Friday, November 09, 2007

Much better, thank you

I'm better-rested and it's Friday, so I get to sleep late (but not too late) tomorrow. Especially because the kids are spending the night away.

I did something uncharacteristic yesterday. Apparently my crankiness from the morning may have lasted a tad into the workday, and by that I mean ALL DAY.

Here's the story, with identifying details left out. You tell me if I'm in the wrong.

I worked all day and night for the majority of 36 hours this week because we were replacing machines, including putting in a new server (no, I'm not in the I.T. field...I'm our department's go-to girl in these situations). So I gave up, willingly, valuable sleep and time with my family in order to improve something in my workplace. Something that is not specifically part of my job, mind you.

As with many hardware/software installations, things weren't perfect. Wednesday morning and yesterday were spent in troubleshooting mode, helping the employees figure out the machines and dealing with problems as they came up.

One of the employees seemed to have many, many more issues than anyone else. This employee also seems, in general, to have a piss-poor attitude most of the time. And this person is smarter than he/she lets on, in my opinion. And maybe a little manipulative. I called shenanigans.

When this person's machine crashed for the third time, another manager tried to make it work. And couldn't. I was called. And figured out, very quickly, that the network cord was plugged into the wrong jack on the wall. Once I'd ascertained that, I asked the employee to come over and look, so that he/she could know where it should be plugged in, just in case it happened again. But instead of, "Thanks for helping me," or, "Great, I'd like to know more about how my machine works," or, "Okay," the reply was this: "I don't want to know."

"I don't want to know."

I processed this one for a second.

"I don't want to know." How to do my job? Anything that may put me in a position to move up? Any more than I have to know in order to do the very least I can do and stay employed?

Sorry. That's not how I roll.

And I may have thrown my hands up and said, "Fine, if you don't want to know how to operate your machine, I'm not going to worry about it. See you later."

And then when he/she told me that I misunderstood the response, I may have used the example: "If your child was failing math and you wanted to teach her the multiplication tables so she could pass math, and she told you I don't want to know, would that bother you?"

Should that bother me?

Because it does. Still. Honestly, yesterday I really wished I was Donald Trump, because I would have said, "You're fired!" with a great flourish. And a smile.

So, am I wrong to expect employees to want to actually do their jobs well? And to be glad that this person is not on the schedule today?


Anonymous said...

I vote you were totally right. And I am not at all certain that if I had been in your situation, I would have come up with anything nearly as true and honest.
That said, here's another option (Monday morning quarterbacking) that you might use the next time (yeah, there just might be one--grin): say, very seriously, firmly, and thoughtfully, maybe even sympathetically, "You may not want to, but you do NEED to." And wait.

Kristabella said...

No, you're not wrong at all.

One, it's your JOB. So you don't get the option to not know. You either know, or you don't work there anymore.

Two, It's not effing rocket science.

What a jerk face!

mom said...

If I lived nearby, I'd bring dinner tonight!

Showing emotion can be part of the job sometimes...keeping cool all of the time is impossible.

alan said...

He or she basically said they don't want to do their job, which, in my head, is grounds for showing them the door, or at the very least it should be noted on their file that they are resistant to performing their job, definitely a deal breaker for a performance based raise

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