This has been the Week From Hell.
Note that it’s only Thursday night and I’ve said this.
The Week From Hell actually began last Friday, when my boss called a meeting of the entire company (into our “large conference room,” which can comfortably seat about, oh, eight people), to tell us that we’ve been falling behind in our ticket work. For those who aren’t familiar with ticket-based work: everything we do in our jobs is based on tickets. If somebody needs to have access to a server, they generate a ticket with the request. If a server stops responding or crashes, or the memory gets all used up, it generates a ticket. The fewer tickets we close, the less work we’re officially doing, and it reflects poorly on our contracts.
So the fact that our boss called us together to talk about this, by its very nature, is a Bad Thing, and you just know that it’s not going to bode well for us, the lowly ticket handlers. We were falling behind in our ticket closings because of a simple fact: we didn’t have enough people to handle them. We’ve had people pulled off of our team left and right over the last several months, and as a result we haven’t had enough people to handle the load. So what does this mean, exactly?
It means that–even though our boss isn’t placing blame on anybody–we have to buckle down and get huge numbers of tickets closed so we can catch up. All right, I can understand that, and I’m certainly not above putting on a little more elbow grease to accommodate that. Besides, we had assurances that it would be made worth it for doing so (like I haven’t heard that one before). So we were being asked to put in an extra hour a day for the next week to help get the ticket count down. No problem.
Skip ahead to Monday. We had another meeting on Monday morning, at which point it was noted that not only would we have to put in extra hours every day, but that we were being required to come in on Saturday for at least six hours to help get the ticket count down. Great. I put in 11.5 hours on Monday. That’s 8am straight through without a lunch break (well, I ate lunch, but I worked through that) until 7pm. For six of those hours, I was actually not handling tickets because I had been scheduled to go over to one of the datacenters and rebuild a bunch of servers (six, to be exact–which, by the way, is a pretty big number of servers to rebuild in six hours).
On Tuesday, I came into the office and shortly after getting there, received a mass email from my boss stating that only 76 tickets had been closed on Monday, and–again without placing blame on anybody–that was just unacceptable and we needed to do better.
Hold on a sec. Back the fun train up for a minute. I put in almost half a fucking day on Monday–more than that, if you count the fact that I drive an hour each way to and from work–and it wasn’t good enough? Great.
That’s pretty much how it’s been the rest of the week. I put in nine hours on Tuesday, another eleven and a half on Wednesday, and another eleven or so today. A good portion of these days were handling tickets that weren’t even mine, because one of my coworkers is completely incompetent and I have to cover for her because if I don’t, the ticket count will just skyrocket. Note that this isn’t completely altruistic, because even if they’re her tickets, I still get credit for closing them. And besides, I am helping myself by helping the team out, after all.
So as of this evening, I’ve already put in well over a standard work week–43.5 hours, to be exact. I still have two whole days to go in this week. Yay.
Now for the side effects. I’m cranky; I haven’t slept very well. Also, when I get home at 8:30pm, I have absolutely no desire, nor the time, to cook dinner. So I’ve been eating out. Which, in my post-Thanksgiving state, has made me gain about six pounds since Monday. I also really don’t have the money to be paying for dinners and lunches (which I have to buy as well, because I have no leftovers to bring for lunch since I didn’t cook the night before). And God knows that being a salaried employee, I don’t get any extra money for all these extra hours, either.
Which brings us to the final kick in the teeth for the week. All this talk about how we’re doing such a good thing for the company and that it will be made worth it, and do you know what it gets us? A comp day… at some time in 2006. Wow, an extra vacation day. That’s GREAT! Especially given that I haven’t even used up what vacation time I have now, so what good is another day that I’m not going to use? Also, at every single quarterly dinner this year, our CEO has been talking about how great we’re doing financially, and how we’re right on track for revenue and how great that’s going to be when Christmas bonuses come around. And yet, when a coworker of mine emailed our boss to see if we would be getting year-end bonuses (which, by this time last year, we already had in our bank accounts), she received a response that only had two words in it: “No idea.” If those bonuses don’t come around, I’m completely fucked. And not in the good, with-lube kind of sense. It’s not so much that I was planning on using the bonus money or anything, more that I just don’t have any way of digging myself out if I don’t get it.
So, to recap: I’m tired, cranky, fat, stressed and broke. And it’s only Thursday.