Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Three-day weekend coming...

...and I really need it. Stress levels are rising again at work, not because of any one thing, but a bunch of unrelated things coinciding.

First, there's this legal boondoggle that is a sort of aftershock tremor from the awful project that had me frazzled this past summer. It's a nightmare of contract agreements that were signed but not legally binding and weren't reviewed, and having to renegotiate things after they've been thought to be in effect for years. Not only does this involve attempting to get five people in different organizations to agree to everything, and put us in the situation of having to take a hard line renegotiating a contract that we in good faith already agreed to years ago, about software on which we depend now, meaning we have a terrible negotiating position; it also puts me personally in the position of being the person who signed things based on assurances they'd been reviewed and okayed, and who agreed to them based on that in good faith, only to find out I didn't have the authority, so wondering what might fall on my shoulders if this goes more sour.

Next, we have the fact that my section has about 50% more work than it used to have, but has lost one of its five positions, and the person in another one has a lot of sick leave. I'm being pressured from one side to have my people take on even more non-IT-related duties (such as answering phones!) while on the other side my people are getting more and more upset about how much is being demanded of them. My efforts to find efficiencies are constantly hamstrung by territoriality disputes and well-intentioned but misguided bureaucracy. We're being pushed to the breaking point and I'm trying to stand in the middle of it, defending my team, scoring political points, keeping up with even the stupid demands, and trying to sneak a few real efficiency improvements in when no one's looking. And the latter keeps threatening to upset people, because of the chance they'll be asked to do something differently (not necessarily even more, just differently) which stacks even more stress.

As these things have been coming to a head, I came in yesterday to find our most important server had crashed and its most important disk partition had mysteriously lost about 50% of its disk space. I spent all day yesterday trying to clean up the fallout and figure out what was wrong with that disk, and I never figured it out, even with two times I took the system down (much to the inconvenience of the rest of my office). Still trying to figure out what's going on.

In the thick of this, I got sat down by a coworker for an issue about which I should not speak here, but to say that it necessitates me acting with extreme delicacy concerning a particular person who is hypersensitive, selectively amnesiac, and prone to taking things to "official" measures on vastly inadequate cause. This person has already driven off one person this way and I don't intend to be the next.

And so, "three day weekend" is today's mantra. I've got a huge pile of personal things I want to be doing backlogged, and I hope to use the weekend to ease the pressure of some of those on me. And maybe even find time to do some stress-burning things as well. (Though there's also a lot of grocery shopping, so maybe I won't have time even with it being a three-day weekend.) But at least I won't be at work.

1 comment:

litlfrog said...

Wow, I hadn't realized things were that bad at work. Nothing like legal negotiations in the workplace to simultaneously wake you up and bore you to tears.