I had a totally different blog post almost ready to hit send and decided against it for now.  Probably a good thing!  Maybe I’ll post it later.

So….I have something else to bore you with instead – work.  Since I’ve never given them nick-names, I’m going to call my co-workers…..Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.  Flora will be my boss (who has been in the department over 20 years), Fauna will be my co-worker (who has also been in the department for 20+ years), and Merryweather will be our newest employee who just started a month ago.

Image courtesy of Wiki
From left to right: Fauna, Flora and Merryweather.
Co-workers may or may not actually look like these characters…..

After a very long year and almost 4 months, I have finally talked to my boss, Flora, about issues I’m struggling with at work.  When I asked if I could speak with her after everyone else had left for the day, she had a panicked look in her eyes and ask, “Is it bad?”  I laughed and told her no, just needed to talk with her alone.

In the last several months, I have come to realize exactly how stressful my job has become for me.  I’m usually pretty good at picking up duties and completing them with efficiency and in a timely manner.  Depending on the job, I can usually add in some major process improvements along the way.  I have been classified by my work as a “top performer” in my previous jobs as well for many years.  When learning I had transferred to this department, I know of two Vice-Presidents of the company who were emotionally tied to the transfer – one was upset I left her area and the other was gloating that she gained me in hers.

None of the above has been possible to any degree of success in my current position.  At least, not to the level that I am personally aware I can achieve.  This may sound like bragging, but please believe me, I know how “good” I can be – and I’m not anywhere near that point in this job.  What really frustrates me is how everyone thinks my work is so stellar.  I beg to differ with them because I know how much I’ve been struggling.  If they could know me with the skill set I should have at this point after a year in this position, I’m pretty sure they will be blown away with what I can accomplish, not just what I’ve been struggling to accomplish.

So, what are my issues that I’ve been struggling with?

As we sat down, Flora asked me if there was an issue with Merryweather’s training (which I am in charge of – which will be laughable to you in a moment, the blind leading the blind so to speak!).  I told her no, she’s doing really well; my issue is actually in regards to Fauna.  I commented to her that I’m surprised she didn’t think I was telling her I was quitting.  She laughed and said that was actually her first thought, she just didn’t want to jinx herself.

I went on – one of the biggest issues I have faced in the last year is the training I have not received in my job.  I point blank told Flora that my struggles are directly related to how Fauna has trained me, or more accurately, not trained me.  My training has consisted of being handed work by Fauna, told to do X, with no explanation as to the why, and no additional information other than exactly what she has handed me.  Other than the bare basics of how to do the job, which requires extensive knowledge of a very job specific computer program, I have been left to figure out things on my own.

Multiple times throughout the year, I have been asked by Fauna if I did Y.  When I asked what Y was, I was told that Y should have also happened when I did X job.  Never once was Y ever explained to me until after the fact when either Fauna would discover I hadn’t been doing it or I was asking what the heck Y was when I would accidentally stumble upon it.  I have gone so far as to say, “You have shown me how to do X, now I know about Y – is there a Z I should know about too?”  Only to be told, no, you know how to do this.

Ummm…..no, no I don’t.  That’s why it’s not being done!

Flora and I talked for well over an hour.  I included in our conversation how Merryweather has commented to me that she is struggling with the training she has received from Fauna as well.  We talked about the differing personalities that we are dealing with and how best to work through them.  We talked about comments made to me by Fauna and how Flora excuses them as Fauna’s attempt at humor (note: while I agree with this in theory, in reality, the comments are still hard to hear when they are directed at you).  We talked about my job “promotion” a few months ago and how best to complete the transition of duties from Fauna to me.  And we talked about what Flora can do for me to help.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • Flora will contact her counterparts at other entities to set up two separate training sessions for me with other “super-users” who are considered really great trainers as well.  One training session will be for the credentialing side of the work I do, the other training session will be for the computer technical and programming side.  Fauna is considered a “super-user”, but is very guarded with the knowledge she has – Flora believes Fauna doesn’t know HOW to explain what she knows, she just knows it.  I can see that….to a point.
  • Flora will give Fauna a “drop-dead date” of April 1st for when she can no longer be doing “my” job.  Fauna is turning more and more items over to me, but even Flora noticed the other day Fauna trying to hold on to something I was more than capable of handling.
  • I am to take some time off in the near future.  Seriously.  Other than having days off to handle issues with the kids or doctor’s appointments, I haven’t had a vacation in over a year.  Flora encouraged me to take a couple of days this next week since it is my kids’ Spring Break.  Because of timing of meetings I’m now responsible for at work, I don’t feel comfortable with that and explained why.  She appreciates my commitment, but is still encouraging me to take the mental break from the job that I desperately need.  I’ll be doing that soon.

So – hopefully, I’ll have some actual training under my belt in the near future.  Once I actually know what I’m doing – watch out world!  Here I come!