I knew I should've posted an entry to LJ before I went to bed last night. I've posted a few bits to Unfinished Tales this week, but I see I've said nary a word this week in my regular journal. Some updates:
As of Friday afternoon, I am officially On Vacation from work as well as writing. Yay! My last week of work was sort of interesting.
My boss, Glinda, is going to be doing my job while I'm gone, because she couldn't find anyone else to do it. Our department is burgeoning with new people, and most of them are having a tough time figuring out how to do their own jobs, much less learn someone else's. So on Thursday, I showed her how to do most of my work. The odd part about this, as I couldn't help mentioning to her, is that she is the one who trained me to do this work. But I've changed various things, to make the work easier or more efficient or simpler to trace back. (Having spent a lot of time trying to figure out what my fellow employees had done years back, I have placed a high premium on being able to look back at what I did on say, September 3, 2001, and still have it make sense.) And Glinda, very kindly, wanted to do things my way so I won't have a hard time figuring out what had happened when I get back. I have no idea how Glinda is going to manage doing my job as well as her own, especially when she's stuck in meetings half the time. But, well, it'll mean she'll probably appreciate me more when I get back. And she's not quite dong all of my work. One of my co-workers offered to do the payments, which is an hour and a half or so of my day. Plus, I spend a good chunk of my day working on special projects of one sort or another, or addressing co-worker and customer questions, which Glinda will presumably shove off on someone else. Still, it's a good 3-4 hours a day of work that she'll be doing, in addition to her own. Poor woman.
On Friday, Glinda took over the duties that I'd showed her, and I spent most of the day on one of the “special projects” -- trying to find out what happened to some payments run in 2001 that didn't get to their rightful destination. (Yes, the recipient is only now figuring this out. Not to go into details or anything, but the recipient has been getting statements every single month which clearly show that their records don't match ours. You'd think they could've worked this out sooner.) I made some progress on it, but it's not going very quickly
Friday afternoon, I got my annual review -- in record time, less than two weeks late. And most of that delay was because I didn't turn in my self-evaluation until Tuesday. The review went really well -- maybe even better than the ones last year. (I had two annual reviews last year. That's because one of them was about ten months late.) Glinda still thinks I'm terrific.
Funny thing is, I can remember, not that many years ago, being a fairly lackadaisical and indifferent employee. I wasn't a totally different person--but I didn't care as much, either. I've gradually become a stickler for details and absolutely intent on getting things right. Not just “get it out of my face for now” but “fix it so it doesn't come back to haunt me later.” I hate having things I did come back to haunt me later.
But I think a lot of this transformation is because of things Glinda did. She's been my manager for over six years now, and she's been consistent in praising me for the things I do well, and discouraging me from doing things slap-dash or half-hearted. For example: when I first started working for Baby Bank, whenever I had a question about a customer's account, I would ask Glinda about it. And about nine times out of ten, she would say “Pull the file and look.” I hate pulling the file because it takes time and requires me to get up from my nice comfy chair and leaf through stacks of legal and other papers looking for the relevant bit. But, eventually, I realized that she was just going to tell me to pull the file anyway, so I started doing that first.
Now, I always look to files if I can't find the answer I need on the system. And I'm the one telling my co-workers “Pull the file”. You want to know if that's the right interest rate? Look at the loan note. The one the customer signed. Yeah, that's it.
Two years ago, Glinda told me, “We're shifting around workload, because of the merger and layoffs and everything else. What job would you like to do?” I answered her, and that's the job I'm doing now. I got to rearrange tasks so that other people were doing all the things I used to do and didn't like, and so that I was doing all the things I did well and liked doing. (In several cases, these were things everyone else did very badly. As in “Oh good Lord I can't believe how much you and every single person who has done this before you has messed this up”.)
So if I'm a good employee now, it's only because Glinda's been such a good manager. I'd like to tell her this, but I'm not sure how to, without sounding like I'm kissing up to her. Ah well.
Anyway, Lut and I need to go buy some things for the trip tomorrow, so I'm going to get dressed now. Later!