Thursday, February 09, 2006

I love being underappreciated

I adore having my hard work and talents overlooked, don't you? That's why I went to school for eight years and paid more than I want to think about. That's why I sacrifice time I don't really have in the first place, to help out where I can -- because it was always a dream of mine to be taken for granted.

Heck, my kids do that for me. I don't need it from anyone else!

So, here's what happened.

Part 1:
I've mentioned before that I'm an active Mom when it comes to schools. They know me, they know my name, they know what I can/can't do. I've held PTA Board positions for four years now. This week, I have a very limited amount of time to do the school newsletter. Usualy not a problem because I have a system in place, which relies heavily on email. People adjusted and now work within it...most of the time.

A teacher calls me about an article she needs to place. She says she'll leave it in the office and I can pick it up there. Uhm, no I can't!! She forgets - I work outside of the home. Dropping by the school is something I have to plan in advance. This is deadline day.

I send her a note and many confusing details transpire, but the moral of the story is that there's nothing in my hot little hand at the end of the day. Er, days. I call and ask her if she can just read it to me over the phone.

"No, I don't think so. There's like...lemme see...5...10...30...40...uhm, 45 names on it."

"Really? That might be a problem. We don't have that much space."

Here's the part that pissed me off.

"Oh, the principal will be angry about that. We did it just fine last year."

First, chickadee, I don't give a rat's bohonkus if the principal is upset. He's not my boss. Let's remember who is doing the favor here. It's no skin off my nose if you do your own stinkin' newsletter.

Second, we did not do it "just fine last year." A quick check confirmed what I thought -- not only was this big list not in the newsletter last year, but there was no article at all about this group!

And I said so. She said, "Oh yes, there was! I wrote it myself!"

"Then it didn't get to me. I looked through every issue and there's nothing."

"Maybe it was on the back."

Do I look stupid to you? Er, do you imagine I look stupid?

"No, I have the computer files. I did the newsletter last year, too."

Her trap shut. I went on to tell her that I didn't know if I had time to type that whole thing. Wonder of wonders, she suddenly found a way to email it to me. In the end, I found a way to fit it in -- in an 8-point font.

Part 2:
We have a new system at work, to help us do the online part of what we do. I personally love it. My boss assigned a group of us to port old material into the new system. I'm the "Project Manager" of this group. I've figured out the nuts and bolts of this process and organized the group so that we're a porting machine! My boss had me head this thing because he has no time for it. I don't think he even knows how to use it. So, when questions come up, I get pulled into the meeting as the "expert." This place is meeting-obsessed.

So, that happened a couple of weeks ago. Two and a half hours of it. We were meeting with some out-of-towners about how to make our new system play nice with another system. At the end of this torment, my boss (who is sitting beside me) says, "I really have to hand it to Programmer 1 and Programmer 2 [names changed to protect the guilty]. If it weren't for their efforts, this system wouldn't have come together. It's due to their hard work that it's up and running."

WTF?!?! What haveI been doing all this time?!?!

As I'm wondering how to point this out without sounding like a big ol' ego-head, I hear someone clear her throat across the room.

"And Blogget [name changed again]. Don't forget that we wouldn't have anything to look at without Blogget putting it together."

My boss startles and looks at me. "Oh yes! Of course! But she loves this stuff."

WTF does that mean? I love doing it, therefore my contribution isn't as significant?

God bless that coworker for speaking up, though. It's good to know someone has your back!

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