Monday, January 03, 2005

Episode 15: In Which I Try to Figure Out What the Hell it is I Do Here

The problem with having a new boss who's out of Denver and has about a zillion things he's responsible for is that I get no feedback whatsoever.

Now, really, this is nothing new for me. For the first three weeks I worked here, I didn't even know what the hell it was we did.

In fact, I have a feeling Blaine didn't know what the hell I was supposed to do either, and he was my boss. So, we were even.

As I've said before, Blaine is like a big puppydog. He's a big former football player, with a football player's distrust of his own intellect, a sweetheart, but sort of all over the place. He says thank you all the time, watches where he puts his hands, and has gone out of his way on numerous occasions to praise what I do. Even when he's busy, I'll at least get a, "Yes. This is good" or "This is good, but can you change this?"

In fact, he just called me into his office to read a line from an e-mail he couldn't understand to see if it was, and I quote, "Smart person lingo that you'd know" or "industry lingo."

I told him I didn't know it, so it must be industry lingo.

I feel so appreciated for being a geek.

And from Piper I'm getting zero reaction. I sent him oodles of crap I'd been compiling that I'll be using to, you know, do document controls work. The only reponse, "Can you make one of these up for X project too?"

Uh. Sure.

Today it's: "Make this look more professional, send it back to me."

Sure. I do so, he says, "Actually, that was the wrong thing I sent you, here's the right one."

OK. I do that one.

Radio silence.

Now it's "Convert this other document, we'll do this thing later. I'll call you tomorrow."


No "Thanks," no "This is great," or even "This frickin' sucks, you should go back to cleaning dog kennels."

In the grand scheme of things, of course, the formatting of documents for kick-off meetings shouldn't matter, but I've worked a year now with Ned the regional VP occasionally leaning over my shoulder, and that guy's a frickin' perfectionist. I reprinted Thank-You cards four times because he found crap he didn't like in them (thank god he wasn't around when I was doing audit packages).

I wonder how much of this has to do with the fact that 1) Blaine is younger than Piper by well over a decade 2) Blaine actually shares the same office with me, whereas Piper's only met me once.

I think there's a generational difference in management styles going on.

That, or I've just gotten very, very cozy with all this overpraise, and I'm about to take a nosedive into Corporate Hell.

Getting a raise really sucks.

I just want to write books.

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