I feel like I'm being pushed into a secretarial role in my job, and I'm feeling a little crazy for thinking this.
posted by DisreputableDog to Work & Money (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am a woman working in a technical computer-related field. There are two men, who I’ll call Jasper and Pendleton, who are immediately above me, but we work under other managers. Just to clarify, Jasper and Pendleton are totally within their workplace rights to send me on trouble calls, make sure I’m doing my job, etc., but they aren’t the “top dogs” even within our little workgroup. Also, before anyone suggests this, I cannot quit my job and I cannot move to another workgroup.
My issue is the fact that I’m the sole owner of much of this ticket information, and I get sent out on a lot of minor but widespread trouble tickets. I’m extremely forgetful, so I do my best, and continue to try to get better, at writing everything down. However, if Jasper (who is slightly under Pendleton in experience) and I go to work on a trouble call, I’m the one writing down the serial numbers, the user’s requests, the port numbers, and so on.
If it turns out that I wrote down something incorrectly, I’m the one who is berated even though Jasper not only didn’t write down the information but didn’t even double check that what I wrote down was correct. In a world of “back up your information, just in case”, this is extremely frustrating.
If I’m away handling another ticket, they’re helpless without the information, so they call or wait for me to return. What happens if I were to get ill? Or need to suddenly visit family due to an emergency? Or go on vacation? I have all of the information. And they’re always wanting to know what the information was of tickets not only yesterday, but three weeks ago. Months ago.
I’m starting to feel like a reference book or, worse for being a woman, a secretary. Since I also crawl under desks to hook up equipment and therefore "save the day" a hundred times over for users on a case by case basis, I can say I am definitely not a secretary. This seems to be made worse because Jasper and Pendleton are smokers who go out to the smoke deck every hour or so, discuss any ticket information away from me, and then come back with a game plan…which is sometimes irrelevant because I already took care of it. And told them about this days ago. They also chit-chat and hang out frequently and go drinking, so of course this makes me look like “that chick.” That third wheel who they have to shake their finger at when I forget something. Or who could turn into a nag. I feel both paranoid and silly for feeling this, but know I’m right because if I say something dumb-ish, they look at each other in such a way like “again?” and sometimes roll their eyes, which is just another little barb in an often already frustrating work day.
A vast majority of our users rely on me exclusively because I’m the one handling all of these “minor” tickets, but it looks bad when I’m horrible at recognizing faces and can’t help but stare a little blankly because, I’m sorry Mr. Broken Printer, I have 15 tickets on my mind just from today and you weren’t available the last 8 times I called last week so you went near the back of my list. Then Pendleton comes up to me later, looking tense and talking sharply because I didn't handle it on my own right then.
I don’t know how I should change my mindset or what I should do, because the situation isn’t likely to change any time soon. I’m pretty damn sure that if I take Jasper aside, who is often on his phone messing around instead of writing down the details of the tickets I’m updating him about right then, and tell him he should be writing things down, he’d just go “you don’t need to worry about how I work” or some such nonsense.
In another month I feel like I'm going to give up and start bringing in cookies and cake, if you know what I mean. Or let out a primal roar of rage and end up being reprimanded for berating -them-.
So, please, can you help me out? Is there a different positive way I should be thinking or what?