Author Topic: Personal Stuff  (Read 17398 times)

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Offline BC_cheque

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #270 on: October 05, 2018, 10:08:50 pm »
Wow - back to work so soon ?  What about the 1 year old ?   Are you gonna take 'em with you in your chopper ?

Haha. 

She's going to a really nice daycare, but it'll be short days.  I only applied to part time jobs and I'll be dropping her off late and and my husband starts work ridiculously early so he's done by early afternoon.

I love her so much and I feel like a jerk saying this, but mat-leave isn't easy.  What the working partner usually doesn't understand is that in some ways it's easier to go to work.  It's pretty isolating staying home with a baby for a year.  I miss grownups.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #271 on: October 06, 2018, 01:57:50 am »
Ok - what are your work environments like ?

I am with about 12 people in a large, bright, quiet open area... 80s office cubicle decor but we are seated at two looong tables with lots of space.  26th floor with nice view of uptown...  I spend most of my time listening to music on Sirius XM and almost no time on here.

My cubicle has a majestic view of Kim City's "hobos and auto-parts" district.

The back half of our office has a small production floor, where my happy little minions are hard at work assembling our wonderful products.  They're not literally those little yellow one-eyed fucks from the Disney movie, but that's how I visualize them as I interact with them. It's one of those little techniques I've picked up to develop confidence.  Kind of like imagining your audience naked when you're doing public speaking.

The front half of the office is management, sales, applications engineering. I have come to think of this as the stale male area. We have cubicle dividers, but it's somewhat open.  Depending who is working from home or whatever, there are typically five or six of the males in the office, ranging in staleness from "not really" to "extremely." Most of them are okay and sometimes even fun to work with.  However, sometimes there are some very loud and boring conversations about work-related issues that go on forever and make me want to shoot myself. The new guy in particular is intent on questioning every single procedure. "Why do you do that this way?"  "We do that this way because it is efficient and works well." "Well at my old place we used to do this that way, and I think we should do that here as well because of reasons." "But we already do that this way, and we don't want to revise our process." "But I did this that way for 40 years, and it works very well and I think that we should do this that way here as well."

And at the nexus of these two areas is the Kim Zone, which is sort of the all-important hub that keeps everything linked together and functioning as a cohesive unit.

 -k
Masked for your safety.

Offline MH

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #272 on: October 06, 2018, 07:44:45 am »
So I found out that my company has been intentionally vague about parental leave for fathers for a reason: there is none.  Joan doesn't care about things like that normally but she is hormonal now and cries for no reason, or gets angry for no reason, and gets angry if there is a reason so she got angry.  I am trying to explain to her that my taking a job that pays $40K less still makes sense for reasons, but I didn't put a lot of time into the discussion as she was pissed off.

One thing I know is that I do not want to have debt over my head.  We are debt free and saving money, and have enough for a down payment as well as a healthy nest egg for pension.  We have never been a "keeping up with the Joneses" type couple, so I want to redouble my efforts to explain why keeping this job is a good idea for now.

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I think if I had to go to work in a smallish company I would flip out.  The story of the guy saying "we did it this way at my old company" drives me crazy both ways: either his criticism is apt, which I doubt, and there are obvious improvements and that happens.... OR... it doesn't make any difference and he should shut up and work. 

I get this look on my face when people suggest shitty options for managing things, and people recognize it and start stammering.  Even though it's a natural asset, it's possibly my greatest one. 

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Here's a story.  I'll try to making it unboring and brief as possible but I don't think I will succeed:


Most of my job consists in trying to mind-meld with technical guys who are having problems that they can barely express in any language... and figure out if I can help them, or who I have to alert or escalate to.

The way it works at my business, metaphorically, is that my group builds the foundation for some work... and an internal group (we call them internal customers) put a building on the foundation.  They just brought in a new manager for the internal customers, and he seems very slick, very talky, well-dressed but incompetent.  His first move was to call for a weekly 1.5 hour meeting with me and my three technical leads EVERY Monday to "coordinate" between the groups.

Now, the thing is that yes - SOME coordination is necessary.... MAYBE.  To continue with the metaphor of building: we say we are preparing the concrete for the pouring foundation on Feb 1, and we have explained that it will be this long and this wide, and the internal customers can build your building on it 3 days after the pour, for the concrete to dry. 

So, for coordination... maybe their engineers may come back and need to meet with us occasionally with questions we didn't anticipate like "what kind of concrete is it ?" "you said it could hold this weight but what about temperature fluctuation" "what if we need to poke some iron beams into it as it dries" etc.  Unanticipated things and new questions that come up.  So, yes, maybe.  But NOT 1.5 hours EVERY MONDAY with Five of us.  That's 7.5 man-hours or one day.

But... fine... the new incompetent guy is new so maybe we can just do it a few times then he'll figure out after awhile that we are wasting time with those meetings and drop them to monthly or whatever.  With that in mind, and generally trying to work with him, we met the last two Mondays to "coordinate" BUT the meetings were all about their internal planning, with my most productive team members just sitting there listening.  Our stuff barely came up, and when it did they just asked us about our promised delivery dates which are already published and known.  It was a good thing my guys brought their laptops and were tapping away the whole time.

So it made zero sense to meet and most people at this level know better than to call useless meetings, but there's more: we had to listen to him talking to his own guys in the room, and he was clearly f***cking up: assigning tasks to people and setting due dates without discussing dependencies, work flow, or how long the tasks would take.   His people didn't really seem to be buying in to his plan.

AND THAT is bad enough, but there's even more: later in the week he sends us a bunch of dates we're now supposed to meet, that we never heard of before.  As in "prior to February 1, we will need XYZ done by mid-November in order to provide ... yada yada yada".  We don't know where he got his required dates from, and he never communicated those needs to us IN THE MEETINGS HE SPECIFICALLY SET UP to discuss such things!

I know that this kind of thing happens sometimes, but we are supposed to be more careful with peoples' time than this.  I was livid, but got talked down by the lady who is managing the relationship between the groups.  So, instead of making a stink, we got them to publish that the dates they are promising for THEIR items are tentative.  And also - my group won't be promising anything those dates.  Basically he has promised something that he can't deliver in any way but covering his ass by writing the word 'tentative' on the promise.  Just ridiculous.

My relationship manager lady will be escalating this to people on our side, telling our VP what they're doing and stating that their approach is just dumb.  They're promising things to their people that are dependent on dates from us - dates that we aren't promising.

All of this noise caused an extra 2 hours of meetings on my back this week beyond the 1.5.   >:(  As I told my relationship manager lady, I can do 60 one-minute tasks in an hour, such as updating a task board with important details, or sending one of the dozens of emails I send to Microsoft or other vendors daily to get them to escalate something they're dragging on.  3.5 hours wasted in a week of 37.5 hours is not ok.

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Don't know if this is of interest, but I put some effort into it anyway, in case anybody is interested.
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guest4

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #273 on: October 06, 2018, 09:04:34 am »
I'm in a team of four, within a larger team of about 20 people.  Our small team used to work in an area with four small work areas enclosed by cubicle walls; it was noisy and distracting.  People hated it, and it was part of the reason for high turnover in the last few years.  But earlier this year I led the reconfiguration of that space and now we have tiny but private cubicles with natural light, which we didn't have before.  It's a bit tight, but an improvement over the previous arrangement. 

The biggest issue we have is a two-year backlog due to a doubling of workload a few years ago, and another doubling just this year, and high turnover due to low pay which isn't enough to compensate for the stress related to the high volume of work, unhappy clients and the physical work space.   The employer has been hard to persuade that more staff and better pay would go a long way to meeting their (claimed) #1 goal of customer service, so we spend lots of time letting people know that there is still a backlog.  We are a taxpayer funded organization, but we also generate revenue and the backlog means that we are losing that revenue.  (To give my manager her due, she has worked extremely hard to get another permanent person, and she's finally been successful so we will be getting an extra pair of hands.   She's also been able to finagle temporary staff, but each time we get a new temp, there is months of training needed so it's a mixed blessing.)

In the private sector, this situation would have been remedied long ago, through more staff and a wage that reflected the requirements and workload of this position.   Given that there is about a year of training needed to know the basics, and another year to learn the more complex stuff, high turnover has been a significant factor in the situation we have today.   

But on the plus side for our customers, BC has among the lowest rates for personal income tax, no doubt helped by the previous government's cost slashing through elimination of jobs, resulting in the smallest public sector in Canada.  Tax reductions do have trade-offs, and for us and the public that we serve, it's a two-year wait for a service that should take 3 to 6 months.

Offline MH

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #274 on: October 06, 2018, 12:14:40 pm »
I don't understand why a long wait time like that is even acceptable.

Offline ?Impact

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #275 on: October 06, 2018, 03:43:07 pm »
His first move was to call for a weekly 1.5 hour meeting with me and my three technical leads EVERY Monday to "coordinate" between the groups.

I don't think the idea of a regular meeting is the problem, it is holding it for 1.5 hours. If that is simply to reserve that time on everyone's calendar that is one thing, but to need to fill the time because it is there is a problem. If things are well run, which includes ensuring punctuality from everyone, then the meeting could be over with quickly most times. While there are some benefits to meeting in person, weekly would be far too often with today's technology as most of those meetings could be conference calls (eg. skype). When a topic comes up that involves half or less of the people present, then that should be taken offline quickly.

Offline MH

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #276 on: October 06, 2018, 03:58:24 pm »
1. I don't think the idea of a regular meeting is the problem, it is holding it for 1.5 hours.
2. If things are well run, which includes ensuring punctuality from everyone, then the meeting could be over with quickly most times.
3. While there are some benefits to meeting in person, .
1. If we were using the time productively then ok.  But as per my story we're not.  If I had 5 minutes to waste during the day then I would come on here more often.
2. Yes, except the discussions often lead to side discussions.  It's hard to moderate those.
3. We do meet offline whenever we can.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #277 on: October 10, 2018, 12:08:00 pm »
So I found out that my company has been intentionally vague about parental leave for fathers for a reason: there is none.
I thought Ontario required it.....

Oh right. Doug Ford tore up the labour laws.

Offline MH

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #278 on: October 10, 2018, 12:36:32 pm »
I'm taking about Top-Up.

Offline the_squid

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #279 on: October 10, 2018, 02:02:20 pm »
Apparently, paternity leave is coming next year by the Feds.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/parental-ei-leave-benefit-march-2019-1.4839097

Offline MH

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #280 on: October 10, 2018, 07:28:23 pm »
Nice.  I just missed it :D

Offline MH

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #281 on: October 11, 2018, 05:47:19 am »

But on the plus side for our customers, BC has among the lowest rates for personal income tax, no doubt helped by the previous government's cost slashing through elimination of jobs, resulting in the smallest public sector in Canada.  Tax reductions do have trade-offs, and for us and the public that we serve, it's a two-year wait for a service that should take 3 to 6 months.

I still don't get why a 2 year wait is ok ?

guest4

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #282 on: October 11, 2018, 08:39:53 am »
I still don't get why a 2 year wait is ok ?

It isn't "ok", but its more "ok" than spending tax dollars on more staff, as far as I can see.   There are other ways we could create better efficiencies that would help, but the primary issue is simply too many files that need to be processed for the people available and trained.

The situation only affects about 900 people/lower level governments/businesses at any given time and most of them wait, under protest. Those who do escalate to a minister tend to get prioritized to the best of our ability, especially job and revenue-producing clients.  But at least the wait in our Ministry isn't life threatening for people, though people are often concerned about their ability to carry on their business. 

Offline MH

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #283 on: October 11, 2018, 09:37:25 am »
I just don't understand how it doesn't change.

guest4

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Re: Personal Stuff
« Reply #284 on: October 11, 2018, 10:03:07 am »
I just don't understand how it doesn't change.

Me neither.  I suppose if everyone affected contacted their minister, it would change.  Maybe. 
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