I’ve been cranky and irritable these last few days (more than usual), craving sweet things, and just like clockwork my “visitor” (as my mum would call it) arrived. It would have to be on the same day that I had a crap load of meetings and no painkillers. Managed to get through it without taking too many casualties.
I left the office rather late yesterday and actually did quite a lot of work (for once) a good job as well because today was totally unproductive.
This mornings meeting was a bit of a palava. We have project managers who are in charge of coordinating all our new product projects, from concept to getting the final product to the market. This is done with us the Regional Category Demand and Supply Planners (fancy title, but no basis to it). In a previous life, there were no such project managers so the DSP did it all, now they are there, paid a hefty amount more than us to do this job (which should in essence free us to do our day to day jobs).
Our projects as usual are behind because the artwork design for the packaging has been going through a back and forth process plus my people in Nigeria, well they work at their own leisure. A large percentage of the regions profits come from them, so our livelihoods are basically in their hands. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Nigerian colleagues to bits and when I go on a country visit they show me a good time and treat me with the utmost respect especially coming from the region. But when they can’t do something, they just won’t and will not say anything either until they are asked (a habit which the Ghana office has also started to imitate).
But I digress. It was suggested at the meeting that the project manager arrange regular meetings to expedite the speed in which the projects are going. We finish our presentation and leave and this guy turns around to me and says “I’m annoyed. I told you to arrange a meeting and to this day you haven’t done so”. Now I like this guy. We started in the company around the same time, and he’s given me good advice in terms of work, personal life and is always there with a joke to keep me perked up on what could be an otherwise frustrating day. He and his wife even invited me to their church, very nice lady she is even my friend on facebook. However, he has the tendency to treat me like his PA. The jobs which he finds to dreary for his status, he can easily fob onto me. New projects is just a small part of my job whereas that is his SOLE job. Now I got mad, it was agreed at a meeting the project managers had that all meetings would be coordinated by them, so why exactly did this guy want to add secretary to my role.
Now I really suffer from very bad PMS and highly emotional on those days so I could have quite easily blasted him, but instead wrote a very political letter to the coordinator asking her (with him on copy) whose responsibility it was to arrange meetings. Nothing was said after that but got a meeting request about an hour later. We said nothing to each other the whole day, but we’ll be friends by tomorrow, my tantrums are synonymous with me and so he’s used to it, especially as he knows ultimately that its his job. I wouldn’t mind so much, but his boss would be chasing me for stocks in Cameroon, my boss would be chasing me for a stock cover report, I have a pile of tasks that I have been procrastinating over for the past week and people are going to be chasing me for updates. I need to get moving on them because I have to take my leave next week (orders from the boss) and as much as I “optimise” my time, I also like to tie all the loose ends before I take my break.
Now to my second meeting of the day. What was supposed to be a 30 minute meeting ended up taking over an hour and a half, we went around in circles only to come back to the same spot. The issue, when one of us is on leave, who does all their tasks, we have a routine of daily fixed tasks where certain reports are sent out every day. It’s very daunting as for our own it can take all day and then to add someone else’s on top it’s killing. My man child boss said that it needs to be done. But it is very easy for my man child boss to say this when he had time to sit behind his desk and send emails on an “interesting piece” he has just read (which gets filed away unopened in my training and articles file). His argument was that management complain when we are not in and they do not get any visibility on the stocks situation. When people go on leave in the other departments anything pending waits for them to return but it is only our department that runs round like blue arse flies to make sure that everything is done by fair or foul means. We agreed on the process, what would be in the report and that the report would be sent the day after our own. Whether the people end up breaking down from fatigue due to doing the job of two people, well that’s neither here nor there.
Now there was no talk of the two people who were here on secondment for 18 months whose mission was to come to an end in the next few weeks. There was no talk of a replacement. The head of the region had agreed in theory to lift the ban on recruitment to one of them being replaced but it looks like when he rechecked the figures, changed his mind. They could have been replaced by another two people from the country offices, but the Supply Chain managers have said that also is too costly. So the bottom line is that we will be doubling up on jobs for a while, at zero cost to our own pockets.
You wouldn’t believe this is a world known well respected company and our department is supposed to be the central part of the process. As a colleague said, we are here today because we don’t have an alternative option, but if one becomes available, we may take the other option.
Well just drinking a lucozade at my spot and then off to spend an hour with the family before retiring to bed. Tomorrow is another day afterall.