Coming back to work after a vacation is hard.
In addition to taking last Friday off for the travel-time to Kansas City, I also took Halloween off and then this past Monday. It was a great to have Monday off because I was exhausted and sore and wanted to just lie around and rest. But then Tuesday came.
It was fine all morning long. I was making great progress on my email and I had gotten through the pile of snail-mail on my desk, but then Boss-lady came into my office and asked, “Did you get that email I sent earlier about the recruiting campaign not going out last Friday like you scheduled?”
“Okay, thanks” and she walked away happy.
At about 1 o’clock I managed to figure out the snag in the email campaign and then, every single automatically-generated email was also BCC’d to our administrative email box!! There were going to be a little over 1,500 emails in our admin box if I didn’t get it fixed quick! I raced down to Boss-lady’s office to tell her, but she was on her cell phone. She looked at her computer screen and saw the emails pouring in and a look of horror consumed her face. She covered up the mouthpiece on her phone and said in a very loud angry whisper, “What the hell is going on!?!”
I tried to explain quickly because she was on the phone, “Our account is set up to BCC our admin email address on every single campaign email that goes out.”
“You need to fix that right now!”
“I understand, but I wanted to come down here and tell you that I knew about it and what is going on. I am going to try and get it fixed before I go to lunch. But, if I shut off that function, we won’t get ANY of the campaign emails that are going out; not just this one.”
Boss-lady answered, “Are you serious!? Well, just take care of this problem first and then we will address the rest. How long do you think this will take you to get it fixed?”
“I don’t honestly know if I can even fix it. I’m not an IT person and I have been kind of swamped this morning trying to catch up on everything else,” was my response. “Like I said, I will try to get those emails to stop before I go to lunch. I was just getting ready to go when this happened. Sorry to interrupt you.”
She nodded her head to excuse me and I went back to my office to figure this shit out.
It wasn’t even 5 more minutes when Boss-lady came into my office and said, “I didn’t appreciate the attitude you were giving me when you were talking to me just now in my office! You were very disrespectful to me. I know you are busy trying to get caught up from your vacation but that’s no need to be rude to me. You could have just told me that you were busy this afternoon.”
Now it was my turn to be shocked. First, I did tell her that I was swamped. Second, I have a tendency to be abrupt when I am busy and in a hurry — we talked about it last week before I went on vacation!!! Also, she was on her fucking phone, I didn’t want to interrupt her conversation (it was a personal call because she was on her cell phone — she never takes work calls on her cell). I responded, “There was no disrespect intended. I apologize for seeming that way, but I am just trying to get this problem fixed as soon as possible because I am busy today, like I mentioned earlier, and I need to use the ladies’ room (I hadn’t even taken a potty break yet!!!) and to eat my lunch. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful.”
She continued hounding me for a few more minutes, telling me how she doesn’t need to listen to my attitude problem when all she wants me to do is get my work done… I had to apologize 3 or 4 more times (I hate when people want me to keep apologizing. Each time I have to say it, it means less…). Eventually I said (this probably was disrespectful, but I really REALLY had to pee!!!), “I have already apologized to you and I am sorry, but I don’t know what else I can do to make it right. I am trying to get the emails to stop like you asked. I am sorry for any misunderstanding, but I would really like to be able to get this done.”
“Thank you,” was all she said and she walked back to her office and closed her door. We have an agreement in our office that, if a person doesn’t feel like they’re able to interact with the rest of us (there are only 3 of us in our part of the office), they need to close their door until they ARE ready.
She opened her door at 4:30 that afternoon when she was leaving for the day. On her way out, she stopped by my office and told me that she would be accessible by email and phone for the next few days while she was at her conference in San Fransisco.
“Thank you for telling me. Have a good night and a safe trip. I hope you learn a lot.”
“See you next Tuesday.”