Thursday, October 25, 2007

Veeerrry frustrated

Work's been boring for years; it's plain dry stuff. Read websites, make corrections, repeat. Our team's been cross-trained in just about everything we can do from an editing standpoint, so there are several projects to tackle in any one day, which does break up the monotony a tad; but it still leaves me wanting more. I'd rather be a drone than in management, don't get me wrong; but is it too much to ask for the work to keep me awake?

And then there's busywork (called Special Projects), which is usually assigned lately when we plain don't have enough work to go around. Higher-ups swear it's just a blip on the radar, this decrease of sites, that the company's fine, we're going through a transitional period while we merge with another company, blah, blah (and we're the mergers, not the mergees, which only begs the question how bad off that company was to be weak enough to get bought, how viable/positive an acquisition it actually is, but I digress...). I've been around this company long enough to know where to keep my ear to the ground, and there've been no rumblings (you know, using words like "restructuring," "layoff," etc.), but it's definitely serving to punctuate that if I were to go to work for them remotely, I better absolutely have a decent job going on the side, because there's no guarantee that there'll be work in the queues. It's gotta be maddening for the remote workers right now (folks who work from home), logging on and finding nothing to do. Sure, the economy and business ebb and flow, and 2 years from now, things could be quite different; but it's important that I'm bearing witness to this could influence my decisions later.

Anyhoo, back to why busywork makes me want to scream...well, this issue has several heads, such as: a) I'm currently out of PTO and so I can't be sent home without it affecting my pay, b) there's a danger of us being put on the phones to "help out" and I literally haven't had to deal with customers/clients for years now (thankfully this hasn't occurred yet), c) the higher-ups are so entrenched in getting us merged, they've stopped offering explanations for why the queues are so low. Heck, we barely see them on the floor, which normally would be nice, but right now it only enhances that feeling of being cut off from the action.

But today's busywork just pisses me off...part of creating websites is adding keywords and phrasing (and then using those keywords and phrases in the site), so that the search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) will pick up the site. Getting this part wrong is one of the main reasons that the designers are getting their sites returned by us for further work apparently, so since the design queue was decent (over 100) this morning, they wanted some folks in QC to help out by creating and inputting the keywords and phrasing on sites. The HDIC thinks it'll save time; I say yeah, great, but how are they going to learn to do it right if we're doing it for them? Why not take the time to train 'em properly? And by the way, 100 isn't a decent queue; 250 is...which tells me there either has been a layoff that I haven't been privy to, or they just haven't been rehiring in design as people have quit, because 100+ sites in a day didn't used to scare them. The guy serving as HDIC lately isn't enough of an outside-the-box thinker IMO, and I've been here longer than he has, so I have a little trouble respecting him. So it's mouth shut, head to grindstone, go with the flow, and pray I'm experienced enough to continue being considered useful to them.

This is probably boring to y'all, but I need to vent so that I'm able to keep a smile on my face at work...I'm just not sure what to think anymore. We are the stronger company, but the management changes that are occuring will put me on edge if I think about them too hard. Went onto Yahoo's stock ticker to see how it's looking (better than it was, but holding at median), and found some new stuff out, like our President is handing over that role to the other company's head guy, but he'll stay as CEO; and that we just lost a key field operating officer, who's been with us as long as I have. They're paying him off with a 6-month severance package and a $30K performance bonus. That made me want to barf in itself, since the bonus is what I make in a year...and I do understand the 6-month severance, because I'm sure the corporate confidentiality agreement they're making him sign will effectively keep him out of the Internet biz for at least the next year, but still...

Point is obvious, unfortunately...I need to better prepare myself for the worst, do some projecting, budgeting, and hunting, and get Les to finish Part I of the SSD paperwork. We're balanced on a fraying tightrope, and if that sucker breaks...

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