This week I’ve already been feeling feisty, and I kind of snapped yesterday in the office.
So for those who aren’t aware, I’m a polymer chemist, tho currently I run an analytical chemistry lab. Obviously that means I do testing for other people, mostly other engineers & scientists. In my group, there’s my boss, then my counterpart & I who report to my boss, and then 3 technicians who are supervised by my counterpart (we’ll call him CP for short). I don’t report to CP, we are parallels & we both report to the boss.
All year I’ve had a problem with people going to CP when they need testing done, because its the testing that I do. So essentially he’s just serving as an intermediary – he’s not doing any of the actual work, for whatever reason people just want to keep him in the loop and not me. So then he has to disseminate the information to me & then I have to follow up. Add to that, several people have erroneously assumed that I report to CP, as if I’m one of his technicians instead of his coworker. I’ve also dealt with an issue of requestors asking me for testing at the last minute, which is way more involved that than think & requires that I drop everything I’m doing to solve their immediate crisis.
In the most recent incident, which occurred yesterday, I was informed about some testing once again through CP. The requestor then comes to me with some additions, doesn’t actually ASK me to do the testing (and yall know I’m a stickler for words like “please” and “thank you”) and then expects me to drop everything to get them what they need by a certain time. This same requestor also asked me if I reported to CP about a month ago, and seemed genuinely surprised to hear that I didn’t. Ugh, I’m getting mad again just typing all of this out.
Then it got even worse! I got the additions done…and the next thing I know, MY BOSS’S BOSS comes up to me & tells me I did the samples wrong! o_o WTF? Yes, said requestor threw me under the bus in front of my boss’s boss, and instead of him getting the whole story first he decided to reprimand me in public.
Yall, I was thisclose to being the stereotypical Black woman. So I decided to pack it up for the day & try again tomorrow. My boss (the only cool & sane person in this entire story) came by my desk to drop off a sample, took one look at me, and took me back to her office to talk. She assured me that everything I was experiencing was not acceptable & she would make sure that folks knew what the proper chain of command was, and what info should go to what personnel. If my boss hadn’t handled it the way she did, I probably would have thrown them the deuces yesterday #realtalk..
To me, this is all disrespectful & I’m not going to stand for it. Yes, part of my job is to do testing for people, and I’m willing to do so. But I have other responsibilities, and I will not drop everything for folks who come to me at the last minute, especially people who are not appreciative of my efforts & how much work goes into getting them quality data quickly. Plus, I really resent folks assuming that I report to CP – I didn’t spend 4 years in undergrad & 2 years in grad school to be thought of as a technician.
The other factor in this situation is race and gender…I’m the only person of color & 2nd woman in my dept (my boss is the other woman). Everyone who I deal with is a White male, tho they range in age from late 20’s to probably 40’s or 50’s. Is there some subconcious thing going on? IDK – but I do know that no matter the motivation, this behavior is unacceptable.
I don’t handle disrespect well…AT ALL. So today was quite a challenge. I absolutely will not stand for disrespect…so I guess its time to move on, for real.
Ever had a crazy moment in the office? Been disrespected? How did you handle it? Any tips on how to NOT go totally off or end up unemployed before I have a new job?