee.

Once I was making the second round of coffee and some person came in and goes "YOU'RE making coffee?" like someone of my rank can't make coffee. What the fuck? I just said "Uhh, yeah, it's not going to make itself."

Why do people think being a person isn't required at work?

If you make a mess, clean it up. If you finish something, get some more. Are people just stupid or something?

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15611 on: October 27, 2016, 11:42:19 AM »
Meetings like your's Zephyr911 sometimes make me question whether what I was witnessing was reality b/c they are so absurd.

I attended a meeting with a couple dozen people once only to have it devolve into discussion about a few keywords and statements (basically editing the mission statement of the department).

This went on and on with the rest of us watching/listening until a few of us just stood up and left. Let the ~ three people (boss and two senior subordinates) most vested in this debate work it out - the rest of us have alot of work to do.

The amount of money that meeting cost indirectly (manhours, salaries) was incredible. For a mission statement level paragraph.

My director came running in all excited about 11:30 and spent 15 or 20 minutes explaining something that had to be done, then another 10 minutes making me come along and watch while he explained it to the guy who *actually had to do it*. I still can't figure out why I was involved there.

Even more bizarre, this was a complete rewrite of a set of products that we spent all of September, so they could be staffed and revised repeatedly for two weeks in October, and sat on for the next two weeks. But the new version needs to be done in two hours.* >.<

*Okay, okay, just the concept/shell... but seriously, the way things go from last to first priority around here (and vice versa) is insane.
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Dollar Slice

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15612 on: October 27, 2016, 11:49:23 AM »
Doing the crap work gets you nowhere.  At least not here.

I'm at a small company so it's not the crap work that I mind so much (we all take out our own trash, take the mail to the mailbox, etc.). It's more being given tons of highly skilled work that I don't know how to do with zero training or help. I once had a colleague get mad at me because I told them I couldn't do something they'd promised a client. They were asking me to do something that involved fairly advanced HTML coding and I had zero experience with HTML. I've had the accountant that the company hired get impatient with me because I didn't know what tax forms he was talking about - because I have zero experience with bookkeeping and business taxes. It's not reasonable to expect that your employee can and will do literally anything you drop on them, immediately and with no training. Sure, you can tell your HR manager to go code software instead, but it's a bad choice for everyone involved. I am really baffled by their expectations of me.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15613 on: October 27, 2016, 11:57:23 AM »

Uuughhh people. What a load of total crap they talk. You have to have a certain number of x chromosomes to be allowed to bake cookies huh. My boyfriend bakes amazing cakes and cookies all the time and I 100% support this. Only for gender equality reasons obviously ;)

Your (ex) colleagues don't deserve cookies.

My husband is the official sewer/mender.  I support it solely for gender equality reasons and not for the health of my fingerpads or general laziness.

My husband is a brilliant chef, and does all our cooking. So much so that he took over the kitchen when we moved in together. But his baking is... less brilliant. He loves to experiment, which doesn't work as well as a baker. I've gotten him to refine his chocolate chip cookie recipe and his brownie recipe because those are important to me, but every once in a while he decides to experiment again. It rarely goes well.

I used to make great banana bread because I'd memorized my grandmother's recipe. Whenever he makes banana bread, it's crap.

I've stopped asking for banana bread. At least I still make the pies. I refuse to give him the chance to screw those up.

This is 100% the reason I don't bake. Way too much precision required in the measurements - I want to eyeball everything and experiment.

I know my limitations.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15614 on: October 27, 2016, 12:04:11 PM »

Uuughhh people. What a load of total crap they talk. You have to have a certain number of x chromosomes to be allowed to bake cookies huh. My boyfriend bakes amazing cakes and cookies all the time and I 100% support this. Only for gender equality reasons obviously ;)

Your (ex) colleagues don't deserve cookies.

My husband is the official sewer/mender.  I support it solely for gender equality reasons and not for the health of my fingerpads or general laziness.

My husband is a brilliant chef, and does all our cooking. So much so that he took over the kitchen when we moved in together. But his baking is... less brilliant. He loves to experiment, which doesn't work as well as a baker. I've gotten him to refine his chocolate chip cookie recipe and his brownie recipe because those are important to me, but every once in a while he decides to experiment again. It rarely goes well.

I used to make great banana bread because I'd memorized my grandmother's recipe. Whenever he makes banana bread, it's crap.

I've stopped asking for banana bread. At least I still make the pies. I refuse to give him the chance to screw those up.

This is 100% the reason I don't bake. Way too much precision required in the measurements - I want to eyeball everything and experiment.

I know my limitations.

Yup! That's the mark of wisdom. I don't bake all that often, but when I do I generally enjoy it because it forces me to just follow the instructions to the tee. The only thing I've ever made that was remotely complex has been flan, which is difficult due to how long it takes to caramelize the sugar but otherwise is a cinch.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15615 on: October 27, 2016, 12:29:25 PM »
Keeping with the "doing the crap" theme:

I'm a fairly high ranking upper-middle management person at MegaCorp. I drink coffee when I get into work early in the morning, usually a cup or three. Since we're in software and I get in early, I'm usually the one making the first 2-3 jugs of coffee simultaneously. I don't mind doing it.

When I go for my second cup, and they're all empty, I am fairly annoyed and usually say, pretty loudly "Can't we be human beings? If you finish the coffee make some more!". Then I proceed to make more coffee.

Once I was making the second round of coffee and some person came in and goes "YOU'RE making coffee?" like someone of my rank can't make coffee. What the fuck? I just said "Uhh, yeah, it's not going to make itself."

Why do people think being a person isn't required at work?

If you make a mess, clean it up. If you finish something, get some more. Are people just stupid or something?

At my current office I actually haven't experienced this (I have one of those wonderful work environments where we tell each other to fuck off while laughing... because we're friends sort of thing, not because we're mean - it also means that there are no qualms of telling people to go out and buy the fucking milk when there is just one bag left).

However, at my old office, there was a lot of this "not being basic adults" and passive-agressive comments. People wouldn't clean up after themselves, put things away, etc. I'm convinced that these people just don't pick up after themselves at home until it becomes positively unliveable. So they don't pick up after themselves at work either, following the same pattern, but things magically become liveable again because someone else picks up after them.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15616 on: October 27, 2016, 12:32:04 PM »
This is 100% the reason I don't bake. Way too much precision required in the measurements - I want to eyeball everything and experiment.

I know my limitations.
This is us, to the tee! I cook virtually every meal, but I've never been much for baking. I like to shoot from the hip, kinda like you (and after this long, I hit the target 99% of the time).

DW makes awesome holiday desserts, and occasionally other things. Works for us.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15617 on: October 27, 2016, 12:44:44 PM »

This is 100% the reason I don't bake. Way too much precision required in the measurements - I want to eyeball everything and experiment.

I know my limitations.

LOL, I used to be that way.  Eyeball everything except when baking.  My DW showed me a different world.  She eyeballs everything to the point of literally just pouring ingredients into the bowl.  Her cakes and breads are fantastic.  I followed her example and now make bread with only rough measurements.  Works fine as long as the key ratios are followed.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15618 on: October 27, 2016, 12:48:07 PM »

This is 100% the reason I don't bake. Way too much precision required in the measurements - I want to eyeball everything and experiment.

I know my limitations.

LOL, I used to be that way.  Eyeball everything except when baking.  My DW showed me a different world.  She eyeballs everything to the point of literally just pouring ingredients into the bowl.  Her cakes and breads are fantastic.  I followed her example and now make bread with only rough measurements.  Works fine as long as the key ratios are followed.

But you kinda HAVE to do that with bread - like, how humid it is affects how humid the flour is affects how much water you need to get the right texture of dough, sometimes by as much as a cup of water difference from one recipe to another.

Cakes are tetchier... but cookies and brownies? Pfft. Eyeball.

No Name Guy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15619 on: October 27, 2016, 01:00:27 PM »
So my wife is decluttering and we have these nice candlesticks. We got them when my bro's ex was throwing them away. Checked on ebay to humor my wife and they retail for $3,000 new EACH. This just happened like 10 minutes ago. I'm still sitting here and can't grasp this. Someone spent $6,000 of two nice candlesticks and then threw them away.

Please tell me these were solid silver.........

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15620 on: October 27, 2016, 01:15:21 PM »

At some point I started refusing. At some point you can't just keep saying "Yes, boss!" You're supposed to have a job description - you have an agreement that you will take X money to do do Y job. Is it really OK to hire someone to be a print production manager and then tell them to do accounting and insurance instead?

I agree with the above posters -- barring illegal discrimination situations, yes it's OK to ask someone to do a different job.  This thread is making me think that if I ever run a business, every job posting will say "As an employee, you will be expected to complete any business task provided by management.  Your primary tasks will be XYZ."  If someone says "that's not in my job description," I'll pull the job posting out of my desk.  I guess I'd be a crappy manager.

Funny, this reminds me of when I was a highly paid summer associate (internship) at a law firm.  Now, I was never personally asked to get a partner coffee, but some other interns were and complained about it.  I'm like, hey guys, if they want to pay me $100/hour to get them coffee, that's fine by me.*

*I would understand if it was something like "make the girl get the coffee" but it wasn't like that.  More like "the adults are talking can this guy sitting here not doing anything grab some coffee?"

Something like the bolded above has been in every job description I've ever had. 

Dollar Slice, I hope you are paid by the hour!

Ah yes - there was one company I worked for that had a running joke "Other duties as assigned" was the wording they used.

Yes, that is the EXACT wording I have seen at some jobs.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15621 on: October 27, 2016, 01:25:55 PM »

Ah yes - there was one company I worked for that had a running joke "Other duties as assigned" was the wording they used.

Yes, that is the EXACT wording I have seen at some jobs.

That is usually my primary job description!

Making Cookies

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15622 on: October 27, 2016, 01:41:12 PM »
Meetings like your's Zephyr911 sometimes make me question whether what I was witnessing was reality b/c they are so absurd.

I attended a meeting with a couple dozen people once only to have it devolve into discussion about a few keywords and statements (basically editing the mission statement of the department).

This went on and on with the rest of us watching/listening until a few of us just stood up and left. Let the ~ three people (boss and two senior subordinates) most vested in this debate work it out - the rest of us have alot of work to do.

The amount of money that meeting cost indirectly (manhours, salaries) was incredible. For a mission statement level paragraph.

My director came running in all excited about 11:30 and spent 15 or 20 minutes explaining something that had to be done, then another 10 minutes making me come along and watch while he explained it to the guy who *actually had to do it*. I still can't figure out why I was involved there.

Even more bizarre, this was a complete rewrite of a set of products that we spent all of September, so they could be staffed and revised repeatedly for two weeks in October, and sat on for the next two weeks. But the new version needs to be done in two hours.* >.<

*Okay, okay, just the concept/shell... but seriously, the way things go from last to first priority around here (and vice versa) is insane.

I used to have a supervisor at another job that liked to make the last priority the first priority as he went out the door on Friday afternoon. Didn't take long to figure out he was doing it to be mean b/c it would upset a bunch of people's weekends b/c they would have to work overtime. Not a bad thing if you got overtime pay. He'd do that to me and then sit on the paperwork for weeks and then demand it be done again b/c the information contained was out of date. Again - a rush job.

Eventually he got demoted but they fired a good employee to make room for the bad supervisor. It was my signal to make preparations to leave.

mary w

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15623 on: October 27, 2016, 03:24:23 PM »
Okay, here's my coffee making story.  Sometimes you're good and something you're lucky.  This was luck.

In my first office job many years ago, I was the logical person to get stuck making coffee.  I was female.  I was by far the youngest person  and lowest paid person in the office (19 y.o. making just a bit more than minimum wage).  But I didn't drink coffee and had never made a pot.  Most importantly, I was too dumb, ah, innocent to realize anyone would think that I should make coffee.  Several people attempted to show me how the machine worked, however, I just shook my head and said I didn't drink coffee.   Luckily for me it was the 70s rather than the 60s so no one pushed the issue.

I'm still a tea drinker.

onlykelsey

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15624 on: October 27, 2016, 03:32:46 PM »
Okay, here's my coffee making story.  Sometimes you're good and something you're lucky.  This was luck.

In my first office job many years ago, I was the logical person to get stuck making coffee.  I was female.  I was by far the youngest person  and lowest paid person in the office (19 y.o. making just a bit more than minimum wage).  But I didn't drink coffee and had never made a pot.  Most importantly, I was too dumb, ah, innocent to realize anyone would think that I should make coffee.  Several people attempted to show me how the machine worked, however, I just shook my head and said I didn't drink coffee.   Luckily for me it was the 70s rather than the 60s so no one pushed the issue.

I'm still a tea drinker.

That is amazing.

Goldielocks

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15625 on: October 27, 2016, 04:34:09 PM »

Ah yes - there was one company I worked for that had a running joke "Other duties as assigned" was the wording they used.

Yes, that is the EXACT wording I have seen at some jobs.

That is usually my primary job description!

Mine too.  I am in management.

Yep, I make coffee, book my own travel, shovel snow off the sidewalk, load my dishes in the dishwasher (not always, but as needed).

Why?   I follow the servant leader approach that the people that actually make you the money (the workers) need to work, and the rest of us get out of their way and make it easier and safer for them.   Also, you know, basic adulting through example.

it is funny because I have peers that truly believe that if you don't set yourself above the employees, then you will have no power at the workplace.   That you extinguish your usefulness if you do not maintain that image / power.

Travis

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15626 on: October 27, 2016, 04:51:45 PM »
Meetings like your's Zephyr911 sometimes make me question whether what I was witnessing was reality b/c they are so absurd.

I attended a meeting with a couple dozen people once only to have it devolve into discussion about a few keywords and statements (basically editing the mission statement of the department).

This went on and on with the rest of us watching/listening until a few of us just stood up and left. Let the ~ three people (boss and two senior subordinates) most vested in this debate work it out - the rest of us have alot of work to do.

The amount of money that meeting cost indirectly (manhours, salaries) was incredible. For a mission statement level paragraph.

My director came running in all excited about 11:30 and spent 15 or 20 minutes explaining something that had to be done, then another 10 minutes making me come along and watch while he explained it to the guy who *actually had to do it*. I still can't figure out why I was involved there.

Even more bizarre, this was a complete rewrite of a set of products that we spent all of September, so they could be staffed and revised repeatedly for two weeks in October, and sat on for the next two weeks. But the new version needs to be done in two hours.* >.<

*Okay, okay, just the concept/shell... but seriously, the way things go from last to first priority around here (and vice versa) is insane.

I spend anywhere from 11-15 hours of my work week in meetings.  Yesterday one of my higher headquarters decided to hold a video teleconference where we on the receiving end were supposed to receive a project update.  That part of the meeting took about 10 minutes, and the next 40 were spent with the six folks hosting the meeting talking amongst themselves brainstorming while the rest of us sat there scratching our heads.  Their sound system wasn't all that great so I could barely hear them at all.  After 5-10 minutes of us watching this conversation, the guy hosting the meeting would turn to the camera and ask "do you have any questions about that?"  Seriously?  Even if I could hear you clearly I couldn't identify a specific topic you were covering for me to answer that question. 

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15627 on: October 27, 2016, 05:58:31 PM »
Quote from: zephyr911 link=topic=2540.msg1280766#msg1280766
On Friday, a certain senior manager stopped by my cube while I was finishing up a draft of our weekly report. I told him that I could add the final piece of XYZ missing information to a report via a 5-minute phone call to my counterpart in the organization that produced that section.

My organization being what it is, people thinking the way they do, he decided it was better to stand over me while dictating a phone call to a higher-ranking guy in the same shop, then give up and drag us both to his office while they debated for half an hour over how to write... a single sentence.

FTR, I called the 30-min duration in my head, in advance - that is how predictably inefficient this guy is with time.

The single sentence, which I had already proposed in concept, and which really could not have ended up much differently than it did, was something along the lines of "we are awaiting a decision by (other agency) on this proposal." Because that's what was happening at the time, and nothing else. But, the more people you get involved in these things, the longer it takes.

Because these guys are both so much higher than I am in the chain, I knew in advance that I wouldn't really be part of the conversation. This could be really frustrating on some level, but I managed to take the same approach as above. At least I wasn't under the gun for any other deadlines, the chairs up there are comfy, and I was getting about forty bucks an hour to lean back in said chair and stay just awake enough to engage, if/when invited. No need to be mad, except as a taxpayer....

In my last job, we needed information from another department for a weekly report.

It could have been emailed instantly.

Instead, my boss, who had inefficiency down to an art form, would take a pen and notebook to another floor, sit down with the PA of the manager whose info we required, have them recite it aloud, write it down, come back to our floor, summon me and another colleague to a meeting, and recite the information with the expectation that we would write it down. Then he would ask me (the only woman) to type it up for the office.

This was not decades ago, it was earlier this year.

I (barely) tolerated this twice. His fragile ego would never permit him to listen to my suggestions, so I went around him to the PA and arranged for her to email me the info each week.

That freed up a couple of hours a week for him to smoke, get coffee and monologue.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2016, 08:16:15 PM by mustachepungoeshere »

dcamnc

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15628 on: October 27, 2016, 06:20:54 PM »
It's health benefits open enrollment at my workplace. One of my employees greatly dislikes tech, can hardly use a standard computer at all. I offered to help set him up, online. He gets hung up on the login screen with his username and password. He quits the whole process, just because he won't call the 1-800 number to reset his credentials. By not doing five minutes work, he is having to pay an extra $40 a month for health insurance. Astounding.

kimmarg

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15629 on: October 27, 2016, 06:35:58 PM »

This is 100% the reason I don't bake. Way too much precision required in the measurements - I want to eyeball everything and experiment.

I know my limitations.

I don't understand this. I eyeball anything and everything when I bake and it usually turns out fine. I think the key is experience so you have a good idea what the 'right amount' is. I do fine making up bread, muffins, pancakes, basic cookies. It's all in knowing what ingredients do what. Like molasses always needs baking soda to balance the acid....

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15630 on: October 27, 2016, 10:53:43 PM »
I'm convinced that these people just don't pick up after themselves at home until it becomes positively unliveable. So they don't pick up after themselves at work either, following the same pattern, but things magically become liveable again because someone else picks up after them.

Maybe they have one of those magic coffee tables: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1_QTm-wpsY

book my own travel

Oh man, the travel.  If I book it myself, I go online, login (all information prefilled) pick the flights, pay, and I'm done.  If I ask my assistant:

Hey can you book a flight to this place on this day?
Sure, give me your ID info
Here it is
You want to fly out of this airport or this airport?
This one
Ok, do you want to leave at x y z times?
Uh, y.
And come back at l m n o p?
Make it p.
You want me to shoot you in the head or you want to do it yourself?
Myself please

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15631 on: October 27, 2016, 11:57:56 PM »
I'm convinced that these people just don't pick up after themselves at home until it becomes positively unliveable. So they don't pick up after themselves at work either, following the same pattern, but things magically become liveable again because someone else picks up after them.

Yes!

My boss (mentioned above) would leave used coffee cups all over the office. Not just his desk, but reception, the board room, etc.

I used to wonder what his house was like. Then one day he said, "Don't come too close - there were no dry towels in my house this morning."

ಠ_ಠ

LeRainDrop

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15632 on: October 28, 2016, 12:36:36 AM »
book my own travel

Oh man, the travel.  If I book it myself, I go online, login (all information prefilled) pick the flights, pay, and I'm done.  If I ask my assistant: . . . .

+1  So true!  Plus, the back and forth with the assistant typically gets spread out over several hours, if not an entire day.  One time my assistant booked me an ~$800 non-refundable flight and then the next day re-booked me a second non-refundable seat on that same flight.  She somehow didn't realize she did that.  When I happened to look at my upcoming trips on the airline's website, I saw the double-booking.  Another time, she didn't book the flight that day I asked her to, and the price went up substantially the next day.  I only experimented with going through my assistant because partners had encouraged it.  After those couple things, I easily justified to the partners why I should just do it myself.

WerKater

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15633 on: October 28, 2016, 01:03:51 AM »
I'm convinced that these people just don't pick up after themselves at home until it becomes positively unliveable. So they don't pick up after themselves at work either, following the same pattern, but things magically become liveable again because someone else picks up after them.

Yes!

My boss (mentioned above) would leave used coffee cups all over the office. Not just his desk, but reception, the board room, etc.

I used to wonder what his house was like. Then one day he said, "Don't come too close - there were no dry towels in my house this morning."

ಠ_ಠ
Your boss sounds like a particularly extreme example.

However, be aware that people can have legitimately differing standards of cleanliness. This is not a comment on the specific situation, but just because someone's standard is different from yours does not mean that they are unreasonable.
I am often on the other side of this issue. At home, I do in fact leave all kinds of things around the flat, because it simply does not bother me very much. At some point it does become too much and then I clean it up.

I act somewhat differently at work, because much of it is a shared space (but I maintain that my desk is my and only my business).
However, this can be difficult because I have some colleagues whose idea of cleanliness borders on the insane, in my opinion. Like making a huge deal out of an "improperly folded" milk carton in the trash. Or the case where someone sent an office-wide email complaining about the "filth" in the kitchen. It took some time to figure out what she actually meant -- the kitchen looked fine to me. It turned out to be three (yes, I counted) grains of rice in the sink.

So what's the takeaway from this rant?
- If you want someone to behave in a certain way (be it cleaning up or making coffee or whatever), tell them. Specifically. Everything else is just inefficient communication.
- Don't assume that someone whose cleanliness standard differs from yours is living in "unliveable" conditions at home because they don't have you cleaning up after them. Probably, they really just have a different standard and are doing just fine.

theadvicist

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15634 on: October 28, 2016, 02:22:01 AM »
Yes, telling them specifically is key.

I used to work in an office where the rule was, "The kitchen must be kept tidy". I was like... that's the goal. The rule needs to be: "You use something, you wash it up".

Because 'tidy' means different things to different people. To some people it implies clean, to some it just means stuff put away. Be specific.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15635 on: October 28, 2016, 03:08:00 AM »
Yes, telling them specifically is key.

I used to work in an office where the rule was, "The kitchen must be kept tidy". I was like... that's the goal. The rule needs to be: "You use something, you wash it up".

Because 'tidy' means different things to different people. To some people it implies clean, to some it just means stuff put away. Be specific.

"wash" means different things to different people too.  Just ask my dad

theadvicist

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15636 on: October 28, 2016, 03:13:37 AM »

"wash" means different things to different people too.  Just ask my dad

LOL

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15637 on: October 28, 2016, 03:16:49 AM »
I'm convinced that these people just don't pick up after themselves at home until it becomes positively unliveable. So they don't pick up after themselves at work either, following the same pattern, but things magically become liveable again because someone else picks up after them.

Yes!

My boss (mentioned above) would leave used coffee cups all over the office. Not just his desk, but reception, the board room, etc.

I used to wonder what his house was like. Then one day he said, "Don't come too close - there were no dry towels in my house this morning."

ಠ_ಠ
Your boss sounds like a particularly extreme example.

However, be aware that people can have legitimately differing standards of cleanliness. This is not a comment on the specific situation, but just because someone's standard is different from yours does not mean that they are unreasonable.
I am often on the other side of this issue. At home, I do in fact leave all kinds of things around the flat, because it simply does not bother me very much. At some point it does become too much and then I clean it up.

I act somewhat differently at work, because much of it is a shared space (but I maintain that my desk is my and only my business).
However, this can be difficult because I have some colleagues whose idea of cleanliness borders on the insane, in my opinion. Like making a huge deal out of an "improperly folded" milk carton in the trash. Or the case where someone sent an office-wide email complaining about the "filth" in the kitchen. It took some time to figure out what she actually meant -- the kitchen looked fine to me. It turned out to be three (yes, I counted) grains of rice in the sink.

So what's the takeaway from this rant?
- If you want someone to behave in a certain way (be it cleaning up or making coffee or whatever), tell them. Specifically. Everything else is just inefficient communication.
- Don't assume that someone whose cleanliness standard differs from yours is living in "unliveable" conditions at home because they don't have you cleaning up after them. Probably, they really just have a different standard and are doing just fine.

I understand people have different standards of cleanliness. It didn't exactly keep me awake at night.

But if a colleague hasn't showered, I don't need to be informed.

Torran

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15638 on: October 28, 2016, 03:58:22 AM »

Ah yes - there was one company I worked for that had a running joke "Other duties as assigned" was the wording they used.

Yes, that is the EXACT wording I have seen at some jobs.

That is usually my primary job description!

Mine too.  I am in management.

Yep, I make coffee, book my own travel, shovel snow off the sidewalk, load my dishes in the dishwasher (not always, but as needed).

Why?   I follow the servant leader approach that the people that actually make you the money (the workers) need to work, and the rest of us get out of their way and make it easier and safer for them.   Also, you know, basic adulting through example.

it is funny because I have peers that truly believe that if you don't set yourself above the employees, then you will have no power at the workplace.   That you extinguish your usefulness if you do not maintain that image / power.

Y'know, I'm just so happy to read this, because you sound like a phenomenal manager. 'Basic adulting through example' indeed!!!

I have worked with a few people who seemed to think they had to distinguish themselves from those 'below' them by maintaining a certain image of management. Like, never ever being the one who makes coffee, but always being the one who uses the word synergy in a meeting :) haha. Never getting on friendly terms with anyone 'below' them on the organisational chart. WTF, just be a human being, y'know. Be a leader. Not a douchebag.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15639 on: October 28, 2016, 07:41:39 AM »
I'm convinced that these people just don't pick up after themselves at home until it becomes positively unliveable. So they don't pick up after themselves at work either, following the same pattern, but things magically become liveable again because someone else picks up after them.

Yes!

My boss (mentioned above) would leave used coffee cups all over the office. Not just his desk, but reception, the board room, etc.

I used to wonder what his house was like. Then one day he said, "Don't come too close - there were no dry towels in my house this morning."

ಠ_ಠ
Your boss sounds like a particularly extreme example.

However, be aware that people can have legitimately differing standards of cleanliness. This is not a comment on the specific situation, but just because someone's standard is different from yours does not mean that they are unreasonable.
I am often on the other side of this issue. At home, I do in fact leave all kinds of things around the flat, because it simply does not bother me very much. At some point it does become too much and then I clean it up.

I act somewhat differently at work, because much of it is a shared space (but I maintain that my desk is my and only my business).
However, this can be difficult because I have some colleagues whose idea of cleanliness borders on the insane, in my opinion. Like making a huge deal out of an "improperly folded" milk carton in the trash. Or the case where someone sent an office-wide email complaining about the "filth" in the kitchen. It took some time to figure out what she actually meant -- the kitchen looked fine to me. It turned out to be three (yes, I counted) grains of rice in the sink.

So what's the takeaway from this rant?
- If you want someone to behave in a certain way (be it cleaning up or making coffee or whatever), tell them. Specifically. Everything else is just inefficient communication.
- Don't assume that someone whose cleanliness standard differs from yours is living in "unliveable" conditions at home because they don't have you cleaning up after them. Probably, they really just have a different standard and are doing just fine.

I understand people have different standards of cleanliness. It didn't exactly keep me awake at night.

But if a colleague hasn't showered, I don't need to be informed.

You make a good point in terms of differing opinions of "liveable". And I realize that I'm difficult in that respect. Which is also why I bring my own utensils, coffee cups, and glasses from home, so that I don't huff and puff when something isn't clean in the office. It's also why I chose to live alone most of my adult life, so that my OCD doesn't affect someone else's needs for being chill and leaving stuff lying around in their own home.

I seem to have found a good middle-ground with the people in my life: I tornado-around by myself like a crazy woman when something isn't clean to my liking, and they simply stay out of my way DON'T mention how ridiculous I'm being when I put my spice-rack in alphabetical order. Everybody wins.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15640 on: October 28, 2016, 11:39:11 AM »
I seem to have found a good middle-ground with the people in my life: I tornado-around by myself like a crazy woman when something isn't clean to my liking, and they simply stay out of my way DON'T mention how ridiculous I'm being when I put my spice-rack in alphabetical order. Everybody wins.
Oh, do you have the CDO too?
I am not a cog. I am an organizational lubricant.

infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15641 on: October 28, 2016, 11:40:06 AM »
You could hang passive aggressive notes on the coffeemaker.

Passive-aggressive break room notes and Jazz are the two distinctively American arts.

Miss Piggy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15642 on: October 28, 2016, 11:41:43 AM »
You could hang passive aggressive notes on the coffeemaker.

Passive-aggressive break room notes and Jazz are the two distinctively American arts.

The break room notes are more entertaining.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15643 on: October 28, 2016, 11:46:34 AM »
You could hang passive aggressive notes on the coffeemaker.

Passive-aggressive break room notes and Jazz are the two distinctively American arts.

The break room notes are more entertaining.

*obligatory glaring and harumphing from a jazz fan*
...it's not at all alarming that people have started quoting me in their siggy lines.

DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15644 on: October 28, 2016, 12:31:13 PM »
"I can't work less hours. Having children is sooo expensive" - coming from a colleague of mine who just came back from a 3-week-holiday with their kids (both toddler-age) from Europe to the US traveling around in an RV. It was a great holiday for the parents, but don't blame the kids for your holiday choices...

bebegirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15645 on: October 28, 2016, 04:31:07 PM »

Oh man, the travel.  If I book it myself, I go online, login (all information prefilled) pick the flights, pay, and I'm done.  If I ask my assistant:

Hey can you book a flight to this place on this day?
Sure, give me your ID info
Here it is
You want to fly out of this airport or this airport?
This one
Ok, do you want to leave at x y z times?
Uh, y.
And come back at l m n o p?
Make it p.
You want me to shoot you in the head or you want to do it yourself?
Myself please

Oh travel booking! Here is an example for you from administrative assistant side! ))

There are such managers who (by plain matter of coincidence, I guess) constantly change already arranged bookings and make them so complicated that it hurts!

So he asked me to book a trip for example to Chicago. And then from Chicago I booked to Boston with hotels etc. Then Boston meeting either cancelled or something else has happened and I needed to cancel and instead book trip to New York. With hotels.
I book and then something else happens and I need to cancel and find him tickets back home  from airport that is not Kennedy airport but LaGuardia  exactly on Friday for him to be back with his kids for the weekend!

Then I am left with some airline credits over $800 that I need to use against future bookings and not forget about it. But the trick is that you can not use credit if airfare is below that credit. Geez, what a pain!

The person travels a lot (does a great job though) and every single booking is like that. I just crack my brain and become nervous every time he approaches with travel request. LOL

OptimizeOptimism

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15646 on: October 28, 2016, 04:48:08 PM »

Oh man, the travel.  If I book it myself, I go online, login (all information prefilled) pick the flights, pay, and I'm done.  If I ask my assistant:

Hey can you book a flight to this place on this day?
Sure, give me your ID info
Here it is
You want to fly out of this airport or this airport?
This one
Ok, do you want to leave at x y z times?
Uh, y.
And come back at l m n o p?
Make it p.
You want me to shoot you in the head or you want to do it yourself?
Myself please

Oh travel booking! Here is an example for you from administrative assistant side! ))

There are such managers who (by plain matter of coincidence, I guess) constantly change already arranged bookings and make them so complicated that it hurts!

So he asked me to book a trip for example to Chicago. And then from Chicago I booked to Boston with hotels etc. Then Boston meeting either cancelled or something else has happened and I needed to cancel and instead book trip to New York. With hotels.
I book and then something else happens and I need to cancel and find him tickets back home  from airport that is not Kennedy airport but LaGuardia  exactly on Friday for him to be back with his kids for the weekend!

Then I am left with some airline credits over $800 that I need to use against future bookings and not forget about it. But the trick is that you can not use credit if airfare is below that credit. Geez, what a pain!

The person travels a lot (does a great job though) and every single booking is like that. I just crack my brain and become nervous every time he approaches with travel request. LOL

I travel for work a lot. This is a very familiar process to me. The difference is that I make all my own travel arrangements through our company's booking system. I would KILL for someone like you to be doing all that for me. I would bring you your favorite baked good every time I was actually home and get you THE BEST Christmas presents.

bebegirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15647 on: October 28, 2016, 05:08:09 PM »

Oh man, the travel.  If I book it myself, I go online, login (all information prefilled) pick the flights, pay, and I'm done.  If I ask my assistant:

Hey can you book a flight to this place on this day?
Sure, give me your ID info
Here it is
You want to fly out of this airport or this airport?
This one
Ok, do you want to leave at x y z times?
Uh, y.
And come back at l m n o p?
Make it p.
You want me to shoot you in the head or you want to do it yourself?
Myself please

Oh travel booking! Here is an example for you from administrative assistant side! ))

There are such managers who (by plain matter of coincidence, I guess) constantly change already arranged bookings and make them so complicated that it hurts!

So he asked me to book a trip for example to Chicago. And then from Chicago I booked to Boston with hotels etc. Then Boston meeting either cancelled or something else has happened and I needed to cancel and instead book trip to New York. With hotels.
I book and then something else happens and I need to cancel and find him tickets back home  from airport that is not Kennedy airport but LaGuardia  exactly on Friday for him to be back with his kids for the weekend!

Then I am left with some airline credits over $800 that I need to use against future bookings and not forget about it. But the trick is that you can not use credit if airfare is below that credit. Geez, what a pain!

The person travels a lot (does a great job though) and every single booking is like that. I just crack my brain and become nervous every time he approaches with travel request. LOL

I travel for work a lot. This is a very familiar process to me. The difference is that I make all my own travel arrangements through our company's booking system. I would KILL for someone like you to be doing all that for me. I would bring you your favorite baked good every time I was actually home and get you THE BEST Christmas presents.

Oh my goodness! How sweet! ))
To be objective, people treat me here very well. This particular manager is very apologetic every time this happens (and this happens every single time).
But boy, it is complicated and takes a lot of time and I do not complain and do not make mistakes ))

With This Herring

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15648 on: October 29, 2016, 10:31:55 AM »
*snip*

I seem to have found a good middle-ground with the people in my life: I tornado-around by myself like a crazy woman when something isn't clean to my liking, and they simply stay out of my way DON'T mention how ridiculous I'm being when I put my spice-rack in alphabetical order. Everybody wins.

Wait, there are people who don't alphabetize their spices besides my mother?  How do they not end up with duplicates?  The best thing about this apartment is the long, narrow shelf around one side of the kitchen that lets me have all spices in order and in view.  I discovered that I had three bottles of crushed red pepper and two of a bunch of other spices.
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horsepoor

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #15649 on: October 29, 2016, 10:44:04 PM »
*snip*

I seem to have found a good middle-ground with the people in my life: I tornado-around by myself like a crazy woman when something isn't clean to my liking, and they simply stay out of my way DON'T mention how ridiculous I'm being when I put my spice-rack in alphabetical order. Everybody wins.

Wait, there are people who don't alphabetize their spices besides my mother?  How do they not end up with duplicates?  The best thing about this apartment is the long, narrow shelf around one side of the kitchen that lets me have all spices in order and in view.  I discovered that I had three bottles of crushed red pepper and two of a bunch of other spices.

My spice system goes by frequency of use.  I buy bulk spices, so I just refill the jars and thus don't end up with duplicates.  The dozen that get used most frequently like oregano and cumin are on a little stairstep thing on the bottom shelf.  The stuff that is used less frequently is in two baskets:  savory and baking ingredients.  So if I'm baking, I can grab the basket with the nutmeg, cinnamon, etc., or if I'm making Indian food I grab the other basket and have all that stuff on hand.  This way I'm also not mixing different sizes and shapes of containers arbitrarily.  I actually don't think I've ever seen alphabetized spices outside of the grocery store...