Sunday, January 25, 2009

Drama queen? Or hard done by?

OK, can't figure out how to write on my own Facebook wall, so I'm replying to those who questioned my status here. I'm fine. Blame the wine I opened for my status. In my defence, I needed 1/2 cup of wine for the chicken cacciatore I made for dinner, and somehow, the rest of the bottle was accidentally consumed. Accidentally, yeah.

Short story: I've been in my job, and my office for 12 years. I've acted for my supervisor many times, and for long periods of time. When the supervisor's job (Managing Editor) came open (due to her being promoted), I was told I would not be considered for the job permanently as I didn't have my French levels or the requisite supervisory experience. Despite the fact that I was apparently OK for the job on a temporary basis. OK, I can accept that. I like my present job, and enjoy it.

Then I was told that the person who got the Managing Editor's job was going to be given my office, and I would have to move to a smaller one. I wrote an email to my boss and her boss pointing out how unfair this was. Before I could send it, I was told by my supervisor that the new Managing Editor would take anther office, and I could keep mine. Oh, and by the way, did I want my office painted? I was so excited. My office hasn't been painted in 12 years, and the paint is peeling. I said "YES!" and packed up my office and moved temporarily to a cubicle in another area of the floor. I'm supposed to move back to my office on Tuesday of next week. Friday afternoon I was called to my old supervisor's office and told that a new manager (not the Managing Editor, but another new manager in the division) was going to be taking my office, because the Director wanted all her managers on one floor, and I would after all have to move to the other, smaller office. I can't help but wonder if this was in the cards all along, and the renovations were for this other management dude all along, rather than for me, and it was just a convenient ploy to get me to pack up all my stuff.

Now, 1) I still have a job (and in today's economy, that's a bonus), 2) I still will have an office of my own, not a cubicle, or a shared office, even though it's smaller, 3) it's just an office, not a bad biopsy or a job loss, or a major personal upheaval. So you tell me, am I being a drama queen for being pissed off? Or am I justified in feeling screwed-over? Please let me know what you think.

29 comments:

  1. i suspect it was in the cards all along, sorry to be a cynic, but i've seen this happen many times.

    do you have a right to be pissed off? yup. but working for the govt, if i got pissed off over everything that is unfair and without logic, i would be one angry lady.

    you should have seen the office drama at my old work (seriously, people with masters degrees were given window offices over those of us who didn't hold our masters. and they would bump people out of their window office if someone came on board with a higher degree. so warped. now i'm angry again. now i want wine. thanks alison.

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  2. I agree, I think this was the plan all along. Bastards.

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  3. I reckon it was all politics. Sadly.

    Maybe time to dust off that CV?

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  4. That completely sucks. I am breathless and headachy with rage on your behalf. My husband travels a lot, and by the time he gets back I'm always strongly tempted to give a large check to the next single mother I see. I really like your blog and I'm thinking nasty, gangrenous, shrapnel-filled thoughts at your boneheaded unclassy employer.

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  5. Boo that sucks. I would have to say you are justified in feeling screwed over.

    Make your new office into a Dream office that the new manager will be jealous of. Maybe they'll want to switch with you!

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  6. Anonymous9:03 PM

    Public servant to public servant - this doesn't surprise me in the least. It's sometimes an inhumane place to work.

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  7. This situation sucks even more if you know, like I know, what a wonderful person you are. It's simply not fair. That's YOUR office. You worked for it. You earned it. It's not like you're getting demoted and that's an office for a specific person. Truly, it's not right. That being said, I doubt there's much you can (or should in this economy, perhaps) do about it. Damn. *hugs*

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  8. I think your anger is justified. As your manager, they should have just been up front with you instead of playing games just to avoid confrontation. That sucks. I'm sorry.

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  9. Bill Walsh10:18 PM

    Well, to take a slightly different tack: knowing the brute stupidity of bureaucracies, it's possible that none of this was planned and no one intentionally screwed you over. (Not saying it didn't happen, but it's possible.) That said, you still have a right to be upset because you obviously got the short end of the stick.

    And honestly, in the government, since the pay is usually all scheduled, the perks are the rewards of seniority. And they jobbed you out of a couple.

    Might be worth sending out a few résumés. Even if you love this place and don't want to ever work anywhere else, you can play the revolving-door game. Go make some money in a sucky private-sector job for a couple years, then come back at two pay grades higher, with your own damn floor of subordinates!

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  10. I reckon it was planned all along too. I'd be mad, but in the current climate, I'd probably take it while keeping my eyes open for another possibility.

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  11. Yup, you got screwed. (I may be getting screwed over at work in a few months too, because I'm filling in at a temporary job, as well...I'm bracing myself...)

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  12. I think it was in the cards all along but no one had the guts to tell you til the end.

    I would be annoyed for a couple of reasons.

    1. They could let you be your boss when it was convenient but would not consider you for the job. WTF?
    2. No one could make up their mind about the office.

    However, the fact that you still have an office is a good thing! We just moved buildings and no one but senior management has offices. Even people that used to have offices now have larger CUBES. They are not happy!

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  13. Oh, A, I'm sorry.

    I don't understand office politics like that. It makes it very tense around the water cooler!

    Is there someone above your supervisor you could appeal to?

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  14. Hi Alison... I'm new around here... That was bad! I think you have a case if you want talk to your boss on how discouraged and misstreated you've been feeling this last few weeks and how this tiny office thing impacted on you... and may be ask for something else in return... Just turn a bad thing into a good thing!

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  15. Pissed off? You bet! It may not be a bad biopsy or a job loss, but you've got a right to feel you've been screwed somehow.

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  16. I'd be ticked. I would have to think through it carefully to decide if for myself it was intentional or not. Not knowing the manager it is hard to say. But regardless, I'd be upset. Maybe it's time to start looking around and seeing what else is out there?

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  17. When I am not on maternity leave, I am a manager. I have to confess that as a manager I am disappointed by how so many situations are handled. Your situation is one that presents itself more often than it should. If I were in your position, I would feel tricked. My response would not be to look for another job, but to deal with the situation. I would say to my manager "I have some concerns about what happened.I understand that there is a certain hierarchy and therefore I will have to switch offices. What I don't understand was why you didn't feel comfortable enough to tell me directly. I would have been disappointed and had my feathers ruffled a bit, but I am a grown woman and understand the ways of the world. Instead, I feel tricked. I feel angry. I feel like you don't respect me or my work enough to tell me truthfully what changes are going to occur that effect me directly. This disappoints me." Put the ball back in their court. But that's just me.

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  18. Krista1:04 PM

    I too, think it sounds premeditated by the 'higher ups', but I think it was a shock to your immediate supervisor. I think she too, was not told until you were told.

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  19. I agree with Gwen. I don't actually think this was some nefarious behind-your-back plot, but only because I know how stupidly these things are handled in the federal government. Things trickle down from above and people have to do stuff they don't particularly want to do and don't handle it very well. Getting dumped on one way or another is all part of being a federal public servant in my experience. There is no such thing as performance recognition just as there is no way to deal with slackers. There are no promotions. There are no perks. So getting shuffled from one office to another is just example. Yes, you have a right to be angry and if I were you, I'd take it up with my manager, like Gwen says. But it won't change anything. It never hurts for them to know how you feel though. Maybe they'll get you a new home computer to make up for it.

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  20. First reaction, you got shafted.

    Second reaction, Gwen's got a good point. Make 'em feel like a turd by pointing out that you deserve direct communication. I especially liked Gwen's choice of words and would memorize them for myself, if I could memorize, alas, that requires brain cells that I currently don't have.

    re the French training thing. I colleague of mine who's in class with me right now is going through something VERY SIMILAR. I expect I'll have the same issue when I return to the office. Though, contrarily, I keep begging for an office change to get away from my co-workers!

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  21. you are not being a drama queen. i would be pissed also. *hugs*

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  22. Oh yeah, you have a right to be pissed. I think, like many others, that it was in the cards all along.

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  23. It's so hard to say! It could be a bad case of office politics or just a huge mix-up that no one feels they should own up to! Either way, the situation doesn't seem to have been handled well and you have a right to make your feelings known. If only so they know you aren't a rug to be walked on.

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  24. Anonymous2:56 PM

    My office was renovating into a posh looking office. When we finally moved back in, I was given a cubicule....thought it was odd. The first meeting in the boardroom was to lay me off. As long as you get to keep your job, I guess a cubicule is not bad. Just dont ever work for Hudson Travel Group!

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  25. I like to think that it wasn't the plan. But maybe I'm naive. I would suspect the same as you though; that it was the plan all along. I hope you like your new room too.

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  26. I think that was inappropriate and I'm guessing that they were being dishonest which is really ridiculous. I think partnerships between employer and employee should be about a PARTNERSHIP where you give to each other something the other values.

    You have every right to be angry. Having said that, you also have to count your blessings that you are gainfully employed. A lot of people in the private sector is being booted left right and centre and this is a time to be appreciative of what you've got.

    Daisy

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  27. Oh that sucks! I hate office politics. When I started my last job I was hired to work a certain schedule and was told that everyone worked said schedule. Turned out, it was only me. After 5 months I told my boss I couldn't do it long term (hubs and I were working opposite days, so other than stat holidays we were never off at the same time). She said she'd see what she could do. And then she proceeded to see how long she could string me along. In the end she told me tough luck, and I called her bluff and handed in my resignation. She came back before the end of the day and gave me the new schedule I wanted. I was never treated the same after that though, and was VERY glad to say bye to them all and go on mat leave.

    I hope that things work out hon.

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  28. no no, no nooooo...you are not a drama queen. this is wrong in just so many ways. that is not right. that is not cool. jeesh.

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  29. no no, no nooooo...you are not a drama queen. this is wrong in just so many ways. that is not right. that is not cool. jeesh.

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