I’m actually not that particularly thrilled with my work life these days, and have not been for quite some time. Over the span of the last year and a half, there has been a lot of transition in my department and team, other than the primary software that we’re using to accomplish the same job. Despite my promotion, it has come with a lot of baggage a lot of strings attached, and I’d be lying if I didn’t at times wish I were still more on the ground, actually doing things, instead of feeling like a managerial stooge in comparison, bouncing from meeting to meeting and spending the vast majority of my days locked inside Outlook, typing away at seemingly redundant emails and trying not to play a game that I don’t like playing in the first place (office politics).
However, among the numerous changes that have occurred, the one that makes my face go 😐 more than anything is the leadership above in me in the hierarchy of the department. And to quickly summarize is primarily the fact that my previous superior(s) were much more relaxed and gave me autonomy to do my job, and had a more “as long as the job gets done” attitude, the same cannot be said about those who have taken their place.
I legitimately spend more time on any given work day “being coached” on how to subsequently “coach” my reports on how to properly use Outlook calendars to the specific preference of one person, and getting litanies of emails asking me questions about the questionable habits of some of the people beneath me, with all sorts of passive aggressive remarks about how they were clearly not coached appropriately to company standards, and how lots of behaviors need to be corrected.
I genuinely feel at times like I’m in Office Space, where I’m getting chewed out for not putting cover sheets on my TPS reports from various sources, and despite the very clear rule about having 25 pieces of flair, I’m getting spoken to repeatedly about how I, and my reports should be expected to do more than the minimum, AKA a job description.
The kicker is though, the latest request I received about how all of our team members need a friendly reminder to not drink during an upcoming company outing. Like anyone here is really trashy enough to get shit-faced in front of their peers and co-workers, but because I don’t really want to have to bother arguing with those above me, I’ve acquiesced and made some bullshit business card-sized notes, that explain the no drinking, and numerous strings attached to what’s really supposed to be a fun and leisurely team outing.
It genuinely feels like this specific scene in Office Space where Lumberg explains Hawaiian shirt day, but also the numerous stuffy rules and conditions that come along with it, including the specific times in which “the fun time” can actually be taking place.
Honestly, if I were younger and didn’t have a kid on the way, I might consider looking for an exit strategy. But clearly it’s more important these days to play a little smarter and actually build a career, and when the day is over, it’s really not the end of the world. It’s a little aggravating and soul-sucking, but it’s not going to kill me, and frankly, I need to bank some more tenure in my current role, before I can have a little bit of clout and experience to warrant justification to making a move in the future.