Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Modeling my new backbone

I went down to pick up the next piece of a project I'm working on for my old boss. Waiting on the cart for me were way more items than what I agreed that I would take at one time (and I've emphasized that to them quite a few times already). They do this all the time. They're supposed to pull between 40 and 60 reels of microfilm (I've told them repeatedly to try aiming for 50), and for the third time in as many weeks they had over 60 waiting for me to take away. A couple of weeks ago is was 115. Today it was 88.

I used to just take the reels, reiterate that I wanted between 40 and 60, and think ugly thoughts at them as I dragged stuff back to my cubicle to work on it. Part of me wanted to do it again today, but I stifled that impulse. If I kept letting them get away with this, pretty soon there would be over 100 reels on that cart again. I should know that, having worked with them so long. They push. You offer one of something, they ask for two. Give 'em an inch, they think they're rulers.

Dammit, I set a limit for a reason. I do have other things to do.

I asked my old boss what she wanted me to take, the 63-reel long title (three over my limit, but that's okay because it's an entire title), or the 25-reel long title and the first 35 reels of the 63-reel long one. She looked surprised.

"Well we don't like splitting runs up if we can help it..."

"Okay, so the 63-reel one."

"Well, but we have a list we're going by and we don't want to confuse the students doing the pulling."

They're already confused, I thought. They can't even count to sixty.

I went to the folder with the list in it and flipped a few pages.

"Next title is 37 reels long. I'll take the 63 reels today, and then Thursday I'll take these 25 and that 37-reel title."

She agreed, but I don't think she was happy. I used to have "Welcome" written on my back in 15 languages. I think she expected me to roll over and play dead. I'd said something to my supervisor and the head of my department at my annual review a few weeks ago along the lines of needing to grow a spine where these people were concerned.

Looks like it's starting to happen.


Just Me said...

Ooooooh, and doesn't that sturdy new spine feel good?

I'm proud of you for sticking to the limit you set. I know it's hard when you want to be helpful and not rock the boat, but you do have responsibilities to be met in your current department. If Old Boss can't get a grip on that concept, she should find another person for outsourcing her department's work.

If she gives you a hard time, ask her how she'd feel if her employees were doing work for others' departments instead of their own.

Hotch Potchery said...

Good for you!!!

Strings said...

Good for you! I hadn't heard about this happening!