What I do all day is absolutely perfect for the way my brain works. I edit school board items, check to make sure all paperwork is included for contract requests, crunch budget numbers, and the like. To most, this would seem like a nightmare. I have a very detail-oriented brain, so it works for me. I'm sure you can't tell from the blog, since I could care less about grammar in this forum, but I am really good at editing and catching errors. The main part of my job, however, is reminding people when things are due, when they're past due, when they're due tomorrow, etc.
As you have probably already ascertained, I'm a to the point kind of lady. My work emails are short and do not beat around the bush. I will send notes like, "All items were due to the Chief Deputy noon yesterday, and I'm noticing you still have a few outstanding. Please send a status update. Thank you." Now, I don't think that's a rude or unkind message. If anything, it's leaning toward the kinder side as I could just write something like, "I have received all items from Division except yours. Please turn in ASAP." But I don't. Because I am a positive peach don't you know?
I work in a bureaucracy where things have to be just so. Not only do they have to be just so, but this month on someone's whim they have to be THIS just so. Then next month someone decides, "Nah, I'd like it just so but in THAT way instead." You just go with the flow. I understand working for a state agency I just have to say, "Oh, so and so wants it this way now? Will do." That's life in cubieland. There are certain forms that have to be printed on goldenrod (that color name ALWAYS makes me laugh), some on yellow, and some on pink. I don't care how many signatures you got. If something comes on the wrong color, then you're getting it back to be fixed. If your numbers don't mesh, you're getting an item back. If you put a period at the end of every item on a bulleted list where you used sentence fragments, you guessed it folks...
This has nothing to do with me smirking and thinking it's funny to hold up someone's item. I don't care if you and I eat lunch together. I don't care if your daughter is my best friend. I care that things are done properly. That is my job. My job is to be the rule enforcer. The amusement is not lost on me that I'm a total rule breaker in life, yet my job is to make sure you follow strict structures. I also don't care who is talking about how big of an asshole I am. I will always do my job, the way I am supposed to do my job, as long as I'm earning a paycheck, to DO MY JOB.
Last week a woman came up and said, "Well, my managers are going to want to know why we now have to do this, this way." I said, "You tell them, 'Because that's the way _____ (my boss) wants it.' If they give you grief after that and you don't want to be the bad guy, you send them up to my desk and I'll handle it for you." Because what I will say is, "If you want this Freeze Exemption to go through, this is how you do it. If you want to prove how you are right somehow, go ahead and be awesome. Be so awesome that someone misses a conference they needed to attend, so that you could be right and awesome. That works out for everyone involved." I can generally stay kind, but when people push me, my sarcasm and snark come out, and I'm okay with that.
Today I sent something back and explained why in an email. The lady didn't believe me so she called over my head and said, "I did it this way, and it was returned." She was told, "That's because you did it wrong." And believe me, sometimes I'll return something and since I've only been here 11 months, I'm wrong. When that happens I apologize and chalk it up to a learning experience.
The other day someone was so rude I said, "Well, I guess what I don't understand is how you've been here 15 years, and I've been here less than one, and I am having to explain how you are to do this thing, that you did exactly the same way, last year." All she needed to do was use last year's template, and fill in some new travel information, and get it to me within a week. She acted like I was asking her to build a computer using a paper clip and some chewing gum. Why do people make things more difficult than they need to be?
And yes, the job sometimes turns me in to a condescending jerk. When I have to tell you something five times, the sixth time I may do fake sign language near my head, or talk RIDICULOUSLY slow, to show you that I am now annoyed with you. I am a prick sometimes. I know this about myself. And no, I am not saying it is anyone's fault I become a prick. I am just saying that some people are mighty helpful making me in to my least favorite self.
I love my job. I am working in education which is exactly where I wanted to be. I make enough money to afford to live the way I want to...almost. There are a lot of women who have been here many more years, who are not in the elevated position that I am in, who are rude to me because of that. I say, if you do your job in an extraordinary fashion, and don't say, "That's not my job" when you're asked to do stuff, you would be well ahead of me in the game by now. I am here because I earned every promotion I have received. When you get something back from me, it's not personal. I'm just doing what I'm paid to do.
I also tend to smile, laugh, and not take anything here too seriously. Some mistake that for me not taking my job seriously, and that's ok. You do what you have to do to make life in a cubicle worthwhile. Like catapulting half pieces of gum over a wall with a paper clip catapult your friend made you.
That is a working catapult made out of paper clips and a rubber band, and yes, it works. I'm thinking next time someone asks me a stupid question, I may hand it to them and say, "Here, build a computer out of this instead."