Friday, September 15, 2006

Thanks For Little Things

for the past few months since i've been back in the state and at my old lab i've been noticing that all of my old lab mates (but one) have picked it up interms of work output, professionalism and willingness to learn new things. yes, i said all but one. and we will be calling her "But One".
when i left the state for greener and more lucrative pastures back in december of last year, But One was my heir apparent. i began to hear a bad thing or two about her as i attempted to run my first lab all on my own. stuff like "a bit lazy", "arrogant", "not keeping up with the workload". i paid it no mind until i decided to move back and return to my old lab.
that's when i got an eyefull and earfull from the labmates about what she had done to my old department.
i have to admit i was somewhat dumbfounded at the pigsty it had become, but i was taking over a new department within the lab and wasn't too concerned. not my problem. after a month of watching But One i began to get irritated. not so much at what she had done to destroy the clean, efficient area i had left her, but at the snail's pace at which she worked. and the backlog of pending work she had created. and the half hour conversations she would have with people about how backed up she was. and the disappearing acts. and the swagger. and the absolute unwillingness to work overtime. and the lack of reaction by management to this mess she had made and was getting away with not fixing.
after two months of my being back she gave her two weeks' notice. she had accepted a job with a competitor and even went through their required physical. management panicked, because she held almost enough state certifications (wasn't lazy in that regard) to certify the lab. management talked her into staying, even though when polled we (as the lab) stated that we were fine with her leaving and that it wouldn't affect us. she was given a sizable raise and unspecified incentives. she agreed and didn't leave. it had become a soap opera by that time and the lab in general wasn't too pleased by all of the hoopla. i, in particular, was blown away by how she manipulated the system (whether on purpose or not is a question not for me to answer) for a large raise and other stuff even though she was seen by the lab as a liability.
since then, she has fallen even further behind in her work and not stopped any of her bad and lazy behavior. management has asked repeatedly for me to step in and help her (to the point have suggesting that i work night shifts), but my manager has replied every time that i am not in that department anymore and my work is ever ongoing. for me to step away from my work would result in my department falling behind (my work comes in 365 days a year as opposed to hers, which is off and on).
well. today, not more than 5 weeks after the dust settled on But One's last "i quit" episode, comes news that she has given her two weeks' notice yet again. this time, i think, she will not be argued with. this time, i think, she will be allowed to leave. this time, i think, the core lab folks will get their wish that she be let to ride off into the sunset as quickly as possible so that we might clean up the pile of horse manure she built. so that we might rid ourselves of a noxious presence that poisoned the very air about her with her poor-me atitude, with her apathy toward her responsibilities, with her nonchalance about deadlines and turnaround time. and with the delicate manner in which management handled her by not holding her to the same standards the rest of us were.
i had actually gotten to the point where i refused to help her. she has been in that position longer than i had and was still coming to me with stupid questions that only helped to highlight her laziness. within the last three weeks i began to look at her and say "i don't know" to her queries, because i was sick and tired of her not doing her own research or even thinking out the logic of the question.
and, now, she is leaving again. and this time i think it will stick. and i am thankful for that. because no lab runs well when one person is allowed to get away with not carrying their weight. it builds resentment and resentment creates laziness in others as they see the one get away with floating. our lab has a lot of perks and flexibility, because we produce in a big way. we can take a few longer breaks, catch a couple more quick smokes, stop to chat, take a longer lunch, arrive late or leave early for personal reasons, create our start times based on the need we see. it's a great environment. but it only takes one lazy person in a critical position to take it all away. so, she can and must go.
as for fixing what she created, not a problem. we'll be caught up and on schedule within two months is my guess. hopefully, we save all of the contracts and clients that are currently in jeopardy.
as for lessons learned, probably not. that's a management issue and i think we all know that bad management is the only thing that's not better than no management at all and the only kind of management that most of us will ever see in our lifetimes.
(which would be part of the reason i moved back to this state and gave up my management position. there is a certain mental nerve ganglia that upper management expects you to cut out in order to rule over that which you just belonged to.)
so, long wind and strong wind in order to make the simple statement that i am happy for the little things: like an abcess about to be cut away from the otherwise productive and fun body of a lab.

p.s. aughra's about to "give" birth in the next who knows how many hours (c section). go and let her know she's got support for a difficult journey.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

another small pictorial with no editorial. you rascals know who you are, where you were and what i think of you:

Monday, September 11, 2006

Saturday Night the 9th

on this particular night about two of them ago i went to a gig at the starline put on by Ticket To Ride. got there early as usual and set up camp on the wallbench. it was 8:45 and no one was there yet. about 25 people, but no one i knew. i took a walk and wound up in front of the stage. this is what i shot:

very soon after, the friends i was expecting arrived. not all at once. and not at all together. drinking ensued as did tactless jokes:
somewhere (in all of the joviality) the band showed up:
then the drunk brit exposed himself, wet all over the bar and performed the most herculean projectile diarama i have ever seen:
he was subsequently invited up on stage to reprise his cameo with the band:
after that, well...we had us a beatle rave. or a bugrant. whichever y'all wanna call it:
except for stan who never raves or rants. he is an island in the sea of chaos:
however, chaos soon reintervened:
women were talking to men, men were listening, drunks kept being drinked, a camera's flash wasn't on, and liaisons erupted like pimples on a cold sore (have no idea who is in this picture, but, shit, it looks sexy, don't it?):
finally, it got bad. everyone was feeling blurry. but still dancing and carrying on as if it was the end of the world...(which it could be, i suppose...if i hadn't just sent $100 to pat robertson to save the souls of the jews and get him to tell God that i really am wealthy and ready to ascend after the Fresno Fair):
and that's what i remember. i do not remember leaving early, because my blood sugar had dropped precipitously. i do not remember waiting at the checkin at lipari's for 5 minutes and then leaving. nor do i remember going to livingstone's and sitting, ordering and waiting for a chicken salad. i don't remember getting up and asking for the chicken salad to be boxed. i didn't know i wouldn't go back to the club to tell people i had to get home and eat NOW! i do remember someone getting home later and asking me what happened and being okay with it.

i got even by kicking her out of bed in my sleep.

update (9:55 pm): yahtzee is a fun game and was just played to christen my oak table.

i'm pretty sure katie cheated. i don't think you're allowed to roll four 2's and a 4 and call it six of a kind the hard way.