Boy, do I suck at this lol… But I have an excuse! It’s end of quarter at the school which is craaaazy so I’ve been working way to hard to think about blogging or life. But it’s quieted down a bit so expect a few posts a day so I can catch up on this before the end of the week. I apologize for bogging down your emails if you’re subscribed :).
So this past week I missed a deadline. A big deadline. My first big eff up at the new job. I was expecting to be fired but my boss just sat with me and we had a teaching moment discussion. I still felt completely rotten for most of the day but my boss’s demeanor didn’t change with me throughout the day and we had a few laughs after about other stuff.
It got me thinking about how good it feels to finally have a good manager. I was reminded of my last job where I also made one eff up and the meeting I was subjected to felt like a congressional hearing.
I’m not making excuses for myself but at this stage the company was going through a merger and we got new software that everyone was trying to wrap their heads around. It wasn’t a good time since we were still having to process work in the old system while trying to process new jobs in the new system. Things are bound to fall through the cracks. Also while all of this was going on procedures were changing with how projects were run. Procedures that we got little to no training on. Just a quick mention in meetings. One of these procedural changes was just a quick checking of a checkbox that we’ve never previously done. Unfortunately, this checkbox, if it wasn’t checked had knock on effects down the road. Effects that wouldn’t be picked up unless it was looked for specifically but effects that messed up data that was presented to clients. Whoops. Guess who wasn’t checking that checkbox for about 10 projects.
I’ll never forget the day. I only reported to one manager but there are 3 in the office. bare in mind that I was also a manager like the other two, though they were a bit more senior than I was. I was called in and had to sit across from the 3 of them and had to answer questions about this egregious error. I felt like a dumb child being spoken down to. “How could you let this happen?” “Walk me through your thought process, step by step”.
I felt terrible. My punishment was that I was to send and “apology” email to all the customer service guys who worked on the projects and I had to fix the error and resend data reports.
But the more I thought about it the more angry I got and I couldn’t understand why such a big deal was being made about it. Mostly because everyone in customer service seemed unconcerned and thankfully none of the reports had been presented yet so crisis averted right?
I think I know why such a big deal was made. This wasn’t an issue of negligence it was an issue of a broken system and lack of training. Things were changing so rapidly that upper management had no time to set up proper training sessions. I won’t go into details of how things were coming apart at the seams. Things have calmed down now and are a lot smoother, I’m sure, but those few months were awful and a lot of people jumped ship so they had to deal with that as well. Anyway, I think my boss knew that I wasn’t fully to blame and she didn’t want any push back from me so she called in her 2 buddies to back her up in case I fought with her. Luckily for them I’m a pushover and I took all the berating. Also for the rest of the day my boss just seemed moody with me. Ugh that’s a tale for another day though. I should start a whole new blog to tell stories about that old job. You would be amazed and horrified.
Anyway, the point of this story was that having a good manager will make or break you. I’ve had my share of really awful and really great managers and I’m very happy to be going through this stage of my life (read: infertility) with a great one.
3 thoughts on “Quarter’s End”
I left a great job in DC because of my supervisor. I did my job and his. When I left, he asked me what he was supposed to do. My response, “Your job.” My current supervisor is extremely laid back. He has examples of the mistakes he has made in the lab, so students understand that it is okay, we are human, and it happens. Best to simply say “I made a mistake.” so we can work on fixing it. Much better work environment.
I’m sorry you had to leave a great job in DC due to a supervisor. What years were you in DC? I was there from 2006 – 2012.
I completely agree that managers can either make or break a job. Crappy leadership is almost as bad as no leadership. Happy to hear that you found a good manager who will make this walk in life a little easier.
And we are at the end of semester here too. Life is crazy – I completely get it! Good luck!