All In A Day's Work Humor for Dealing With Responsibility and Stress on the Job
© May 2012
Some days are wonderful and others are so stressful they’re downright horrible. We’ve all had those long days where we find ourselves gritting our teeth to keep from biting someone’s head off. You know the scenario. Your boss is out, along with several of your coworkers. Everything has to get done and it’s all fallen in your lap to make sure it happens. You’ve got four people’s work to do and only one body to do it with. There just aren’t enough hours in the day and you’re not planning to stay late to get it all done.
You get into the office early because you know it’s going to be the kind of day you need a head start at. You’re patting yourself on the back for being so dedicated. Before you get to your desk you’re stopped by two coworkers who also came in early to get a head start. They’ve been at it for just long enough to start your day out with the normal Friday kind of question. “The system’s down again. What do you want us to do?”
You wish you could say “Take the day off,” but it’s not up to you and that really isn’t an option anyway since once the system comes back up (hopefully within the next hour ), everybody’s got to cram to get all the work done by close of business.
So here you are at work early. The system didn’t finish updating over night, and a bunch of people are standing around talking while they wait for the “go ahead and resume work” message to come out. Some are working though. They had the foresight to print their lists out the night before, just in case this happened again. It’s been happening so often as of late, it’s become the norm, so they were prepared. Everyone should be because the boss sent a message out earlier in the week to everyone suggesting they print the reports out the day before so they’ll be prepared if the system goes down again. Not much has changed though. The ones who were printing their reports out before that message was sent out continue to do it, but several apparently don’t read the boss’s messages since they’re standing around empty handed with no reports in their hands to work.
You send out a message to everyone that you need them to send you their credit hours by 10:00am so you can do their weekly productivity reports. The boss usually does them for your team, but she’s out, so is the other team’s supervisor along with her lead, so your day is overloaded with all of your work, the other lead’s work, your supervisor’s work and the other supervisor’s. You don’t know everyone’s tour of duty hours, so you include on the instructions you send out to both teams that they need to include this information at the top of their reports when they send them to you.
The phone calls are now rolling in. Several people have called in sick and it’s your job to arrange coverage for their work. Aren’t you lucky?!!! An email rolls in from another coworker, she’s carbon copied you on her email to all her coworkers that she’ll be in training and could someone jump in and cover for her. Nope – Your teeth are clenched now. She is NOT in control. You are supposed to be and you haven’t had a chance to look at THAT report yet to see where the others (if they can help) are needed. You stop what you’re doing to run it and then begin the process of figuring out who’s covering for whom. You do, and you send out a message to let them know who’s doing what.
Finally the system is back up again. Everyone’s working. Their reports are now rolling in faster than you can print them off. Wow – You didn’t realize there were this many people on the two teams. The stack of printouts on your desk is enormous. You begin tallying up the numbers for each person. Too bad they aren’t all in the same format. Some are very detailed like they are writing a book and others are short and sweet, or should I say incomplete! While you are trying to work, every couple minutes someone is coming to interrupt you with a question. Okay – It’s time to send out the “I’m not available – Email me only message”.
Another supervisor comes by to let you know that someone who’s supposed to be covering for their cohort who’s out, is going home sick. No way! You have to run some more reports to see what he was able to get done and what’s still pending. No time to dig for access coverage lists. You are just too busy, so you send out another email message to everyone looking for some who are caught up enough themselves to help. More emails start rolling in. Okay that’s enough. You send out another one to stop any more from volunteering. Apparently, there are a lot of people who are caught up. Too bad you’re not one of them!
Although you had asked so clearly in your email, it’s soon evident to you that the people that didn’t read the boss’s message too well, didn’t read your message thoroughly either. You have to send out several “What is your tour of duty?” messages.
What’s this? You just sent out a message to the one who was going to the class earlier and received her out of office message even though the class is now over and you notice the message states to call YOU during her absence. What?!!! And after you had sent out that message earlier that morning to everyone letting them know to send emails only because you are overloaded. Steam is now blowing out of your ears!!!
Oh my! Where has the time gone?!!!
It’s already lunch time and you’ve only got four of the forty plus reports figured up. This is not a good sign. Call the Mexican restaurant across the street, order the half size grilled chicken salad with chips and salsa. It will be ready in ten minutes. Your legs have been crossed and you’ve been in pain for over an hour now, but you just realized it! Run to the lady’s room. Whew , you almost didn’t make it!
Ok now, its 11:30am and you’re back in your cubby with your salad in hand ready to eat lunch at your desk while you work. Normal time for you to get off is at 2:30pm. You’ve got three hours left to complete all the work of four.
It’s now evident that, like it or not, you’re going to have to delegate some of your tasks or you’ll be staying late. You know you have to remain focused on those productivity reports though because they are top priority, so you turn on your tunnel vision and keep your fingers pressed to those ten keys.
Yeah – At last the productivity reports are all done. You look at the clock it’s 2pm.
Run some more reports, and rush to find a couple of those people that emailed you they were caught up with their work already to volunteer to do them. You found them!
You’re back at your desk again to check the time. It’s 2:27pm. You did it! You never thought you would, but you did it! Or did you?!!!