Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tag, You're It!

I have been observing a lot of people at work for the past year. I have noticed a lot of these people seem to think they have much more power in their job titles than they actually do. Business etiquette has been pushed aside and lack of civility and basic kindness toward fellow employees has crept in the workplace.

Some people think because of whom they report to, this gives them the power to disregard professionalism and civility. I have worked for vice presidents and presidents in various jobs I have held in my lifetime. Never once would I take it upon myself to insinuate my bosses’ power over others. Never once would I try to humiliate fellow co-workers in front of others. Email etiquette is the latest tool to which has fallen away from professionalism.

My latest observation is that people at a lower level in the organization, who seem to think they have power, feel it necessary to copy numerous people on emails which don’t have anything to do with these other people. In a very kindergarten way, the writers of these emails seem to think that by copying the world about a perceived wrong, they are taking it upon themselves to shout out the perceive wrong to the world, thus trying to embarrass a colleague in front of their fellow employees. I am the latest victim of one particular person and I'm trying my best not to come down to their level and play dirty. I'm fairly certain, in the world of email etiquette, one should ask if it alright to copy or forward a private email to other people. This person has decided she is the judge, and by copying others, they will make up the jury. Again, I wonder, what happened to innocent until proven guilty? We all know what it means to assume anything, and I will not write out the definition of "assume" so as not to offend anyone.

This is not the first time this person has done this. I know of many instances with other employees that this person has tried this same tactic. In all cases, the "victim" has chosen to keep quiet and not make waves. Being the mature person I am, I decided to block this person from my Facebook account. By doing this, I will not be tempted to reply to the negative and rude comments this person continues to make.

The frustrating part of this situation is that this person's boss has been made aware of these emails, and does nothing to stop the assistant. Because the boss appears to allow this behavior to continue, most people do not engage the boss about the assistant, because they know the behavior will be allowed to continue.

The post is my vent. Hopefully by tomorrow, I will have calmed down enough, but I don't think so. I'm not ready to deal with this person (via email, phone or in person) at the moment. You have to pick your battles, and I'm not sure I'm willing to go to war over this one (although it would feel pretty good to continue the skirmish).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Does Anyone Remember Why This Country Was Created?

There's so much debate over the new healthcare proposals currently making the national circuit. People are for the proposals, people are against the proposals, some people listen quietly at town hall meetings, some people are loudly vocal at town hall meetings in their opposition to what is being discussed. Quite frankly, while I do agree that some reforms need to be developed, I think we are moving too fast with these reforms. I don't think that the members of the House and Senate know exactly what reforms are in the proposals on any given day. I find it most fascinating that at the town hall meetings which are disruptive, those people who are willing to make their voices heard are now criticized by the opposition - they must be influenced by organized protestors, they don't know all the facts, they can't think for themselves. Wait a minute - what happened to freedom of speech? Just because you don't agree with proposed new reforms, when did you lose your right voice your opposition, and, if you do disagree with the new proposals, why can't you form your own opinion about the proposals? It seems the opposition thinks that you can't possibly have formed a valid opinion on your own - you must have been swayed by others. Wasn't this country founded by people who were vocal enough to express their concerns and willing to fight to develop a new country where freedom of speech was essential in the new country's development?

I think we all need to take a step back and have meaningful discourse on these reforms. We need to listen to all viewpoints - isn't it possible that some creative ideas might come forth from these discussions, and maybe we could all support a healthcare reform system that works for everyone - not just the special interest groups that our politicians are trying to appease.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ramblings from a Busy Person

Last time I wrote something, I was noting how busy life is, and since that post in July, my observations have proved to be correct. I flew to Detroit for five days to try to help Denise while they are in the process of moving (I did pack a couple of boxes, and got to spend time with Jackson, Luke and Grant), but I wish I could have been more helpful. Then I returned to work and have been dealing with lots of family tragedies with some of our staff - the death of a spouse (not unexpected but the future for the family is full of unknowns) and a family dealing with one income and suddenly, because of some past issues with their car, needing to come up with $1,000+ to get their car out of the impound lot - we were concerned that the staff member was on the verge of a breakdown. A term I really don't care for (because I first heard it from a member of a political party I'm not affiliated with), "It's takes a village", proved true for this staff member. Due to the generosity of fellow staff members, a collection was taken and this, together with a loan from a family member, enabled the family to get their car back. It was interesting to see how quickly life can change in an instant - the finality of death, and the unknown economic future we all face in these trying times.

So, today I decided to try to get some projects done I've been meaning to tackle over the past several months. The door bell rang twice this morning - one visitor brought me bushel of peaches and another visitor brought me a bag of tomatoes. I guess I'll be canning today instead of working on those other projects. It seems as if I'm destined to be busy for awhile longer. And wouldn't you know it - today the outside temperature will go up again and we will, once again, be hot and humid - just in time to heat up the kitchen while I'm canning. And I still have to plan a lesson for my Sunday School class. In the words of an advertising campaign from long ago, "Calgon, take me away"