So yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve had at this job yet.
If you’ve read my About This Girl page, you know that I work in the online education industry. I worked for 6 years at a big-name for-profit college company, but left when they started laying people off and freezing raises, because I wanted to leave on my own terms. Also, my job as a ‘team lead’ was incredibly stressful, and I felt like the time was right.
My new job is at a cyber-school and I took a substantial pay cut to take it, but at the time, it seemed like the best choice and that I was making an investment in a more stable career.
Well, it turns out I was pretty wrong. My new company is low-budget, pretty unstable, and it’s managed/owned by someone who is probably very intelligent, but not particularly tech-savvy and not particularly business-minded. Also, he’s kind of a jerk who treats everyone as though they have no idea how to do their own job. I have a lot of feelings and opinions about him, but I’ll abbreviate them in the interest of time.
My particular position is administrative, mostly. I have some lofty title that may lead you to believe that I have more responsibility/authority than I do, but I’m basically responsible for pushing buttons all day. There are a few variations on this:
-Some days are busy and I have to push more buttons than usual.
-Sometimes, there are priorities and I have to push the buttons in a different order.
-Sometimes, I’m not given all of the information that I need, so I have to deduce which buttons to push.
-Sometimes, for reasons outside of my control, I’m unable to push the buttons due to tech problems, so I have to explain this to various people inside and outside of the company.
-Also, unfortunately, sometimes I push the wrong buttons and I have to apologize thoroughly and sincerely to everyone involved.
At first, I was really mad when I found out how data-entry-focused this job was, especially because I wasn’t exactly wonderful at it. I started at the busiest time of year, and I made typos, because I’ve never had a job like that before. I felt really self-righteous, telling everyone who asked that I used to MANAGE people with jobs like this, and that I felt totally bamboozled by the interview process.
Eventually, it slowed down, and I realized that I have quite a bit of downtime, which I should probably appreciate, after living an all-job-all-the-time lifestyle for about two years. I’m still looking for a new job, but not as actively, and, like I’ve mentioned, I’m still trying to come up with a game plan for how to change my situation.
Then, about 2 weeks ago, one of the managers here came down and said that one of his employees had given her 2-weeks notice and that he would need my help in her absence. It sounded sort of occasional and casual, but the new responsibilities involve performing quality assurance (QA) checks on our online courses. Since QA can be a bit of a resume buzzword (and I’m looking for more skills!), I was actually pretty excited about this possibility, because I want to make myself a more marketable candidate.
A member of his team gave me a half-hour training session, but she didn’t really tell me the scope or regularity of the responsibilities and I just sort of pushed it to the side, since the button-pushing demands of my own job had escalated and I really didn’t have time to do anything extra.
This all seemed fine, and I was still pretty gung-ho about the new work until yesterday, when the stereotypical hothead small business owner called all of us into a meeting and basically said that I’m accountable for the QA of all of the courses, effective immediately. And it didn’t even seem like it would be effective immediately, as much as it sounded like it was already effective, as though if he found errors in any course, I would be personally accountable. As if this wasn’t infuriating enough, he proceeded to say several times to me in his standard-issue condescending tone, “Do…you…understand?? This is important.” The manager whose team is actually responsible for the content of the courses said nothing to indicate that I hadn’t really started doing these quality assurance checks or that the training I received was nowhere near thorough enough to be fully accountable. He just sat there quietly while I was instructed by the owner that I have 2 jobs now. For the same shitty pay.
This meeting put me behind schedule, but instead of working from home last night (for free!), I decided that I had already dedicated enough hours of my day to this guy and his crappy company, so I decided to paint the kitchen ceiling, because I needed to do something where I could control the outcome.
(To be continued…)
When I think of the insane owner, I think of this scene from A League of their Own, not because he makes me cry (he doesn’t) or because he yells in my face (he doesn’t), but because sometimes I feel like asking him if anyone ever told him he looks like a penis with a little hat on. There’s no crying in cyber-school, after all.