Thursday, April 21, 2011

Writing Everything I feel to my Boss (Part 1)

On March 21st, 2011 I received the following letter to my CEO (small company, CEO is involved in everything)(btw, if we're friends on FB, you've already seen this but it's a prelim to a follow-up post):

Bexxx,
I have no idea what’s happening with you. I have noticed that you consistently arrive in the office at odd hours - -
sometimes late and at other times, very late. There are days that you decide you’re not coming to work, calling in sick or
not coming in without “any reason or explanation”. This is a completely different Bexxx than I hired...
one who was very focused, very committed and very involved. It appears that you run your own clock and your own schedule.
This has to stop!
I asked [Closest Coworker], as well as you, to put a red line on the attendance sheet at 9:00am, but neither of you do so.
Apparently, there’s something taking place that’s affecting your work ethic. That doesn’t make me happy!
I thought you two girls were mature, responsible and self-reliant. Employees I could depend upon who do not
require constant supervision.
Unfortunately it appears that I was wrong! Going forward, you and [Coworker] must be here on time and sign the attendance sheet.
Whoever is manning the reception desk must draw the red line promptly at 9:00am. If, for whatever reason, you cannot be in the office
at 9:00am, stay until 6:00pm or will be absent from the office, you must tell [CEO Assistant].
An example…this morning [Female CEO and CEO's Wife] called the office at 9:08am. No one answered the main line.
She then called [CEO Assistant], on my private line, and asked her to check the front desk. No one was at the desk.
In fact, when I spoke to her later, I asked [CEO Assistant] to check the sign in sheet. It shows that you signed in at 9:00am.
If that time is not correct, why would you put in 9am? We expect the time that is entered on the timesheets to be accurate.
With regard to days off (vacation or personal) you must give [HR] and [CEO Assistant] a copy of signed prior authorization.
This information, plus sick days taken, will be recorded in your permanent employee file.
Trust that you will comply with the above.
[Giant Crazy Dickbag CEO]

CC: [Nearly every other executive]
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I replied as follows:

Dear [Dickbag],
I love to work. [Coworker] can verify that when I was first training her, I was very enthusiastic and motivated to do my job and I did it well. I was constantly brainstorming new ways we could reach out to people on social networks. When I wasn’t brainstorming or doing the tasks my job required (which are already numerous), I was researching techniques that other companies of this size have utilized and found success in. In this time, I was also researching and teaching myself the technical aspects of implementing these techniques which requires learning new programming languages – not an easy task.

In the beginning, I would also respond to customer inquiries on the weekends, no matter what time it was. I would take time out of my weekend to search Facebook for mentions of [Company], etc. and respond to these inquiries or mentions. I would “tweet” facts about [Company] and other facts that were relevant and interesting – to keep more followers coming. I ENJOYED doing this because it was what I was hired to do and it is what I am good at.

Then, without anyone consulting me or even having the professional courtesy to tell me personally, [Coworker] and I started doing the receptionist duties. [Coworker] was the one who relayed this new duty to me – not an executive or higher up. I DESPISE being a receptionist and if I would have known that this job included receptionist duties every other day, I would’ve declined and continued looking for a job that takes advantage of the skills and passion I possess.

Soon after this, [Coworker] and I became responsible for doing the orders for the spas – something that neither of us were ever trained in or claimed to have training in. This is NOT a part-time task and requires researching how much each individual spa is selling (running lengthy reports in an archaic system - RunIT), checking to see how much they ordered the month before and being aware of what a reasonable order is and isn’t.

If you consider that the Receptionist and Inventory Manger duties were added on top of my responsibilities as Customer Service, Order Fulfillment, Membership, Social Media, Web Master, Special Projects Assistant, Travel Agent and Marketing, you can understand why it is difficult for us to also remember to draw the red line every day. On top of that, the red line is an office-wide morale killer and I cannot explain how it feels to draw it as a co-worker. At my previous job, we had a time clock which I would recommend if you want to effectively track when everyone is coming in.

I am frequently late because I came in on time for awhile and ended up skipping lunch and staying past7 o’clock many nights because of last minute tasks that weren’t even from my department. This includes putting together the RFPs which was just a mindless task that involved stuffing paper into plastic sheets - mindless but EXTREMELY time consuming. For some reason, the entire office seems to think that [Coworker] and I can just drop everything and do whatever they need assistance with at that moment, despite the fact that we have so many hats to wear already. Multiple nights these last minute tasks have kept me here past 6 o’clock and because I want the best for [Company], I will stay – even when others leave. I do not make enough money to stay late and not care.

I am also frequently late because I dread being a receptionist. I literally lay in bed in the morning and struggle to drag myself out knowing that I will be answering the phones. I have asked for a new receptionist and been given vague answers like “we will have to see what our overhead is like…” Meanwhile, I’m putting together RFPs that say we wildly increased our sales and sending out books that cost thousands and thousands of dollars. Somewhere in there it seems like [Company] could afford a new receptionist.

I have never come in without any reason or explanation and I have copied [Controller] every single time I called in. On my sick days/snow days, I use these days to clean up the website, add better search terms (because whoever did the website in the beginning apparently was not aware of keywords 101) and add new products. It is the best time to get this type of work done because there is no one interrupting and my home computer is much faster and better than the computers here.

Finally, regarding this morning, I came in at 9, did some work and went to the bathroom. The phone was on night ring. If [Female CEO] called the main line, [Coworker] would’ve picked up. I do not know what happened since I was actually away from the desk.

On top of all of this, the sexual and verbal harassment in this office is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.[CEO], you actually told me that there was a doctor’s office in the back of your office and to “strip down” so you could give me a good once over after I sniffled with my ongoing cold. Later that same day, you told me you were going to “fucking kill me” for ordering too much lasagna when I literally ordered 25 portions worth. I had no idea the portions from that restaurant were actually for horses and not humans.

So the reasons above are “what is happening with me.” Although I believe in [Company], I am burdened with many tasks that I was not hired for and especially despise being a receptionist. I’m certain that if my tasks were mainly to do what I was hired to do, I would still be the Bexxx that was originally hired. Going forward, I will be on time. I am fine with this email and all absences being a part of my permanent employee file.

Sincerely,

Bexxx

CC: Everyone

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