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Saturday, July 3, 2010

is it me?

Friday, I became quite self-reflective. Maybe it's me. That's something I've been saying for years as I work with people and end up with a result other than what I expected. Usually, observers and people that hear my tale say, "no, it's not you". This week, there were 3 events that again made me ask, "Maybe it's me. Maybe my perspective is warped and I make excuses for my short-comings and more is my fault than I acknowledge."

Event 1- The big boss met with me and told me she's giving the program directors a raise but was thinking of giving me a 90 day trail period before giving me a raise to see if she'll see improvement in 2 areas. Issue 1- my knowledge of the budget. Issue 2- I've told her I need to check with my house manager too many times. Issue 1- I don't think that's my fault, or is it me? My previous boss did not give me access to my budget. I would ask; it was never granted. Both bosses have promised that I will get quarterly reports of what's going on with my budget. They have yet to deliver on that promise in the last 2 years of making it-- but it's my fault that I don't know what's going on with my budget? I request information directly from accounting. I may or may not get it. I have never been trained in regards to the budget despite requesting it in writing on my previous 2 evaluations-- but it's my fault? If Carolyn had decided not to give me a raise on this basis, I would have been hurt and irate and protested. I'm requesting information from everyone relevant and not getting it but I need to be more aggressive in obtaining information regarding my budget? What do you want me to do? Threaten to bomb the administrative building? I've asked in e-mail, I've asked in person, I've e-mailed and called to follow up on requests-- WTF? I think my superiors need to step up and support me in these efforts and I told my big boss that in a nicer way. I ask; what's she going to do to make sure they deliver? How about holding up her part and her word?

Issue 2- I asked for an example but she couldn't give me one. I can't speak to that observation without knowing what's she talking about. Since the House Manager is in charge of the building, I would guess that I've said I would check with her when asked about building repairs. I can stop responding that way. Basically, I'll just be providing less than updated information. I don't have a problem with that if that'll make her think I'm doing a better job of managing my program. I follow up on maintenance issues; I just know that the answer I give her 3 days after I last checked is not the most up to date information. Plus, I view this as me doing my job and letting Sherry do hers. I view myself as an overseer. I check in, I move on. I prefer that people go to Sherry on things in her domain and don't fully understand why that's wrong. To me, it's pretense. Sherry is in charge of the building; ask her, not me. But I will comply. Also, I think this complaint feeds into other people not doing their jobs. There are a number of repairs that I've been trying to get done since April. Some things, we can book. Other things are to booked through the maintenance office. They keep giving me the run away but what are my supervisors doing to help me with that? I've reported to them what's going on. I call maintenance. I e-mail them. I copy the e-mails to my boss. I send additional e-mails to my boss and have verbal conversations with her about what's going on. I've pointed out when they have given me false information. What else am I to do? I don't have administrative support on my issues but I get a bunch of shit about things not going right. Well, yeah... but maybe it's me. Maybe I really am falling short and not doing enough but I need more than "do better" to have that change. I am doing everything that I can see to do to get things done but I don't have the power to move people more powerful than i am.

It's funny how having my old boss recently would have been helpful. As intrusive, overbearing, and short-sighted I sometimes found her, she would have had my back on many of these things and made sure things happened.

Event 2- My car stopped at a busy intersection Friday afternoon. A cop pulled up behind my car shortly after I left to walk to AutoZone to get something that I thought would help my car start. I had this issue 3 weeks before and Lucas fuel injection (or something) + gas got me moving again. I saw the cop and tried to signal to him that I was the one with the broken car and was headed to autozone to address the issue. I couldn't secure eye contact with him in his vehicle and he never got out. I continued with my plan. When I returned from AutoZone, I poured some Lucas in my tank and gave a thank you hand motion to the cop when I returned. I tried to crank my car and true to the AutoZone workers' prediction, it didn't work without the gas. The cop came up to my window to ask what was going on. I explained. He told me I didn't need to get any gas because I had just gotten gas on Wednesday, that I had to call a tow truck or he would. I again explained that this had happened before and Lucas + gas made it work and that the AutoZone worker told me it wouldn't be effective unless I added gas. I pointed to a Circle K and said I just needed to get down there to get some gas and my car should work. He refused to let me get some gas. In the end, we waited about 90 minutes for a tow truck. The tow truck took me to the gas station, I added gas and my car worked fine. As$hole. If he had listened, we wouldn't have had to sit in traffic all that time with my broken car. But was I in the wrong there? The cop assumed that because I saw him, I should have walked over to his car instead of continuing to AutoZone. I saw him and assumed he was there to help, sitting behind me with his lights to better ensure that no one hit me and also making it easier for people to know to go around from afar. We were working under 2 different assumptions. I can acknowledge that and understand the confusion that can cause. Still, I think I could have listened to my explanation of what I thought was going on without writing me off as a disrespectful jerk for not mosing back through traffic to talk to him once I saw that he pulled up. A cop had just driven by me and I wondered if s/he would turn around and help since they saw I was stuck in traffic. I didn't ask Officer Watts if he was that cop but that officer sits at the beginning of my assumption that a police officer was there to help and not to tell me I was inconveniencing traffic by breaking down there. My bad. Let me pick a better place to stop next time. WTF?

Event 3- My mom and I were at the playhouse debating if we wanted to get season tickets that night. She told me she had to make a phone call and walked out. I thought she was coming back. She didn't. I questioned my interpretation of the situation. Talking to her later,she did intend to come back when she left but got caught up in other people leaving and just went on. I don't think my interpretation was off in that because I correctly inputed her intention; she just changed her mind.

So what do you think? Is it me? Do I just make excuses to make myself the innocent in situations or have I repeatedly been handed a bad deal? If my view of the world is this far off from everyone else's, I need to change my viewing lens or else I'll have a tough, confused life.

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