Tony is a loaner HP like me. The two of us have been loaned out to our Radiological Planning Department for planning the upcoming outage work. Yes, it’s that time again. We have an outage every two years for refueling and maintenance.
I’ve been at this desk job since July of 2010. So nice to have a normal dayshift job and a desk one to boot. It has its’ perks, but it’s not easy. It is so convoluted it’s not even funny. But I laugh at it anyways. No one can keep up with this madness. We plan something and then they pull the plug. We do a lot of legwork, research, paperwork, and then whoopsie there goes the rug. For numerous reasons, but usually it’s budget.
Then there’s parallel planning. I call it PP. ha. That’s when other work planners are doing their part of the planning and then it comes to us to do our radiological part but wait…they’re not ready for us but we better get our part done in time to meet a milestone because somebody up above wants their bonus. That’s when you gotta say “whatever” and do the best you can under the circumstances. I try not to get frustrated. It’s hard to put out quality work when there’s pressure. But I can say that I do better than some, however, I know I can do better. It’s just I get burned out. And yet, that’s not even the half of it.
For instance, I was working on a particular project that I have no clue about. I did a lot of research, knew that I couldn’t get far in the planning without the help of one Subject Matter Expert, Bill. Guess what, he’s on vacation and there’s no one else. Hmm. And we can run this place? But yes, we can! We’ve done it before when we had a SME retiree (Max) from our department. I thought there’s no way we can survive without this guy. We have and we will again.
Well, after many discussions with various people I was given direction by one of my many many Supervisors to not go crazy on this particular project. So, I sit. I wait. I’m still waiting. There’s not much I can do. You know, we have a saying even in my other position as a Health Physics Tech and that is “Hurry up and Wait”. That speaks volumes for my job.
We have a unique work schedule for the office people. They work what is called 8-9’s. Really, you just get every other Friday off and the Friday on is a short day. Well, me and my partner were granted to keep a 4-10’s schedule BUT they’ve been making us work a lot of overtime! I’m well over a 100 hours for the 2011 year in overtime alone (and it’s only February!). The nice thing is anything above and beyond 200 hours will all be double time. This outage is gonna be a big money maker. Yippee!
Today, my partner waited for everybody else to leave at their normal time which was early since it’s the working Friday. Then he scopes out the place. He saw that our manager was still here but everybody else was gone. He tells me,” I’m gonna get out of here.”
I said, ”Be careful. You know the RPM likes to come in here late to see who’s still around.” He said, “I know, I’ve been the only one in here when he does that too.” I said ok see ya.
I’m no angel. I’ve left 15 minutes early at the most once in a blue moon, but usually we always get 10 minutes walking time to our car because it takes that long to walk around the plant anyways. We were actually granted permission for no more than 10 minutes. Ok, so I took an extra 5. Big deal! I am usually very early.
Guess who walked in the door after my partner left? Yup, you guessed it. He was real quiet too. I wasn’t used to him being like that. He must’ve sneaked into everybody’s cubicle and then mine. He didn’t make any excuses. He flat out said “I’m looking to see who’s still here.” Then he looked directly at my partner’s chair. I just gave him a guilty sorry look.
That sucks for him. You can’t really hide the fact that someone’s coat is gone.
This has happened numerous times. I would be the only one left in the office. I wonder if I’m in the clear. I wonder if I look a little bit better than the rest.