Monday, 12 October 2009

Baking the Cake

Work today was not good... Not really.

One of my colleagues is stressed and has with stress become increasingly inept. The result of this is that he has become less skillful in his tinkering with the figures. Suddenly we are all wise to what he gets up to. His methods are in question and decrees passed to improve them, which he then ignores. Suddenly he is no longer the all knowing guru. Not that he ever was, it was just an act, with little substance underneath.

When he has to do certain jobs he would rather take the Little Princess than me. She doesn't question him whereas I do. She doesn't find his mistakes, I do. She does exactly what she is told, i don't.

He had been told not to use her for a specific job because she didn't do it very well. Basically because when she does it with him there are mistakes because she is not on the ball enough. Today he took her (when the cats away, the mice do what they damn well please). He knew he shouldn't but he did anyway.

When they came back, he worked on the figures. Maybe he cooked them a little, who knows. I did a lot of work recently on one of the classifications. I catalogued them and labeled them and had them examined and so on. He had the emails. He was notified of the new procedures. He is supposedly in charge of such things after all.

There had been no notifications of changes to this classification according to the new procedure but yet his figures wildly differed from those previously verified. I went and checked and found no change and confirmed with someone who looks after them that there had been no change. The cat sent me for a further check with the two mice. Suprisingly enough, the figures we got this time were exactly as they should be, given there had been no change.

Lead mouse didn't react to well to all this and had a blazing row with the cat. Myself and the second mouse quivered nervously. Instead of accepting that he had been making a hash of it, he insisted on a new procedure. Which is fine, but it meant my afternoon was spent with more labels. There was nothing wrong with the old ones. They were legible and had all the required information. The new ones just have a letter and a number.

Why didn't he suggest this the first time I did it (which would have saved me a lot of time)? Give his job title and pay, how come he had never noticed that his figures for this classification varied a lot? That things would appear and then vanish only to reappear, suggesting they had never actually gone anywhere? How come he never ever got to the bottom of this? How come he never improved his own procedures? How come he earns so much?

I guess the other thing that really annoyed me, was that I later was alone with him and he gave me a little talking to. Not very subtle. About team work and so forth. Trying to make me say the old labels were bad and the new ones better. Maybe they are, but the old ones should have been good enough, given he used to claim it was done perfectly accurately before there were any labels at all.

I was cross but there is nothing I could say. I can not criticise him and how he does his job to his face, it is not my place. It is my Bosses. He seems completely oblivious to the fact that he isn't doing his job and is making a lot fo mistakes. That people have started double checking his work. That faith has been lost. He really believed the finance person wouldn't hve noticed the figures had mysteriously changed over the course of a week? The finance person he believes his victimising him? (although they have just lost faith in him and are being very, very careful)

The net result of all this is that somehow I felt to blame for it all. But I am not the one who made the mistake. I am the one who saved a bigger fish up the ladder from finding it and causing all manner of problems for us all. So who is to blame?

Why should anyone have to be to blame? I don't want his job, he is safe. Surely any mistake I spot is one I have stopped from going to far? Surely that helps him?


  1. Ugh! What a rotten situation to find yourself in.

    That's one of the bonuses of working somewhere where there's a teensy staff - four of us, including the vet -- everything is in plain sight and there's no chance of that sort of buck-passing and avoidance of responsibility. That sort of wretched behaviour is what put me off wanting to stay at the - -which was a brilliant and very well-paying job...I think I would have done my head in if I'd stayed there too long..or become as bitter and jaded as the rest of the technicians...


  2. caught up on your blog. I have missed being here! your words always make me think,something I don't always take the time to do. Oh my, your lists of done and to do...maybe someday I will take the plunge and put it in writing,but,will I feel bad if I don't get them done,or,will it inspire me to do more?Will I find the time or can I make the time?