Monday, September 7, 2009

The job issues

I mentioned yesterday that I am having some issues at work and that I was hoping that I'd feel less frustrated after getting some R & R on vacation but I don't feel less frustrated, instead I feel pissed off and anxious <>

There are two main issues that have lead to these feelings about my job.

One of them I have alluded to in the past in my description of my job as a wedding cake baker here and here. Oh and I mention more here too. The moral of this story is that the person who coordinates the contract for the project that I work on (FC) is CRAZY and I'm not sure how much longer I can deal with this. In addition to the constant changing of their mind, they're also not letting me do anything Psychological in nature. They turn down all my ideas (even though my boss and project director think their fantastic) and the work I'm doing on this project is just not at all fulfilling.

The second issue pertains to the need for change on our team. Many of our current procedures are not working, people (me especially) are stressed, overworked and disgruntled. We've hired new people and have been given more money on our contract but neither of these will help the current situation. The entire team had a meeting to discuss our issues, everyone agrees on the issues. Then we brought up proposed solutions and everyone is on board with the solutions... well...except my boss. My boss pretends to be on board with the solutions given that the rest of the team thinks they're a great idea, and in theory the boss thinks that the solutions proposed really are effective ways to deal with the issues. But in reality my boss is totally threatened by the proposed solutions and is already (not even 2 weeks in) doing things to undermine the new procedures.

As one of the senior members of the team I have been one of the loudest voices pushing for change.The rest of the team agrees but they're less vocal. My active participation in pushing for change has begun to deteriorate my relationship with my boss who is one of those overly sensitive people that drain me of all my energy. My boss reads my complaints and suggestions as my own personal issues, and completely disregards any evidence of the team's agreement with me.

After many counterproductive discussions with my boss I have begun talking to the project management (those who oversee my boss and the entire team) about the teams issues and the complications I'm having discussing the issues with my boss. Before I game flamed I have not done this in any way that undermines my boss. Instead, I've made it clear that I'd like those above my boss to hear out the team (they've talked to everyone else on my team-- which is what I wanted my boss to do and they refused) and help me to maintain my relationship with my boss while helping the team institute the changes that are essential to our future success.

Thus far all of this had yielded nothing more than what I consider to be lip service. I know somethings have been said to my boss but that led to more condescending and passive aggressive interactions between us. Before I left for vacation I had another frank discussion with someone on the project management side of our contract and it made it very clear that I was frustrated and angry and that the team itself was losing steam and feeling disgruntled.

Over vacation I have been thinking more and more about what I can do to be happy at work. What can I control? How can I make things better? I have some ideas but they all pertain to getting off my current project which sucks because I really enjoy working with this team and see the potential for the project to be great.

My last bit of hope is that our project manager is coming to our team meeting tomorrow (this is one of the suggestions I made when I had a conversation with the project manager prior to vacation), I don't know why they're coming but I hope it's going to be a regular thing. It sure would help me gain back some hope.

Oh and if things were better within the team, I'd drop down to less than full time on this project and apply for other contracts that would allow me to do Psychological work and then I could be fulfilled as as Psychologist and continue working with the co-workers I've grown to enjoy.


AnotherSocialScientist said...

Sounds like you're in a tough position (good luck :) Are you still considering academic jobs?

post-doc said...

I'm really sorry to hear that things have continued to deteriorate despite your best efforts to the contrary. I hope something shifts so the situation is improved or you can find a way out.

Di Di said...

I'm also very sorry to hear that you're having these problems. I'm bad at dealing with unreasonable superiors (other than escaping) so I don't have much advice, but I sympathize -- it sounds very frustrating.

Psych Post Doc said...

Another SS- I have a bunch of "local" Academic listings starred in my gmail account but haven't applied for anything. I've been meaning to write a post about this, I hope to soon.

Thanks for the kind words Katie and DD.

Wrote an update today.