Do you ever do something at work and wish you hadnt? Like blown up at someone?
Thats what I did last night. I am absolutly sick over it. It was my review. Lately some high profile cases have been in the news regarding work and blogs and public posts in general. I dont want to post anything that will come back to bite me later. But I do want to tell my tale. Therapy.
As I said it was my review. My boss was of the opinion that I have been ignoring direction and have been making up my own rules (all her words) because I choose to tab through menu selection on the computer. She thinks I should eneter the menu number directly. Yes, this tabbing was the example she gave when I questioned what she ment that I make up my own rules. Seriously. Yes this pettiness and micro-managing malarke were on my review.
I consider menu selection a question of personal style. Like walking, eating and how I button my shirt or what hand I write with. Tab or number - the next screen is identical. My boss claims that tabbing is too slow. Now I could agree that she would have a point IF my typing in general were too slow. Or if every split second I was slower than anyone else cost the company money. But this isnt the case with either of these things. And certainly there are any number of areas in my day when I am faster than others and therefore can easily make up time for those split seconds gained in tabbing.
I am sure any reasonable person can see how rediculous this is. And it all goes back to day one. I have been in this position for 3 months now. Give or take. And right from the beginning this tab or number was an issue. It all started on my first day of work. She stood over my shoulder and watched as she walked me through the processes. Every screen we use is a menu driven screen with aproximately 25 choices. Everyone has a numerical designation - or you can tab and highlight.
On my very first day she started telling me to “just put in X number”. I have no problem with this except that I wanted to have a few seconds to read the screen before moving on. Memorizing a string of numbers to get me through because of impatience is not good training. I explained that I wanted to read the screens and that I wanted to know where I was going. But she stood behind me chanting “just do it”. Her impatience was obvious. So I tabbed so I could take the time to read the screens. After all, once she is not standing behind me I still have to do the work. I asked her several times to be more patient and allow me to get the feel of where I was going. Imedeately she chimed in with “why arent you willing to just do what I tell you to do”. I should have walked right then, but instead I did my best to explain that I needed time to learn the screens and get familiar with them at my own pace. She began to argue with me about this and frankly I blew up. After a brief shocked look on her face I never heard about tabbing etc again.
Now here it is three months later and its on my review that I make up my own rules, choose not to follow proceedure and “has to do things her own way regardless of the way she has been instructed”. This sounds like I am a loose cannon and I create all my own proceedures without regard to SOP. It sounds really really bad. So I asked my boss to give me more examples of how I disregard proceedure - she named off tabbing and an area where I had made an error just a few days ago.
Now I am getting really mad. People make errors. These are areas that need to be brought to attention so that the behavior or sloppiness can be corrected. An error, a mistake, is not a willful disregard of instruction. Its an error. Period. And I appologize and I know why that error was made and I will correct this. But it has nothing to do with me not being willing to follow proceedure. Certainly put my mistakes on my review. I expect that. But to blanket my error as “has to do things her own way” is not constructive or helpful. In fact, it paints a picture of me that is not accurate. I have been with this company 3 years, this is the first time someone has said I make up my own rules. But this goes in my permanent file. And will impact my future career with this company.
To shoreup her claim that I am so willfully negligent of proceedure she stated that there was a “stack of training audits” to prove it. I said I did not think that the few I had were so out of line for someone new to the job (its a new department for me) and that all of them had happened in the first couple of weeks. She said “you have at least 15”. I asked to see these as I had only seen 3 or 4. Where were the rest? How can I be held accountable if I have not even seen them? She did not produce her “stack” and instead dropped that line of reasoning. As she was unwilling or unable to produce her “15” I have to assume she was exaggerating. In any case how can I correct myself if I dont even see the errors in question?
Now at this point I admit I am hopping mad. And yes I had some tears in my eyes but I was not crying openly. I was trying NOT to cry. But I was so damn mad!!! And so my boss says to me - “and thats another thing, you are way too emotional”. Now I have never cried or yelled in front of clients. And until that moment I had never cried in front of her. So I asked my boss to cite examples of when I have been too emotional to do my job. And she gave me some suprising examples. None of which I was with clients or on the floor. None of which had she herself observed my behavior. All examples were times when I was having a private conversation with another individual and believed that conversation would be held in strictest confidence. 2 of the 4 examples were on my own private time when I was not even on the job. One was a telephone conversation made from my home to the HR manager, one was when I had gone into see HR on my own time. 1 example simply never happened. I asked her to provide details about the incident that never happened because I could not remember it. She stated she couldnt. Only 1 of the 4 was I on the clock and I did not cry. But I did have a brief training discussion with the manager. Perhaps I looked upset and he mentioned this to her. In any case it was a private conversation and I was not on the floor at the time of the incident.
What the heck??? My private conversations with the HR department and others are entering into my review?? I did not think that was legal. And then there is the missing stack of training audits - “proof” of my poor performance. I did not think making up errors was legal either. Even if she did not intend to make up anything and instead, humanly, exagerated how many training audits I have, if this exageration is believed and impacts my review - it is still not right.
Later after my review was over my eyes were red. Another employee asked me if I was OK. I responded that I was. He did not believe me and asked me again. My boss was standing there as he asked. Again I said I was, thank you. But my boss decided to tell him “she just had her review”. WHAT??? I looked at her and said “That is not his business and you had no business telling him about it” What the hell is that???
I am so frigging mad! What really makes me mad is that the times I had my discussions with HR is because my boss was calling me at home on my time to chew me out about something work related. I am an hourly employee and have no files to show my case at home and even though I stated where the information could be found, my boss just kept telling me “you did not”. When I asked her if she had looked at the file in question she stated no, but that it didnt matter because I did not do what I had said. How in the world can I possibly deffend myself from home if the “proof” that I had not made an error was not even going to be looked at by my boss? So I made a complaint to HR that my boss should not be calling me at home but specifically if she was not going to take the time to actually read the information she requested, calling me at home to just bawl me out is not OK.
A few days later HR told me that she told my boss I had talked to her and that she had told her that is was not OK to call me at home. So here my private conversation comes up in my review as “proof” that I am too emotional. I feel that these comments are retailitory in nature for my complaint.
I asked another manager if there was a formal process for making a complaint. He gave me a phone number that I could call. But then cautioned me that the phone call goes right back to our HR manager. Now what the hell is that??
If you have taken the time to read this - bless you. It is really just therapy for me to get it all out of my system.