Project list

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Who else has a seemingly never ending project list at work?

I kid you not, every time I finally get to knock a project off my list three more get added. Or, let’s put it this way…every time I get close to the surface and can actually start treading water something grabs me and pulls me farther underwater.

Yes, I know I shouldn’t be complaining – job security and all.

But there is a point where you just feel like if they add one more you are going to break. Luckily, I am still working from the garage-office (or garoffice, if you will) and I can literally scream or yell when I need to. It really does let off steam, and it is slightly more productive than throwing office products.

They just keep piling it on and I am just lining it up. Deadlines? HA! I scoff at deadlines. You can’t keep piling this stuff up and think that deadlines are going to be met. When the work whistle goes off, I go home (well, I am already home so picture me turning off the light and walking out).

Anyway, how are you doing today? Do you have an overwhelming list of things to do, or are you good? Got good balance at work?

Commiserate with me. Spill your tactics for dealing with that overwhelming work load.

Sick days

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What are your feelings on Sick Days? Have you or do you currently work in a position that offers you Sick Days? If you had access to Sick Days, did you use them? Maybe a better question is how did you use them?

Kind of loaded questions, probably. Here’s another…does they way you use your Sick Days say anything about you, like as a person?

As most of you understand, a paid Sick Day is for those times when you (or someone in your family) are physically ill and it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to work (or you need to care for someone), or if you (or someone in your family) have medical appointments you need to attend. In general, these are the only acceptable uses of your Sick Day(s).

With that being the general understanding of how a Sick Day is supposed to be used, where do you stand when people use a Sick day for something other than those two reasons?

Examples of other uses:

A co-worker takes a Sick Day because they want to take an extra day on either end of a holiday or vacation.

A co-worker uses a Sick Day to go shopping, or to take a beach/lake/whatever day – basically like a vacation day.

You take a Sick Day as a “mental health” day.

You aren’t sick, but just don’t feel like dealing with your co-workers today so you use a Sick Day.

A co-worker is avoiding doing part of their job so they take a Sick Day.

Obviously, there are lots of scenarios where someone could use a Sick Day for something other than being sick.

So, how do you feel about it? Is anything acceptable now?

I have some 100 days of Sick Leave accrued from the last 19+ years (15 year of teaching and 4+ in my current position).

I very rarely used my Sick Days when I was a teacher because it was just easier to go to school than it was to get a sub (all teachers feel this way), and I almost never use more than half of my allotted Sick Days in my current position. So, I have a large bank of days to draw from should I need them.

I guess this all comes from the fact that some of my co-workers have used all their Sick Days up (because they didn’t use them for their intended use) and then something happens and they need to ask for people to voluntarily gift them Sick Days. I know people who regularly (and often) take Sick Days to just do whatever they want because they can and no one questions them about it.

What do you think?

Do you think poorly of the people who use the benefit in such a way, or do you think it is OK to take an occasional “mental health” day?

Drop your thoughts, or experiences, in the comments. Really curious what you all think!

When it don’t

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Yesterday. Yesterday was a challenge. Well, not the whole day, but a part of the day that mattered more than the rest, if that makes sense.

Like most people who are working from home these days, Zoom or Teams or whatever video conferencing platform you use is kind of an essential part of your job. Meeting with clients, meeting with your supervisors/teammates/co-workers, or meeting with potential clients is something that typically needs to be done several times throughout the day.

Yesterday, I was co-hosting a meeting (a training) with clients and the challenges of the day started shortly after the meeting began.

First, the video started to freeze and the sound was choppy. Then the internet just dropped altogether.

Gone. Kicked outta the meeting.

I frantically tried to reconnect, and within a minute or two I am back in the meeting. Apologies to my co-worker and clients.

15 minutes later I am dropped again.

This time, after waiting for over 5 minutes to get a signal back, I find there just is no internet at all. Damn. Wait several minutes, still no internet. Wait several more minutes, look to see if there is internet by staring at the router. It says there is WiFi, but of course that just means it is broadcasting not that there is data being transferred.

I tell my phone to stop using WiFi and then log into the Xfinity app. Sure enough, internet is down for maintenance in the area. Affected customers is between 51-500. “Expected restoration of services…” is an hour and a half. Seriously?

How about a little warning? Or, better yet, if this was an unexpected outage, how about a text message with info letting me know this info without me having to become a detective for the internet signal?

Thankfully the outage didn’t last as long as they estimated. The internet came back and I logged back into the meeting after 30 minutes. It appeared that I might get kicked from the meeting again after 20 minutes, but apparently they figured out something and I was able to co-host as expected.

The internet is obviously a necessity these days, especially when it comes to work.

But, when it don’t work, it don’t work. And neither do you.

Slow day

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The work day is crawling today.

There are barely any help tickets and the only thing left to do is work on projects…and I don’t want to.

Can we all just go home now?

Staring at the screen waiting for something to happen is mind numbing.

OK, fine, I’ll work on projects.

But I am not going to like it.

Mind reader

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I provide customer support to school district for their SIS. I have clients all the time that apparently think we are mind readers because they give us no details in order to investigate an issue.

Today’s email:

Hello, one of my teachers has posted his grades but some still show as not posted. Can you tell me why this is so so I can pass it along?

What am I supposed to do with this? There is nothing in this email that gives me any clue what to investigate other than it is a teacher and has something to do with his gradebook.

This should be proof about customer service people and why they are already irritated before you even start talking to them. If you are going to be a smart customer/client, you have to provide the people that help you with detailed information not just “it’s broke and I don’t know what to do.”

Now, I have to call this client and ask questions before I can even begin to investigate the issue. This is a waste of my time and a waste of theirs as well. It could be easily fixed, but I won’t know this on the initial call because I will have to get more info first.

*shakes head in disgust*

Come on people, work with us here. We aren’t mind readers.

Last minute

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Nothing like starting the day off at work thinking you are going to be doing one thing, only to find out that that plan is totally out and you will be doing something completely different and something you haven’t prepared for at all.

I got thrown into a training today, on a piece of the software that I am somewhat familiar with but by no means an expert on. Someone else has been prepping for this training for weeks and they were ill so they couldn’t do the training this morning. Luckily they had written a script for the training and I had an outline to work from. Otherwise there would have been a lot more fumbling around than there was.

The training went fine (I think) with only a few little spots where I needed a little help from my co-host, but the software was demonstrated and is now at least familiar to those who might be using it.

I may not get the best training ratings though. As someone who has sat through plenty of trainings, you can always tell when the trainer isn’t as familiar with the subject matter as they would like to be. That was me this morning. So, I imagine the reviews won’t be all the great.

Oh well. Good thing my paycheck doesn’t depend on it at this point.

Blather

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Drivel.

Drone.

Anyone else tired of it?

There seem to be a whole lot of people talking in circles and about nothing, blathering, droning, on and on and on about drivel.

I have co-workers who do it.

I have a governor who does it.

I have family members who do it.

Political candidates are experts at it. Politicians have made a living at it.

The media does it.

Hell, my kids do it.

Anyone else just frickin’ tired of people, life, everything?

I’m over it.

Stacked up

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The work is stacking up and there is no sight to get it all done. Not any time soon.

More and more things are being added but nothing is being taken away. There is no time to focus on anything, so projects that would help clients aren’t getting done. Instead, dealing with “immediate needs” is eating up all our time.

I am not sure how I will be able to dig myself out of the backlog of work. My projects have been pushed and pushed and pushed.

Anyone else find it hard to go to (in whatever form that looks like) work when they are constantly feeling behind?

Unknown

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People at work are angry with you. Well, not really angry so much as irritated because you didn’t do a part of what you were supposed to.

I just learned that I was supposed to do part of a software configuration in the new software for a school district that just converted. It’s not a life or death issue and, yes, it is inconvenient but it isn’t something that keeps the district from doing what it is supposed to do.

The only problem is that I didn’t know I was supposed to do it.

The process is still pretty new and there are no manuals from the software company that says “Do this in this order to set up the software for district use after conversion…” so we are kind of feeling our way through the process. Stuff gets missed or falls through the cracks since we don’t know completely what needs to be done.

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld

So why the heck are you irritated with me if I didn’t know I was responsible? And why the heck are you irritated with me if I didn’t know what the heck I was supposed to do if I didn’t know I was supposed to do it?

Now that I know, I am aware of it and can take care of the next time, but for now:

BITE ME.