January 22, 2007

It's Not MY Fault!

The past few days have been very frustrating for me in regards to my job. If it wasn't for the fact that we need my income to help pay bills (and of course the benefit of me working from home), I think I would have turned my resignation in as well.

The conference went really well last week. It was nice acting like an adult again--being out of the house and interacting with other adults. It was a good learning experience too. There are new regulations in effect from the FDA due to last summer's spinach "incident" that affect the fruit/vegetable industry significantly. I attended a seminar that discussed these new regulations and felt like I really learned alot. It also sparked my interest to learn more about it. That's one of the parts of my job that I enjoy. I'm granted the ability to continually learn about new things.

It was also a good day in that we (my boss and I) had lunch with the professor that would be the best fit for me to work with. Although her research is slightly different, she works hand-in-hand with us on many of the projects that are already underway. The plan is that I'll continue to coordinate two of the main projects that are underway, acting as a liaison between BYU (where my boss will be) and UI (where the other cooperators are, where the funding is and where the research will actually be conducted). I'll also try to secure more funding to further these projects and to expand some aspects of them. So, in essence, I'll be working for both of them. She understands my concerns and assures me that she won't make me focus completely on her research. Her hope is to initiate some projects that will merge her expertise with my education as the two are interconnected. I will be allowed to continue working primarily from home but will need to come into the experiment station office for staff meetings and will need to check on the projects I'm coordinating once we get research out in the fields. Both of which I should be able to do with the baby in tow.

The problem with all of this lies in the fact that these decisions have yet to be finalized by the department chair and disseminated to the faculty/staff.
My boss doesn't foresee a problem with the decisions made but just needs the official okay from the head honchos. Phone conferences with the chair keep getting postponed due to busy schedules. Because this information hasn't been officially announced, many are unsure of my status. I think the general opinion is that my employment is conditional upon my boss' employment. Since he is leaving, they assume that my position will be culled. Due to this uncertainty there are numerous people who are unwilling to assist me when I ask for help.

It's over really trivial stuff as well. I've got some questions about a deadline for a grant I'm working on and questions about some of the specifics of the grant. I get very terse, ambiguous answers when I try to resolve these questions. In other matters I've been told that nothing can be done until the "situation" has been resolved. It's such crap. I NEED to keep working until all of this is hashed out and announced. I'm not at liberty to just sit here and twiddle my thumbs. If anything, I'm swamped with the work that B is trying to push through before he leaves. When I encounter this mentality from people it drives me insane.

I know that many are upset that B is leaving and are concerned about how it will affect the department. It's going to be a big adjustment, especially because he was one of 5 faculty that put in resignations within a month's time. But I think that everyone is forgetting that I'm affected just as much, if not more so, as everyone else. It's my direct boss! It's my job that's on the line.

I just wish that until an announcement comes from the department that everyone would continue on like nothing was different. Because until he officially leaves, we are both still employees and should be allowed to continue on with our jobs without any interference or hindrance.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it crazy how much ppl freak out at change? I hope some resolution happens soon so you can figure out how the pieces will fall and get on with it already. Limbo is only fun at parties.

Anonymous said...

Sorry everybody is being so stupid about this whole thing. That's the last thing you need to worry about. If everybody would just cooperate with you, it'd definitely make the whole transition a whole lot easier. Hopefully things will get back to semi-normalness, and life will settle down again....