Tuesday, September 26, 2006

most of the time

I love my job but today, well, ehhhhh.

We've been extremely busy at the office since I came back from holidays, but mostly busy in a fun and productive way with a bit of manic black humour thrown in. We have this mechanical angel in the back office. When we're at a loss for how to handle things we can push a button and she gives us a platitude. The other days she said, "Keep your temper. No one else wants it," in this kind of Stepford Wife voice. She cracks us all up.

When I left for vacation I knew that when I got back, I would have a report to write for a public meeting. I write this same report every year, so I know how to do it. I have to ask about 25 people to send me data. I compile it all in a nice chart, write a summarizing cover page, and Bob's your uncle. I even thought to ask for approval to submit it to the October meeting (rather than September), seeing as I took holidays later than usual this summer, at the end of August.

So a couple weeks back I emailed everyone asking them to send me the usual stats and trends, but this year's version. I reckoned that I'd have a week to work on it, an hour here and there and get it in to my boss in plenty of time to be edited, formatted and sent out to the official people a week before the meeting. What I forgot to do was to verify the due date. I had some hazy idea it would be in the first week of October.


Yesterday my boss leaves me a message saying I need to have the complete report in by Wednesday (tomorrow). I felt sick. Not only had I not even begun compiling the information, I knew I was missing more than half of the data. Missing it is usual. I just call around and people say, "oh yeah, I'll email it to you today," and I get it all together in plenty of time. But there was NO time, this time.

So I holed up in my office like some drama-bureaucrat, took no incoming calls and commenced to track everyone down and badger them FOR THE DATA - RIGHT NOW! LIKE, IN THE NEXT HOUR IF POSSIBLE. Boy did I feel like the Nag Hag of the Universe. I was bugging secretaries to chase people out of meetings and leaving double voicemails with backup emails. I think I have not been as obnoxious at work in the last 10 years put together as I was today (well, there was that time I tried to convince everyone to wear Christmas pants to the office party, but that was just silly obnoxious - today I was bossy obnoxious). I was totally embarassed at how I was being. Then in the middle of it, I get a voicemail and an email from my boss. Crunchy Crap! She needs the report "pretty much perfect and ready to go" by mid-afternoon TODAY!!!!

So I went out and pushed the button on the angel and she told me to "Count your blessings. No one else wants them," which didn't make sense but I think maybe I was a more than a bit off-balance by this point.

Anyway, I tracked down everyone, and some of them called me back, and I got the damn thing done. It is not the most polished or creative piece of work I have ever submitted, but it's done. And tomorrow I will start making it up to everyone who hopped right to it and got me THE DATA NOW! when I asked/pestered/demanded. And next year I will confirm the due date before I go on vacation, then build in time so I can ask people nicely for more info, or the info that they owed me yesterday, but there's no problem, plenty of time.

I think the angel might properly say, "You made your own bed. Now lie in it. Nobody else wants you lobbing pillows at their heads." And she'd be right.

question: how was work for you today?

mompoet - hanging in there

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