reading my blogs, I notice that I have written about all the wonderful things I
do, the great people I work with and the absolute satisfaction my profession
brings into my life. Yet, even I, little
Miss Positivity, have my dark days and I’ve decided to put lay it all out in
the open. So here they are, the ten
things I hate about my work:
1. All the computer systems that are
supposed to “give you more control,” but only add to your daily tasks and take
up too much of your busy day. In this
category, I include purchasing software, travel software, expense reporting
software, software requisition software (that’s not a typo) and human resources
management software, among others.
2. Useless computer-based training for
the sake of compliance, such as “Slip, trip and fall” (we need to take this
every year, seriously????????), Ergonomics, Health Care Compliance, etc. I haven’t stepped in the lab in over 5 years,
yet I still have to take Bloodborne Pathogens safety training. Has anyone noticed that the training hasn’t
changed since I started graduate school many, many, many years ago?
3. Time reporting, the software used for
time reporting, and the process to obtain codes for time reporting (can you
feel the love yet?).
4. Useless meetings and useless
discussions started by people who have nothing better to do than to debate
5. Useless e-mail (related to #4)
discussions, including the “reply all” messages to say “me too,” or “me three,”
or my all-time favorite, “I have nothing to add.”
6. Performance review time. This is the time of the year when people know
performance review meetings are taking place, so everyone is on their best
behavior to see if they can improve their odds of getting a good review and
everyone is stressed over the fact that they are being reviewed. In addition, as a manager, I have to come up
with all these materials to justify my direct reports’ ratings knowing that
other managers are going to try to push for their reports even though we all
know that they don’t deserve those ratings (and they are probably thinking the
same of me and my reports) while I’m trying to be on my best behavior to
improve my odds of getting a good review and being stressed out over the fact
that I’m being reviewed.
7. Budget planning, particularly if you
have no hope of getting any money yet but are asked nonetheless to come up with
your ideal scenario, only to have your bubble burst later. The typical budget planning process looks
are told to put a budget together for next year even though you have no goals
or objectives set up yet (see #9)
have to estimate how much money you think you will spend in all the different
projects that you have yet to define
have to get some verifiable estimates based on similar projects that you may
have or have not done yet
some padding to make sure you get some reasonable amount
the budget in a budget meeting, only to be told that there is no money and you
will only get half of what you requested
8. Resource allocation time. This one is very similar to budgets, but now
we are focusing in the allocation of personnel.
Again, you estimate your needs based on goals and objectives you haven’t
set up yet, estimate how much work your current group can complete and how many
more people you would need to do the work you plan to do next year, only to
find out that the headcount is staying flat and you are not getting additional
9. Once you have a budget in hand (half
of what you requested) and your resource allocation (flat headcount, which is
significantly less than what you need), you set up your objectives, which
invariably is about twice as much as you could have gotten done had you been
given the budget and resources requested.
10. Finally, what I hate the most is how
darn difficult is to find a cure for cancer.
Yet, in spite of the painful software demands, boring training sessions,
excruciating pain of planning budgets, resources and objectives, and challenge
of what the work entails, I will continue to do what I do and love it every day.
Because if I can help just one person feel better, it will be time well spent.