By the end of this month I’d be working for two months at the bookshop on a full-time basis.
I like my job. I don’t think I could find a better job than this, at this point in life. I even told someone that while talking about this. I said that the only way I would quit this job is if I were to go back to college for a post-grad degree. Which is really just talk on my part mostly, but that’s the extent of how much I enjoy my job that I could (think of) only leave to go back to something even better.
What mars my best job thus far in my short career life is the office politics. Yes, I know I can’t escape it and this is obviously a lesson I should master. But as it stands, I am failing in this subject miserably as the situation is affecting the way I perform at work occasionally.
Previously when I was a part-timer, I don’t spend long hours with these people. Maybe that was the reason I enjoyed working with them. Now I see them almost every day. Add a couple of new colleagues and work relationships get more intricate.
One problem was a colleague who I’m supposed to work closely with. The colleague has a good disposition and seems easy to work with. When it comes to crunch time though, to cut a long story short, this colleague ends up delegating the work to me while leaving the easiest part of a task to himself. The first few times I let it slide. But I resented that.
Things escalated when he decided that he didn’t like what I did and got his own friend to help him do the task. He showed the bosses and me what his friend came up with and even specifically said I could comment on it. I gave him my two cents, which was that I didn’t think what his friend came up with was suitable for the bookshop, with valid reasons. He replied to me and said that since his friend couldn’t solve this one issue that I raised in my two cents, why don’t I solve that part myself? Except that it was really sarcastic in nature rather than challenging or matter-of-factly.
How do I know that? Because I refuse to reply to his barb and pretended like nothing was going on the next day. He, however, was evasive with me and kept interaction with me to a minimum. And it went on like that until today.
It’s difficult for me because I don’t like to feel like there are unresolved issues between me and people. I told my supervisor about these problems and was advised to have a heart-to-heart because I’m working so closely with this colleague that I should make things easier. I agreed and wanted to do it on the day before he was due to leave for a three-day break. On that day he claimed to be sick and couldn’t come for work.
But now I’m changing my mind about talking things out with him. I’m a bit tired of picking up his slack, which he makes to look as if it’s my responsibility in the first place. He goes out of the shop frequently but nobody knows why most of the time. He sometimes take two-hour lunch breaks, and refuses to do some duties on the operations side.
My bosses are aware of the situation, because they find his conduct a bit suspect. They have given him many tasks to do but he does not ever seem to complete them. He claims that it’s done but when the bosses request for an e-mail of the completed thing the e-mail never comes. And when the deadline approaches, I’m the one roped in to finish his unfinished business.
The freelance writing thing is another puzzler. The other day the publisher came to the bookshop to discuss about my two write-ups. She asked if I was interested to pursue it full time. That’s obviously out of the question. Her feedback on my writing is that the basics are there but I lack initiative. My writing was the run-of-the-mill sort, because it was merely done through armchair research without any quotes from relevant authorities on the subject matter. I thought she had a good point. She went on to ask me if I was serious in pursuing this.
In the first meeting I had with her, it was understood that the magazine would provide me with the contacts to interview for any article I’d be writing. Yet, here she was telling me that I am not proactive. So I replied that I couldn’t give the level of commitment that she’s asking of me. I thought that was the end of my very short writing career.
About a week later, her editor called me up and asked me if I could do the next write-up. (If you’re wondering, my first was about liver health, my second about eye care. She wants me to do one about constipation next. Mighty fascinating stuff.) I was surprised, since I kinda told the publisher that I won’t be doing it in not so many words… I told the editor about my meeting with the publisher and she said that why should I be expected to find contacts on my own when they clearly said they would be providing it for me during the first meeting? She said she was pretty happy with what I produced considering I’m a newbie.
So all that cleared up, looks like I’m going to continue writing for this magazine but they’ll be arranging me to attend interviews. I have yet to receive payment for my first two articles, hopefully by the end of this month.
Working life is complicated!