My apologies if this post makes no sense, because right now I am too frustrated and pissed off to see straight. Basically, at work I am wearing too many hats, and have been for far too long. Last I checked, I have only one head, so I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with all these hats.
Background on my boss, who has no managerial skills:
In addition to having a boss who has no managerial skills, for the past 5 months or so, in addition to my regular job I have been covering most of the duties of a staff person of one of our major clients, who has been out on maternity leave. She returned from her leave nearly a month ago now, but there have been basically no signs of her reassuming her previous duties, which means I am still performing them. I would do just about anything right now for some light at the end of the tunnel, but every time I look down the tunnel, all I see are oncoming trains…in addition to all our normal work, the following issues have surfaced on my team recently:
- We have been contracted by this same client to do a very large compliance audit project.
- On the one hand, this is potentially a huge amount of billable work.
- On the other hand, our team’s administrative person and data entry/workflow control person have been down at the client site for the past 2 weeks gathering the materials to be audited back in our office.
- #3 means that their work is supposed to be covered by other people in the office.
- Of the three remaining administrative staff, none has been on the job for more than 2 months. That means they make a lot of mistakes, which means caseworkers have to take more time out of their schedules to review (and frequently, to correct) their work.
- Of the three remaining data entry/workflow staff, one is useless, plus his wife just had twins a few days ago, so he’s out of the office. He frequently disregards and/or questions his instructions, which means he is worse than useless; not only to we have to check and/or correct his work, but we have to argue with him about why he should listen to us. Honestly, I don’t know why he still has a job here. Plus the other two are on teams which operate differently, and they can’t seem to remember to look at the list of procedures we gave them for doing our team’s work. I can’t say that I blame them, because they have too much work to do already.
- Our administrative person was sick of her hellish job, and of being shipped to godforsaken client sites for weeks at a time, so she has given notice, which means her last day of work will be on the client site, and nobody who understands our team’s processes will be available to train her replacement. (People tend to last 6 months or less in that position before quitting, being fired, or being promoted, usually one of the former two.)
- Our data entry/workflow person has yet to spend 2 consecutive weeks in her position without being called away to go to a client site or handle some other special project, nor has she been given clear guidance on how to do her job. It’s not her fault – it’s a training issue – but it means that we are all having to double- and triple-check her work, which takes time away from our own work.
- My boss is currently on vacation with her boyfriend. I’m glad her personal life is going well; maybe getting laid regularly will improve her disposition. However, that means we are trying to cover the amount of work that normally keeps 7 of us quite busy, but with 4 people, plus my still having to cover the work of a client staff person (with no end in sight) and spend large amounts of time locating and/or correcting the work of other staff members who are already stretched to the limit and have been given little to no guidance about how to do our work (each team has a fair amount of client-specific procedures).
So today I arguably screwed something up. I am theoretically supposed to follow up on all outstanding items needed for new cases on a weekly basis, but I haven’t consistently, because I have way too many balls in the air. There is a VIP whose manager hasn’t provided a key piece of info yet that we need to prepare his case; I sent him a couple of e-mails, and haven’t gotten a response yet. Our client contact called one of my teammates (not me; God forbid she should actually talk to me) and asked why he hell the case hadn’t been prepared yet, and now it’s probably going to be my fault that I only sent 3 e-mails instead of 4.
I am so fucking pissed I can’t see straight. I never wanted this responsibility to begin with, it’s already lasted almost twice as long as promised, and I’m seriously at the point of having a nervous breakdown and running out of here in hysterics. The rest of the team, and to a lesser extent the rest of the office, are nearly in the same boat; we have too much to do, and are putting in enough overtime that we are, nearly without exception, completely mentally exhausted to the point that we are barely able to form sentences by the time we leave the office. I’ve already caught myself making stupid mistakes out of fatigue; just last night I sent an e-mail to a client (luckily not an embarrassing one) that was meant to go to a co-worker. Something is going to give, and I sure hope it’s not me.
There, I feel a little better now after venting a bit, even if I am sitting in my office with the door shut with mascara streaming down my cheeks after crying from frustration. I take my professional reputation very seriously, and I really want to do a kickass job and am really not fond of looking like an idiot, but how do I make management understand that four people cannot effectively do the same amount of work as eight, preferably without ending up in an inpatient psych ward?