Monday, July 7, 2014

Workin’ Man Blues

I may be disabled and an at-home author these days, but don’t think I can’t relate with you working stiffs.  Armed with my Bachelor’s degree in computer programming, I got a job as a rebel programmer/analyst at Hercules Aerospace Company many years ago.

I say rebel because I was not employed by the computer programming division of the company and, was instead, employed by the planners and schedulers who decided they were tired of going through the red tape of the computer division.  Of course, I didn’t understand all of that when I hired on.  I soon learned that I, along with seven other rebels, was hated immensely and had to fight to get services from the computer department.

But that’s not exactly the story I meant to tell you.  After several years of working there, I did develop a certain rapport with individual programmers and managers.  One day, one of the bigwigs came to me and asked for my help.  My help!  He wanted to get a programming software in-house called Oracle but he needed someone outside of the programming division to request it.  I had heard of Oracle and knew what a fantastic addition it would be to the company, so I quickly wrote letters stating the benefits of getting it.

It wasn’t long until the software was approved.  We were all very excited about it and I felt proud to have been involved in its purchase.  Oracle offered training for Hercules in Boston, Massachusetts, which just happened to be where one of my rebel buddies, Maccabee, originated from.  I never gave it much thought and waited for the details of training.  One day I noticed that Maccabee hadn’t been around for a while and started asking where he was.  No one wanted to tell me.  I finally went to my boss and asked.  Sheepishly, he told me that Maccabee had been selected to go to the Oracle training in Boston.

I’m pretty sure whiffs of steam came out of my nose as I tried desperately to hang on to my temper.  Heat flushed through my body, my fingers dug into the padded armrests of the chair, and my lips were clenched as tightly as my teeth to the point of aching.  My boss embarrassingly blathered on as to the reasons why he was selected, but I knew it was so Maccabee could take an all-expense-paid trip home.  Stiff and to the boiling point, I marched out of the office and slammed the door.  Childish, I know, but my mind was thinking of a whole lot worse things.

So my so-called friends and colleagues all new the score and they all knew Maccabee going was wrong, therefore they didn’t want to tell me.  Thanks guys.  Hardest of all was hearing Maccabee when he got back, telling about his drunken adventures with his old buddies in Boston and how he didn’t attend any of the classes on Oracle.

So what do you think happened next?

Well, Maccabee was assigned a project he needed to develop in Oracle.  He was way over his head.  I had been learning it on my own and had already designed a program.  When Maccabee failed to meet his deadline, my boss came to me to take it over and finish it.

My answer, “No.”

I then got a lecture about being a team player and how this would be a feather in my cap for the department.

My answer, “No.  If you had wanted me to do it, you would have sent me to the training.”

I’d been betrayed.  Not just by Maccabee, but by my whole team.  I knew that even if I took over the project, I wouldn’t get the credit…not as long as Maccabee and my boss were buddies.

As it turned out, Maccabee ended up bailing on the company and my boss ended up struggling to finish the project.

So as you can see, I really can relate to what you go through out there.  And even though I work from home now, I have similar stories to tell from a writer’s aspect in working with writing chapters and critique groups.  See.  We’re all in this together. 

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at:

Copyright: damedeeso / 123RF Stock Photo

1 comment:

  1. What a story. That wasn't the first time that happened, nor the last. And, it's always the dedicated workers that get screwed. Thanks for sharing.


I love hearing from you! Thanks for commenting.