Monday, September 26, 2011

Don't Ex Like a Douche

Today would have been my third wedding anniversary. Instead, it's almost my three-week divorciversary (which word I just made up, you're welcome).  My ex being the douche that he is, I kept expecting to hear from him, and as I left work, I congratulated him in my head for finally getting a clue.  Last time I saw him, he mentioned that he had no other way of contacting me besides e-mail - my response was along the lines of: "That's correct."

Of course, when I got home, I noticed an e-mail had come through. He wanted me to know he's thinking of me and he hopes we can get together for dinner sometime.

Well, here's what I think.  He's not thinking of me.  He's thinking ABOUT me.  If he was truly thinking of me, he wouldn't call, write, or send smoke signals, because he would know that I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO HIM.  I have been pleasant and civil, but clear about this. Get your shit out of my house and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.  Shit? It's out of my house. So: we're done. That's it. Try not to fuck anyone else in your life over the way you did me. Mmkaythanksbainow.

Also, maybe he should have thought about me 8 months ago or before whenever it is that he began his affair.  That would have been a good fucking time to think about me, wouldn't you say?

So, no, I don't want to get together for dinner. I thought that was one of the benefits of getting divorced: so that we wouldn't have to have dinner together ever again.  But I can see how he might make this mistake - I've been polite to him.  I thought it might help if we compiled a how-to for exes: How to NOT Ex Like a Douche.

- If your ex has changed her phone number and blocked you on facebook, she probably doesn't want to hear from you. She definitely doesn't want to have a meal with you. Take a hint.

- If you're planning to tell people the reason you left was because you "needed some space," don't move back in with your parents.

- Clearing your crap out of your ex's house? Don't make yourself at home.

- Offered a glass of water by your ex while signing divorce papers? Don't say no and then get one yourself when she's out of the room. Again, this is making yourself at home. Don't. You don't live here anymore.

- Did you have an affair? Your ex doesn't want to hear about the fight you're now having with the other woman.  File that under G for Go Fuck Yourself.

- Living with your parents during separation? Your ex also doesn't want to hear about how overbearing they're being. Try to keep your story straight - didn't you leave to get "space?"

- Your ex is not going to feel sorry for you when you were the one who left her. She's going to realize how much more awesome her life is without your lying, cheating, lame ass, and she's going to move on. Deal with it.

That's all I can think of - but even if you haven't been divorced, I know you all have some tips. Let's hear them!
Also, who wants to get me one of these?

"I guess I just lost my husband
I don't know where he went
So I'm gonna drink my money
I'm not gonna pay his rent (Nope)


So, so what?
I'm still a rock star
I got my rock moves
And I don't need you
And guess what?
I'm havin' more fun
And now that we're done
I'm gonna show you

I'm alright
I'm just fine
And you're a tool, so
So what?
I am a rock star
I got my rock moves
And I don't want you tonight..."

~ P!nk "So What"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Just when I think I can't hate my employer more, they prove me wrong!

*waves* Hi there. Remember me?

I’m happy to see that my recent terrible blogger/blog follower status hasn’t gotten me removed from The Whine list!!! This whole ‘being responsible and not reading blogs at work’ thing sucks. 

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed me griping about work. A lot. Well guess what? Imma treat you to more of the same right now!

I’ll try to keep the back story brief. Where to start….

I’ve worked for the same organization for 10 years now. I started as a temp working reception. My solid performance got me hired and promoted to an Administrator position in my current department.

At that point (this is back in 2002) the position was an admin support position. I typed letters, created databases, assembled briefing books, coordinated various administrative projects, provided back-up to others, etc. Pretty typical. I was the administrative workhorse. You need something done accurately and in a timely fashion? I was the girl everyone went to. I worked non-stop and didn't complain.

My boss at the time, we’ll call her The Devil, promised me that she would mentor me.  I was “in the same position she was at my age. ” She was gonna get me “all trained up” blah blah blah. Empty promises.

See, she was the queen of empty promises. I was promised a lot over the years. She usually provided enough perks that I couldn't really complain, but she never lived up to those promises. I'm not the only one to have learned that the hard way. I suppose I could've joined the suck up club, because they were her favourites. But I’m not a suck up.  

2 ½ years ago, an Analyst position opened up within my department. Now, had my boss mentored me like she had promised, I may have been a shoe-in. However, since she had taught me pretty much diddly-squat, I was on my own. Needless to say, I did not get that job (though The Devil did assure me that they gave me serious consideration. I guess that was probably a lie too!). Oddly enough, that isn’t even why I’m here whining to you all. Between myself and the other candidate, they definitely gave the right person the job. And I’ve been lucky to have her mentor me over the past few years. (WHY OH WHY did I not meet someone like this 10-15 years ago when it could have made all the difference in my career path?! Sorry, that’s a different rant…)

To placate me, I was given a new window office and travel to several conferences a year. I’m not complaining. My job description was evaluated, and it was determined that the administrative support portion of my job (which was probably 75+% of my tasks) would be removed and divided amongst the remaining admin staff. This allowed me to focus on analytical work within my department.

Oh yeah, and The Devil also promised me that I would be reclassified and given a new title.

Now all this was going on during an entire organizational restructure. Unfortunately it was based on my old job description. And that was entirely reflected in where I was placed. It was very obvious to myself, and others, that certain levels were written in such a way to put certain people in certain places. 

The Devil told me I’d just have to wait. Again.

Fast forward to this year. My job has evolved. The Analyst has taught me a lot. I’ve improved on my skill-set.

The Devil retired. Finally. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead literally played on repeat in my head. Unfortunately, her claws were dug deep and she made sure to leave the suck-ups with a legacy.

So now there are only 2 of us in the department: myself and the Analyst. She gets bumped up to Manager - there’s actually quite a bit more to that story, as my previous boss was a Director, but that’s not for me to whine about… it’s just another piece in the whole fucked up employer puzzle.

So my new boss (hereafter referred to as she) and I talked about my position and where we would like my position to grow. She completely agrees that I am currently classed incorrectly, but we decided not to push the reclassification issue because there was a lot of contention about it at the management level, and she didn’t want to appear to be making the request solely because The Devil had retired. I understood, and agreed to hold off.

That was, until I learned that the new Administration Manager reclassed most of her staff.

Now I know that I shouldn’t be comparing myself to others, and that it’s not really any of my business how much people make. Whatever. There is such thing as equity, and the internal equity at my office is out of fucking whack.

So, the suck-up (who, btw, does minimal shitty work and makes 50ish% more than I do) got promoted to supervisor (she was already a level higher and probably at the top of her pay scale. who knows where they put here with the promotion). 

Remember when they took those admin tasks from my job? They were given to the Admin Assistant. She was reclassed to the same level as I'm in.
The Receptionist (who can’t format a fucking letter and spends more than half her day talking on the phone) also was reclassed to the same level as I'm in because she is providing support to accounting (the Supervisor).

I do not believe two of them are deserving of where they are based on job performance. There is no way. The Admin Assistant is a great friend of mine and I have no issue with where they have placed her. I know she has taken on more responsibility.

But I do have a problem with where they are all classed relative to my position.

Naturally I was quite upset when I first heard about this. I marched right into my boss's office (I’m lucky she and I are friends) and laid it out. This. Is. Not. Right.

She agreed. Let’s get the ball rolling.

So I revamped my job description. I write correspondence, reports, policies and procedures. I analyze reports and other submissions. I liaise with government officials and sit on a multi-governmental committee. I represent the organization at functions and international conferences.

And I filled out the stupid HR responsibility questionnaire and provided as much example as I could. My boss also completed the same.

Then the waiting started. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Have I mentioned that I am not a patient person? At. All.

Then there were the meetings. My boss met with HR and the Admin Manager. It was about at this point that we realized the whole process was seriously flawed.

More meetings. Explain how her job has changed. Explain her day-to-day activities. Provide examples of how responsibility levels have increased. Blah, blah, fucking blah. Based on these meetings neither of us had a good feeling. She told me that HR was not open to discussion on points when they had already forumlated their own determination. What exactly they were basing those determinations on is beyond me!

So last week she finally has THE meeting. The one with the CEO where HR/Admin outline their determination. Sadly, she has to go in blind. She hates this. I don’t blame her. Like I said: Flawed process!

You may have surmised from the fact that I’m here whining to you all that this meeting did not go well. You are correct.

They basically told her that my responsibility level hasn’t changed. No, I’m sorry, those were HR’s exact words “Her responsibility level hasn’t changed.”

What. The. Fuck??!!!!

Are you kidding me?

No, seriously, am I being Punk’d?

I am livid. My boss is livid. I have absolutely no idea how anyone could possibly reach that conclusion. After that entire process, they obviously have no fucking idea what I do.

HR also said “maybe she was assessed too high last time?” Have I mentioned that I no longer like HR? Um, considering they just reassessed what was largely my old job (the Admin Assistant) at my current level, that is obviously untrue. I have no idea why, but I feel like this bitch has got it out for me. Wait - I'll bet this can be wholly blamed on The Devil!

How is this supposed to motivate me to work harder and take on even more responsibility?  I could still be putting together binders and making the coffee. That’s a whole lot less stressful. What is the point in working hard and proving yourself when you never get recognition or compensation for your efforts?!

She fought for me in that meeting. Hard. I could provide you with paragraphs of arguments used, but why bother. They are sticking to their determination. The highlights are as follows:

    • Responsibility level just “isn’t there yet” because my boss still reviews and approves everything  <-- um, we are a 2 person department. And besides, there are other Analysts in the organization that filter their work thru someone higher!
    • My previous job description already said analyze <-- there are only so many verbs you can use! Where is the distinction in the depth and breadth of the analysis?!
    • Cannot move to Professional category due to lack of completion of post-secondary education <-- okay, I won’t argue that. However, I will point out The Devil (who was a Director!) did not have a university degree.
    • I was just reclassed 1 ½ years ago <-- actually, the process started 2 ½ years ago. And it was based on my old job description. And prior to that, The Devil had assured me I was already a Level 2. Obviously she lied. Again. Shocking.

She had a follow-up meeting regarding all of this with the CEO. She took 2 pages of notes with her, and fortunately he patiently listened to what she had to say. And he agreed with her about a lot of it. He did not deny that my responsibilities have increased. Unfortunately, it does not change their very wrong determination.

The end result of all this is that I am committing to go back to school as part of a “Development Plan” to advance my position. I’m fortunate that my employer will reimburse education expenses and I will be able to allot some of my work hours to school – bonus! There will be definite milestones in terms of how I can advance.  And if my boss has any say (I shouldn’t hold out hope that she will based on my experiences), it will be a stepped process so that I don’t have to wait as long for compensation for a job that I’m already doing.

Sounds good? I know it does. It’s daunting, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Now, to figure out what to study…

My boss’s suggestion: Let’s just pick the quickest/easiest thing.

God I love her!

So, here’s my dilemma. For myself, I would love to complete a degree. I didn’t drop out of university because I wasn’t smart enough, I just lacked direction. And money. BUT, do I want to undertake a p/t degree at this point in my life? It would take FOREVER!

I did find a program that I’m keen on. Not sure how easy it would be to do on a p/t basis since I would have to attend classes (as opposed to doing them online) and labs, but the subject matter interests me and it would be about as relevant to my job as I could get.

The flip side is that I could complete a Business Management or Business Administration certificate in 2-3 years. The subject does not interest me much, but I have no doubt I could do well. And the time frame is so much more feasible and not nearly as scary!

Decision, decisions….

Lest you think I’m actually gonna leave this rant on a high(ish) note…

Just when I think I can’t hate my employer more, I realize this:

When they did the reorganization/reclass 1 ½ years ago, they adjusted all employees to a compa ratio of 88% of their salary level (unless they were already higher). This percentage was chosen based on the funds available at the time.

They have since adjusted that rate to 90%.

So the Admin Assistant and Receptionist were reclassed at 90% of their level.

OUR level.

Let's do the math.

When they did the reorganization/reclass it was determined that I was underpaid (shocking, I know!), so I was moved up to 88% of my level. I’ll be generous and assume I got a 3% raise last year, so that puts me at what? My math says 91%.

The Receptionist now makes the same annual salary as I do.

Fuck. My. Life.