Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ready to Quit Job, But riding the fence.

I hate my job. Why? My boss is an idiot. But is that enough of a reason to quit one’s job? Reasons I want to quit.
1. I complain about my boss and the professional environment he has created and maintained ALL of the time.
2. I haven’t made any real progress on my dissertation in months. I should have graduated in Dec, now May. And if I don’t get a move on and really focus and bear down, another commencement date could pass me by.
3. I’m an ill-fit within the existing work setting and the rest of the ‘team’.
a. It is illogical – they do things that don’t fit the stated mission or contract or miss deadlines and deliverables and look puzzled when other people/groups look smugly at us. b. It is unprofessional – for example, a subordinate from another team got out of line with me in front of the director, he said nothing and when I said something he implied I was over reactive. I went to HR and did all of the necessary things. Long story short, the behavior and all of the behaviors of the employees (which have been a matter of complaint within and outside of the agencies for years) never registered as problematic to him. So, no-shows, extreme tardiness, threats, fights, thefts, meeting disruptions, and profanity are nothing. Geesh. This guy is thick.
c. The program lacks direction and accomplishment – he’s been directing this program for nearly 10 years and he can’t decide what a standard is or how to enforce standards. He also has NO idea of what happens to people after they matriculate out the program.

Quick note about the job - It is a Social Service Agency. And yes, assume all of the bleeding heart, bad spending thoughts you might associate with a poorly-run welfare program. Among the program’s many objectives, a main one is to help poor African-Americans from this particularly shitty neighborhood in the Agency’s service area transition into mainstream.

Here’s the rub.
1. I really like the fact that I have some opportunity to share my experiences as a once poor Black Kid (from a neighborhood a lot like the one my employees are from) who has gone to college, finished and just about completed doctoral studies. I like the fact that I can introduce them to several successful black people and show them that being Black and/or poor does not limit you.
2. Upper-management has FINALLY registered that something ain’t right with our department. There have been two meetings in a week to deal with this mess. I’ve now been pulled aside in the hall 3 times by the VP and acting CEO to be patient and that things will change. He must KNOW that I am nonplussed and ret’ to go.
3. My employees, albeit rough around the edges, are doing better and seem to be seeing the light (I am biased, I will admit). They have come up with some exceptional ideas that would be perfect deliverables for the program. Things aren’t going as fast as I would like, but the motivational hurdle seems to have been lowered. Part of me really hates to leave them hanging. Because the Director and the other supervisor lacks the technical skills to help them get it done (both are idiots) and lack the professional inclination to care about doing a job thoroughly and well – or wouldn’t know if something was done thoroughly and well unless someone told them. –Okay, is it obvious I have no respect from my team members? Is that another reason to leave a job? You have no respect for boss or colleagues. They are all ….what? I can’t bring myself to insult sheep or Neanderthals, but you get my drift.
4. I have really great health insurance. Perhaps I can buy in for the next 4-6 months, just enough to get me to September when I can take another job – in academia more than likely.

Finally, here is my question. Have I been in the lofty, padded-walls halls of the Ivory Tower so long that I am sure I don’t know what a realistic job environment is like? Considering that I am a scientist – so I have some work options available to me in academia and government institutions – is this work environment typical or can I leave this job knowing that leave non-sense behind as well?

Thanks for your listening ear.

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