Chaos Attraction

1100 Records I Have No Time For

2019-10-02, 10:15 p.m.

I told Hannah about last night and the crush song website and she said, “You are literally the Nancy Drew of love.” Ya damn right. I am not a hacker, but if I want to go find something and it exists somewhere online, I will by god find it. (Except I keep trying to find metal iridescent license plate frames and no matter what words I try to search on, I can’t find ‘em. Close but no cigar. I had the 2nd in command try to find them for me today and she found what I did.)

Sadly, I wish I had more to say about that today, but I do not. I might have gone to karaoke tonight, but I’m too wasted, see below. Though I did get a subject line in my email saying “Fall In Love With You,” so there’s that.

Well, work was draining today. I spent the morning doing international mailing. I am roughly half done with the FIRST batch of international mail, i.e. “the stuff with tracking numbers which means it will actually arrive.” I had to quit halfway through the day because I don’t think the carriers can deal with less than a 4 hour window for pickup any more. One of them keeps calling me to say they can’t find the office unless they have a “911 address.” GUESS WHICH ONE. (Though really, our local guy seems to be able to find it just fine, and said so today.) I decided to put the mail from that shipper off until tomorrow, per the suggestions of my coworkers, and then of course got a call from someone who used it wanting to know why it wasn’t shipped yet.

BigBoss announced today that she applied for another higher up job here and is now a finalist. I restrained myself from public commentary on this, but:
(a) She’s been here what, two years at the max?
(b) I get that she might want out of this job, certainly, but
(c) I can’t say I think she’s done a whole lot in this job yet to impress future employers at this org. I get that she has good intentions and things work slow and blah blah, but I don’t think I’d hire her for an even higher job if that is how things are going here now. I’d give it a few years before trying to leave if I were her, rack up some accomplishments.
(d) Oh great, now we’re gonna have another one bail and then not have one for another year again. Again.

I basically do two jobs: I did Job A (data entry) with one other guy when I got here and did it for ten years solo. Then I got transferred the first time and had Jobs B/C/D with two others, and then Job A was transferred back to my new team. Then I ended up losing Jobs C, D, etc. and doing Job A mostly by myself and doing Job B entirely by myself for these last few years. Job B (mailing stuff), however, is getting huger and more complicated, as is Job A. However, the Sharks (my old work group) still do stuff with Job A at least part of the year, whereas I don’t even have an assisstant or anyone I can even borrow for Job B. Job B also is waaaaaaaaaaaaay more urgent than Job A. Job B gets a lot more panicking emails and phone calls.

Then in the middle of the morning I had to have a meeting with the Sharks to train them on the one aspect of Job A I still do alone. This led to my straight up saying to them all that I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME TO FIX 1100 RECORDS, no matter how important it is, because those records are not dire on fire right now and the only things I can work on are things that need to be done immediately, which is all of Job B, which I run ALONE. The leader guy was all “please tell your supervisor immediately” about this, which I did not get to today because I was drowning in mail and really didn’t have the time to Sit Down And Have An Inevitably Long Talk About This, but I assume it was passed down to everyone else by the end of the day anyway because we have a new 2nd 2nd in command (I don’t even know what to call this, but he’s not in my chain of command so he probably won’t be mentioned much. They are splitting the job or something now.) and he was in that meeting and presumably passed it along to the original 2nd in command.

Anyway, I still hang out with Original 2nd and when we went on break together, we hung out chatting afterwards about a bunch of random stuff involving motorcycle biker gangs and the death penalty (she used to work for police) and then towards the end of that, she said she had something to ask me about....which was the 1100 records thing. I proceeded to explain for over an hour, long after the end of the workday, how much shit I have to do and I really don’t have any option to farm anything out to anyone else because public service team has way too many people needing help and not enough staff to handle the demand and I can’t ask anyone drowning harder than me to help me swim. So I handle it myself. I’m very good and very fast and I am not spending seven hours a day on the phone answering the same questions all day, and even I cannot keep up with the demands and workload. It’s too much. Original 2nd definitely listens and got it, and wondered why we can’t hire more people and why it gets blown off whenever she suggests it. She asked if my boss had any suggestions for this and I said that we are drowning too hard all the time to be able to work on any way to improve anything.

I also said that what we need to do is reconfigure things so that there are literally less questions and less people needing to reach out for help. We need to not do processes that people just cannot comprehend and understand, that force us to do all this work to make them get it and then make up for how they didn’t understand it. We need to automate some processes so that nobody has to realize “oops, I forgot to!” We need to not do every single person in one bunch because even if it increases MY workload individually, it would mean we do a lot less paper processing compensating for the fact that we have to wait so long because everyone has to all go together when they go. We need to WARN FOLKS when they are using their free will to make a stupid bad life decision that we KNOW they will hate the results of. I get better results when I email every damn one of my mail clients telling them international mail doesn’t deliver and this is exactly how bad it is and what happens when we try it and YOU WON’T GET YOUR MAIL. We need to be more explicit about the consequences if they choose the bad option. We need tech fixes so I don’t spend weeks doing manual proofreading of stupid shit that causes big problems. She asked if we could add a certain thing in somewhere and I said I wanted to, and was told it would take a month, and then other fucking disasters happened and that means it probably won’t happen for another 5 or 10 years.

She said she wanted to improve things, but it might take a while, we all have to wait for The Big Upgrade to happen first, etc. and I said it doesn’t matter because even if Big Upgrade finally happens, there will always be some other giant emergency that means we can’t do anything. There is always something. If we need help and support from any other office, we don’t get it and we can’t do shit. She basically said be patient, we’re trying to work on it and I'm persistent. Which is legit, but in the meantime, everyone is exhausted and failing. Which at least she gets. I am hoping that this might do....something, sometime. Or at least get me an assistant again, though I pointed out that in this unit, if I did have one, that one would be purloined and dragooned into answering the phones too so what’s the point. Even the one kid NOT in my unit has been dragooned into phones “part time.” So maybe not.

She thinks it’s a shame that my expertise in Job A is going to waste so I can personally mail out stuff when our assistants should be doing it, but again, they are so short staffed and there is such demand, that’s just what happens. I said that even on our supposed down weeks when I was asked to provide the kids with extra work, they were so swamped on phones and email that they never got to it, so I had to. Also, if they’re not allowed access to certain parts of the computer system, I still end up doing the work anyway.

You know what? I want Original 2nd to run this office. If BigBoss gets the job, I hope Original 2nd gets it both temporarily and permanently. She gets it. She’s interested in fixing it, at least. (This is not to say that BigBoss isn’t interested, mind you, but the woman is distant and occupied so who the hell knows what she has going on.) She will actually talk to you about stuff more than once or twice a year. She’d be much better. I dunno if she’d be interested in the job, but I’d be down with it.

Anyway, after I got out of work 45 minutes late, I was exhausted and am now typing in bed, still not doing much of shit.

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