SD Bullshit Job Support Group

I know I’m not the only Doper currently trapped in a sucky job by the economy, and thought maybe there’d be some interest in emulating the job hunters by starting a mutual support group. Things we might do here:

Share tips and suggestions
Provide amusing comparisons between your job, Dilbert, The Office, or Office Space
Ask ourselves where our careers went so horribly wrong
(Not necessarily in order of importance.)

To expand a bit on the above:

I know that we should be happy just to have a job in this economy. But that only encourages us to work just hard enough to not get fired. Maybe your company has been going through rounds of layoffs and you sit in an empty office waiting for your turn. Maybe your pipeline of projects and clients have dried up and you have nothing to do all day but surf Straightdope, Facebook, YouTube, CNN, Hulu, and the back to SDMB, etc. Maybe you are stuck with an abusive boss or idiot coworkers. Or maybe you were just forced to take your current job out of desperation because that’s all you can find.

This is not to diminish the plight of people who don’t have jobs and are desperately looking for work. But sometimes anticipation is as bad or worse than the actual event. This is for people who are stuck at their offices waiting for the other shoe to drop (while the first shoe is shoved repeatedly in their ass).

Today’s projects:

Roll into the office about 9:45 through the side door
Space out for an hour (it looks like I’m doing work but I’m not really)
“Checkpoint” with my team where we will BS about what it is we actually do here.
Go to a career networking happyhour and hope there are people there working for companies that are actually hiring for real jobs

You have my dream job. How’s the pay?

I’m one of those! I hate being in the position of having to feel grateful for a crappy job.

I have no idea how my company has managed to avoid layoffs when we have zero work coming in. The job has always been unchallenging and mundane, but this is ridiculous. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I’ll certainly have mixed feelings when it does.

I’m off to get a cup of coffee at Chachki’s.

I have a very good job that I like quite a bit, but it’s certainly not perfect. We’ll get to today’s “you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me” moment shortly, but first, some background:

I work for a subscription-based web site that allows customers to search our database of news articles – thousands of sources, millions of articles. My job is advanced search building – customers who want to pony up the big bucks can get people in my department to create outrageously intricate searches which will get them the exact info that they want.

A couple of years ago I was asked if I could start giving basic overview training classes to one customer’s new hires. “Yeah, sure”, I thought, “It’ll at least look good on my annual performance review”. So, I’ve been doing these twice each month for about two years now.

Then a few months ago a new request was made – could I occasionally mix in an “advanced search training” class? Tricky request – I know how to do what I do because I know how to do it. I know how to do it because I’ve been doing it for so long. It’s not really something that I can say “Well, here are the 1-2-3 steps to creating a perfect search”. But I said “Yeah, ok, it won’t be all-encompassing, but I can put together a good class. Because I’ll want to carefully tailor this to people’s needs, let’s limit each class to five people.”

“Great,” the customer said, “we’ll start it in March. First class will be the 19th.”

Oh, March? Cool…I don’t have to worry about it for awhile. On to the back burner it goes.

Come this morning, I get an e-mail: “Can we have the dial-in information for today’s advanced search training?”

Who shot who in the what now? Today’s training class? You said March 19th…

“No, that was about something else. The first class is today.”

“No, here’s the e-mail you sent where you specifically say ‘March 19th’, not ‘February 19th’.”

“Oh…well, we already sent out the invites and got back the responses, so we need to do it today.”

<slow burn> Ok, I can do this…I’m utterly unprepared, but what the hell, it’s nothing more than showing people what I do every day. “Ok, fine…2:00, I’ll send out a meeting notice. Can I have the e-mail addresses of the five people?”

“Oh, there was a lot of demand for this, so there will be 20 people in this class.”

Gaaaaaa! Ok, the reason I limited it to five people is so I could concentrate on the one, maybe two people in each class who will be able to follow what I’m telling them. This is not an easy topic to follow, and I can guarantee you in a class of five, three of them will spend most of the time not getting it, and will be slowing down the class with questions. In a class of 20, we’re never going to fucking well get anywhere.

So, now I have two and a half hours to develop a training class that sums up what I’ve spent ten years perfecting into a one hour bubble, more than half of which will be spent answering basic searching questions that you should know before coming into an advanced training.

Come to think of it, what the hell am I doing posting about it? I’ve got work to do!

Hal Briston - I would probably just tell them “I’m sorry you invited your people to a training session that doesn’t exist, however I can produce that for you on such short notice.”

Fortunately I no longer work for that sort of company where asshole clients call up and ask for a week’s work in a day and a day’s work in less than an hour. So I no longer have to explain to them as if they were eight years old that just because it is “important” to them doesn’t mean it can be done immediately.

Now I work for a big bloated beurocracy that has mechanisms firmly in place to make sure no one does any work at all.

I just finished with my weekly update call, which as always consisted of roughly 30 minutes of listening to the PM and the team lead reviewing the same damn action items that have been sitting around untouched for the past two months, without reaching any progress beyond agreeing that we should probably address those sometimes soon. Like a pair of turtles on their backs, those two.

No one has even looked at my work for two months, so as far as I can tell, I could’ve just as easily spent the time surfing gossip sites and the SDMB. Oh wait… I did.

In the meantime, I’m going to woof down my lunch in the 30 minutes I’ve got left before a training session where I’ll learn to use Oracle Time and Labour to track my hours and productivity.

Apparently, someone thinks we’re spending too much time on unproductive activities, but having us spend extra time documenting our activities will make it all better. :rolleyes:

Currently I’m spending my days attempting to make toothpicks out of logs. Sucks, but at least I’m gainfully employed, Sir.

Thank you,Sir, May I have another?

Update on my training class:

The time is now ten minutes after 2:00, Eastern – meaning this class was scheduled to begin ten minutes ago, yet I’m all by my lonesome. No one on the phone or in the visual sharing portion.

So what’s more likely – the 20 people who signed up all realized that they had something else scheduled at 2:00 today, or the person who made it clear that it was soooo important I do this training today fucked up when sending out the meeting invite?

Update on the update:

Customer: “Oh, sorry…I told everyone the class was at 3:00, since that’s what time our classes are usually at.”

Uh huh…and your classes are usually run on a set schedule, but since you crapped all over that this time, it never occurred to you to actually look at the time on the meeting invite?

And for that matter, what difference does it make when you thought the class was? You send the invite to your users, they put it in their Outlook, and Outlook tells them it’s at 2:00. It lets them know ahead of time! So how is it possible that not one of the users showed up? I’ll tell you how – it’s because you fucked up and never sent it out, that’s how! And now you’re trying to cover your ass.

Lemme tell you something – you’re dealing with a fucking master of ass covering. I could fall off the Empire State Building, and all long as I landed butt-first, I’d walk away unscathed. I’ve got a fucking PhD in CyA, and let me tell you, you may think yours is covered, but I see a big 'ol naked browneye. Do not try and bullshit a bullshitter – I can see right through you, and no, I will not be running a class at 3:00 just because you fucked up.

I’m ready to work for one of those. Where do you find them? Government work?

I imagine any company that is suitably large and beurocratic enough. The trick, apparently, is that you need to rise to a level in your career where you will be hired as an “expert” in a role that is deemed “important” but is ill defined.

Do people really want jobs like that? I’m bored out of my mind and ready to toss myself off the roof of the building. I don’t even have coworkers to grab ass with. The building is mostly empty and the handfull of people around me are like 100 years old and belong to other groups.

I survived layoffs. But the job I was doing pretty much won’t exist anymore, so they shuffled around my job duties.

I’m now doing something that someone who was laid off was doing. They laid her off, as well as her supervisor. They had no documentation or procedures on how to do anything. So I had to hop in and figure out what needed to get done, and how to do it. Elsewhere in the company, those laid off often had a transition period to enable training. Not so for me.

So I still have a job. But I know that when April rolls around, we won’t get raises with our performance reviews. And we’ve heard the cost of our health benefits will increase. But hey, I still have a job, right?

I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled on Monster and Craigslist, but as I’m sure you know, there is NOTHING out there. I submit resumes, only to find out the “jobs” have been posted by recruiters that don’t really have jobs to fill.

I’m extremely burnt right now, but what am I going to do? Keep showing up to work every day I guess and try not to get too stressed out.

Thanks for giving me a place to vent…

Got a job that I’ve wanted to leave for a while, but last year they got rid of the do-nothing push-his-work-on-us “supervisor”, and I got a good raise, an excellent review, and a bigger bonus. Cool! It’s good to be valued in a tough economy, right? I hold off on looking for new jobs - what if I get hired and then the funding dries up for that new position or something?

OK, so we were struggling along with 1.5 workers (me and a half-timer) doing the work of at least 3, but we managed. Now my coworker is going to be leaving and I don’t know when they’re going to actually hire someone new.

I’m being praised to the heavens, not just by my department, but what good is that if you’re going to snap under the pressure? Even with that raise I don’t get paid enough for this.

Well, I quit my bullshit job today. It was only two months in (still in the probationary period when either side can call it off for any or no reason), and I knew it wasn’t a good fit for a while now. My supervisor was NOT gracious. Apparently, micro-managing, control-freak power-trippers don’t take it well when someone quits on them (and I’m not the first, either - at one point she complained about how everyone keeps quitting on her - :rolleyes: ). It was all my fault for not communicating, see, even though she jumped down my throat early on in the job when I made a mild criticism of her managerial style. After ten minutes or so of her demanding to know exactly what she had done to make me quit, we ended it with her saying, “Well, in the future, you should take your commitment to your job more seriously.” Well, you should shove that up your ass, you harpy.

I can understand wanting an exit interview, but demanding (and yes, that is the right word) specifics because “I don’t have time to keep on training new people!” is not professional. Here’s a specific for you - take a management course. Learn about boundaries. Learn to pry your fingers off a few things. Learn how to not be a huge steaming pile of shit. I left there feeling like I had been beaten up - that’s not how a resignation should go.