Thursday, March 3, 2011

That Person

Have you ever worked with someone that just never seems quite that genuine? They have a smile on their face, but you can just tell that somethings not right?

Well, I do.

We've been understaffed for more than a year in our office. And when I say understaffed, I mean by several people EACH. For example, me and my coworker were each doing close to the FTE (full time equivalent) of 4 people.

Now THAT is insane.

But to be completely honest? I'd take that over this new girl that they finally hired, any day. Because we at least worked like a team and covered each other. Things got done. As impossible as it seemed each and every day, somehow we made it happen.

That's a true team, I tell ya. We didn't always agree, but it didn't stop us from obtaining that end goal. And now there’s a kink in that team. A hole. A gap. A missing piece. And that is New girl.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that she can’t do the work. And it’s not that she isn’t getting things done, either.

So what is it? I’ll do my best to explain.

There are projects that we’ve been working on for over a year. Projects that, because she just joined us, she knows nothing about. And these aren’t just simple little projects, but are very intricate and it’s taken us a LONG time to set up the processes and build the relationships that we now have. Everything was moving along fabulously, and then she came along.

She started interjecting herself info parts of the projects that she had no business touching. She’s taken on tasking that she is not only not qualified for, but has been told to step back off of. Yet somehow she involves herself and somehow convinces other key players that she is supposed to be there. This not only makes our organization look disorganized and poorly run, but it also makes me look pretty stupid when I go to take care of something that I’ve been working for some time, now, and she’s already stepped in and tried to do it. The customer is confused. I look moronic. And she has me fumbling to come up with a reason for it all. And a reason for why the way that they were told to do things wasn’t correct and they need to do it this way, instead.

She’s causing confusion and making us look incompetent.

I’m not a mean person. I don’t throw people under the bus. And I would absolutely not stand in front of a customer and say “Well, [New girl] may have overstepped her bounds by telling you that so prematurely, and not only is that not the case, but it's also not her call to make.” Because I am a team player. I don’t believe in stepping on other people to accomplish a task. It’s not right, and it doesn’t just make that person look bad… it tends to make YOU look like a giant jerk-wod and still somehow make them out to be the good person, possibly even the victim.

Homie don’t play dat.

At least not this homie.

However, it’s extremely stressful. I’ve been in my position for almost 3 years, and have maintained a Level 3 in my title that entire time. The only reason I haven’t progressed is because there are only 3 positions above me, all with the same title, and just this past week was the first time any of those 3 people have left, and they replaced them with a girl that is not only fantastic (and I’m thrilled for her, in fact!) at what she does, but has been here the longest and absolutely deserves the promotion. I wasn’t even eligible because I actually work for a company that was reached out to in an order to fill my position, and the main company won’t allow “subs” to fill these top positions.

It’s annoying, but I get it. That’s just the way these things work around here. Not shock there, really.

But I’ve said all of that to say this: New girl is only a Level 2, and has only worked here in this environment and in this line of work for less than a year. Less than. So for her to come in and take over things, all personal annoyances aside, is just ridiculous. She’s not qualified. She doesn’t’ have the experience. And she needs to just take a step off.

Am I crazy for thinking this way?

I’m not one of those territorial kind of people. Trust me. Not with this stuff. Ask any other person I work with. I am all about getting things done, and if that means other people doing it? Well, then by-golly that’s what’ll happen.

Nobody wins when you’re only concerned about yourself. I’ve heard it said that “it’s a lonely road to the top”, and I have no interest in getting there.

But when you are going around to other people and making comments about me, and that you don’t like how I do things, well then grow a pair and talk to me about it. But noo.

What does she do?

She sends these e-mails with our bosses CCd, and tells me in this anything-but-genuine way how I need to do things this certain way that she wants me to.

My response?

I reply to all. I say “we’re doing things this way for a reason” in MUCH nicer wording, and throw in one of those “if I’m wrong about any of this, can you guys just let me know? I’ll gladly change things up if this is the case.” Because I have nothing to hide! I have a great relationship with our bosses. That’s what happens when you learn people and you forge working relationships with them.

Being all sneaky and conniving just makes you look like a tool.

And where I would normally be okay with letting her make a fool of herself, with no help from me, and having her just walk around like said giganto-tool, she’s messing up the relationships that we’ve built with the customers. And it’s taken us years to get to this point.

So basically, I’m just tired of it. It’s stressful at work all the time, these days. I’m constantly second-guessing myself because of it. And no one above me seems to notice the ridiculousness of it all (then again, they could possibly just not care, since I’m already doing enough damage control on my own to hopefully cover up all of her mistakes and over-eagerness).

And now I feel like I sound territorial and like I’m over-reacting.

It’s just not a fun situation. I dread going to work, now, and honestly don’t ever want to stay a full 8 hours. I’ve managed to make myself stick it out, but it’s a fight almost every day.

So pray for me… For patience. For wisdom. For kindness towards her. For energy to make it through the day, with some energy to still clean and make dinner at night. For a little extra dose of love to hand out when I’m feeling particularly un-loving. And for the ability to not take out my frustrations with her on other coworkers or my husband.

I’m really trying to work on loving her. It’s just SO hard when I feel like she seems so intent on ruining me and taking over everything I’ve worked so hard to build up.

It’s so hard to work with people like that. Am I the only one?