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Old 08-22-2016, 12:37 AM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

For a while things seemed fairly smooth.

I did start getting complaints from New Clerk that I was micromanaging. I have no proof, but I still presume that it was something concocted by Cranky. Eventually, when NC would speak to me about it face to face - this went on behind my back for quite a while - it boiled down to that she felt my once a week checklist and once a month checklist was micromanagement. So, I guess asking 5 questions weekly and an additional 10 questions once a month so I can mark stuff off counts as 'micromanagement'. Again, no proof either way, but I've never felt micromanaged by my boss asking me 'did you complete X? Yes? Great, thanks'. We had a discussion about other options and NC conceded that the easiest way was to just keep on the way it was, with me running through my checklists on Fridays and the last day of the month. Guess it wasn't so tough, after all.

We had several complaints from Crazy Bungler about cubicle etiquette. So we watched a series of webinars on it as a group. Turns out pretty much the only person violating good cube etiquette was CB herself. Things like taking loud personal calls (we all knew far too much about her mother's health issues) and heating up fish in the office microwave.

We also covered some stuff on negative energy in the office space and energy vampires - people who basically ruin the functioning of an entire department with their presence.

Thinking highly of oneself: ABL's office door was installed upside down. You may ask how we know. Well, the door has a 1/3 door panel window. The door was installed so the window is at shin level.

ABL also sometimes changed clothes in her office when she was going to the gym or a special event after work. Because of that, she decided to hang a curtain inside the door covering the window. About 2 hours later:

CB: *opens ABL's door and rips the curtain down and says to ABL* You can't leave this up; I need to be able to see through the window to check if someone is in your office with you. *closes door and goes back to her seat*

Report Queen and I were both standing and saw the whole thing. We looked at each like . I mean, literally, making that face. CB then left early because she had an appointment.

ABL was then complaining to RQ about how she really doesn't like have the window exposed, but CB was really bothered by it.

RQ: ABL, did you forget that you are the boss? You don't need Cranky's permission, just give an order.

ABL: You're right, this is my office. Why did I even let her do that? No, the curtain is going up and that's final.

Another nail in the coffin, I hoped.

Swing and a miss by tha-a-a-at much: One fine day, CB grabbed her purse said something about needing to leave and rushed out of the office. It was weird.

A couple hours later, ABL called us into her office and told us that she had made a very tough decision - she had decided that based on some past incidents and behavior to terminate Cranky Bungler. She said she felt Cranky was negatively effecting the entire office. She also said we were okay to feel anything we like and we could come speak to her individually about it or to HR if needed. Then the real issue came up - ABL didn't get a chance to fire CB before she left.

ABL: Cranky had access to my calendar so she could let people know when my meetings were ending. HR Manager sent me a meeting notice so we could discuss terminating Cranky's employment. And the meeting was titled Terminate Cranky Bungler. She found that in my calendar and stormed out. I don't know if she is coming back in to the office at all.

Me: Holy crap! *inside I was torn between wanting to squee and the pessimistic voice saying it can't be this easy*

Well, I'll sum it up for you since I found out all of this much later: Cranky stormed up to the office of our Chief Operating Officer. It was a new position. It was his first day. It was his 2nd hour of work. And she threatened to sue the company for creating a hostile workplace environment. Based, I guess, on learning a couple hours in advance that she was going to be fired. So he stepped in, despite not being in our chain of command, and by fiat prevented her termination.

I also learned, much, much later, that HR Manager felt very strongly that Cranky was a highly skilled worker with a lot of knowledge and she wanted to keep Cranky in the organization.

So, the next day, CB came back to work. And acted like nothing weird happened. Never knowing that everyone else knew just how close she came to getting the boot. Of course, after this, she felt bulletproof and the couple month rotation of picking one person and nitpicking their work for any mistakes resumed.

We were so very, very close. And then fail.

Old 08-22-2016, 02:37 AM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

I'm working through my notes pretty quickly here, I'm nearly 1/4 of the way through. I know, I know, how could I still have soooo much to say when she almost got fired last time around?

Just filling in: After dodging massive bullets, Cranky was feeling pretty good about herself. Not too long after that, I made my annual trek to see family in Land of Moose and Hockey. While I was gone, I didn't really have much work that needed to be covered, besides reviewing New Clerk's entries. CB co-opted the assigned coverage to 'help everyone else' and fill in for me herself. Because she was so kind-hearted, dontcha know.

When I got back, nothing seemed immediately awry. Until I started reviewing NC's latest work. I noticed that a lot of the detail entries had been curtailed into either vague wordage or completely incomprehensible strings of alpha-numeric characters with no spaces. I marked those items for correction and sent them back to her.

New Clerk: No, these are fine. This is the new AP notation method, just look at your chart.

Me: I have no idea what you're talking about.

NC: I know you meant to roll it out when you got back, but Cranky gave it to me early. Surprise!

Me: I truly have no idea what you're talking about. Can you show me this chart?

NC: Sure, have a look.

Lo and behold, in the 5 business days I was out, CB had put into play her master plan (from when I was hired!) to try to catalog the quantities & items of every invoice. Even when we purchased so much that you couldn't allocate more than 1 character per item, if that.. There was a giant chart of notations to use. With the same letter having multiple meanings depending on which expense/dept. combination was used. Pure, utter, chaos. That I stomped into the ground over NC's objections. Then I took it up with ABL, because, and I mean this from the bottom of my blackened, wizened heart: Fuck that noise. 5 fucking days and the psycho bitch tries to revamp a major piece of the data entry that I oversee? Not happening.

ABL read the chart and I could see the migraine forming as she tried to make sense of it. Thusly was an email issued to the department, clarifying and reminding to everyone that accounts payable was my job and no changes could be made to any of the processes without either her or my written authorization.

CB pretended to be confused and hurt that I didn't bring the chart to her for 'tweaking' and she thought it was easy to follow. I reminded her that our notes need to be clear enough that someone outside the organization, say an auditor, could pick up the one document, read it, and clearly understand what was purchased, when, and why. And no, giving them the chart to refer to did not count as making it all clear.

I believe I purged this particular dialogue from these notes because it was big circle of mental agony that I could not bear to revisit.

Around this time HR Manager mentioned CB would be undergoing 'communication' training following which we would all have individual meetings with CB. HR Manager felt that the reason we came so close to 'losing a valuable employee like Cranky' is because of poor communication. I sighed when I read it. I sigh now when I reread it. Yes, clearly, it was poor communication that caused these issues so far.

Old 08-23-2016, 01:12 AM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

Moving right along with another small update.

Wherein I attempt to hog all the glory: Background info for those not familiar with the wonderful world of accounting. Many companies prepay for services such as insurance, advertising campaigns, etc. When you buy something that is prepaid, you record it into a prepaid expenses account and then move it to the correct expense when the service happens or has been used for a given month.

At the time, Cranky was responsible for reconciling our prepaid accounts and making the necessary monthly entries to move out of them anything that should move over to regular expense accounts. Part of the backup for these entries was a copy of the original documentation. At the time, New Clerk & I had to photocopy anything for the prepaids and drop it into a folder for Cranky to pick up.

I'll be honest, we did miss usually 1 - 3 copies per month between the two of us. It happens. Also, CB would normally accuse of having missed 4 - 6, about half of which were actually in the folder when we double checked.

NC & I were talking one day and came up with the idea that all this physical copying wasn't working out and why not scan everything and save them as PDFs? Then we'd have a nice easy to reference list for what was missed or not.

When it was suggested during a staff meeting, CB immediately shot it down because 'I need physical copies!' I pointed out that you can just print them when needed, but CB fought it tooth and nail, flat out refused to innovate. Even NC failed to make any headway there.

So, I took the backdoor approach. I had NC start scanning to a folder and I scanned to a folder. Every week, I printed the newest additions and dropped the 'physical copies' into the folder for Cranky.

About a month later, at a staff meeting, CB announced that she had a 'brilliant' idea about the prepaid backup. She had figured out it would make more sense to have them scanned to a folder on the network rather than keep dealing with the physical copies and then she could just print them all at once when needed.

NC & I were a bit dumbstruck by CB's 'brilliant idea'. CB then argued with us for trying 'steal credit' for the idea when we pointed out it was the same proposal from before. CB's idea was totally not the same as our idea, hers was more efficient! After the meeting, she even singled me out for a talking to about letting jealousy get in the way at work and I didn't have to try to steal the glory for all the good ideas because we were a team and it doesn't matter who had the idea.

After their afternoon walk the next day, NC came to me and told me she was so confused about why CB was still insisting that the scanning was all her own idea and not ours. I just nodded sagely and moved on with my now slightly more efficient existence. Some battles aren't worth fighting and it's not like there was an award here for being more right.

I do wish cognitive dissonance could cause one's head to vibrate right to pieces though.

Make the numbers match even when they don't: I was lucky enough to inherit a report previously run and put together by the IT department. They were short-staffed and so the internal billing for copier & printer costs moved over my way. Another misfortune, courtesy of the curse of competence.

I was given a run through on the reporting by one of our IT guys and shown the process by which they matched up the numbers with costs. It wasn't pretty - including 12+ macros to run info into and out of an Access database to get a final breakdown. I felt like it should be easier, but the system worked (mostly) and I pretty much just had to click buttons in the right order (mostly).

There were 2 sets of reports associated with this:

The vendor report, run by our copier/printer supplier, which processed over our network at 12:00 AM on the 1st day of the new month. This was used by the vendor for billing purposes, and we only ever got to see the data when the bill for overages came in.

The other report was the same data, but run internally first thing in the morning on the 1st day of the new month, to capture the info for our own use. Now, this had to be run manually. I do not know why, still don't, but we apparently cannot automate this process. So, it was normally run between 7:30 AM and 8:30 AM. Except when IT had an emergency ticket, sometimes the reports weren't run until midday. Or if the 1st day of the month fell on a weekend, then the reports were run on the Monday following.

The gap in times combined with our facility being staffed 24/7 meant some printing usually happened between the two, leaving slight variances when run on the 1st of the month. Not necessarily a lot, but some. When run as late as the 3rd of the month, the variances were much more pronounced.

Once this task moved to our department, specifically my desk, Cranky became obsessed with reconciling two reports of the same data - run at different times of day at best - with each other. She insisted that it could be done, they should match 1 to 1 with no variances because 'it's the same thing'. She kept coming to my desk to harangue me about it - by the 3rd trip in as many hours, I assure you, it was haranguing.

I tried valiantly to point out that while we're pulling usage data from the same 100+ machines, it is run at different times, and that some usage occurs on some machines between the reports. That means there will be variances, just due to the timing, and this is normal and acceptable. I did check the variances to make sure they were reasonable - usually between 1 and 250 pages per device, depending on how much use a given printer/copier would see.

I was able to reconcile the billing - our internal vs. the vendors external - across months. I went back a year to compare the variances and adjusted for them in billing dollars. I found that month to month for a year, our overall variance between internal billing and external billing was a net total of $0.01. Which means we're awesome at keeping track of it. That's pure rounding error, right there, and no one cares about $0.01 variance.

Well, almost no one. Upon learning there was a variance, CB outright ordered me to find the variance and get it credited back to us because 'they're taking our money and clearly they billed us wrong.' I was, once again, sick of her crap. And since she wasn't my supervisor, ordering me to do anything is beyond her scope of work. I took the whole mess to ABL along with my annual reconciliation of the prior year of bills. Grudgingly, I admit that it was a good idea to look at reconciling everything, if only to confirm that we really were spot on and that the activity reports just cannot be reconciled to each other.

ABL was happy with the essentially non-existent billing variance. And she immediately grasped why the 12:00 AM numbers and later in the day numbers wouldn't match when I said 'It's a timing issue, here's when report A runs and here is when report B runs.' She called in Cranky, who then spouted off again that the two reports should reconcile and there must be a way to make it happen.

ABL: It's a timing issue, Cranky, just look at the times the reports were run.

CB: Oh, a timing issue. Ha ha, nevermind. *gets up and walks out*

Me: *shrug* Thanks for clearing it up, I don't know the words timing issue make more sense coming from you but that's cool.

The next month, CB sent me an email with her assurance that the reports could be reconciled to match! I told her I couldn't find a way, but I was more than open to her guidance if she could show me how to do it and sent the two files to her. A full week and a half later, she called a group meeting to brainstorm on a 'reconciliation issue'. When ABL saw the two reports she remind CB that this was a timing issue that couldn't be reconciled, which 'Gerrinson already made clear.' And then the meeting was dismissed with CB's nuttiness clear to everyone in the department. Again.

TLDR; If what you're measuring changes over time, you cannot reconcile measurements taken at two differing times. No matter how much you stomp your feet and insist that it must be possible.

Old 08-23-2016, 07:25 PM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

Daskinor hit the nail on the head. That $0.01 was over the space of 12 months time and over 1,000,000 printed pages. In fact, to be so incredibly close is a major success when dealing with such large numbers.

Old 08-26-2016, 02:53 AM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

Another update looms!

The burgeoning friendship between Cranky Bungler & New Clerk was cut short by New Clerk becoming Some-Other-Company's-New-Clerk. Sad times were had, as I was forced to cover two full time positions again and CB had lost her office friend. We did not bond over shared hardship, however.

Also, in this same time period, the former Chief Of Operations, COO, who had intervened in CB keeping her job, put in his notice. Then cancelled that notice and took over as CEO instead. It was odd, but he actually was a pretty cool guy and invested in the business. His major issue was the outgoing CEO, so that was a problem that solved itself.

Mind-reading, I do not have it. Also, my job, it is not: We had an incident where one of our vice-presidents had her iPod stolen out of her purse on campus. Not cool, man, not cool! The company decided to reimburse her for the cost of the iPod, because we are cool. CB was not happy with this because there was no policy in place stating that we would or would not reimburse employees for stolen goods. And this was a serious problem because we are paying someone. I was never clear on the 'why' of it being a problem, though I did agree that we should have a written policy. The internal paperwork for the reimbursement was signed & authorized at a meeting that CB attended. She brought it back to the office to hand it off to me, so I could get the check cut.

CB: Here is the backup for VP's check. Be sure to give this to HR Manager, she wanted to hand it over herself.

Me: Yup, no problem, I'll get it done right now.

In less than 15 minutes I had a signed check delivered to the HR Manager's office. W00T!

A couple weeks later, CB stomps up to my cube. You never knew what was going to set her off, but you sure could tell when she was in a mood.

CB: I just spoke to HR Manager. She told me you delivered the check for VP's iPod. But you did not discuss with her putting in place a policy for stolen employee. We talked about this. You were supposed to discuss that with her and then take the conversation up to CEO. I just don't understand you, this is important.

Me: Um, what, now? I was supposed to deliver a check. Policy discussion is way above my level.

CB: I told you to discuss it with them. You were supposed to do it, but didn't follow through.

Me: Seriously, you handed me the paperwork and said HR Manager wanted the check. I did that. Anything to do with creating a new policy, I'd have to run through ABL. I'm in an entry level position, I really have no part in dictating policy nor what policies we should have. But I agreed with you, it seems sensible we should have one.

CB: No! You were supposed to tell them we need a policy. You were supposed to get it started and make sure everyone was in the loop. And then make sure HR Manager and CEO create the policy. I'm taking this to ABL. *stomps away to ABL's office*

About 20 minutes later, their conversation finally finishes and ABL calls me into her office. We go over what was said a few weeks back, where CB & I agreed a policy was needed. And CB gave me the paperwork needed to cut a check. Which I did. And HR Manager wanted to hand it off to VP, so I passed the signed check along.

Apparently, CB claimed she ordered me to spearhead the discussion with HR Manager & CEO about getting a policy. ABL was upset that I would have taken an order from CB to do that. Somehow, CB failed to get across to ABL that I actually did not do that. In 20 minutes time.

At any rate, after ABL understood my side of it, she was just as confused as I was about how CB could have believed that A) I should have divined that it was her order that take this policy discussion all the way up to the CEO and B) that even if she said that, it really isn't my place, and C) CB is still not my supervisor and cannot issue orders to me, period. Passing along a recommendation to either ABL or HR Manager that we might need a policy, yes, that would be okay. But chasing it down with the CEO? That's just nuts.

Once again, CB's attempt to get someone else in trouble made her look nuttier than a peanut butter factory. And she got called back into ABL's office for another long conversation. I left for the day before that talk finished, which was fine by me.

Old 08-26-2016, 01:01 PM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

Oh, man, you're right, wolfie! I wish I had thought of that back then and suggested it to CB. I can only imagine her telling the Front Desk staff that they cannot print guest folios or activity schedules until the device reporting was run. Especially when the first of the month was over a weekend and then they would have to wait a day or two to be allowed to print.

Small update, is sad, but true: Something I had actually completely forgotten about, until another conversation reminded me. At the time this happened, I didn't bother even taking notes.

One of the big 'rules' that was presented to me when I was hired is that when you're out in the hallways with guests, you should always be smiling. Of course, this was part of CB's training, so grain of salt. Her grin was always plastered on in the hallways. But it also looked really, really forced.

A few months after I was hired to work here, my stepmother was killed in a car accident. The accident was 600 miles away from my home and by the time I found out, it was hours after the accident had occurred. It was a Thursday.

Major emotional traumas like this actually leave me numb inside for a couple of days before it really sinks in. Which actually makes me super functional immediately thereafter. It's come in handy a (fortunately) few times. After speaking to my dad, my wife & I decided to work the Friday of that week before heading up. Which gave us 2 full weekends to bookend the bereavement time off from work and just focus on grieving and helping out Dad.

That Friday, I get to work, hit the HR office and then speak to ABL about needing the next week off. She makes sure I even want to work. It was good to take the time to clear my desk and hand things off, so I said yes. ABL made the announcement to the office, everyone promised to help, and it was determined who would take which tasks. ABL told me to leave as soon as I had transitioned all of my work, authorizing me for full pay not matter how few hours I spent in the office.

And then the kicker. CB came over, expressed condolences, and the reminded me "No matter how bad you feel inside, be sure you put on a big smile in the halls. You don't want the guests knowing you're sad, it could ruin their experience." And then she walked away smiling.

Fortunately for her, I was emotionless at the time, or I likely would have ended her right then and there. I did not actually fake smile, and rather obviously, no one complained and no one else in the company said a word about it. I can only imagine how creepy that fake smile would have looked on my face.

Old 08-29-2016, 02:37 AM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085


Where I finally draw the line and file an official complaint:

Brief-ish background: We spend $XX,XXX on branded widgets each year. These widgets are handed out basically everywhere, all the time, every day at work. People take them home by the handful, or so it seems. Looking to reduce the cost, we decided to order much cheaper widgets - like 1/3 normal price - from a new vendor to see how it worked out.

Our existing widget vendor has our usage down to a science, so he pretty much knew when to expect an order from us. And often calls to check in, even. This has actually saved us a few times with the folks in charge of widget inventory forgot to mention they needed a new order. They seem to be under the impression that thousands of widgets can be ordered & delivered the next day. This is not so, it takes several weeks.

Anyway, Awesome Boss Lady told Cranky Bungler and Foreign Coworker that she wanted to be the one to tell Widget Dude if/when we decided to go with the new vendor and the time came to cut him loose. In the meantime, the instructions were to only tell him we had cut back on usage to save money and we'll be in touch when the time comes for an order. Cranky then went around and told everyone else in the office not to mention it to Widget Dude if he called or stopped by.

I was against the idea; I thought we should straight up tell him that we were trying a lower cost product. Either he could cut us a break or he would understand. In the widget business, I think this is fairly standard. And being honest up front is a good way to do business. I was overruled, and thus I toed the line.

Widget Dude called a few times, both about widgets and about billing for other items. Mostly, he spoke to me. Every time he called, CB would run over to my cube and be standing over my shoulder reminding me 'Don't tell him about the new widgets, ABL wants to do that herself'. Like I had forgotten since the last time a few days before. After several weeks, this behavior got very, very old.

So, the time came that it was determined we were going to switch to the new vendor for widgets. Though of slightly lower quality and a much slower delivery time, we were likely going to save more than $15,000 per year, a pretty significant number. As ABL put it, it was half a person salary wise for an entire year. To be clear, this was like 4 months after we first placed an order with the new vendor.

Of course, not 20 minutes later, Widget Dude calls me about our lack of widget orders. I offered to transfer him over to ABL, but he declined and said he would call back. I got off the phone and CB asked if that was Widget Dude. I confirmed and she ran over to ABL.

CB: Can you believe it? Gerrinson just spoke to Widget Dude and didn't tell him we're going to get widgets from someone else.

ABL: Really? Well, Widget Dude needs to know. We'll have to call him back to tell him.

CB: Well, I'm not surprised. Gerrinson is just a big chickenshit. I should go buy him a bag of feathers after that. *loud laughter ensues from both CB and ABL*

To be clear, this was a LOUD conversation and I could hear every word. Only ABL, CB, Report Queen, and myself were in the office at the time. Also, this is the closest in real life I've ever come to manifesting heat vision through pure unadulterated rage blazing from my eyeballs.

At this point, I gathered up all the written evidence I could - not much because CB hated to commit to anything in writing. A defensive move on her part, I assume. Then I spoke to Foreign Coworker when she got back from her meeting. She confirmed ABL and only ABL was supposed to tell Widget Dude about it. And FC forwarded an email from ABL specifying it in writing. I took all my evidence over to HR Manager and filed a formal complaint.

ABL got a call from HR Manager, then called me into her office about the complaint. ABL forgot that she had declared she was the only one to tell Widget Dude about the new vendor. And the apologized. And then she scheduled a meeting with HR Manager, CB, me, and herself to deal with the complaint and discuss punishments. ABL owned her error and that she should not have laughed, particularly since I was following orders and had objected to the whole idea up front.

Things continue:

A while back, I had mentioned here about HR Manager believing that poor communication was the problem with CB? Well, we were all scheduled to meet with her and CB one-on-one to discuss the communication issues. My meeting with the two of them was scheduled just a couple days after this Chickenshit incident.

We discussed various issues that CB had with my behavior - how this is due to CB's communication was never mentioned. The best interaction was this one:

CB: You always verify my instructions with ABL before doing anything. Going over my head like that says you don't trust me as a supervisor.

Me: You are not my supervisor. ABL is my direct report supervisor. You are a colleague on the same level.

CB: Uh, no, my job description clearly states that I oversee daily department activities, which means I'm everyone's supervisor.

Me: Nope, I'm a supervisor of Even Newer Clerk, which in my job description is stated as 'Directly supervises AP Clerk position'. Your job description doesn't mention directly supervising anyone since you were removed as Quiet Guy's supervisor. *Yeah, it seems she was micromanaging his process so much that work wasn't getting done and ABL moved QG up to reporting directly to her. And I felt the need to get that dig in there.*

CB: Well, I don't know who told you that, but...

Me: *cutting her off* ABL told me on my first day that you would claim to be my supervisor and you are not. Furthermore, I did the proofreading on all of the job description updates ABL made last month - because she asked me to do so - so I know your job description as well as my own. You don't supervise anyone, period. You don't believe me? Ask her. *nodding to HR Manager*

HR Manager: *sickly smile* Well, Gerrinson is not completely wrong there, ABL is the only supervisor in your dept. except for him.

CB: Well...well...I think you don't respect me!

Me: I feel the same way.

CB & HR Manager:

It pretty much went downhill from there - I'm impertinent, I don't respect CB, I don't obey her directions, a big circle jerk of what's wrong with my actions in regard to CB. For 90 minutes. None of which had anything to do with potential communication issues from CB. At the end, HR Manager asked me if there was anything else I wanted to discuss in a very leading manner.

I figured she wanted me to bring up the Chickenshit incident, so I said anything else to be discussed would require ABL's presence. At which point CB looked pissed and HR Manager went pale. And then HR Manager rapidly ended the meeting and chased us out of her office.

Really? How about no?:

A few weeks later, the meeting with ABL, HR Manager, CB & I had been moved for about the 5th time. And then I get a notice that it is cancelled. I went to ABL to discuss rescheduling.

ABL: What do you mean? HR Manager said you dropped the complaint based on your communication meeting and CB's attitude since.

Me: No. I never said or did any such thing. I guess I'll go upstairs to see Corporate Counsel, because I'm done. *exit door, angrily, with ABL calling after me to come back*

When all was said and done, HR Manager was already 3 weeks into 4 weeks notice and apparently had destroyed all evidence of my original complaint. I made a new one, but that went nowhere, even with Corporate Counsel looking into it. So, yes, one of HR Manager's last actions on the job was to shield CB from a very valid complaint. CB must have been feeling a bit less bulletproof, though, because after HR Manager left, CB toed the line for nearly a full quarter. Just long enough for some folks to think she had changed for good.

I, on the other hand, maintained constant vigilance...

Old 08-29-2016, 01:51 PM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

As to why I didn't quit: My wife and I had just bought a house less than a year before. Walking out without a new job to go to was not an option - if I quit, I would be denied unemployment. I did start looking for work elsewhere - pretty much anywhere I went for the job I was doing, i would get paid $5K - $6K less per year, which definitely hurts the wallet.

Also, barring CB, the job was pretty good and generally getting better. There are precious few places (in my area, anyway) that a grown man can go to work wearing a Star Trek t-shirt and cat ears on his head and people will just high-five him and go on about their day. Even the CEO had no problem with the cat ears. He did just about bust a gut laughing the first time he saw them, though.

Old 09-01-2016, 12:40 AM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

Is that an update I see?

Tracking office efficiency:

In what I consider one of the most inefficient processes, Awesome Boss Lady announced that we were required to track our time & activities at work in 5 minute blocks. And provided a tracking sheet for doing so. I made sure to log all the time I spent logging time on the tracking sheet.

The goal was to look for inefficiencies in the manner in which people were doing their work - what was taking longer than average (I don't know where they found these averages) and then look for improvements.

After 2 weeks of that joyous activity, ABL compiled all the data and promised to have individual meetings with everyone regarding their personal results. Report Queen has a meeting, Foreign Coworker has a meeting, Quiet Guy has a meeting, Even Newer Clerk has a meeting, Cranky Bungler has a meeting. And then radio silence for a couple weeks. You'll notice who did not have a meeting.

Deciding that no news was not necessarily good news, I popped into ABL's office to talk about it. Turns out, based on wherever they got their averages, I was way above average in efficiency and she saw no reason to meet with me. In fact, our whole department was pretty efficient in their work. Except for one person. ABL was struggling with how to pitch it to Crank without doing it in all dept. meeting and wasting everyone else's time. The end result of our conversation was for me to compile a bunch of tips, which ABL would discuss with CB. My name was to be omitted from the list to avoid disgruntlement.

After ABL had reviewed these tips, tricks, & suggestions with Cranky, CB came out to the copier and ran off copies of the whole packet. Then she proceeded to go to each cube and hand them out to all of us with the specific comment that 'ABL wanted me to pass these on so you could improve your work flow.' I immediately hucked my copy into the recycling, which CB noticed. Oops.

CB: Really? You're not even going to read it?

Me: I have a digital copy, I don't need hard copy.

CB: Well maybe you could take some notes in it. You might want to highlight the useful tips.

Me: You can easily highlight and assign bookmarks in the PDF version. Also it is searchable and easier to keep track of than a paper copy, in my opinion.

CB: Well, ABL said we should all have them. I'll just go mention it to her.

Me: Sure, have at it.

CB tried to tattle on me for not wanting a paper copy of the document I wrote. I only heard part of the conversation, where ABL asked CB why she was printing copies of the document for everyone. The rest of the office heard that too. Once again, CB just made stuff up to seem important, and then it got found out. Not to mention, now everyone else knew the inefficient worker was in the office. Oops.

Pettiness or just super dysfunctional? You decide!:

So, after CB supposedly became more efficient, she wound up reviewing a lot of paperwork for ABL prior to it being signed. Now, I will say this, CB approached most things from the perspective of nitpicking it like the most PITA auditor ever. And that was actually a really useful trait in someone reviewing contracts, payment backup, etc. Not everyone who is a terrible a coworker sucks at everything. Even when we want them to do so.

On the other hand, it created a lot of situations for pettiness and lording it over the rest of us when she found a mistake. And then sometimes, she just didn't make any sense at all. For example:

CB: Gerrinson! I need a printed copy of the agreement and invoice for <vendor> I think there was a mistake. *shouted across the cubes - I can't say much because we're all equally guilty of this*

I pull up my emailed copy of those files and print it out. As requests go, that was pretty simple & straightforward. As they were printing, I got a phone call, which I took quickly. Roughly 2 minutes on the phone. Then I got up, grabbed the print outs, and brought them to CB's desk.

CB: Oh. I got tired of waiting and made photocopies of them. *picking up the original documents and waving them at me. They were on her desk the whole time...*

So, she needed printed copies of the hard copy document that was on her desk in order to review it for errors. And then made notes only the original copy and recycled both her photocopied version and the extra one I had printed. I just Was she being petty or incompetent?

Nope, this is pettiness:

As always, the constant temperature wars had raged in the office. We were now down to a 3 vs. 3 split on what was comfortable and what as not. It was agreed that those of us that got too hot would try to sweat it out (pun intended!) for a bit before turning down the thermostat. One fine evening, the cold folks were all leaving early, CB being the last one out at 4:30. At 4:25, I decided to turn on the AC, since I had a good 90 minutes of work or more and I knew it would be just me in the office. CB got up, grabbed her purse, then immediately complained it was too cold and turned off the AC before walking out the door to go home. I just don't have it in me to believe that she was being anything but petty about it at that point. I mean, you're leaving...does it matter if the office temperature is too cold for you when you're not there? Oy vey.

Old 09-02-2016, 02:33 AM
Gerrinson Gerrinson is offline
Accounts Payable/IT Helpdesk
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,085

Quoth AngryFaery View Post
...I agree turning off ac isn't an answer, but I can also tell you that demanding someone wear more clothing isn't it.
Just to be clear, this was the same woman who only found herself comfortable in Atlanta in the summer time. So, I think CB was not a good measure of 'comfortable'. She often had the office thermostat cranked up to 80 F and that was still 'too cold'. At which point, I have to say 'put on a sweater' is an option. Also, possibly, go see a doctor.
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