Sunday, June 26, 2016

Work frustrations, but Friday ended on a positive note

The last 2.5 days at work have been crazy. It ended nicely on Friday, though.

Late Wednesday morning, I got an instant message from a co-op student, who happens to be a software developer. He asked me whether I have time to do some documentation updates. He isn't good at explaining himself.

It turns out that this particular team of developers has been working on a major software enhancement and failed to let me look at the design document, let alone tell me in advance that I would have to write something about it. I was livid.

I asked him to demo the enhancements. He told me to come see him. I told him that I work from home on Wednesdays and that an online session was needed. After much reluctance, he agreed. It also took some nudging to get the design document from him.

I flat out said after I had completed two parts of this enhancement (there are ten in total) that there was no way that I would be done by Friday, which is the deadline. That raised a lot of eyebrows. Good.

For several months, I tend to scramble to get my work done for this particular team, because they cannot communicate that I have work to do. They don't bother telling me what they are working on. I can only ask so much as to whether their work impacts mine.

I have raised this issue a number of times to both my manager and the project manager responsible for this team.

Technically, I work at a decent clip and understand things fairly quickly that I could make the Friday deadline. I wanted to make my point that I should not be killing myself because folks are horrible at communicating.

Sure enough, one of the developers raised the issue to the project management office. The project manager that I work for asked my manager if another writer could help me out.

My manager is understanding. We had a talk. I told him that this team had three weeks to work on this feature. I get 2.5 days to work on my part? Ridiculous.

My manager decided to cancel our weekly team meeting so I could work on this feature. He ended up doing the following:

  • Raised this issue with his manager about this particular team and how it operates
  • Indicated to the project management office that we do not have enough resources to have another writer pitch in, especially when one just quit this week
  • Pointed out that this team does not follow process properly and that the project manager needs to watch this team like a hawk
  • Defended me when I was accused by another project manager that I was "jeopardizing both teams" that I work for
I don't understand that last point. She is a jerk, so I don't really take her comments seriously. According to my manager, she accused me of failing to make this team complete everything on time for this work period. My manager told her that I am not to blame. It's a team issue for not completing everything on time. Specifically, it is everyone on the team but me who failed to help me out.

I am fortunate to have an understanding manager. He knows how I tick.

Sure enough, pulling extra hours to finish this work allowed me to finish by late Thursday. I sent out my reviews that evening and early Friday morning. I got some feedback and incorporated everything.

Yes, I completed my work under the circumstances. I have yet to not meet a stupid deadline like this one.

I wrote an e-mail to my manager, the two project managers (the one that I work for and the jerk), and the manager of all those software developers, indicating that my work was done. I also firmly, but diplomatically, indicated my position. It helped.

I got to talk to the software developer manager, who first thanked me for putting in extra work to complete this work. He also knew that our writing team is stretched thin these days. 

He is shaking up things on this team, which includes moving them out of a room that they have been occupying for over a year and moving them to where the rest of us sit. He also wants to make sure that I am involved in all stages of development. Finally, my request to have a retrospective meeting came true. I can finally voice my concerns to everyone.

The project manager then spoke to me. He also thanked me for my contributions and apologized for not being as supportive as he should have been.

Friday turned out nicely with these conversations. I also managed to take a 1.5-hour lunch break with the two co-op writing students. They asked me to join them for lunch. I drove them over to the restaurant and we had a good chat over decent food.

It has been nice to relax so far this weekend. More on that later.

No comments:

Post a Comment