Look, I’m writing about something that’s not aerial! It’s almost as if I do other things occasionally (which I totally do – I go to work, do my homework, eat, and sleep!). Incidentally, this “story” is about work.
For the past several months, I have been working with a team to develop a new process which allocates funding for emergent, unplanned work. It was the reason for my last business trip, it typically involved having four (or more!) meetings a week, and it was generally a massive part of what everyone on the team has been doing for most of 2015. More importantly, though, we officially released the process on April 1st and it has been a huge success.
I work in IT. More importantly, I work in IT in a global company that has offices all around the country and 95% of all their meetings online to accommodate people being in several different work locations. In other words, in order to do my job, I have to spend the vast majority of my time at work at my desk, in front of my computer. And it drives me insane.
I wear a Fitbit (a fancy pedometer) on my wrist every day with a goal set to 10,000 steps (about five miles total of walking throughout the day). If I’m lucky, on a good day, I MIGHT get to just over 2,000 steps by the time I’m leaving work. Considering by that point I’m about halfway through my waking hours for the day, that’s pretty pathetic. So after a lot whining, complaining, and insisting this was important to me without actually making any serious changes (a familiar pattern for people wanting to “exercise more” or “get in shape”), I’ve decided to do something about it. Here’s my plan of action:
The large majority of the people that I work with (particularly those on my team) are quite a bit older than I am. There’s one who’s only a year older, but the next youngest person is 43. I believe there’s one other person in his forties, then the remaining fifteen or so are fifty or older. So, yeah. I’m very strongly in the minority.
There seems to be a whole lot of emphasis on the fact that there are currently four different generations in the workplace together (The Greatest Generation, Boomers, Gen X, and Millenials), so I’ve actually done quite a bit of reading on the subject. A lot of people talk about the stereotypical characteristics of each generation, how you have to treat and reward each one differently, and how we can learn to be more respectful of each other’s differences. And that’s all very important. But today I would like to do the exact opposite of that and whine about one of those differences.
I’ve known that office politics exist for a while now. I indirectly encountered them in my internships, learned about them in a few of my classes, and was acutely aware of them in my college job as I was working in the middle of an organizational restructuring which left my boss reporting up to two different managers… who hated each other. But there’s something very different about being aware of office politics and actually watching them in action.
Enter the large majority of my job responsibilities over the past month and a half.
I decided before I even started work that if possible, I wanted to get there earlier in the day so that I could leave and therefore get home earlier in the day. I’ve been pretty consistent about getting to work sometime between seven and seven thirty, which is about what my goal was, so yay success!
However, most of the people in my office come into work later because they collaborate with people in California who are three hours behind. I think there are people on the second floor who get there early, but at least on my floor and on my side of the building, I am almost always the first person there – by half an hour to forty five minutes. Basically, what I’m getting at is that when I get to work in the morning there are very few cars in the parking lot. And normally that’d be great.