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Old 06-06-2019, 11:33 AM
DKM
 
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
2,828 posts, read 1,008,778 times
Reputation: 2847

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Sounds like you're in an engineering firm. There is an added layer of stress being involved in a firm that sells your time to clients this way. What you are experiencing is normal. I have to say, you likely will get better at handling this. The unpleasant moments are what make you better later. That's why your boss is anal, he's making sure its right so no clients are mad later. If it wasn't unpleasant then people will screw up a lot. Its not an easy way to make money but you can make pretty good amounts of it if you're good at it. You can always go "in house" or govt work if you think it suits you better.
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Old 06-06-2019, 04:19 PM
 
7,385 posts, read 11,554,473 times
Reputation: 8187
As fate would have it, there was a big screw up in the office today. A piece of mail from a client got misplaced and caused a minor inconvenience to him.

I was not to blame.

But of course, nobody wanted to take the blame.

I do find it interesting that people just go about their 8 hours, la-la-la and if they make a mistake, "It's not my fault."

And then of course, the departments try and blame each other.

Comical really.

And our client. I mean, is it something to get upset over? I guess, but to ruin other people's days over a minor inconvenience that wasn't intentional or malicious?

All of it just a monumental waste of my life...
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:44 PM
 
1,862 posts, read 717,074 times
Reputation: 3980
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post
As fate would have it, there was a big screw up in the office today. A piece of mail from a client got misplaced and caused a minor inconvenience to him.

I was not to blame.

But of course, nobody wanted to take the blame.

I do find it interesting that people just go about their 8 hours, la-la-la and if they make a mistake, "It's not my fault."

And then of course, the departments try and blame each other.

Comical really.

And our client. I mean, is it something to get upset over? I guess, but to ruin other people's days over a minor inconvenience that wasn't intentional or malicious?

All of it just a monumental waste of my life...
When I was going through that sort of stuff it helped me to think that I was being paid money to go through it. I concentrated on the money angle. Being paid money and not being unemployed.
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Old 06-06-2019, 06:17 PM
 
2,052 posts, read 864,269 times
Reputation: 5057
I was an audit manager for 7 years and didn't feel any stress. However my bosses eventually decided I wasn't a good manager, and I was demoted to doing menial make work for more than a year, but I stuck it out as my salary hadn't been cut. Before being demoted I was sent to a one week out of town seminar on management. Unknown to me it was probably the last step towards demotion. But I got some very good advice there. I was told I wasn't cut out for management and I should try to find a technical niche where my skills would be appreciated. More than a year after being demoted I got that chance to become a sys admin and dba and implement a new computerized drafting system in the engineering department. It was the start of an 18 year career which I had until I retired, and for two years as an independent contractor after I retired. At one point my boss asked me to take on supervisory duties in addition to my sys admin and dba duties. I told him I'd quit first and he dropped the subject. I lost a $10K raise but it was more than worth turning it down. Working on my own at a job as a specialist where nobody really knew what I did or cared as long as the results were good was the best feeling I had while working. I was on flex time so I could avoid rush hour, and it was like working for myself, but not having any of the hassles of running a business. It was the best piece of work advice I ever got, and I was lucky enough to be able to follow it. Maybe you should consider an in demand and challenging technical position as an option for yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post
I would like to know if this situation sounds familiar to anybody else in corporate/managerial positions. I figure it must, especially for middle managers.

I work as an engineer, but this could apply to any career in a corporate setting.

-You live in fear of answering to mistakes. Even though you are diligent, you know you that mistakes happen because there's so much to keep track of, so many regulations and inputs and data to keep track of, and that you are going to have to answer for them or your suboordinates' mistakes at times in the future.

-You've been cursed out or talked sternly to by clients who are mad at you, not necessarily because you've made a mistake but because your business takes $ from them that they don't want to be spending. And sometimes they're just a@@holes. But even though you feel you've done a good job, and sometimes spent your own time to help a client, they're often pissed if they have to continue to pay you.

-It seems like half of the external emails you send, and half of the conversations you have with clients, lawyers, or superiors have to be well thought out, otherwise you face the wrath of saying the wrong thing. I've literally spent 10 minutes dissecting a 2 sentence email and when I don't receive responses to emails, I wonder if I've said the wrong thing.

-In connection with the previous statement, things come up so fast and so many jobs are happening that often you come to a conclusion, then later on you dissect it more carefully and have a revised answer and then may face the wrath of that.

-Your bosses might be somewhat fair, but mostly are concerned with pleasing clients and/or attorneys and kissing their ass so they can obviously ... continue to keep being clients and pay you.

The corporate stress is just getting to me. I'm up for promotion and I actually don't even give a **** if I get it, because if I do, I'm just digging myself deeper into the corporate stress culture ... exposing myself to even more of the above.

Last edited by bobspez; 06-06-2019 at 06:30 PM..
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:41 PM
 
1,293 posts, read 948,749 times
Reputation: 2307
Some mistakes are better not to be made. Like, if you build bridges, or skyscrapers, or railroads. If you are making many mistakes, better go work somewhere where you won't be putting people's lives at risk.

And don't complain. Learn.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:07 PM
 
6,848 posts, read 3,718,587 times
Reputation: 18088
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKM View Post
Sounds like you're in an engineering firm. There is an added layer of stress being involved in a firm that sells your time to clients this way. What you are experiencing is normal. I have to say, you likely will get better at handling this. The unpleasant moments are what make you better later. That's why your boss is anal, he's making sure its right so no clients are mad later. If it wasn't unpleasant then people will screw up a lot. Its not an easy way to make money but you can make pretty good amounts of it if you're good at it. You can always go "in house" or govt work if you think it suits you better.
I wouldn't say govt work is easier. In many ways it's worse. The politics around every decision are immense. And the more political a manager is, the more fragile their ego. Decisions that are very bad technically get made by non technical managers because no one wants to shatter their ego. Decisions that cost lives. Billion dollar decisions. I refuse to sugar coat technical issues and it has cost me promotion opportunities. But I can sleep at night.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,581 posts, read 17,567,761 times
Reputation: 27662
Absolutely. I had one job where people would deliberately use as much red tape and legalese as possible to defend themselves. Employees would throw each other under the bus to curry favor with clients.
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Old 06-07-2019, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Florida and New England
1,233 posts, read 1,417,753 times
Reputation: 1676
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post
As fate would have it, there was a big screw up in the office today. A piece of mail from a client got misplaced and caused a minor inconvenience to him.

I was not to blame.

But of course, nobody wanted to take the blame.

I do find it interesting that people just go about their 8 hours, la-la-la and if they make a mistake, "It's not my fault."

And then of course, the departments try and blame each other.

Comical really.

And our client. I mean, is it something to get upset over? I guess, but to ruin other people's days over a minor inconvenience that wasn't intentional or malicious?

All of it just a monumental waste of my life...
Let me tell a Devil's Advocate story about a "misplaced" piece of mail. This happened 20 years ago at a prestigious, private university in the finance office. But it might be instructive when you say "minor inconvenience"...

An older lady who had long worked in this department would often intercept the snail mail, removing it before its normal processing (everything was scanned then and rendered into a primitive type of e-mail for dual-entry accounting -- we used early Windows computers and other, older programs to track finances).

Anyhow, an anticipated gift for one million dollars arrived by paper check, and she slipped it into a drawer in her desk. (When this was discovered later, there were other live donor checks, in smaller amounts -- 10,000 and thereabouts -- aged many months in that same drawer). Well, she promptly got the flu or something and was out for two weeks. Oh, also she never disclosed anything to anyone, including the endowments accountant (me).

After a few days, the finance liaison in the president's office is poking around, wondering about this gift. Apparently the college president had bumped into the donor who was puzzled at the lack of prompt acknowledgment. Long story short, the donor was asked to re-issue the check by and directly to the college president just about the time that Miss Sickbed returned and quietly processed the original check through for deposit. Two million dollars debit the donor on the same day.

Fireworks ensued.

Nothing malicious was intended, but you can imagine the sh1tstorm that rained down on the entire finance department. Amazingly, she was not fired. But she was banned from the mailroom forever.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:33 PM
 
7,385 posts, read 11,554,473 times
Reputation: 8187
Quote:
Originally Posted by westender View Post
Let me tell a Devil's Advocate story about a "misplaced" piece of mail. This happened 20 years ago at a prestigious, private university in the finance office. But it might be instructive when you say "minor inconvenience"...

An older lady who had long worked in this department would often intercept the snail mail, removing it before its normal processing (everything was scanned then and rendered into a primitive type of e-mail for dual-entry accounting -- we used early Windows computers and other, older programs to track finances).

Anyhow, an anticipated gift for one million dollars arrived by paper check, and she slipped it into a drawer in her desk. (When this was discovered later, there were other live donor checks, in smaller amounts -- 10,000 and thereabouts -- aged many months in that same drawer). Well, she promptly got the flu or something and was out for two weeks. Oh, also she never disclosed anything to anyone, including the endowments accountant (me).

After a few days, the finance liaison in the president's office is poking around, wondering about this gift. Apparently the college president had bumped into the donor who was puzzled at the lack of prompt acknowledgment. Long story short, the donor was asked to re-issue the check by and directly to the college president just about the time that Miss Sickbed returned and quietly processed the original check through for deposit. Two million dollars debit the donor on the same day.

Fireworks ensued.

Nothing malicious was intended, but you can imagine the sh1tstorm that rained down on the entire finance department. Amazingly, she was not fired. But she was banned from the mailroom forever.
Thanks for the story. It's a really good one.

So ... I didn't want to disclose the 'exact story' of course.

But it is quite similar to yours. Not quite the same magnitude.

Having a million dollars that you didn't intend to pull is a MAJOR inconvenience. In that particular case, I would not have phrased my post the way I did.

Of course, it's not really prudent to send a check for 1 million through random snail mail, so some careless worker can lose it, but I digress. That was her fault and a major screw up. You don't take a check for a million dollars and put in your drawer. Fire-able offense, and really shows no common sense.

I do understand there's situations you have to be really careful for, but I'm in a position where I'm always looking out, and top of that I'm responsible for looking out for other people's screwups.

Tiring.

Last edited by jobaba; 06-07-2019 at 03:48 PM..
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
384 posts, read 188,933 times
Reputation: 841
If you stay in that job, or rise higher, you need to get thicker skin. Sometimes when I'm in a situation where someone is being unreasonable and making a mountain out of a molehill, I'll think to myself, "maybe he just found out his wife is screwing someone else," or something to that effect. It helps while you sit and bear it that maybe that prick is having a bad day/life and for you this will be over soon but for him...




Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post

I do find it interesting that people just go about their 8 hours, la-la-la and if they make a mistake, "It's not my fault."
That's how a lot of people cope. Not saying that's right but denying responsibility is a way to keep stress down.
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