Unpacking The Past

croc

I’m working with my psychologist to try and unpack some of my bad work experiences – this incident came up in our last session. I’ve written it down in an effort to get the events clear in my head, and also so I can easily refer to it in the future. My memory is not as good as it once was. ;)

One of the best managers I ever had was once totally undermined by a team leader underneath her. Because it was a 24/7 call centre, my manager saw this team leader for a maximum of 2 hours a day and for those two hours, this team leader was on her super best behaviour. It was a total accident that what this Team Leader was up to behind her back was discovered..

My manager called me into her office and told me that she was getting feedback that I was “dismissive”. I said I wasn’t really sure what that meant. Could she please provide me with a specific example. She said she could not, because then I would know who gave the feedback and asked me just to keep it in mind. I said ok, but I can’t fix this without more info, so please ask the person giving you this feedback to speak up and let me know when it happens, and/or ask them if they are ok with you relating a specific example.

A month or so later when we had another catch-up, she said she was still receiving feedback that I was “dismissive”. She had asked the feedback provider re relating an example and the answer was no. As no specific example could be provided, I said, “Sorry, I can’t fix this without knowing more. Plus, now I am starting to feel concerned that the person giving this feedback isn’t adult enough to put their name to it. Maybe there is a reason they will not put their name to it”.

Probably three weeks later, I was walking past the managers office and I heard my name and that word. Her office was glass, so I could see who was in there with her. It was one of the team leaders. The manager and I locked eyes and she knew I had heard it. After that person left, she called me in. I apologised. I did not mean to overhear but I was walking past. Then I said – now I know who is giving you this feedback, I actually know what the problem is – and I am not being dismissive, I am simply too busy to “debrief” with her.

This person was a team leader and if I had a question about how to handle something I would ask her. She would tell me to do X. I’d accept her answer on face value and do exactly what she said to do. Once I’d done what she said, I moved on to the next task.

Two or three hours later she would come to me when it was quiet and try to have another discussion about the question I’d asked. I’d be like.. I did what you said, it is handled, and I’ve moved on to other things. And she’d be like “No, we need to debrief”. And I’d be like, I’m sorry, I don’t have time to debrief. I have 6 other tasks in my queue that need to be completed. The situation was solved and I’ve closed it off, so we don’t need to debrief.

When I explained this, my manager said I was doing exactly the right thing. She actually felt that how I was handling this issue was too polite and she told me in future to be a lot more “dismissive” about these debriefs and just to give a simple no, and she would talk to the team leader directly about this.

My manager then asked me why I had not mentioned this situation to her. I explained that this team leader had told me to always go directly to her if I had an issue with her and she would do the same with me.

I had spoken directly to the team leader about it, and she told me the debriefing was her way of doing things and I should debrief whenever she wanted me to debrief. I said lets do a compromise – if I say that I have work I need to do, let it go. If I’m not busy, we can debrief. In that job, it was rare for me not to be busy, so 99% of the time I’d say I had work to do.

The manager was very unhappy about this “feedback deal”, and on further investigation she found out this team leader had made the same “feedback deal” with every single staff member. She sent out an email making it very clear that any issues with team leaders were to be raised directly with her, and no “feedback deals” were allowed.

I was also very unhappy that this team leader was saying to my face if she had any issues with me she would raise them with me, and from then on, I did not trust her.

All of a sudden, all the issues with people had with this team leader were going to the manager. It turned out this team leader was doing a lot of not great things and the spotlight was well and truly on her. The long cigarette breaks, the disappearances, her refusal to answer her phone when it rang, the non completion of tasks, some bullying of staff members, the times she would leave early and have someone else cover for her, the inappropriate flirting with clients on her calls, all of this came to light.

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Because my Best Manager was truly that – an excellent manager – she kept a very tight leash on this team leader once all of this came to light.. but when my Best Manager left, this team leader had free rein to act inappropriately. That was not a fun time for me, but I knew to keep a very close eye on her, and to call her out on her bullshit.

She did not appreciate my calling her out, and she used a new staff member to try and oust me by having them make false complaints about me. Unfortunately for her, I was already in the process of complaining about her behaviour with management and when I pointed out that there were witnesses to the event this staff member complained about and that management should ask them for their version of events, it was discovered my version of events was the correct one.

After that situation, I stated to management that I no longer wanted to work with that team leader, and we adjusted my schedule accordingly, until I eventually left the company, mostly because the new manager was not a patch on Best Manager, and I no longer enjoyed the job.

Eventually, she ended up being demoted from her team leader position. Karma, it happens. :) Though sometimes it takes longer than we would like, and sometimes we are not there to witness it happen in person.

Angry Snoskred, life lessons, looking back, moving forward, work

Here we go again..

leaders

Please to explain how Bill Shorten is even an option on this poll, news.com.au. Bill Shorten is not a member of the Liberal Party and even if he were to get ALL THE VOTES there is no possible way he can become the leader of it! You might as well put Ronald McDonald on the form as well..

Look, there is zero doubt that Australia adores Malcolm Turnbull. The guy says what he thinks and it has cost him dearly at times, rather famously costing him the leadership back in 2009. He will always be known to Q&A viewers as That Guy Who Wore The Leather Jacket That Time.

The Australian Media are all in a tizzy, they love this kind of stuff *so* much. And it will run 24/7 until Tuesday, I’m certain.

Do the public love it? Having worked at the past few elections I have heard many comments from people who are forced to show up and vote, and the general theme is, I’d rather not have to vote for any of these idiots.

I had a few people tell me they’d prefer to “blow all those bastards up” which is a very Australian statement. Non-Australians might not understand how that can be an Australian statement, but this was a catchphrase here for many years thanks to The Kingswood Country. AKA – “Somebody/someone should blow [current object of annoyance] up!”

Some people advise they would prefer to urinate on them than vote for them. I’m deeply appreciative that these people are willing to express their apparent fondness for golden showers with a random like me handing out their voting papers, but the germophobe within me says, ew.

I also deeply enjoyed the drawings of genitalia on the ballot papers, though I did not understand why people drew such small penises on such a large canvas. Were these self portraits? Use the whole ballot, peoples, it is enormous. Have a look at the size of the largest ballot here – Australia’s Compulsory Voting System; Is It Good or Bad?.

In general people were vastly unhappy with all the uncertainty around Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party, so they are unlikely to be huge fans of these same issues in the Liberal Party.

With that said, the last federal election was a very clear middle finger to the Labor Party and I suspect the only reason the Liberals got in is due to the fact that they were not Labor. EG I’m voting for these people because they are not THOSE people. Nobody seemed to like Tony Abbott then, and nobody seems to like him now.

For what it is worth – there is an upcoming election in NSW and they are looking for staff if you live in NSW and you want to give it a try, click here for more. I’ve worked elections a few times and have enjoyed it enormously. :)

Aussie Culture, bitches, elections, politics, work

The Name Game – Taryn

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I once worked with a girl who was named Taryn, in a call centre.

The last thing you want in a call centre is to have a unique name. You would think having a unique name would be awesome but believe me, it costs you time on the phone. Here is how the average wrap up for a Taryn call would go.. the side fellow call centre operators would hear, anyway.

“You’ve been speaking with Taryn today”

“No, not Karen, Taryn, with a T”

“T.. A.. R.. Y.. N”

“Yes, with a T”

Yes, T.. A.. R.. Y.. N, that is right”

“I’m not sure where the name came from. Now before I let you go, is there anything else I can do for you today?”

(A long, long gap, during which the caller usually tells Taryn an unusual name story for no apparent reason)

“Thank you for sharing that with me. I really have to go now, there are calls in the queue that I need to answer. Thanks for your time today.”

The trouble with this was, every single time the call centre would review her calls, the ending wrap up as described above would be at least 2 minutes long. Sometimes a lot longer when the story the caller told her would be 5-10 minutes long. Plus, that last line did not fit in with the smiley happy warm and fuzzy vibe that operators were meant to portray.

Several times, Taryn was told she should use a pseudonym on the phones. Each and every time, Taryn refused to do this. Her call times were always much longer than everyone elses and a major reason was the above conversation which she was having over and over again, on every single call she took. Even when they moved her to making outgoing calls in the hope of shortening her call times, this exact same conversation would happen.

Eventually, the general manager of the company approached her about it and told her changing her phone name was a requirement for continuing employment with the company. Taryn went back to her desk, wrote her resignation, printed it out, signed it, and went back to give it to the general manager. She was then escorted from the building.

Taryn was an incredible call centre operator. One of the best I have ever worked with. She was also incredibly stubborn about her name and at the time I was totally on board with that, but as time has gone by I have seen how little it really matters.

Callers do not care what your name is. They are unlikely to call back looking for you to speak to, and if they do, 99% of the time they will get your name completely wrong. I got called Shannon all the time, and that is nowhere near my actual real name. My name has 3 syllables, Shannon only has two, plus the letter my name starts with is at the total opposite end of the alphabet.

I’ve had people call me Veronica, Alexandra, Cassandra, Katherine, Karen, Mary, Elizabeth, princess, darling, darl, sweety, dear.. the list of names I have been called is long and there are many names on it, and my actual real name is rarely to be seen on that list.

Taryn was right to quit, though. I only lasted 9 months in that same call centre and that place was awful, caring more about call times and stats than actual people.

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I was tagged by Fish of Gold for this name game blog hop.

I’ll tag Kenton Musings as I have not seen them tagged anywhere yet, and their about page says “I am always on the lookout for the next writing topic.” The rules can be found over here.

Here’s who has contributed so far:

Markbialczak
Silver Threading
The Chatter Blog
MeWhoAmI
Lindaghill
Lucy at the Excessive Gardener
DebraB at Debra Books
Mindful Digressions
Fish of Gold
Snoskred

call centre, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014, pseudonym, work

Favourite Things – Bling!

Over the past few months, we have been working on de-cluttering, tidying, and making our house more of a home.

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When I was working, I created this blinged up box – which I would use to take all my “stuff” to and from work. I am a high maintenance girl. I need stuff, during the day. So the box is pretty large – it is 15 litres and measures 40cm x 28cm x 19cm.

What kind of stuff do I need when I work? This box – without the lid – used to carry the following to and from work –

– A box of tissues
– A roll of paper towel.
– A bottle of Soda Water.
– My plastic cup for the day.
– An apple, a plastic Ikea plate to cut it up on, and a decent knife.
– A 2 minute noodle snack with a container to “cook” it in, and a fork.
– Hand sanitiser
– Lip balm
– Hand cream
– My handbag would sit on top of the “stuff”.

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Now, it has become a home to my bling. The lid keeps the dust off and the bling shiny!

Please to note, none of my Bling is expensive – the most costly item here is likely my Michael Kors watch at just under $200. The other two watches were less than $100. Everything else is below $30. They are doing some amazing things with crystals these days.

More on my BLING tomorrow.

Do you have bling?

If yes, where does it live?

About Snoskred, jewellery, NaBloPoMo, NaBloPoMo 2014, work

Lightbulb Moment – Wardrobe Take 2

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Layering tops many of which are mesh from Ezibuy.

This is part 2 of a series – part 1 is here.

So, basically we’ve learned during this process of sorting out my wardrobe that I have become less over the past few years and I have been trying to work out what has caused that.

I think a huge part of this burrowing into my comfort zone began when my favourite manager left.

My favourite manager is an incredible person. Have you ever known someone who takes every opportunity to praise you and lift you up? Who makes everyone better just by existing – who makes everyone want to do their best for them – who makes people *more* somehow?

Someone who has your back with upper management even if you’ve made a stuff up – which she will address with you in a way that will teach you never to make that mistake again, and in fact you’ll make sure nobody within your earshot ever makes that mistake either?

Someone who is there for you when you need them, and will even go to great lengths for you to get you the help you need, even if it is not a part of her official job description?

Someone who – even years after they are no longer your boss – is more than willing to listen when things go wrong, and give you the guidance you need to make the best decisions for yourself in the situation you find yourself in?

Someone who tells you the unvarnished truth, not what you want to hear?

Someone who tucks in your tag if you managed to get out of the house with it sticking out without making you feel embarrassed, and she’ll have noticed it and fixed it moments after you walked in the door, even if she has to interrupt a meeting to do it?

Someone who inspires great loyalty from everyone she works with, even if they are people she does not personally like?

That is what my favourite manager was like. When she was working there, shifts during the day never dragged on. In fact I looked forward to them, to being in her presence, to feeling her light, hoping it would land on me from time to time. Listening to her train other people was a validation of all the things she taught me to do, of all the things she wanted – needed – from us.

She is utterly hilarious. Training with her was never boring because she made everything interesting with the way she chose to present it. Having her listen to your calls was a sheer delight. Having her sitting next to you and listening in was a thing of great joy.

She also had a fabulous sense of style. No two outfits were ever the same, and myself and pretty much everyone around her took a leaf from her book and found our own personal style. She would always comment on everyones outfit. There were no flip flops, not ever in her presence. The only way you showed your toes was in a peep toe.

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Colourful tank dresses, none of which I would have bought without the influence of my favourite manager.

Sneakers were fine but they could not be plain and boring – they had to be colourful and delightful, or quirky. Layering was the order of the day and I enjoyed it, loved putting things together which I never would have considered before. Jewellery was to be oohed and aahed over, and discussed, and ranked in order of which pieces she most wanted to know where you got them because she wanted them too.

She allowed me to be who I truly am, she accepted who I was and validated the fact that it was ok to be unusual, to be quirky, to be different, to stand out in my own ways.

For the first time ever in my life, I was truly myself.

So how did the wardrobe sorting turn out? Everything in its place, baby!

Sorry some of these photos are quite long.. :)

skirts

My tiny collection of pencil skirts.

There are 3. I do not own a lot of skirts, I am more of a dress person. Plus, my Forever 21 animal print jumper.
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My colourful collection of dresses.

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So many different dresses.

plain

Dresses without patterns, just one colour.

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Going out tops all together in one place.

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Little shrug cardigans.

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Animal print tops all together in one place.

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Exercise tops all together.

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Around the house clothes –

You see all the identical pink ones at one end – those are all tops from rivers which are my in between seasons wear – 3/4 length sleeves. If I am not wearing a jumper and I am at home, there is a 99% chance I will be wearing one of those pink tops.

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Jumpers Together –

some of them are in the wash.

get organised, Happy Snoskred, work

Housekeeping part 99 zillion trillion

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Chickens, just chilling.

I’ve updated the blogroll page – the previous blogroll was a code from Google Reader but once they went kaboom the blogroll also vanished..

This blogroll has been hell to create involving the other half, magic coding and secret tricks to alphabetise the list, plus then I had to go through the list and make sure the URLs were correct which involved manually clicking through to each blog.

Please do not think that if you are listed last that means anything other than your blog begins with Z. The list is alphabetical.

In fact, in my feedreader everything is contained within folders, and Zazzy would probably be shocked to know she is in my very first folder which is rather oddly named aaaafaves. Frogdancer and her fellow Aussies are just below in AAussies

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The aLadies folder is where people like Jocelyn from Mama’s StyleTia Cherie and Suger would find themselves.

But wait, a couple of these are Aussies? Yes, this is true. I have to go through a massive list of new blogs I subscribed to over the past 6 months to work out if they should stay in Ladies or head to Aussies. I was on a fashion blog subscribing spree and not considering the long term organisation of my feeds.

Don’t worry Ladies, you still get read on the day you publish a post – and organising my feeds is presently high on my todo list, after fixing my blogroll and choosing and customising a new blog design.

As I have been clicking through to the blogs on the list, I’ve noticed a lot of them have not updated in a while, some dating back to 2006.

After going through the entire list, there are 321 blogs listed – and that is after I deleted those which went to a wrong place, no longer existed or had not updated since 2007.

I don’t delete a blog from my feed reader unless the blog no longer exists, which means if and when people return to it, I get the next post they write. If it is on my blogroll, it is in my feed reader. :)

My current cut off for the blogroll is – 2008 – if you posted after 2008 and you are in my feed reader, you should have been listed on the blogroll.

If you are reading this and you have a blog and you are missing from the new Blogroll list please let me know in the comments for this post.

Each day I would have somewhere around 150-180 new posts to read. Some of the blogs have 5-10 posts a day, though, so numbers are not really a fair representation of, well, anything.

I’m going to put together a little featurette on some of my most favourite blogs in the world, as well as my most favourite bloggers. I might even try to get some of them to answer a few questions if possible.

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A small update on the work front – this is going to be a longer process than I’d hoped. I’d love to be able to talk about it here but it would not be especially safe to do so. I might put up a protected post later if this drags on too long because I might want to rage type it all out. If I do, all you need to do to get the password for it is email me – best to use the contact form here on the blog. :)

blog housekeeping, feed readers, work

Meet Carter

So I bought me a little friend at Costco.

This is Carter, my skeleton friend.

ct1

Back when I was getting along with everyone at work, and when I was doing the overnight shift, Carter spent a few over-nights sitting out in my car. It was hilarious because people would suddenly notice him as they were walking past my car, and let out bloodcurdling screams, or perhaps do a little freak out jump.

Carter, funny, work

A little bit of scheduling error!

So, I scheduled 2 posts for one day a couple days ago, well done me. :)

I’m having a really tough time at work at the moment. As far as I am concerned, I am going in for my second to last shift ever tonight. And just by doing that, I am giving management bullets for their gun with every single call I take.

By the time you read this, I’ll have been there for a good couple of hours, and I’ll be counting down the minutes till I can leave.

It is an awful way to feel. It is an awful place to be. It takes every last millimeter of willpower within me to drive there, get out of the car, and go inside.

I’ve taken pretty much everything I own home already.

There is a meeting set for next week during which I fully expect to be fired, perhaps for making a joke, or for doing my job correctly but having that mis-interpreted by someone who has never ever done my job.

Imagine – whatever field you might work in – me, who has never done your job and knowing nothing about your job, coming in to sit in judgment of you. Or not me. Imagine it is some random you pass in the street.

The one good thing about todays shift is – it will be the last time I ever work with someone (possibly 2 someones) I truly despise. This time, I might even say some of the things which have been festering inside me out loud, in front of other people who know those things I have been thinking. That might feel good.

I’m just letting myself wing it now – not making any plans and not really caring much about the outcome because I’ve already made my decision. I don’t want to work there anymore. I’m ok with not working there anymore.

After six months of being a fake shell of who I am, too scared to say anything for fear I would be fired, I’ve come to terms with the fact that it *will* happen. Now, I’m gonna be me, whether people like it or not.

I’ll have more to say about this here, once the meeting is over. Or maybe I will just make one post, let it all out, and then move on. We’ll see. Play it by ear. Wing it. :)

Angry Snoskred, Annoyed Snoskred, work

So, it has been a while.

Almost a year. Is anyone still out there?

You can thank Jocelyn from Mama’s Style for my return. :)

bigkitty

Our Big Kitty
Lots to update – our big kitty went to Rainbow Bridge in December 2013 – she is greatly missed. Vale Big Kitty.

We nearly lost the other kitty as well to kidney failure but after a long time at the vet she returned home to us. She’s not the same kitty as she was. She’s super grumpy. We thought this would fade with time but it has been over 6 months so this seems like a permanent new thing. So her name here on the blog is now officially Grumpy.

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Grumpy
We got a new small kitty who is probably the sweetest disposition cat I have ever met – Lets call her Happy.

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Happy
You see how there are little nubs in the rug she is lying on? She thinks these are teats and will slobber all over them when she is doing her kneading and purring you are my mother love me routine. Loopy just like her owner, lol.

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More Happy
Previously small kitty but now middle aged Grumpy kitty is not a fan of the new kitty *at all* but Happy is not giving up. There have been many times when the grumpy kitty would be fast asleep and the little kitty would sneak up, creep up, and all she wants is to lick her. But the minute she puts her nose close enough the long hair furs of Grumpy alert her to the presence of Happy, and the jig is up, there will be hissing, perhaps a paw swipe.

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She is a regular domestic short hair but she has some secret tabby hidden within her.

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Your request to use the internet is DENIED.
Happy has taken on some of the habits of Big Kitty – I’ve had cats do this before – Big Kitty took on aspects of my childhood kitty when we got her. It almost feels like Big Kitty is being channeled through the new kitty. The most hilarious channelment has been this –

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Big Kitty had a penguin which she would always bring us at night, with plenty of miaowing. Happy has this mouse on a stick. She picks up the mouse in her mouth and the string and stick trail along dragging on the ground making this somewhat terrifying yet always funny sound.

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Synchronised Eating.

Anyway, I’m sort of back – in a place where I have a bit more free time than I used to, some bad stuff going on I can’t type about but looks like I will be jobless very shortly – while this sounds like a bad thing the bullying and harassment going on is a lot worse than being jobless so it is actually a good thing even though it sounds bad and wow what a run on sentence that one was, lol.

I’ve scheduled a couple of posts for this week, and we’ll see how it goes from there.

So what happens with you?

kitties, Vale Pets, work

Who Is It?

The Year Of Me is more difficult for the people around me than it is for me.

Sometimes people will want you to change. They will tell you how they want you to be. They will call it growing up or making progress or something like that. They will use words like “Assertive” “Honest” “Open” in combination with “be more”..

When you do what they want, they quickly discover that what they actually wanted was for you to stay the same. And then they get all bent out of shape because you did what they asked you to do and became who they said they wanted you to be!

So, what does Me do when that happens? Does Me turn back the clock and go back to who Me was before, or does Me say to that person.. get used to this Me, forget the old Me.

I’m not going back. No way. No how. I’m feeling comfortable in this new skin. This is who I am now. :)

About Snoskred, things to remember, work