Frustrations!

Todayʼs post is gong to be really brief because I am a] exhausted (Iʼll explain below) and b] pressed for time (still). Why? My job, naturally.

I only wish I had hair to pull!

Work kind of frustrated me on Tuesday by presenting me (and all the other crew leaders) with an immense, complicated and lengthy task that needed to be done immediately. Receiving the eighteen boxes, each containing about a dozen work sets, at 10:30 AM, I set to work double-checking the assignments and trucked them home. I then spent the next twelve uninterrupted hours (until midnight) organizing and then distributing the work sets for my crew, so that they could get their tasks during training yesterday. I probably wasnʼt the best trainer in the world after spending fourteen solid hours at tedious and complicated effort, followed by only five hours of sleep. But I tried. (I was really feeling pleased that I had accomplished the fourteen-hour day successfully — well, more or less, as it has turned out. And I survived the day-long training session yesterday.)

It wasnʼt really my superiorsʼ fault that I had to do this massive, hydra-headed chore. The entire workload for our local office didnʼt even arrive on their computers until last Saturday morning, and they nobly and diligently got it all printed, organized and distributed by Tuesday morning. I am amazed at the concentrated effort they put forth. (I also donʼt think anyone really understood the prolonged complexity of the task that then left us to complete, either, however.) One aspect of my task that made it especially hard is that in the current operation, workers cannot redo cases they have already done: everything must be revisited “with fresh eyes.”

Unfortunately, the only information I had to work with from the previous operation was who had been officially assigned the whole work set, so I labored long and hard to avoid putting anyone back into the same assignment they had formerly received. (I have now discovered that I three times messed up — how odd after ten hours of effort — on that duplication score, but I think I can solve those issues easily.)

Right now, I am simply hoping that I was not the only one to finish (more or less, as it has turned out) in time for the training. I asked my boss and one of her superiors on Tuesday, “So now I have to go home and make all the assignments this afternoon?” I actually believed that the afternoon would be enough time. Ha.

They each agreed strongly, so I did what I was told (always the good civilian solider). Of course, it turned into the kind of elaborate chore that only a former teacher would bother to complete as assigned, working nonstop for twelve consecutive hours (not breaking for lunch because I started right away once I got home, nor for supper because by that time it was more than evident just how Sisyphean this job really was). So everybody else in my position had better have had to do the same thing (maybe some of them were somehow more efficient at the job than I was). “Yes, you do it today,” had better mean just exactly that, in other words. Because otherwise this may have been strike three against my employers…

So I did it. I dropped off to sleep about one in the morning to awaken at 5:40 to get to my training site and set everything up before the crew members arrived. I got through the long day (actually only about six hours), arranged for a daily meeting place to collect paperwork from the crew as we do our job, and came home to essentially collapse late yesterday afternoon. Yes, the phone rang with several issues from the crew that didnʼt come up during the session, but I have gotten to expect that. At least now I could relax until the next morning (which would be today).

And then the phone rang again — our local office saying that some of my assignments (nearly ten) wouldnʼt work because of conflicts that nothing I had within my information could have told me (nor will I know if the solutions, whatever they may be, will work either because at this moment I donʼt really have a clue how to resolve the conflicts). Likewise, said conflicts were not supposed to be a problem as long as the worker had not worked the specific case(s) I had assigned, which they hadnʼt. But they had worked other cases from that assignment (not the ones they were about to begin, however), and so the computer refused to accept my designation of who got what work. This is not the situation we had been trained to expect. As long as no one was working cases they had already done, we had been instructed, they could work any cases I assigned. But not in computer-reality! Frustration!! And it could happen again (and again and again) because I have no way of knowing who may have worked a specific case or two from an assignment (nor probably do the workers because they remember the cases not the assignment book); all I know is who had been responsible overall for the whole set of cases. Yet working any one assignment from the work set earlier taints you from officially receiving other cases in the new version of the work set. The hydra just keeps sprouting new heads! Frustrating!

Anyway, thatʼs where my life at work is at present. And, yes, I am whining about it. What better venue to complain than right out here in cybernetic public? I am sorry, but I do now have a post (significantly longer than I had intended). I genuinely do feel better for having vented the steam. And I may have invented a way out of my (not actual-)duplication difficulty while writing…

Hang in here, faithful readers. Maybe you will find something of greater entertainment value tomorrow.

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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