Friday, July 15, 2011

7/15/2011 Do It Anyway

I need to get OUT of work mode. WHY does this matter so much?

A coworker suggested that our mishmash (diverse?) modern society has few rite-of-passage rituals, such as Bar/Bat Mitzvahs for 13-year-olds in Jewish culture, or Quinceanera for 15-year-olds in Mexican culture. Instead, we get our sense of hierarchy and advancement from work. And indeed, I know in my heart that a large part of the reason I wanted to go back to work after having babies was for the structure, the sense of accomplishment, the belonging.

But it's hard to satisfy those basic needs in a foreign culture in which advancement, recognition and contribution is about people, relationships and loyalty; rather than intrisic work. I'd expect a great deal of subjective judgement in an artistic environment, but in a literal engineering one? That's odd. As regular readers know, I struggle routinely with a boss who values impressions, appearances and loyalty over quality of work and facts.

Yesterday my job changed dramatically. I was instructed to start working on a software application that does failure analysis on IP networks. Actually, it's right up my alley, normally, but it's not close to what I've been doing or want to do. More importantly, it's not in my team's set of responsibilities.

Do It Anyway, I was told today. Never mind that the group that is responsible doesn't need or want my help. So instead of doing in my job description, I've been instructed to duplicate work in another group..."just in case." I hate being given busywork that others have already covered and being told to "do it anyway" with little purpose beyond "just in case."

I don't I trust the CTO's sincere-sounding words that he wants to hear about problems like this? Or will I come off as a whiner? How do you convey that this really isn't your job without sounding like you're trying to slough off??

Speaking of dysfunction, thank goodness I had to leave at 3:30 today, to deal with a wacky kid-pickup schedule that involved kids in a pool on a field trip just before a swim lesson. Somehow I got them all to swim lesson on time. That by itself proves how capable I am!!


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