Sunday, July 15, 2007

266. work sucks

(Note to self, try writing shorter posts and maybe you'll post more often.)

Lately, I've really been hating my time at work. Mine was never a job I took for fun or fulfillment, rather I purposely took on a relatively menial, brainless job so I could save my creative energies for after work. Thing I've been finding though is that when you spend eight hours per day, five days a week on meaningless work, that meaningless tends to cling to your psyche - kind of like the black alien goo (Venom) that takes over people in Spiderman 3, only without the superpowers or the cool costume.

Now I've been at unfulfilling jobs before but the big difference between this job and those jobs is that I've never felt so unappreciated and unimportant - basically disposable. But honestly, that's not a huge deal. I pretty much expected that. What really grinds me about this job is my coworker - let's call him Harold.

Normally I don't like to dis on people, but the fact is, this guy is unorganized, impatient, selfish, and while I wouldn't go so far as to say he's lazy, he certainly doesn't know how to prioritize. Given the choice between tackling a difficult task with a looming deadline or doing something easier that's due a few days later, he'll take the easy way. Oh, and he likes to start stuff but he doesn't like to follow through and finish. Couple this with his lack of organizational skills and off the top of my head I can name three projects that should have been done from start to finish that were only started.

All this pisses me off because one, it makes me look bad because it looks as if our section doesn't have its shit together and two, it makes my work that much harder because his unfinished projects impinge on my ability to get my own work done.

A few months ago, I would just go in and finish his half-baked projects just to get them off the board but I'm sick of it and I'm not going to keep saving his ass.

But.

But this isn't like me and I don't like what this situation is doing to me.

Normally, I go out of my way to help and at first, that's what I did with Harold. Helping him finish his work made our department look on top of things and it also made work run more smoothly for me (because things were organized). But I started to realize that I was enabling Harold's sloppy work ethic so recently I've started to leave him to his own devices, even if I knew a train-wreck would result, even if I knew we'd both be left scrambling when crunch time came around.

Letting things go to hell like this isn't me and I'm wondering if not being me at work is leading to me not being me outside of work as well.

Here's what I mean.

When Harold does a half-assed job, I suppose it's because he doesn't give a shit. But I do. As a Christian, I work as if I'm working for God, not for my supervisor (Colossians 3:22-24). Now maybe this is taking the idea too far but when I think of "working for the Lord," I lump in the section I work in as a part of that so in a way, when I stop saving Harold's ass all the time and thus let things get a bit more sloppy than I would like (but still within company standards), I feel like I'm not being true to myself or my calling. Does that make any sense?

I suppose I should bring some of my issues up with Harold, but here's the thing. He's been with the company for more than five years whereas I have yet to make one year here. Who am I to tell him how to do his job? Well then I could talk to my supervisor about the situation but it's just Harold and I in our section of the company and if the supervisor comes down hard on Harold because of something I say, that could make a lame work environment downright hostile (did I mention that Harold has a really short fuse?) And again, ratting people out is also not normally a part of my personality and so I feel like I'm stuck in a bind.

(note to self, try writing shorter posts)

1 comment:

mitchell said...

You've already convinced yourself. And it's the right thing. Picking up someone else's slack makes everyone look good, including you. Yes, it's a pain, but it's better than the alternative, as you can see.

No, you do not rat anyone out. You do your job the best you can, even if it means picking up for someone else. Your supervisors will know you're working hard. They might not know everything, and they might not know it right away, but they'll know.

And you're also right to respect seniority. For all you know, his willingness to stay in a job for five years is MORE valuable, even at less productivity, than whatever you do for however long you'll be doing it. Maybe his approach to the job is actually what makes your job necessary, you see? :)

So suck it up and kick that job's butt. Taking the high road does not always pay off, but it never increases the damage.