Job stuff.ErinPooh -- Saturday, July 20, 2002 -- 12:25:37 AM
Bring your job-related challenges, gripes, triumphs here!This thread is tagged: career, job
(All users will see what tags exist for a thread. Please tag carefully!)
j-ro, what about catering? I used to work for an economist who did catering on the side (both in the office as a research assistant, and in the evenings as a bartender/server). She just did a few jobs here and there, and had certain things she made really well. You could be a kosher caterer, which I'd bet would be pretty popular.
I just want to report that I've got the best boss. Not only has he nearly talked his VP into promoting me, he's basically letting me write the revised job description geared toward what I'm most interested in moving toward and finding ways to download some of more rote stuff. It'll need to be reviewed and approved by all the corporate people, of course, but still. All bosses should be like him.
The technology chief here is getting me a new laptop. He just came by to ask if I had a printer.
I said "No, you gonna get me one?"
He said, "Do you want want one?"
I said, "Yes!"
They like me, they really, really like me.
Gargh. There's a system here that I've been involved in supporting for years, which has been "about to go away" for most if not all of that time. The system that's supposed to replace it has been written and put into production use, but the new thing is missing a set of features that the old one has. This is because (1) it has been frequently and loudly asserted that these features are only necessary for finishing genomes, not for finishing BACs; this is not true, although it is true that *most* BACs can be finished without them and (2) at a critical stage in the development of the new system, it was loudly asserted that the company wasn't going to finish any more genomes: this was also not true. Nobody's working on getting these features into the new system, and the man-hours haven't been budgeted for it; the theory is, if we get a certain grant that requires us to already have those capabilities and a bunch of others, then we can afford to start writing.
So. The old system is getting quite dinosauriffic -- it was written as a proof-of-concept that got pushed into production use, and since then the other systems that it depends on have been replaced. The muckety-mucks have been keeping support for the old system at a minimum life-support-only level since it's after all "going away soon". The most recent surgery happened early this year, and since I was only in one day a week at that point, the responsibility for cobbling together a way for the old system to work in the new environment fell to someone else.
I just got a request to add a BAC to the old system; it now turns out that, since it's "going away soon", the workaround to allow the old finishing system to work with the new data pipeline is (1) largely manual and (2) not suited to after-the-fact requests like this. Running around like chickens with heads cut off will ensue.
Pebbles, wanna chat on the Grants and Proposals thread? I'm assisting in a small way with a grant on health disparities, and will probably be looking into grants for health resources in libraries pretty soon.
Aaacckkk! Once again, an instructor has brought a class to the library without telling us in advance. Why? Because she didn't want to bother us, and decided she would do the library instruction herself.
I can do a library instruction session on 5 minutes notice, and I have. Instructors who haven't USED the library since 1970 have no business instructing students!!! And I'm going to throw away that damned Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature one of these days.
These are developmental (remedial) students. They deserve our best efforts, and they should be show the simplest and most efficient ways to use our resources. Librarians are the experts on library resources, so why not USE us?
rms, I wish you were the librarian at my school. The librarians here basically just taught my students how to do internet searches - no databases, no physical orientation to the library, nothing. I gave up in disgust and just started taking them myself.
So can you guys help someone (me) who is clueless about corporate office politics? I am temping at Mega Mega Insurance Company that will remain nameless except to say they are fond of Snoopy. Most of the people are very nice and personable and have told me how grateful they are for my help. Two questions:
1. What do I do when whoever gives me a task to do (sorting a mailing, organizing the files) apologizes because this is such a boring, mindless job? Am I supposed to agree?? Mostly, I've just been smiling and saying, "oh, it's just fine!" I mean, I am being paid to do the mindless work; I didn't expect to come there and process claims.
2. How do you deal with the kindly old gentleman manager? He keeps asking me how I am doing, and I feel like I am acting like a little girl. This is hard to explain, but does anyone know what I mean?
1. I think that's fine. Sometimes I say something like "Oh, it's all part of the job!" Just anything to indicate you are cheerfully doing whatever is assigned to you.
2. Does he remind you of your grandpa or something?? Since this is a temp job, I wouldn't worry too much about this unless this is a place you'd like to get a permanent job and you worry that you're being condescended to. When he asks how you're doing, say something like "Fine, thanks--I'm learning the ropes" or "Great--I seem to be getting the hang of it."
Anna - on 1 definitely cheerfully continue what you are doing, no no its fine I don't mind at all.
With number 2 is it your reaction that is worrying you, that you feel like you are acting like a little kid or is it that you feel he is being condescending? I have had managers like that and all and all I liked them, they were nice and it was just their way, I never felt insulted or anything by the way they talked to me. I had one editor who did that to me, very nice, almost solicitous how you doing, etc, he even gave me a couple of hours extra pay once by accident and when he realized it just figuratively patted me on the head and said "take that cute little boy of yours out for an ice cream on me." On the other hand, stories of him literally going over the desk for interns he didn't like and and screaming and chasing them out of rooms were legends in the newsroom. It was a large daily paper where it wasn't unusual to find chairs embedded in the smoking room walls and so forth, I was just glad he liked me.
Half hearted endorsement now that I think about it, but generally I thrive in conditions like that.
I don't think he's condescending, just old fashioned in a way that seems fake and thus I become fake. I prefer a no-nonsense approach: tell me what you need and I will do it.
Of course, this is an office that calls everyone below sales rep level "the girls." There are v. few women who are higher than support staff, and I find this discouraging.
On 1, you could say, "Hey, that's why they pay me the big bucks!" with a friendly smile.
On 2, try smiling nicely, but don't act like a little girl.
Thanks for all the advice. I hate temping, but the way most of the clients react with such enthusiam to me, I think most temps must be incredibly stupid.
I may want to pick y'all's brains about making my temping and academic experience transfer to a real job soon.
We are sending out a mass e-mail now, with a deep discount on one of our less competitive products. Maintenance begins in 90 days from the purchase date, so we're thinking we'll make up the development costs and the cost of the discount price, on the back end with maintenance.
We'll see. We're very excited about this promotion, and hope to increase our install base for this product.