W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

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W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby lovingmyself » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:42 am

I am working on contract at an accounting clerk job which I am enjoying. I like the people and they seem to like me too. The person on mat leave who I was replacing returned and is pregnant again. I was supposed to stay until around the end of August but they have asked me to stay on for her second mat leave when she leaves again in Oct/Nov. I am really happy about it because I like it there and I know that I have a job for about a year or so for however long she decides to take her leave. So that is really good news and a positive thing that can happen for anyone.

Unfortunately with a lot of people on vacation these past few weeks have been difficult and have caused a bit of a rift between me and my supervisor and this has gotten me really down. I even cried a couple of times at work because of the way I happened to be spoken to especially by much younger employees. Also the fact that my supervisor is so much younger than me and the fact that even worse her mother is younger than me too does not help in the least. But that is another story which I wrote about in a different post so I will not delve into that here.

What is really bothering me is this situation that pops up quite a bit. There are times when the shipping clerk will call me to do an inventory adjustment in the system which I have no qualms about doing. I am happy to help. If the adjustment is small and someone is available to approve it then things are fine and the clerk is happy and thanks me.

What does become a problem is a couple of situations that can occur. Before doing the adjustment we have to check the material in the system to see what quantity is there or if the material is blocked or in inspection. If the any of these things happen or if the adjustment is quite high we have to make an investigation instead of just going ahead and doing the adjustment. Another situation is if I do the adjustment but no one is available to approve it because they are in a meeting or in the middle of something in the system that they can't get out of. This causes a delay in getting the adjustment done and affects the shipping clerk because she cannot move forward.

What upsets me about this is that because I am the link between the clerk and my supervisor/approvers the clerk gets really ticked off and says 'there's a driver waiting. Go find Robert or get him from the meeting' 'why did they leave, shipping is supposed to be open until 3pm there is supposed to be someone here.' 'The f--ken company or f---all.' In other words I get stuck in the middle of this and it is so unfair since I did not cause the material to be blocked or put in inspection, I did not set up the meeting so Robert could not be available, I did not cause Stephanie to be too busy, I did not send JP on vacation, and I did not cause the driver to wait. She should not be getting ticked off at me since I did nothing to cause all this. It is just not fair and has caused me tears as well.

I was thinking of sending the clerk and my supervisor an email to explain how I feel but I don't know if it is a good idea or not. I do understand that they both have needs. I don't know the clerk well but I imagine she must have people to answer to and perhaps the drivers give her a hard time since they probably have schedules they have to meet and can't wait around. I also know that my supervisor has to answer to head office because they ask why we are making all these adjustments which can sometimes be 8 a day but usually about 3 or 4 or so. She showed me the report she was filling out and it was quite long and expansive. I am sure they both have their plates full.

But still it is so unfair for me to get hassled when I did not cause all this mess. That is what is getting my goat and making me frustrated. And it will keep on happening again and again.

I am thinking that perhaps I could speak to the Facilities Manager about it when he returns from vacation and see if we could come to a solution so that I could help her without any discomfort or unfair crap that I have should have to endure if things don't go the way the shipping clerk wants it to. At least she is older than me though. I am happy to help others as long as I am comfortable and can do so without any hassles.

Thanks for letting me rant. It's been a tough few weeks.
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby Vickih » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:01 am

I would most definitely say something but perhaps in person rather than in email, with the focus being on finding a better way of doing things.

Do you have any thoughts on better ways of working as a starting point? Because if not I'm thinking we could maybe brainstorm so you have something to go at them with!
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby SquarePeg » Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:36 am

I agree. There is a shortcoming in the process. If you can explain it in a neutral tone and especially if you have an idea to improve it, you should do so.

Is JP an approver? If so, a simple solution would be to temporarily designate an alternate approver, such as yourself (if you're willing) .

If you sense that the clerk is abusive when he gets ticked off (using racial- or gender-centric slurs), you should document it or report this to your supervisor so that it gets recorded in case there's "an incident".
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby lovingmyself » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:38 am

Thank you both. I will think it through and decide the best course of action. Perhaps a meeting with the clerk and my supervisor or just letting my supervisor know how it's affecting me. I think I will try my supervisor first but this week the payroll person is on holidays so she is doing her job while she is gone. I will wait until the person returns the following week when my supervisor will not be so overwhelmed.

Square Peg, JP is the facilities manager. He and the assistant manager are the two main adjustment approvers. My supervisor only approves in their absence but is not really supposed to. I am only a clerk so it is not up to me who gets to approve so needless to say there is no way they can make me an approver with my being a clerk.

The shipping clerk is not abusive. She just gets ticked off if she can't get what she needs. I know that I have to go along with my supervisor and make investigations or wait until someone can approve it no matter how the clerk responds. As I said they both have needs and I am sure there are people getting ticked off at them too like the drivers or head office, etc. The clerk is not my supervisor so she has no say at all in how the adjustment is carried out.

My beef is that I am stuck in the middle of all that so that is why the clerk gets ticked off at me since I am right there on the phone with her. That's the way it always is with people. Even I will take things out on people who are vulnerable or right there even though I know it is not a good thing for either of us.

Hopefully I will find some way to get this resolved since I will be there for at least a year or so more so I don't want it affecting my work there.
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby Tituba » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:43 pm

This job is a job. What do you want to do with your life? What interests do you have?
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby Vickih » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:25 am

Tituba wrote:This job is a job. What do you want to do with your life? What interests do you have?


Yes! This! I want to know what fun this job enables!
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby SquarePeg » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:45 pm

And folks who get ticked off on the job... I don't understand that. It's inventory -- what's the big deal? Why get so emotionally involved in it? Unless these folks have no other life outside the workplace.

I assume the shipping clerk gets paid by the hour, so she's not going to not get paid if something that out of her control doesn't get done. :roll:
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby lovingmyself » Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:59 pm

I wanted to let you all know that so far this week has been better. Most people are back from vacation so it is a bit easier. My supervisor and I are getting along better this week but I am still doing my best not to bother her too much so she can do her work. The other clerk who is pregnant is back from holidays too so she is doing some of the work to help me out.

There have been a few inventory adjustments but not too many. There was one where there was a big discrepancy and my supervisor tried to show me how to investigate it and that I should call the shipping clerk. I did call her but of course she could not tell me anything. She basically said that maybe it was the inventory count and there were 10 pallets of 5 bags making 500 and that it had to be done but that was all she could say and I took it as it was. I could see that she was not really ticked off at me and only spoke in a firm manner so I just took it that way and told the manager who was approving about the discrepancy. He thinks there will be another adjustment to offset this one. I will see how my supervisor reacts but I hope she understands. I am a bit concerned but that was all I could do.

If I do run into problems with the shipping clerk all I can say is "I'm sorry but we have to investigate. There is nothing more we can do until it is resolved." I would rather not be stuck in the middle this way" or something to that effect.

They are trying to see how they can reduce the adjustments but it appears to be difficult. Somehow they feel the system is causing these problems. If the discrepancies are small it is not a problem but every time she calls I have to pray and pray that there are no problems and that I can just do it and be done with it.

Other than that I cannot complain. I am enjoying talking and working with everyone and am ensuring that my work gets done. I have even managed to get caught up with my work so I am glad about that. I am praying that the rest of the week runs just as smoothly. Anyways the week always goes fast, especially once I reach Wednesday. I am also feeling more positive this week and emotionally better.

At the end of September I am taking two weeks holiday. I am looking forward to it and cannot wait. I know I will enjoy it.
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:37 pm

Your word, "I'm sorry but we have to investigate. There is nothing more we can do until it is resolved," is a perfect answer. Sometimes people get upset. If you did not cause it, don't feel bad. Sometimes the people just need to vent their frustration. I hope that, sometimes, these people apologize for being rude.

I hope this job works out for you. It sounds like, in many other respects, it is a good job.
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby lovingmyself » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:38 am

Things are better now these days. There are occasionally issues that still happen but at least they have been minor and I am able to better deal with them. The shipping clerk has been okay since everyone has been back from holidays. She will still say 'there's a driver waiting' or 'where is so and so' but not so much in an abrupt manner and she is more understanding if she has to wait a little longer for the adjustment to be done.

There are still a lot of adjustments on some days but at least they have been easier ones with smaller discrepancies so it has not caused any hassles or issues. The only hassle is that I have to stop what I am doing and do the adjustment but so do the approvers. As long as there are fewer problems though it is not so bad.

I am there for about a year or so more since the girl left on maternity leave yesterday so I hope that things continue to run smoothly. The other good news is that they hired another guy to help me and my supervisor out so it will make things easier for us and it won't be like it was during vacation time. Even next summer my supervisor will not be doing payroll for everyone again as they would prefer someone else who is in that department. So I think next summer will be easier on us since we will also be 3 instead of 2 so it won't be so overwhelming for us like it was this year and at least I won't have to go home crying every night.

At the same time I am also doing what I can to move forward in my life and seeing if I can find a way that I can eventually work 3 or 4 days a week instead of full week. A full week is so long and weekends are so short but the week does go fast and I enjoy my weekends no matter what.

Thanks again for all of your input.
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby Vickih » Sun Oct 26, 2014 12:38 am

I love reading happy updates :) Good to hear from you!
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Re: W: enjoy my job O: stuck in the middle

Postby SquarePeg » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:40 pm

Yes, same here, about the updates, especially positive ones like this! :)
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