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The Let's Bitch About Work Thread!


Iceheart
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The realtor lady who let me go back in January has been living her best life all over social media, and frankly, it irritates the fuck out of me. She let me go with the excuse that she screwed up and couldn't afford me. Since then, she's been on like 4 major vacation trips and over a dozen smaller trips all over the country. 

And apparently now her new "company" is doing all of the things I kept trying to get her to start doing in the 6 months I worked for her! Just...ugh. 

I mean, good for her and all that, but wow. 

The new guy I work for has his own annoying tendencies as well, but they're fairly manageable. My biggest issue is getting him to stop doing the things he's asked me to do. He'll literally be like "can you reach out to X today and ask about Y?" and then 15 minutes later email X and ask Y. 

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I hate to say it, but sounds like she used you as a short-term consultant instead of long-term as you thought. Not necessarily a bad thing, just if you do it again, you need to change your business model. You can do a 6 month contract if they want you to stay on longer to implement, or you can give them the plan and they implement themselves for a one-time (expensive) fee. Either way, up your rates.

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One is unfortunately a good work friend who is struggling to stay relevant after going fully remote. He at least doesn't talk over me, but in a recent meeting (where I tried to give him and another guy lots of kudos realizing that I was the project lead and wanted to not hog all the credit) he basically repeated what I said and the last line on my pitch. Like, ok? I was actually a little embarrassed for him because I thought it looked desperate. For years he and I have worked in a similar specialty but he had more education, so he had the edge. However I've always had more leadership skills and less stage fright, and I've started to break into a new area, so I think he's worried that now I have the edge.

The other one is the asshole who got the role I wanted for years handed to him on a silver platter when he showed up because he is good friends with an influential manager. He has started to get credit for lots of my ideas. Fortunately my manager sees right through it and has started to document and correct other people's mistaken assumptions about who had what idea and when. My manager told me that behind closed doors he will take all the credit, but when I walk into a meeting suddenly it's OUR project. The guy is out for a medical issue the rest of the week. Time to shine, porcupine.

Fortunately, the last guy is very popular amongst a couple managers, but has managed to piss off everyone else who has to work with him. Honestly, the worst thing about him is that he just won't shut up. Ever. He was on vacation for 2 weeks and we got so much work done because he wasn't constantly interrupting the process with his pontificating. 

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Today's hostile work environment is brought to you by assigned seats. With the return to office, we had to sort out seating arrangements. Our team decided to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays for collaboration days, so we had to sign up for desks. Our manager assigned the seats. I have been sitting in this desk for the last few weeks. My name is literally on the desk. Today I get here and a guy is sitting in my desk, but he was away so I waited for him to come back and said I would like to sit in my seat. He got very hostile and said he has been sitting here the whole time. Well your desk is over there, take it up with the manager, and my ergonomic foot rest is under the desk because I sat here all of last week. He even took the chair to be spiteful.

I kind of expect this out of the older guys, but this guy is at least 10 years younger than me.

I hate the office.

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Are you still at (magic flying vehicle company)? If you are, I fully expect people to argue over who gets the aisle and who gets the window. Comes with the territory. Also, fuck companies for desk sharing and also for asking people to return to the office. 

 

Office politics suck when there is an asshole that the management likes but nobody else does. I think the problems tend to scale larger with bigger companies. The smaller places tend to either be a toxic dump that pays too much or a loving family that pays too little. 

 

Not that you've asked or that you need advice, but the manipulation tactic I've used is to bring in donuts. I will walk them around the office and even tell people that I got them for the sole purpose of ingratiating myself to others. I have a personality that I can pull it off with. Other times I tell people I just felt like it or "I haven't done it in a while, so I thought it would be nice." I would avoid home baked goods, especially if you are a woman. Sorry, it's unfair and sexist but it makes women look worse than it makes men. But seriously, if you are trying to assert leadership over a group of people, lording over them with the promise of future (or present!) obesity is a good trick. It's also fun to knock people off of a supposed diet. Not real diets, just the fake ones that people announce. Leave the real diets alone. 

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My team does not have enough desks for people because they sold the building we were in during the pandemic. Everyone else had to commit to 4+ days a week in the office, so we are sort of the lucky ones because it was only 2 days for us. But hence the desk sharing.

But yes, in the past people have argued over a window seat. Now I think everyone is just like screw it, the best seat is at home.

The guy came back later and started joking with another new guy about being "banished" and then got aggressive when I didn't react. He asked me if I was on a meeting or just ignoring him so I responded I'm ignoring you. He didn't like that and walked off. I was trying very hard not to escalate. I asked one of my coworkers who witnessed the morning interaction if I was overreacting and she said no, it was over the top. I asked if I handled that ok because I was trying not to escalate but also let him know that his behavior was not ok and I was not going to take it. She agreed that in a shitty situation it was about my only choice for standing my ground and not stooping to his level. I ended up emailing my boss about it and saying look I don't want to make a big deal but I want to document it and name the witnesses so if the guy tries to report me for whatever, I've already given my statement. Honestly the guy was so agitated that I feel like I need to CYA.

I just stepped down from a leadership role because I was expected to do too much babysitting for grown men and they would throw any undesirable task over the fence to me. I used to be a very effective lead in the past because I looked out for my team, gave them lots of kudos, and earned their loyalty that way. This team just wanted a secretary. So at this point I'm done with the sexist nonsense and I don't really care about sucking up or them "liking me".

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I finally got a tour of the airplane factory today. Much bigger and more impressive from inside than driving by on the freeway. After all that walking my back is sore but I didn’t wanna stop and stretch, cuz the guy giving me the tour is old enough to be my dad, and he seemed fine. 

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I fired a teacher the first week of school.

I already coached a para (teacher aid) to resign because she didn't think she would have to work with tough kids and had a shitty attitude and when asked to help with laminating she complained her skill set was above that because she had college degree (in HR 20 years ago).  The only reason I didn't fire her is because I need her to do recess duty--not that she does anything.

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I think this is what pushes me over the edge, what' you're going through at work, Destiny. I teach children all day. I expect a level of push back like when I may stay on a topic longer than normal so I can catch up a kid who might be struggling or some holiday shenanigans where I have to keep refocusing. They're kids. But then outside of the school walls (and sometimes within like with other teachers or people who are my age doing school related jobs)  I get this I CAN'T DO IT CRY CRY CRY or weirdness where you have to be the brains for whomever it is you're with. I have had it. Like up to here. For instance this guy yesterday called me to order his checks. His bank sold out to another bank and we don't make the checks for the new bank. So basically because we're no longer contracted to make checks on 9/12 we can't process orders under the old banking information. So I tell him he needs to call his bank (It's not just the change in bank but his routing number and more than likely his bank account number changed) to order. SO WHO DO I CALL? Your bank, dude. WHO? CAN YOU LOOK UP THE NUMBER FOR ME? like dude they probably sent you a bunch of letters, and let you know about the merger and what to do. So I tell him M&T Bank, sir. THAT'T NOT MY BANK. Yes I know. They used to be People's United. SO WHO DO I CALL? And it's like they don't have the ability to google, or read or listen or actually think or function. So he expected me to find the EXACT NUMBER to his branch in CT. Like dude, you do business with them. We don't any more. When I looked up the general number for M&T Bank he was all WELL THANKS FOR NOTHING! And I was like, dude we don't even get paid for this call anymore. Change is so hard for old people. I hate old people. I can't stand them. I don't have the patience required to deal with their bullshit about change. My life has been nothing but change for 5 years. If you can't look up a number or go down to your bank and order your checks I can't drive you there. I can't hold your hand and do stuff for you. You need to read. You need to follow simple instructions and you need to FUCK OFF. Use a debit card. 

It's the same when I call home to talk to a parent. I was trying to reach a parent the other day about their kid. I introduced myself as "X's" teacher and I need to talk to his Mom, number I called based of the home paperwork that they fill out for contacting in case of emergency so I ask for that persons name. He missed the school bus at the end of the day and needed a ride. You have the wrong number I don't owe you anything.. Uh no I'm with the school your son is at. Am I speaking with his Mom? I don't have a kid. So I explained again and said it slower, and she was like OH GOD HIJO missed the bus. Why didn't you say so? I can't come get my kid. Can you give him a ride home it's just and then she tells me the address that's thirty minutes in another direction from where I have to go after school.  I'm taking a NAP she said. I was like WTF. She ended up sending some younger kid probably his brother and I wondered if he was legal to drive as he barely had a mustache.

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5 minutes ago, Hobbes said:

I fired a teacher the first week of school.

I already coached a para (teacher aid) to resign because she didn't think she would have to work with tough kids and had a shitty attitude and when asked to help with laminating she complained her skill set was above that because she had college degree (in HR 20 years ago).  The only reason I didn't fire her is because I need her to do recess duty--not that she does anything.

LOL can you come fire some of our teachers we're hanging on to for probably the same reasons? bus duty and cafeteria duty? HAHAHAHA. Kids are messy and loud and do stuff. If you don't have expectations for that and are here just for a paycheck, you're going to have issues with the work. I feel like telling these types in the teachers work room STFU.  Not that I haven't gone office space on a few printers because someone left them jammed. I am a walking HR meeting waiting to happen.

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30 minutes ago, Ms. Spam said:

LOL can you come fire some of our teachers we're hanging on to for probably the same reasons? bus duty and cafeteria duty? HAHAHAHA. Kids are messy and loud and do stuff. If you don't have expectations for that and are here just for a paycheck, you're going to have issues with the work. I feel like telling these types in the teachers work room STFU.  Not that I haven't gone office space on a few printers because someone left them jammed. I am a walking HR meeting waiting to happen.

Totally.  A shitty attitude can sink a school.  Students know when an adult doesn't want to be there and they feed off of that negativity making their behaviors worse.

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We are having such a hard time hiring bus drivers and paraeducators in our district. On one hand I'm glad we probably lost all the people who shouldn't have been there in the first place, but they are running on a skeleton crew.

When do we think the labor shortage will go back to normal? Is this the new normal? I feel like the hardest hit industries are food and education. Where did all those people go? Did they retire permanently? Are they unemployed? We are preparing ourselves for another brain drain in engineering because of some strange loophole in the pension plan where if you take a lump sum pension payout by the end of the year, you will walk away with an extra years worth or something. (Yes, I still have a pension but it's no longer accruing, so it won't be that much by the time I retire, and I fully expect some sort of lump sum payout at some point.) Just about everyone over the age of 55 is flirting with it.

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I'm interested in what kind of effect COVID deaths had on the labor market. I didn't lose anyone I knew somehow, but my husband lost several people he worked with indirectly. However, I just went and looked up total COVID deaths by age on the CDC website, and its only 262,957 for ages 18-64. So that's around 25% of the total 1.05M deaths in the US. Maybe I should figure out long-haul statistics, because it doesn't look like that's enough to be the sole cause.

I see an Aug 2022 report stating that the labor market participation rate is 62.4%, which is only 1.0% under the February 2020 level.

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Destiny, that sounds pretty toxic. Kudos to you for holding it together. I think you'd see me on the news. 

 

As far as the labor market is concerned... it's probably a ton of factors. I know my father was laid off a few years earlier than he wanted and hasn't returned or been replaced. I have to think a lot of workers were let go in their earning prime (late 50's) and just decided to ride it out until social security age with part time gigs or customer service jobs that are suddenly paying $15-20/hour. There really is something spiritually liberating about not giving a shit in the appliance department of Home Depot if all the other bills are covered for the foreseeable future. I mean it's also soul-crushing, but the good soul-crushing. 

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I also read that retirements are way up. The Boomers are finally retiring after COVID. My own dad just retired at age 67 and man was he ready. Like a typical Boomer, he didn't save properly for retirement so he's worried about having enough money to actually retire. Not sure I would've dropped almost $40k on a new minivan as soon as he retired but oh well. At least his rent is cheap. He said if he has to work he's going to go back to optometry, though, because he figures he would have to work more hours in a shitty service job to make the same amount of money.

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I think Covid deaths affected jobs that might have not healthy-ish people working. For instance we actually had about 5 percent of our school retire early because of long haul covid symptoms forcing them out of work because they simply can't function during the school year. This was mostly teachers and teachers aids. Teachers have to stand most days and you have to work a specific time frame without a break. We actually had three teachers die last year of Covid as well in my school. School is an environment that breeds sickness if we don't maintain the classrooms and follow guidelines. Hiring good janitorial staff has been hard. I sanitize and clean my own classroom 80% of the time and am a strict nazi about handwashing and wearing masks.

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The coworker who mansplained for me a few weeks ago called me last night to tell me they discovered a brain bleed and he was being life-flighted to another state. He sounded awful. I am honestly scared he isn't going to make it. He has had several health issues the last 7 years. We have been friends for 16 years.

He also has everything saved on his hard drive instead of shared servers that I can access. I asked him last week to make me an Admin for a tool that we share ownership of. (I used to be an Admin but I left the organization for 2 years so they removed me. I have been back for 5 years now and this isn't the first time I've asked.) He is so afraid of being made redundant because he is fully remote in another state that he has hoarded information, and honestly, now it's going to screw us and I'm going to have to bring it to light and have management do it for him. It would be one thing if he took care of these tasks regularly, but he doesn't and others complain to me or ask if I can help them get tool access because he will neglect this stuff for weeks.

Folks, please don't do this to your colleagues. It really doesn't help you and makes a bad situation worse. I am so frustrated with my friend and angry at him for not trusting me, and also just really afraid he isn't going to make it.

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