September 22, 2003

Life under a thumb …

I hate talking about people who can’t/won’t actually read this since then they don’t get a chance to defend themselves and it seems equivalent to talking behind somebody’s back. However, there are exceptions to every rule and this is one such :p I’ve talked about my boss and the sort of strained relationship that exists at work between him and I .. Well, things are getting even more .. umm .. interesting … It’s come to a point where I’m ready to say "You big baby, will you stop acting like a child and grow up?" but alas, I cannot say this to his face since I happen to like this job (it pays fairly well ..) and it’s not so easy to find a job at short notice in Sri Lanka – especially when you don’t know "people", which I don’t :p Or maybe, I just dislike people and associating with them after a few incidents such as the ones I’ve been going through with my boss.

The latest? Well we’ve been working on a cross-organization project which involved people from sister-organizations of the company as well as organizations from outside. My boss worked closely with another guy to set the project up and so we all assumed that he was aware of everything that’s going on. We are given contracts to sign for this new project and are told that we’ll be paid for the work we do – again, I assume my boss knows what’s going on. Then he comes back from a trip abroad, has a meeting with all of us involved in the project and suddenly says that he had no idea that we’d signed contracts and that it was illegal (at least as far as I was concerned) since I was already under contract to the company and so cannot sign any other contract! He goes on to say that I already get paid for my work and so will not be paid for work on the project since he can’t pay me double salary. Of course, it turns out that the contracts (which I honestly didn’t look at or even think of as being contrary to my current contract since I thought my boss already knew of it) were signed with the guy who set up the project *care of* my company and so it wasn’t actually with a different company and so probably does not create any legal hassles .. But that was after the fact.

Anyway, my boss seems to think that I am hell-bent on getting my share of the money and that I am inciting others to work on my behalf. He also seems to think a lot of other things about the others involved in the project and their motivations for working on things and I find myself wondering how somebody can think so ill of others when there is no grounds for it? Is it because that is how they’d behave themselves? Or is it just cynicism born through years of experience? I don’t know ….

However, I haven’t come to the most irritating fact yet. The project is centered around a collaboration tool and all of us are using it to keep in touch and to work on the project. My boss is supposed to use it too but he hadn’t logged on in ages and he suddenly mentioned at the meeting we had that he couldn’t get it to work since his machine crashed constantly when he tried to use it. That was the first I had heard of it – he’d had problems using it since it was a resource hog and so we’d disabled it from running at start up but as far as I knew, it worked. So I happened to mention to one of the others in the project that that was the first time I’d heard about any crash and in conversation with my boss, he happens to mention the fact that I’d said so. And what happens? I get called into office early on Monday morning and am interrogated as to what I’d said and what I’d not said. And suddenly history is revised and my boss says that he’d had problems for the longest time and that he’d told me before he went abroad to fix things and have the machine running and that he can’t even log into the collaboration tool. I told him that as far as I could recall no such thing had happened and that I’d mentioned to the other guy that I never knew about the crash before because I hadn’t! Then I’m told that my loyalty is to the company and to him and that I shouldn’t tell other people anything etc. and am told to contact this guy and tell him that I didn’t tell him what he thinks I said or something like that. I’m like, "What? If you are upset about things, you clarify with him .. why get me involved?" I even told him that I was sick and tired of all this bickering and finger pointing and what does he say? He says "You have to stop the crashes and clarify things with the other guy!" I tell you, I could strangle somebody by this time ….

I try to keep calm and ask him what exactly is wrong with his collaboration software. He says that it won’t even load. So I tell him that then we’ll have to uninstall everything and reinstall but that would mean he’d lose his old profile and all messages under it … then he says, "Oh wait, maybe it did start when it needed to be started but it wasn’t starting up on Windows start up .." Well, duh! We disabled that because he complained about the speed of the machine and told him so at the time … Anyway, I upgrade the product to the latest release and then start it up and it comes up just fine. So it looks as if he never bothered to start it up till now but decided to blame these mysterious crashes … Which his statements also seemed to indicate were just that the auto-update feature of the app was failing on downloading updates – not an actual crash of his machine itself. I find myself wondering at this point whether he’s delusional, or just clueless about computers or actually saying whatever comes to his mind so that he’s blameless and everybody else is totally to be blamed. I really don’t know but I had to sit down and type all this out at top speed since I was boiling over by this time and needed to vent … So there :p

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Tags: Personal, Real Life
Posted by Fahim at 10:44 am   Comments (6)