Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Clusterfuck City

I offer a halfhearted apology for the coarse title of this post, but seriously, that's the state of my workplace right now. I had every intention of observing a moratorium I placed for myself on complaints about my job, but the ridiculousness of the situation has reached critical mass.

With Monday off for Memorial Day, we started this week yesterday with only nine days to work toward our monthly catalog deadline. All the changes to our catalogs brought on by our recent change of departmental leadership put us well behind, our fearless leader decided that the best use of our time would be a rearrangement of our office. An office, I might add, that we've inhabited for only a week and a half, and for which he himself drew up the arrangements. Now, I understand that better ideas become more apparent once you're in a situation as opposed to just planning, but I do think that after deadline might have been a more appropriate time for making such a change. The rearrangement called for electricians to come into the office to wire up additional power poles, as well as for workspaces to be torn apart while spaces were cleared and things were moved. In all, I lost a little over two hours of productivity while my desk and all its accouterments were moved from one end of the room to the other, and then while the IT department figured out exactly why my machines had no network connectivity. I get paid for that time, of course, but that's not the point. In those two hours I could have polished off more than three pages, which is a huge deal given our crunch for time.

The delicious part of this is that we're probably going to end up rearranging again anyway. The company owner has been on vacation since before we moved into our new office, and he'll want to put his own stamp on it upon his return. That's just the way he is. He'll be back either tomorrow or Friday, and that's going to make things pretty interesting.

Currently, my desk is located right next to that of our new department head, which means that I get to hear pretty much all the conversation that takes place at his desk, whether I want to or not. Today he had yet another long meeting with our graphics manager, this time berating her and her staff for taking so long to get pages out. Keep in mind, of course, that we've been putting out catalogs for a long time, and we've never missed a deadline or been behind schedule to this extent at this point. The only variable that has changed is him. Specifically: the number of changes he has made, the inordinate amount of time he keeps crucial staff members in meetings, and the extraneous assignments he has piled on.

I'm not complaining about extra work. For the most part, I like the new stuff I'm doing. I also like to be busy, and the monthly crunch at deadline time is when I thrive the most. I'm not even complaining about the changes themselves, most of which actually make some sort of sense. I'm just irritated with the timing of (at least seemingly non-crucial) meetings, delays, and assignments at a time when I'm absolutely slammed with proofreading, which has to take priority in order to keep things moving, and with his jackass way of treating people who know what they're doing as though they don't.

The consensus, from people who know the owner pretty well, seems to be that the new department head won't survive long after his looming return from vacation, due to the number and extremity of changes that have been made and the ham-handed way he's been treating his staff. I can't help remembering the short tenure of the last head of our department who acted in such a way (except, apparently, to me--I actually liked working with that person). I think anyone in our department who is banking on a similar resolution, though, is making a mistake.

At any rate, one way or another, it isn't likely to be dull anytime soon. Whatever happens, I just hope we can get through this upcoming deadline with no more unnecessary delays. We're already working a lot of overtime, which has never happened at this point in the schedule. The paychecks will be awesome, so there's that to look forward to, but getting everything done on time is going to be a real bear. Knowing the way our department always comes together during crunch time, I'm confident we can get there...if we're not unduly hindered.

And even with the frustrations, work is never a complete loss. For instance, a friend of mine, thinking I might need a laugh (and he was right), sent me the following (totally unrelated) link today:

The Unsung Heroes of Star Wars

And, since I'm feeling generous, here's another SW link for your viewing pleasure:

A trailer for the upcoming Clone Wars TV series (looks pretty sweet)

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