Thursday, June 3, 2010

Workplace Brain Pain... or... The One Where-in I Would Like To Smack My Head On My Desk Repeatedly

I am constantly at a loss for words whenever people make things so much more difficult than they need to be. There has always been a situation at work regarding our receptionist desk... There is a list of people that are the ones that have a schedule for their turn to cover the receptionist’s morning/afternoon breaks and her lunch. These same people are supposed to be the ones to volunteer to cover the board when the receptionist is out sick or on vacation... The volunteering never seems to happen... There are only certain people that step up and it gets really aggravating. Especially this year when the manager that creates the schedule decided that she was gonna “stick it” to the people that don’t volunteer and just load them up for scheduled breaks instead. At least that’s how it was explained to me – how it was explained to everyone else was that they would be doing more turns than her group because they would be the first ones to cover when the receptionist is out and that would make it all even out. Well, this just pissed everyone off... Understandably so... Especially because she was WAY OFF on some of the list or people that volunteer vs. the list that doesn’t. I tried at one point to explain to her which people she had missed the mark on and she just told me I must be wrong and went ahead with it.

Well, what this little game did was make it so no one was willing to volunteer at all anymore because her group was never the first ones to cover – if they covered at all. And there was lots of stress for the receptionist and lots of stress for those of us that were still willing to volunteer... So I opened a gigantic can of worms by writing my boss a long e-mail about how messed up it all was and the problems that were coming up because of it. He brought one of the other top managers into it along with the manager that created the schedule... And several strongly worded e-mails followed...

What ended up happening was the manager that created the schedule had to create a revised schedule to make it balanced and fair for the rest of the year. They were also required to let everyone know that there would be no more “volunteering.” The names of the group that provide coverage are listed out and if your name is next, it is your turn. Well, I created a quick and easy (or so I thought... stupid me, thinking people are logical) check sheet to keep track of who had already had a turn providing coverage outside of the normal schedule to make sure everyone took their turn.

Here is what it looked like... (Obviously the real one had all the names... We haven’t gone so far as to simply be referred to as Person 1, etc. Yet...)

Pretty simple, right? When someone has a turn providing coverage, you put a check mark next to their name – or a date, a gold star, a smiley face... I don’t give a crap what – and when that column is all filled in, it’s time to move onto the next column and lather, rinse, repeat...

But no. That’s too complicated for this manager. This manager is making the receptionist use it to fill out in advance when she will be on vacation and whose turn it will be... Is this necessary? Am I missing something? Isn’t “If your name is next on the list, it is your turn” pretty stinking self-explanatory?? And what happens if the receptionist has to call in sick between now and whenever her vacation is scheduled? It negates the whole mess that this manager is making her figure out. I could have sworn the point of the new program was to make it as simple and idiot-proof as possible... And to relieve the stress that is always put on the receptionist to find coverage for her days off! But no, that’d be too easy...

Ugh. I just DO NOT get it. Can someone please explain to me why simple things need to be made complicated?!?!?!

I want to go home and lock the door, unplug the phone, turn off the lights, and curl up in my bed and pretend that there are more intelligent life forms on this planet than the dumb ones that I have to deal with.

My brain hurts again.


  1. OMG!!! I swear I live in the same hell as you do. Honestly, if it makes sense they throw it out and insert dumb idea. I feel for ya babe!!! Best wishes!

  2. "thinking people are logical"

    Big mistake.

  3. Yeah... I should have learned not to expect too much from some of these people.... And I know that people aren't logical, I try to be optimistic and hope for some logic to find its way in.... :-)

  4. there are more intelligent forms on the planet. some people just had to complicate things to make their life more meaningful..

    from SITS :)

  5. I think it was just a way to try to micromanage a situation that didn't need it so that they could try to look like they were being effective....

  6. Ouch. My brain hurts vicariously through yours. Un-freakin'-believable....

    Why, why, why do ppl have to MAKE more work for themselves?? I swear...some ppl have such egos that they can't accept anyone else's's only their way.

    That poor receptionist...she must cringe every time she needs to pee.

  7. It really is THAT bad... It's unfortunate...

  8. One thing I detest is a person who thinks they have to make simple things complicated to make themselves look better. And that seems to me, to be exactly what this manager is doing.

    Sorry! I know that sucks!

    Stopping by from follower! :-)

  9. You and my sister seriously need to hang out. She just started working in an office and this kind of shiz is Blowing. Her. MIND.

  10. It's insane. If she hasn't seen Office Space yet - she should. And if she saw it before, she needs to watch it again because she will understand so much more of the pain... haha

  11. Oh people suck. When I think I want to go back to work, I come across stories like these and think, I'll stay home for awhile longer. LOL I'm sorry people are idiots!

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