Sunday, August 14, 2005

Why I'm Turning Into My Old Man .. The Hispanic Hank Hill

It’s funny how supervisors at work will tell you not to get in over your head. They tell you things like “be sure to delegate some of that work out. That way you don’t get burned out, frazzled, and beaten down." So when a huge new side project came up at work, I jumped at the chance. Any opportunity to not have to deal with dregs of the legal world for a few hours is a welcome opportunity. Once I agreed to start taking on the new project, I was given the above advice because as part of the next promotion at work I would “need to learn to delegate authority”.

So I took the advice of those above me and delegated the work out piecemeal; a section here and a section there. This seemed to be the way things should be done, right? After all, I’m not stuck doing all the work myself and I’ve just got to play clean up guy. You know, just go in and make sure all the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed. Not a bad gig. Well, apparently it was a bad idea. See, the project was supposed to be turned in Thursday to me so that I could look over everything and correct anything before turning it in. Of course, this doesn’t happen. In fact, one of the folks doesn’t turn in anything final until Friday night after 8 PM. Now this is supposed to be good to go first thing Monday morning. One of those I assigned some work to doesn’t seem to understand this at all because he calls me Friday afternoon and seems genuinely concerned that this project isn’t going to be ready first thing Monday. His ass might be a bit on the line because his division is going to be working this new product and those who received assignments didn’t receive some of the final specs until Wednesday night. It takes quite a while to get the information loaded up and ready to disseminate. But he didn’t give me his own portion of the work until Friday afternoon around 5 PM so I can't be responsible for time delays and running late with work to be turned in at a certain time.

So what does all this mean for the Devil? It means that I’m going to spend a lot of time this weekend in the office correcting, updating, and revising all this shit wasn’t turned in on time. Ultimately, it will be my ass that gets a chewing out as well because I did agree to take on the project.

Now the really scary part is that I’m turning into my old man. I vividly remember my old man sitting at the dinner table with my mom on early Saturday mornings (my dad worked for the railroad, so he had to work out of town during the week). He’d sit there with his mug of coffee and bitch and moan about how bad the guys on the jobsite were fucking things up. He was an assistant supervisor and had to certify "those fucknuts" to run certain machines used on the site. He’d go on and on about how he should’ve just done the damn job himself to make sure it was “done right and done on time”. Friday afternoon I found I was talking to myself and muttering the same sentiment, “I should’ve just done it myself and I’d would’ve been done by Tuesday.” (Not true considering a good chunk of the final specs for the product only came out Wednesday night). It’s funny how we start to morph into our folks as we get older.

I’m already like my mom in the sense that I can’t take a compliment. My mom is an amazing cook; I mean she genuinely kicks ass in the kitchen. I’m very spoiled in that sense so any woman willing to have me has a tough task (sorta like Debra and Marie from “Everybody Loves Raymond” although my mom isn’t as nosy or annoying). Anyways, my mom can’t take a compliment for her cooking ...ever! She always makes these amazing fajitas when I go home for the holidays and I’m always raving about them. My mom will always say something like “Well, the Spanish rice was a bit dry” or “The fajitas needed a bit more salt”. I’m the same way when it comes to work food-days. I’ll whip up a batch of my green-chile, cheese, and chicken enchiladas the night before where I’ll spend about 4 hours getting them ready. The next day, I’m always like “They’re a little bland” or “I think they dried out a bit in the oven this morning.” Ah well, it’s not the worst thing in the world to take on some of my mother’s traits. As long as I don’t take on my old man’s habit of pretty much dressing like the Latino Hank Hill (white t-shirt and jeans all the time), I think I’ll be doing well.

13 comments:

s4essene said...

The trick of delegating is not in the asking or telling but communication, checking that they understand the same success criteria as you! Been bitten by that one a few times too many! But it's true that it's the only way. Nice post. If I may make a slight criticism, the site font is looking good, the graphic is excellent and integrally referenced to the 'story' but the paragraphs could be split up further into two to four sentences maximum to make them easier to read on the screen perhaps? Just an idea! Keep up the excellent work cincy!

Take Care

Mark

Renee said...

I can't cook anything to save my life so I'm glad somebody out there can.

I think we all get it from our parents who never can take compliments and never compliment us. It's this never ending cycle of nobody feeling good about themselves. Sucks huh?

Renee said...

Um, yay for spam comment posting I guess, that's cool

Alan said...

This is why in my one attempt to move into middle-management I was crap at it. Work would keep piling up on my desk and I would forget that I had people working for me and that I was supposed to be delegating this stuff and just assume I had to do it myself. Result, I'd be swamped with work while my team sat around playing solitaire.

A. Estella Sassypants said...

See, this is why I teach. I go, I work alone, I go home. Fuck everyone.

NML said...

Very funny post. I guess this is a learning experience for you and hopefully the next time round, you'll have more success.

Ruben said...

This was hilarious.

Cincysundevil said...

S4essene-
I'll definitely keep that in mind about the smaller paragraphs. And I'll keep that idea in mind about communicating the expectations. It would've totally saved me some a headache this weekend. Can't wait to check out your site!

Cincysundevil said...

Renee-
DOH! I had to remove the spam comments. This thing needs a way to block spam comments. Great pics on your site ... you've got a lucky husband!!

Cincysundevil said...

Alan-
Middle management is definitely not the way to go. I suffer from the same ailment that you do; doing all the work myself. And what has it gotten me? Maybe a wider ass from sitting all day!

Cincysundevil said...

Andi-
You rule and yeah ... FUCK EVERYONE!

Cincysundevil said...

NML-
I did learn a painful lesson with this. I will hopefully be a bit smarter next time around. Glad to see ya back!

Cincysundevil said...

Ruben-
Thanks! It's too bad that I don't have any hilarious "and then she took off her shirt and showed me the most beautiful breasts" stories ... (sigh) .. maybe one day!