There is not a yellow tree in sight, yet. But it's coming. It's only the middle of August but already the weather feels like it's changing. Every day, ever so slightly, you can feel the difference. Usually by this time of year, we are all ready for the fall. This summer has been unusually wet and the temperatures have not been excessive. There were a few days when we needed the air conditioners in the bedrooms but those were very few. Most nights we get by with window fans which bring in the cool night air (last night the temp gauge on the fan said 54 (12 C)degrees. (Thank goodness for the online converter for temps! I can't do it in my head). I have enjoyed this summer. I like the unscheduledness of it. We are lazier and spend more time outside and just having fun. (Though, as I wrote that, I realized that I don't have kids in school anymore and so the schedule that ruled out lives for so long is no longer. ) I also like wearing shorts and having bare legs and feet and not having to put shoes on to go outside to get the newspaper in the morning. Once summer is over it seems the "holiday season" is upon us and it's nonstop for months.

I am working away on my Wildflower shawl and am loving the pattern. It's easy enough to be 'comfort knitting' but has a little challenge in there. The fabric is soft and drapey. It will be beautiful when it's finished.

I made a supreme effort to get myself into work this morning. It's predicted to be 80 (26 C)degrees and sunny. Just about as perfect a day as you could ask for. A nice day to drive through the woods and take a picnic. But I came to work. I had a conversation with a supervisor yesterday that made me depressed and not want to be here. He said that even though the head honchos know that I do my work and volunteer for everything that needs doing and all in a timely fashion, if I'm reading a book at 8:00 in the morning, why aren't I doing another social rehab group? In other words, because I manage my time efficiently and get my work done so that I am not frazzled and flustered, I should do extra work to keep myself busy. I should be punished because I am good at time management. I already do as much or more work than most members of my department. And if I'm reading a book at 8 in the morning, it's for a group I have to run later in the day.

This really demoralized me. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way and I'm not sure what to do about it. It doesn't seem to matter what I do or how much I do, it's not enough. I have toyed with the idea of changing jobs over the years but never seriously. I like the people I work with, I like my job (mostly) and I have great benefits which include 5 weeks of time off each year. That is almost unheard of around here. I can't go to the person who made the comment because I got it second hand and I don't want to get the person who told me in trouble. I just wish he had kept his mouth shut and not shared this with me. I know this feeling will go away and I'll feel better about everything again but I'm getting too old for this stuff.

But it's Wednesday and the sun is shining so it will be a good day. Well, I'll make it a good day.


Roxie said…
Now how the hell are you suppoed to do your work if you don't read books? People tend to judge others by what they, themselves would do, so if the reporter thinks you are goofing off on company time, then it's likely the sort of thing HE does. Donna, that tattletale is nothing but a feckless sheep-biter!
Bezzie said…
I think every place is like this. I have the same problem with being the conscientious employee who comes in when it rains or snows instead of calling in because of weather.

I'm so excited for fall--I can already feel it!!
DPUTiger said…
On yesterday's bike ride, I saw a tree with red leafs. I feel like I've totally missed this summer. Lots of back and forth between Pittsburgh and the Lake and lots of completely silly job stress.

I think that you should take a deep breath and know that you're doing your job well. And your supervisors know that you are doing your job well. If that book you're reading at 8 am is work related, then guess what? You're doing work on the clock which is completely different than pleasure reading.

I miss having a job that I enjoy. I'm pinning all my hopes on a drastic improvement in my world when our 2nd in command gets back from Beijing. Fingers crossed!
amy said…
I've spotted some red leaves in our scrubby, and this morning definitely had a chill to the air. Usually I'm sad to see the end of summer, but I'm okay with it this year. Big goings on this fall, you know. :-)

That's my main problem with working for other people. I really, really resent busy work. If I can get my job done, and more, in a shorter amount of time than an 8-hour day, why am I tied at my desk? Just to make someone somewhere feel that the rules are being followed? And why aren't adults given the common respect of being able to schedule their own time, especially if they have a proven track record? Even if it wasn't a work-related book, if it helps you settle into your day and make your day more productive, why should that be a problem? My least favorite job I ever had (because of the working conditions, not the job itself), I was told if we finished our work, our time was our own. But guess what? If you were efficient and productive, your "work" would magically expand to fill all available space and then some. This is the sort of atmosphere that breeds plenty of resentment, let me tell you.

Okay, I could go on. You struck a nerve. I'd be upset too, obviously.
Kate said…
That person is a jerkweed. It's the same way at pizza hut, unfortunately. Even if I get the dining room sparkling and all of my work is done and there is nothing left that I could possibly do, I still get in trouble for not being busy. It gets to the point where my manager starts having me do other people's jobs. Like dishes for the cook, who is not doing anything.
You should look for a job you like.
Galad said…
There is always someone watching to criticize others. It is frustrating to deal with, especially when you know you are doing a great job.

Hope the rest of the day goes better and thank you for the preview of fall.
Sheepish Annie said…
We hit forty degrees last night! Brrr... And I saw a couple of yellow trees yesterday as well. I guess it's about that time of the year. ::sigh::

I know what you mean about the whole "never enough" thing. There have been school years where I actually held back on stuff so that I wouldn't get asked to do more. How crazy is that???
Bells said…
Love the yellow leaves, even if it's not how things actually look right now.

That is a really, really puzzling comment to deal with at work. Did you explain it was work related reading?
Rose Red said…
I know this is probably far easier to say than to do but you know I think you should call your supervisor on this comment - explain you were doing work related reading and that in any event, why should you be penalised by being expected to do more work just because you are efficient (etc), and then explain how demotivated and demoralised such comments make you feel - and further that you expect him (I think it was a him?), as your supervisor, to actually support you and to tell the person who made the comment in the first place that they should not make assumptions about what is and is not appropriate in the workplace.

As someone's already noted, workplaces need to treat employees as responsible adults who should be given some leeway to manage their own workdays and workloads, and shouldn't assume everyone is a slacker.

OK, off soapbox now!! I just hope you know the value you bring to the workplace and ignore crap comments like that.
Hey Donna Lee!

I was thinking about you sounds like things are a rough go in the real world. But it is such an awesome thing when we feel energized by what we do, who we work we exist for something bigger than ourselves and our fabulous knitting...(is that not a good enough reason? oops...don't let the knitting goddesses hear that!)

I am totally praying for you.
Jeanne said…
It does feel more and more like fall - last night I actually had a sweatshirt on!

Can you talk to the person that made the comment and bring it into the conversation without getting the person that told you in the middle ? I hate those indirect conversations that leave you without a way to directly respond - and sometimes I've found that its either not true, or has been changed a bit in the re-telling.
MadMad said…
Oh, this whole post was just RIGHT ON THE MARK. I, feel exactly the same way about fall coming; it's upon us and I don't even feel yet we've had summer! And the work thing brought back such memories. I used to have a shift at the newspaper that started at midnight... so I was done by 8-9 a.m. But made to feel like a slacker because I was leaving. Even though I had four front page stories (unheard of - it wasn't a teeny local paper) almost consistently, was editing a section, and had regular features and humor columns going, too. I always felt such guilt, leaving - or "reading the competition" on the clock, even though it was a work requirement. I think you confront the guy. Even though you were told it in confidence. He shouldn't have told you. And I'm guessing the first person said it to others, if he said it to this one person, so you could say. "I heard" but not from whom, or "I get the sense you feel I'm slacking..."
Em said…
You know, nice lady, you seem to get a lot of this "we think you're an asset, you do so much volunteer work, you get such good feedback from clients, but we think you need to do more." Pretty soon, they will have you doing everyone else's job on top of your own. Perhaps you make other people feel insecure because you make it look easy? And, being adults, aren't you all past the he-said-she-said-don't-tell-anybody
-i-told-you thing? I guess not, if you're still getting this much shit for being good at your job. Maybe it is time to consider something new, if this trend continues. You know we support you, and you'll be a great addition to any place you choose to work with.

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