Dragging My Feet   2 comments

I don’t want to go to work today.  It’s dark, it’s cold, and it’s supposed to be raining off and on all day, which is miserable when it’s only 42 degrees.  I don’t have a husband to chauffeur me to and from my office building today since he had an obligation off-site today.  I have to either walk the seven blocks to and from the parking ramp or hop on the bus.  Even taking the bus is a two-block walk.  Poor me.

I don’t want to go to work for another reason.  That reason is that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  We’ve had yet another E. coli O157:H7 daycare outbreak.  What is it with that this year?  I’m still trying to finish up my involvement in that Ph.D. candidate’s research project, which just becomes a bigger can of worms the more I look at his data and the samples he’s recently given me to confirm.  (Yes, my supervisor knows I’m doing this.  Hell, it was my supervisor and HER supervisor who got me into this involvement almost two years ago to begin with!)

Yesterday, we as an interdisciplinary group of Enterics Micro, Molecular Epidemiology, and Serology/Special Testing were called together upon the request of our collective manager to discuss a new study that the Foodborne Epidemiology unit has proposed and would like to see us conduct as a group.  It involves the sensitivity of our methods to find E. coli O157:H7 and other pathogenic E. coli species in stool specimens.  After an hour of discussing this project, my supervisor noted, “I sense an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.  Could it be that you’re all wondering how you’re going to take on another project with the workload already the way it is?”

Well, she is a very perceptive person!  Yes, she is!

Our manager (her boss), however, is Mr. Out-of-Touch.  He said, “Well, if you’re having trouble handling the increased work this will require, just let us know and we’ll bring in some more people to help.”

Simultaneously, several of us, including my supervisor, said, “From where?”  There ARE no people to pull in!  Budget cuts, remember?  People retire or quit and their positions aren’t filled.  That’s why we’re maxed out like we are.

My supervisor did say that if it were any consolation, she just got approval to fill our former coworker’s position.  Great!  Elsie retired in early April after 42 years of service with the State, and another coworker has been doing two jobs since that time.  It’s no wonder she’s wondering how we’re possibly going to add one more project to the workload.  We’re all glad that permission from the Powers That Be has been granted to fill that vacancy now, but we all know that realistically it’s going to take several months to get someone hired, and then they need to be trained in!

So, we spent 90 minutes in a meeting yesterday afternoon, time we couldn’t afford to spend in a meeting, and got back to the department with the phone ringing off the hook with folks wanting their results. 

The phrase, “I’m only one person,” frequently surfaces in my workplace. 

Well, off to it.

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Posted October 22, 2008 by StPaulieGrrl in Career, Daily Life

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2 responses to “Dragging My Feet

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  1. I’d be dragging my feet too. Sorry things are so hectic right now. For what it’s worth, I’m here to listen and I care.

    Hugs,
    Lottie

  2. Thank you, Lottie. It means a lot to have supportive friends! 🙂

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