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2003-03-28 - 2:44 p.m.
On Wednesday I had a lunch with Visio Princess, Wonderwidget and North Carolina. We compared notes on the various ways in which Officeville is heading towards hell in a hand basket. We attempted to come up with schemes to fight back but we didn't come up with much. I revealed my plan to unleash Mr. Erratic. As North Carolina pessimistically predicted, it would do no good.
I had to meet with Mr. Erratic to discuss some other issues and I figured while I was at it I'd let him know about Psycho's antics. Maybe he'd be able to take it up with the powers that be. When I arrived in his office, Mr. Erratic commented that he was so glad to see me on the project with Psycho because their team wasn't really doing so well. I guess he had confidence that I'd come to the rescue as always. He mentioned their out of control budget and shameful page loading speed. I told him I had some information to share with him that might explain some of the problems and I told him I'd send him some documentation. He seemed intrigued.
I carefully prepared a well-documented manifesto outlining Psycho's incompetencies and the ways in which she has been destructive to the project that is now in trouble. I had plenty of evidence -- emails, dates, times, etc. I had every bit of ammo Mr Erratic could possibly need to make a case in front of the powers that be.
Fast forward to yesterday...
We had to attend a horrible long meeting where people said things about "thinking outside the box" and "grabbing the bull by the horns" and other annoying manager-speak phrases. This meeting lasted for about 3 hours. During the course of the meeting Visio Princess amused herself with doodles while Indie Rock and I kept a list of stupid corporate expressions uttered by the meeting attendees.
The other spectacle during the meeting was Psycho. Although she kept quiet during the meeting, her mouth certainly didn't get any rest. She basically spent the entire meeting eating snack food and drinking soda. She even left the meeting several times to get more food. I was so horrified that I couldn't even look at food for the rest of the day. Such a gluttonous display really can wreck a girl's appetite.
After the meeting she told me that we needed to talk. She invited me over to the coffee shop across from the office, apparently she had to have a mocha. You can only imagine my disgust. At the coffee shop she launched into a whiney vaguely apologetic speech about how she is sorry she has been rude to me and that she didn't mean to do it but she suffers from severe PMS. EW! I wonder if she'd give that story to a male co-worker. She also had some comments about her food allergies and, at one point, started talking in a high pitched weird baby talk voice to a dog some one as walking as they passed the coffee shop.
She went on to say she realizes that I am more aware of the "big picture" and to tell me about how I was right and she was wrong on some recent dispute. She said she wanted us to work out our "issues" and asked what she could do to resolve them.
Oh boy! I don't have issues with Psycho because she is a bitch, I have issues with her because she is incompetent and stupid so unless she plans to get less stupid and incompetent there is probably nothing that can be done. If she was at least good at her job I could forgive creepy and rude. I was pretty much at a loss. It was obvious that Mr. Erratic, the powers that be and Psycho had all missed the point. I told Psycho that as far as communication issues go I would just appreciate clarity and specificity, she told me she isn't much good at that. Well, how do you argue with that? No one is trying to tell me I'm wrong in my claims that Psycho is incompetent or anything like that. Really no one has argued with me on any points I've made about her, I've even gotten agreement out of people. The trouble is no one wants to do anything about it. They all seem to think if I can manage to play nice here all of this will work itself out.
This morning Mr. Pink dropped by my desk to tell me that if I have any issues I am expected to work them out with Psycho and act like an adult. Although the temptation to storm off and tell everyone in Officeville to fuck themselves I managed a polite "mm hmm" and eventually my one word answers got him out of my sight.
Here is the bottom line. Everyone seems to accept that I am a better programmer than Psycho, everyone seems to accept that she is crazy, has a weird creepy personality, and can't communicate, everyone also seems to accept that she is pretty incompetent and horrible to work with. Their solution, however, is just to leave the situation alone. She is the lead on the project for no rational reason and I just have to live with it, that is what this comes down to. They don't seem terribly interested in my suggestions to rescue the budget, fix the pages with shoddy performance or meet deadlines. At least I tried.
It may be time to throw in the towel on this battle. I've pretty much figured out that Officeville operates much like grade school. Everyone in a position of authority is oblivious to everything, people get promoted if they stick around long enough, even if they aren't really competent (and you thought social promotion was just an education issue). I realize now I can either work my ass off and do a great job and feel frustrated and pissed off all the time, or I can just stop caring and stick around to collect my pay checks and raises and promotions, which will apparently come whether I do my best or fuck up. Giving into this reality really just goes against my grain as a perfectionist type but I see there is just no way around it. The forces of evil are strong and unified.
The only long term solution to the entire situation is to leave and start my own company, which would of course be a fabulous model of efficiency, order, justice and perfection. I should really get some balls and just do it. For now I'll bide my time, save up capital, build up contacts, and plot the eventual escape.
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