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The Chronicles of Cranky Bungler
Old 08-17-2016, 11:04 PM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085
Default The Chronicles of Cranky Bungler

This particular thread has been a long time in coming - it starts 6 1/2 years ago. This is about a former co-irker and the many tears joys she brought upon the rest of us. This will definitely be posted in multiple parts over multiple days, as I go through my notes of the Bungler years. To help set the scenes: Not so much in looks, but in speaking manner and attitude, CB greatly resembled Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter novels. I think that will really help you picture the way pretty much all of her comments were addressed to all of her coworkers and higher ups at basically all times.

Background on me: I was hired into an accounts payable position - the accounting position that processes invoices and pays the bills, for anyone unfamiliar. I had 5 years experience coming in, so I wasn't new the role. Specifically, they had fired 4 people from the role in 5 years and they were looking for someone with skill & experience to fix the many problems that had come up. The people that hired me, Awesome Boss Lady and Zen Vice President, were excited for both my experience and any changes, improvements, etc. that I could bring to a role that had been a failure point for a long time. I wasn't just hired to do the job, I was hired to overhaul it and make it better.

The first encounter: My first encounter with Cranky Bungler, CB for short, was in the very first 5 minutes of my very first day at this job.

CB was introduced by Awesome Boss Lady (ABL) who specified out loud that ABL is my boss, CB is just training me because of her knowledge of the system. Specifically, ABL warned me that CB would try to claim she was my supervisor and this is not true. This was also explicitly stated to CB in front of me.

ABL was boss to my whole dept. and it really should be a red flag when you are warned by the dept. head that one of your coworkers is known to try to invent powers of control that are not theirs. Also, I should have asked up front - why is she employed still if she doesn't follow chain of command? Ah, hindsight...

Anyway, I get set up at my desk and Cranky Bungler is sent over to teach me the system. We start with an overview of where basic things are located - copier, filing cabinet, check printer, paper stock - regular & checks, office supplies, etc. A good place to start, really, laying a foundation. Then this happened:

CB: And this is your electric stapler *points to stapler, which is right behind the keyboard, mashed in under the monitor*

Me: Excellent! I asked for one at my old job but they wouldn't pay for it. I'm so glad to have one here. *I pick up the stapler and move it off to my left, where it's not mashed up between the keyboard & monitor and I can easily reach it with my offhand*

CB: No, no, it has to stay there *moving stapler back* because that is the most efficient place for workflow.

Me: Um, no offense, but that really isn't a good place for me. I'm likely to hit keys on the keyboard and then I'm reaching across it. I usually use my off-hand *waving left hand* to staple things, so I think it makes more sense over here. *moves stapler back where I had it*

CB: Look, you're new here. My job is to teach you system so you can follow the same process we've been using. Also, we've found over the years that this is most efficient place for it. *moves stapler back*

Me: Actually, I was hired to improve on the process. You've lost four people in as many years, clearly the old system isn't cutting it. Trust me, I'm here to do this and I'll find my own efficiencies as I go. *moves stapler back*

CB: I'm the trainer here, so you'll do the job the way I teach it and that means your stapler goes here. *moves stapler back again*

Me: *Fed up with this nonsense* Okay, so teach me how to use <software>, then, let's get to it.

CB: Oh, no, I haven't shown you where to keep your phone, and tape, and pens yet! You have to set up your desk efficiently before you can actually do any work.

That's right: She had an entire layout planned for where everything went on my desk - down to where I should leave my pen when I wasn't using it. Micromanagement, anyone? And that was just the first five minutes of the first day. Now, as soon as she walked away, I moved the stapler back to where I actually wanted it. And the phone. And the tape. And nothing more was said or done about on the topic, at least not to my face. CB had a conversation with ABL, which I could hear through the open office door. It was reported to ABL that I was not 'embracing our current efficiency' in the role. ABL replied that I had fantastic recommendations and she trusted me to take the job and make it better and not to worry about the small stuff.

It was too soon for me to have known that when CB didn't get her way, she would switch to dirty and underhanded tricks.
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