View Full Version : Detaching from outcome

4-25-11, 8:32pm
It was def a Monday today... started a grant last week, due in today. Four pages, no big deal. The ED at my workplace wants me - theoretically he wants everyone - to run all written pieces by the whole staff. It's ridiculous. But I did it. 4 pages, edited 3 times by 4 people. The first round edits were helpful. Then it became absurd. I was pretty PO'd at the end of the day. Got it to the post office on time.

I must get over this feeling of being treated as incompetent because of this stupid group editing thing. I feel insulted every time. Help! I grit my teeth and fake being fine, which never works, then get cranky. I'm so glad it's a part time position, and I have a mantra posted above my desk which essentially reminds me that I'm doing this to get paid, and to be grateful even though that's about it...

Aarrgghh. Don't want to change jobs again... I need to find a way to just submit to this stupidity. With a better 'tude. Now for a beer.

4-26-11, 6:33am
I'm in the same boat with you on this contract I'm on. I'm working for an agency who's contracted to the client. The guy I "work for" is ultra picky, perfectionist and thinks his way is the ONLY way. That part is actually fine. The part that is frustrating is that, while he is super particular how things look, he won't tell me that up front so I waste a lot of time redoing things (although by now I've learned his hot buttons and get it almost right the first time). The biggest part of frustration is that he won't give me all his edits at once. It sometimes goes back and forth 6 or 8 times, with each time one little change. I think I'm done, or post the document on line for all to see, when he wants me to change one more thing. Or he changes his mind, and wants me to put back something he asked me to take out in an earlier edit. ARRRRRGGHHH. My mantra when he does this: you're lucky to have a job, you're lucky to have a job. ;)

I got no advice for you, but lots of sympathy and empathy.

4-27-11, 12:54am
Thanks... yesterday he wanted one sentence changed on the final FINAL, so I asked him to note it on a sticky, not wrote on the paper. He did; I ignored it, and sent the grant in. It needed to be postmarked yesterday, and at 4:00, I was DONE MAKING CHANGES, and off to the PO I went!!! Frankly, I feel like the frickin assistant, not the experienced devo director. I HATE having to send my writing all round the office as if I am incompetent. TOTALLY demotivating.

I finally narrowed down what I like about this job, and here it is:
I get salary + full benes
It's four miles from home
It's twenty hours a week & I set my hours, including work-at-home options
The salary is good

4-28-11, 4:27pm
Wow, that would be demoralizing for me. I'm the ED but you don't trust me to write? Is this something everyone has to do, redfox?

4-29-11, 11:48am
Wow, that would be demoralizing for me. I'm the ED but you don't trust me to write? Is this something everyone has to do, redfox?

I am actually the development director, under the ED. There are only 3 full time & 2 part time staff. I've been asked to look at a letter, but have chosen not to. (Apparently a book that was written was group edited; consequently it was waaay overdue to the printer.) I'm the one doing most of the writing, and I supervise a contract grant writer to whom we pay $60 an hour. Her work is also supposed to go through this group review process - a colossal waste of $$ IMHO. I do feel not trusted, but am detaching from this. I'll do what I can to raise money, but I gotta say they are not getting my whole self any more. I don't feel any particular commitment to the mission, and I sure don't feel welcomed. I am putting in exactly the 20 hours I am hired for and no more. This is the second time I have been a devo director under a very frustrating ED, and I've learned that this is the norm in non-profits; it's a rare ED who understands how best to supervise this relationship. I've been an ED before, and am actively searching for an ED position. When I get one, I will be a damn fine partner for the devo director!

And, yeah, what you said, herbgeek. I am glad to pay the mortgage.

Anne Lee
4-30-11, 8:11am
This is the consensus process run amuk.

4-30-11, 2:29pm
When I was taking technical writing classes circa 2000, there were a lot of group exercises imposed on us. Few people liked them; often we actively rebelled. Suspicious type that I am, I wondered at the time why we were being so firmly steered toward group think. I spent only a year or so in the field--too little time to find out.

Anne Lee
4-30-11, 4:13pm
Jane, collaboration is a best practice in education and training.

4-30-11, 4:35pm
For some reason, my job and my husband's job have featured an unusual amount of this lately, the sort of faux consensus work products, and I have a large project that is like your work, open to everyone's criticisms/comments/helpful suggestions/etc. I just sent one comment to my boss and said that this fell outside of the category of how I wanted my job to be, and my husband is quitting his job because the situation is completely out of hand, and I am trying to model the change I want to see with my project--that we treat each other respectfully and are open to ideas, but that th efinal decision is mine, after consultation with my superiors. I set up a time table that restricts the contribution process to a certain point in time, so that I will have time to do my job and put all this stuff together and be responsible for the final workproduct. I have just sent this to my bosses and asked them to confirm that it is acceptable, so I am setting up boundaries in advance for what I know is coming--at least from what I see of the piranha action so far. Lots of competetive behaviors out there right now because jobs are hard to come by. Some of it is so out of hand that it threatens health, which is the case in my husband's job.

So yes, herb, I too have been saying that mantra but not sure if I am believingt it right now, that it is for the best. . .

5-2-11, 1:50pm
My guess is that everying feels like they have to make some sort of remark or change, just for basic job justification reasons, esp. since it's the boss who put this ridiculous process into play. You're right - don't take it personally. Maybe you can make up a bingo card to catch recurring edits that your co-workers make, just for a little distraction.