Help analyze my terrible work situation!
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (23 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I REALLY apologize for such a lengthy question, but it has been developing over some time now and I finally gave in to ask the great collective knowledge here..
I got a job in a department located in a fast-developing portion of my university's campus roughly a year ago. The position I was accepted for is basically a building IT guy-- fix computers, run cable, respond to general tech emergencies-- but I also was responsible for some general graphic design and print work. I work under a supervisor, manager, senior IT manager, event coordinator and a building coordinator.
So initially (up to 4 months) the job was great. I had great equipment to work on, the assignments I was given were right at my skill level, I had a great coworker who was hired at the same time as me, and there was just a nice collaborative vibe in the office. On random occasion when working with my higher ups, I'd be told that I could have a chance at a full time position after graduating, which encouraged me to really put 110% into my job.
So I'm working my butt off to please everyone in the office, doing random things like designing vibrant brochures to advertise our building, picking up the trash after large events, helping move furniture and boxes around, and I start to get a knack for graphic design. At some point one of my flyer designs catches the eye of people in other buildings who frequent the one I’m in. As a result, the event coordinator starts getting more requests to hold events in the building, and naturally I am asked to produce graphic media for nearly every event that is booked. So I did—and I was unstoppable because years of NOT doing this sort of work had built up a pile of creative ideas in my brain that would flood out into Adobe Illustrator. Did I mention I was still doing every other task the other higher ups assigned to me? How about cleaning up a room after an autoclave explodes?
Around this time I am at home one evening when I receive a call from my manager who had consulted with the building coordinator about offering me a full time position. I kindly declined because my first priority is school (I wouldn’t even be in this situation if it wasn’t). So life went on, and things kept going at a fast pace, until one day there’s a big announcement that most of the full time employees in the office are moving to another building as part of a multi-phase plan to create a central management point for the entire area of the campus where I work. Oddly enough, I’m told that I am also going to move and be given my own cubicle and filing cabinets and all things great about office jobs—keep in mind that I’m just a student employee who had been sharing a desk with a coworker.
Since I’ll be moving and the building still needs tech support, a new guy is hired who I will refer to as BG. The thing about BG is that he’s really eccentric, introverted, and he sorta smells like body odor, but I don’t worry because I’ll be moving to a new office in a week or two (or three or four). Well, the day before the official move was supposed to happen, the building coordinator announces that plans have changed and nobody is moving anywhere, but we’re still going to manage the surrounding area as well as the current building using all the current staff but the same office space (remember I was sharing a desk?). And this is where the trouble starts…
Since me and my coworker from the beginning are pretty cozy with each other, I figure that BG will be let go since he was hired on the assumption that he’d have an actual place to work when most people left. Nope. Turns out my boss has some policy where she considers student employees to be on a contract so the only time they’re let go is at the end of a term. At this point in time I’m bummed about not getting my own work area, but the office vibe is still good and I want to be welcoming to the new guy. I offer to share my machine with him since our shifts bump up against each other… possibly the worst idea I could have ever had. BG turns out to be incredibly messy and disorganized, and he apparently thinks its okay to leave pirated games, movies, and music on my work machine. I bring it to the attention of my supervisor who ends up not doing anything, so I tell the senior IT manager who doesn’t do anything, and then I tell the building coordinator who doesn’t do anything but tells my supervisor to do something, but he doesn’t do anything. I finally take it upon myself to pull BG into a private conference to tell him to not leave a mess and to not put “that” stuff on my machine.
Because we are the tech support guys, we occasionally get spare machines that aren’t new but still are fully functional, and BG gets one so that he can finally have his own computer to use. The machine isn’t working, so BG attempts to get it working, but fails and decides to leave it alone and just use the other guy’s machine. About a week later, the senior IT manager comes in asking if he can have my computer for a project he’s working on and offers to buy me a brand spanking new computer. I gladly oblige and get to configuring it the way I like, and my supervisor ends up ordering another one just like it for us to use. The computers come in after a few days and I’m giddy because I feel like I really earned mine and I could use the extra GHz/RAM for when I do graphic design. I begin to unpack mine when BG jumps out of his chair and begins unpacking the other box while mentioning “alright it’ll be great to not have to use this piece of crap anymore (referring to the spare machine that came in)”. I have an issue with this, but I’ll skip to the next chapter of the story and let you figure out what my problem is.
In my best efforts to remain professional in my behavior at work, I just deal with the fact that BG is probably staying around. I try talking to him to get some goodwill going, but he only gives quick responses to questions and never initiates conversation (he still hasn’t to this day). I continue on as the graphic design guy, doing whatever I need to so I can keep up the 110% effort, and things are going well. Somewhere around this time the senior IT manager and the building coordinator decided they’d do something for me and nominate me for an award, but they didn’t consult with me at ALL and failed to tell me that the nomination committee would be checking my GPA. I wasn’t exactly thrilled when I got a letter in the mail saying I failed to receive an award that I wasn’t aware of, and that my current GPA didn’t meet the requirements for said award that I was unaware of. Ever relapse into clinical depression? Not fun.
So forward on a month or two later and I get an offer to be sent off to a training seminar along with the event coordinator and my supervisor (not all at the same time). I get hyped up about going and book my flight and hotel and wait until the day to arrive. Well a few weeks before I’m supposed to go, I’m pulled aside by the senior IT manager who is relaying a message from the building coordinator that maybe I need to not go to training yet (I had gradually started burning out on graphic design and the BG situation wasn’t helping either, so I was still civil and sociable, but I was in a “bad week” mood). I had no choice but to cancel my trip and hotel and try to get myself back on track, although I’m not sure I was ever off?
Well, I hope I’m not alone in saying it doesn’t make me want to be a superstar employee when I keep receiving offers for really great opportunities, only to have them snatched back a few weeks later for no concrete reasons. Currently, I’ve just been working on some low-key work doing SQL and website development, and some occasional graphic design on the side. I feel fed up with my higher ups who I originally thought were great people, but now work feels like drama. I guess the popular thing as of late has been to treat me like an imbecile and ignore me whenever possible. (I honestly have NO idea why they’re doing this to me)
I suppose the good thing is that I picked up a lot of experience that I have been using to apply to other jobs at the university. Unfortunately, some of these jobs pay at a lower rate and offer less hours (the nice thing about my current work is that the pay is pretty well for part time and I can work up to part time max hours).
So my big question is, should I stay at my current job where I’m making decent pay and have top-of-the-line equipment to work on but have to deal with a stinky, eccentric coworker, unfaithful bosses, and more drama than daytime network television, or take on a new job where I could get a pay cut and less hours, but have a chance to start over in my work ethic when it comes to working at a university and hopefully know where to draw the line so I can stay as neutral as possible until I graduate school (not to mention it would be nice to get away from the people I work with now and [this is just horrible], but I think it would be really fun if they ended up trying to talk me into staying).
Also, any sort of analysis and criticism against me is appreciated. If I’m just acting like a jackass, then I need to know.