Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Time for more griping about work: today, as of 20 minutes ago as far as I know, we're finished with that big project. (Yes, this is about a week past the deadline. No one seems to mind, which makes me wonder why we all had to do rushed, slipshod jobs on previous steps in the first place.) I got an e-mail at 9:15 this morning: two people on the project sent me the results of their meeting with that final reviewer. If I just made those changes, we'd be ready. Around 10 or 10:30 a.m., someone else came in (the boss of another member of the team, I think; call him Mr. S.), told me to make one specific change, and said he'd be checking the rule to see if more of the same needed to be made.

Three hours later I was finished with everything else - it took about half an hour at most - but hadn't heard from Mr. S. During that time I had called both him and the team leader and got no answer. (I know I left a message on one of their voice mails and I think it was his but I wouldn't swear to that.) I also had gone to talk to someone else on the team and asked what was going on, but he didn't know. When I got an e-mail from the team leader at 2:45 asking for an update, I called Mr. S. He saw it was me calling, heard me say "hello", said "No, I don't have any more changes for you," and hung up. OK, fine, so why didn't he tell me any time earlier? Did he forget what he asked me to do?

So I send out an e-mail with all four relevant files. Not two minutes later, Mr. S. walks into my office and asks for another change which supposedly really, really needs to be made. It looks like a big difference in the meaning of a sentence about a historical incident, so I make the change. As I'm saving the changes in both versions and getting ready to send another e-mail (I figure if I do it quickly enough, no one will have had time to do anything major with the previous version), the lawyer comes in and tells me to disregard what Mr. S. just said. After a bit of comical dithering like "Undo the last thing you did... No, the thing before that," we figure out that the e-mail I sent out was fine. Apparently what Mr. S. had asked for was just plain factually wrong, according to the lawyer.

My bosses have been worried about this project and how it's going, but I'm really not worried because I know that all the actual problems are due to stuff like this. There's nothing I need to feel guilty about or blame myself for when three or four different people are working on different versions of the document at once, when I had less than two days to review the document, etc.

And while I was writing this, my supervisor came in and said that Mr. S. was the last person to offend, if anything came up, because he's the one person directly in charge of my office or something like that. So it (a) is depressing that such an idiot is in charge, and (b) is just a tiny bit worrying, because he seems like the unreasonable kind of person who would try to pass the buck back down to us if there are any problems, and (c) makes me feel less paranoid about the way I'm using abbreviations for the names of anyone even slightly work-related here.

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