Oh, and have a Lily

A shot of Lily, a black and orange tortoiseshell cat, looking lovely on the bed.

The LilyMonster looking serene and regal

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Welp, it’s happening!!!

Got the official offer letter on the new gig – you can bet I hit YES at the speed of light.

Getting a nice raise, and there is room for growth to boot.

In a move like this there are always those twinges of “Did I do the right thing?” The universe has stepped up and answered, YES, YES YOU DID.

– It would take at least 3 years in my current position to get to my new salary.
– I’ve only got one more step upwards in my current department before I’d have to look at management, and for reasons I cannot fathom, promotions in my department only increase workload. One of the perks of a promotion should be that something comes off your plate as new things come on. (Upper management really needs to reevaluate this.)
– There was a team lead position open earlier this year – but more work and no raise. I passed on that. (It was presented as a stepping stone to management – the lack of any pay increase struck me a bit as “working for exposure.”)

Then last week yet another new set of procedures were rolled out that just create more work and make things harder. And case distribution continues to be utterly jacked up.

Talked to my new boss this week, asked about how PTO works… “Oh, just put it on your calendar. I mean, if you’re going to be gone for a week, let me know, but just a day off, just put it on your calendar.” The last three leave requests I’ve put in have been rejected in my current department – to the point where I would lose leave at the end of the year.

So, thank you universe for these signs. And thank you to my dear coworker who has been so amazingly supportive and excited for me. (Everyone has been awesome, she’s just been extra lovely about it all.)

I’m not leaving the job angry or bitter, but just more *gesticulating wildly* MANAGEMENT, DON’T YOU GET IT??!?

But, it’s all good. The countdown has begun. 8 weeks left. 37.5 workdays. 2 on call weekends – halfway through the first of those at least. (One backup weekend in November, but I’m not counting that one.)

I still cannot believe my boss managed to wrangle a TEN WEEK transition from when I told her about the new gig. (New boss tried to shorten it, but got nowhere.) But, I only have 28 active cases, I’m not taking on any new cases (other than helping junior analysts) – so I have a somewhat decent chance of not leaving a total disaster in my wake. Who knows, if I can clear everything out, maybe I can transition early. (Not holding my breath, but a gal can dream!)

ETA: I also topped 500 hours in uncompensated overtime in 3 years this week. It’s time.

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Help labor & stick it to the man a little

The world is a flaming hellhole right now and I know many folks feel like there isn’t really shit you can do about anything for anyone. But, there is one small, relatively easy thing you can do that will help folks in the service industry and potentially annoy management as a bonus.

I’m talking about customer service surveys.

Fill them out. Give all 10’s. (Or 5’s, or Excellent’s, or whatever the top score is.) No matter if it was awful or great, just go all top notch on every category.

In many places, if an employee doesn’t get top scores on every line, it might as well be zero on every line. So your 9/10 – well, it isn’t, “Hey, 90% is still an A!” It’s an F. And chances are, management is using a CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) metric that is internally set, rarely readdressed for any actual indication of effectiveness, and makes employees miserable.

Folks, service industry jobs are HARD, you’re only seeing this person in the context of maybe 5% of their day, if that.  That is not at all representative of that employee as a whole. So, maybe you didn’t walk out feeling like Queen for a Day. If a survey shows up in your inbox or you app, fill it out and give that employee the gift of not getting yelled at by management. Remember how much shit is OUT OF THEIR CONTROL. Remember how many people do not bother to fill these out, and pissed off people are more likely to fill them out than happy people, so a bad survey just carries more weight because it just has less good ones to offset it.

If you can’t bring yourself to do a good survey, just LET IT GO. Cause guess what? You may think your bad survey will help things. “They’ll look at this policy again! They’ll do better training for employees!” They won’t. Don’t use the survey to complain about something completely unrelated to the experience at hand – that doesn’t help either. And really, really think about why you’re not happy – is there a chance you’re taking out some other frustration on this employee via the survey?

You may be thinking, “Hmm, dear author, does your job use surveys, and did you get a bad one recently?” Yes, we do use them, and no, my surveys have been fine. But management is on a tear, which is why it’s on my mind right now.

But I have gotten ones in the past that when the comments were read, the ratings were CLEARLY in response to an interaction with another department. The reaction?

One of my coworkers… Client has X happening, which happens once in a blue moon. Coworker fixed it in minutes, last client response was, “Great!! Thanks!!” and they signed off the chat. Well, they then responded with a bad survey. Turns out X was happening constantly, which they DID NOT MENTION, and they said they thought the survey was the perfect place to mention this. No, no, no, the survey was NOT THE PLACE to do that.

For me personally, all my survey responses represent 5.03% of my total work.  (And I have a freakishly high response rate.)  A single survey is 0.04% of what I do.  (I have done the math.) Why are we pinning to a metric that only represents 15-25 minutes of someone’s day, if even that much? Would you want that in your job?

“Oh, but dear author, are you practicing what you preach?” YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I AM. Starbucks wants to know about my visit? All 10’s. The grocery store has a survey link at the bottom of the receipt? Done and glowing. Cable company tech support? God help me, I am not getting you fired, coached, yelled at, or otherwise made miserable.

So, fill out those surveys.  Be kind.  Help out your fellow humans.  Maybe make someone realize a flood of surveys is meaningless and they’ll be dropped somewhere.

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What a week.

So, last Friday, I talked with the manager about the testing job, and Monday morning I got an email saying he’d gotten the OK to extend an offer and that he was really excited to have me on the team. Did NOT expect a turnaround like that.

My current manager was not as excited. We may have violated some unknown procedure in that I guess she was supposed to be notified that I was interested in the other position? (And really, fuck that, as upset as she was, I don’t trust that someone in my management vertical wouldn’t have tried to block the whole thing before it started had they known anything ahead of time.) Once she realized how fast it happened and no one was being sneaky or underhanded, she calmed down quite a bit.

As it is, apparently managers above her were trying to figure out ways to make me stay. And it’s not like they can undo all the changes the VP of our vertical made in the last year, and it seems like every concern our team has brought up has been ignored, so…

She did manage to wrangle a TWO MONTH transition. No, you’re not misreading that.

And of course over the course of the week, my decision has been justified with various shenanigans that make you go, “Seriously?”

But, in two months, on to new things, and hopefully a position where I’m not 110% utterly fucking exhausted at the end of the day.

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I am officially under consideration for the testing job.

When I talked to the manager about it, he seemed very excited that I was interested in it, and loved my experience from prior to being with this company, and the last thing he said was that he was going to go talk to his manager about things.

Haven’t mentioned any of this to my current boss, as there is no sense in creating a lot of hate and discontent over something that may not even happen.

But, right now I am cautiously optimistic.

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The wheels of corporate do grind a bit slow…

A week and a half after starting the process of trying to find out the salary for the testing job, I am finally in possession of the pay bands and manager name. And it doesn’t pay half of what I make now.

So, now, time to get some titanium ovaries and email the manager and find out if they’ve already scoped out who they want and if the announcement is just for show or not. And pray it doesn’t get back to my bosses just yet.

No harm in asking, right?

ETA: Sent the email. I’ve either just done something very brave or very stupid.

ETA: Manager says he would be happy to discuss if I am interested – and the job focus is actually on the two sections of the software that are absolutely my wheelhouse. Today’s task will be polishing up my resume – good news is that the last update to it was only 18 months ago, so really just need to add on the duties I acquired after my promotion last fall.

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Yesterday, I was still trying to process what happened in Gilroy. Who shoots up a garlic festival? (We know, the answer is repeatedly the same – violent white supremacists.) All of these shootings have bothered me – this one, the six year old that was killed, that hit hard for some reason.

Then my phone buzzed. El Paso. 20 people killed. We can’t even be sure of how many may have been injured, because people are afraid to go to the hospital because ICE or Border Patrol may be there. People just going to a fucking Wal Mart for school supplies and groceries. You don’t get much more mundane than that.

This morning, I wake up to the news of Dayton. Right now, 9 killed, 26 injured. People just enjoying a Saturday night out.

While we don’t know what happened with Dayton yet, we know what was going on with El Paso. And Gilroy. And Poway. And Pittsburgh. And Charlottesville. And so many others.

Violent white supremacy. And it’s being stoked by this administration and it’s killing people. (People of color in this country are understandably going, “No shit, this isn’t new.”)

When 45 was campaigning, I recall thinking, “He’s not just going for the garden variety racists. He’s courting white nationalists.” And at the time, while I certainly knew that we still had these horrific people in our midst, I had no idea how many. I also couldn’t imagine that he’d be elected. Nor did I know how to even address white nationalism/white supremacy – and I still can’t say that I do know how to address it.

White supremacy isn’t just idiots in the backwoods. It’s at the top of our Executive branch. It’s in our policies. (You can’t tell me that making people afraid to seek medical help after a mass shooting because of ICE isn’t a goal of white supremacy.). It’s in our law enforcement agencies. It’s in our schools. It’s at its worst on the internet.

8chan needs to be nuked from orbit. It’s not a hub for free speech, or vaguely unpopular or radical ideas. It’s a space for encouraging, planning, and cheering on violence against people of color.

The best we’ve gotten out of the GOP beyond the usual useless “thoughts & prayers” are mumblings about mental health. (Not that they’ve ever done a damn thing about mental health care in this country anyway.)

White nationalism is not a mental health issue. They’re just throwing people with mental illness under a bus to pretend they’re trying to identify the cause, yet never doing anything.

We need to do something about white supremacy in this country, and do something about the fuckton of guns available to these violent, hateful people.

There isn’t anywhere safe anymore for people to just exist without the risk of some white supremacist asshat afraid of being “replaced” showing up with an AR-15 so he can impress other white supremacist channers with how many people he’s killed.

We need to deplatform white supremacists, enact actual gun control, get white supremacists out of office and law enforcement, get their policies out of our government, and call all of this what it is: Domestic white nationalist terrorism.

The problem is – I have little faith that any of this will actually happen.

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