Sunday, May 2, 2010

Playing the game

I meet with my immediate supervisor, a woman I like, every Friday. She has lots of good things to say, and I think she's happy with me, but this week she gave me a word of caution.

"You have a great, outgoing personality, and we love it. But you need to remember that this is a *very* conservative company, so when you send emails, make sure to keep them factual and very professional."

"Ok...can you give me an example?"

"You responded to an email I sent, and I think you said something like, 'Woo woo...'"

"Oh, right; OK; no problem."

"I'd just hate for an email containing something like that to be forwarded and the head of the department see it."

"Uh-huh. Sure. No, no problem, point taken."  (I'd responded to a message she sent regarding a resolution to a problem that had been nagging us. It was completely internal.)

Of course, the unspoken part of this was, "The department head is inflexible and humorless and will come down on you like a ton of bricks, so I'm trying to spare you by giving you a heads up." I appreciated it, actually. No more expressions of happiness over new endorsements. Basically, no having to care.

It's an odd situation to be in a job where you don't have to be a Type A about your work,  where they WANT you to back off and let other people give you things and take the responsibility. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not making a ton of money (my mortgage and condo fee for my very small 1930's condo takes almost 50% of my take-home pay), and that this job is less senior, and less is required of me.

There was a side comment about how she knows I want to change everything relating to the Claims Guy. I said actually, that would be hard since he can't really tell me how things get done, so I'm having to figure out how to do what I need to do in a way he wants, so I'm just doing my best in a way that makes sense to me (as an aside, Claims Guy is very nice but is positively dreadful at giving information, and as a result I've wasted a lot of time chasing my tail). Oh yes, I did make one earth-stopping change: I removed the Post-it Notes that he routinely STAPLES to file folders to identify them, and made actual file-folder labels.  I told him to just give me folders and I'd be happy to make labels. Whoa! Look at me going rogue with Word and the Avery labels!

So instead of being proactive, I'm going to sit back, wait to be given things to do, and not care when I have down time. I can do that. I can relax just fine.


Anonymous said...

what is wrong with wooo woooo?

JC said...

*sigh.* I know. But they are nice people, and I really need this job right now, so I'll be uncharacteristically restrained and save my "woo woo"s for my personal time. Oh, woe to the office that cannot abide a "woo woo"!

Joygazmic said...

sounds like you're a hard worker, and if you have some free time due to how your job is structured, enjoy it, practice the fine art of solitaire and tetris ;)