Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A funny thing happened on the way to my everything....

So, my job...
Everything was great. I really like the people and I really love the work. I don't know how much I've told you about all of it; we do lead poisoning education and we're doing this asthma study right now. There are other programs too, like we do cleaning for the Housing Authority, but I've been mainly doing the lead and asthma. Great.

Well, about two months ago, I started to pick up on office politics. My coworker, "C", who is the director of the asthma study thought I had caught on fast - but gossip is my life, so I wasn't surprised by how easily I figured out who was friends with who, and the backgrounds behind all of the animosity. What I began to realize is this: My boss, "A", is completely out of her mind, hates our mutual boss "J" and wants to rule the world herself.

I'm working for AmeriCorps, but I work at a company called HHR. HHR is nonprofit and, as such, has at one time had a parent organization. This parent organization is called CCI and has offices in the same building with us. "A", my psycho boss, is really good friends with all the CCI people because before "J" started working at HHR, the CCI people were in charge of HHR too. Totally confusing? Sorry... I swear there's a point.

Here's what has happened to ruin the one ok thing left.

Everything was fine for a while, because they were going to take "A" out of the equation and make "C" the volunteers' boss. Would have been great! ... And then all of a sudden, the board of directors starts getting complaints about fighting amongst the staff members (all of this, we now realize, from "A") and about AmeriCorps being upset with the way HHR is running the program (which was, we now realize, instigated by "A"). Long story short (too late), "A" takes a leave of absense to care for a "sick friend" and manages to get herself out of the way while she convinces the board (from afar) that AmeriCorps and the volunteers need to be run by CCI, and that she's the only one who can do it. So now, I won't work with "C" and "J" at all, and I'll have to be "A"s little duckling and follow her everywhere. Furthermore, this means that AmeriCorps funding no longer goes to HHR, but will go to CCI, so HHR might have to fold. This means that "J" and "C" are both going to be completely out of jobs... She's a monster. And I thought I was never going to have to deal with her again. And now she's my boss again and I don't even have "C" and "J" to appeal to anymore. This is a nightmare.

I feel SO used. And I think I might have to leave the program out of personal respect for myself. I can't let her use us like this and get away with it. She knew her job was on the line, and she knew we weren't happy... So, what? She teaches everyone a lesson by getting people fired and forcing other people to work under her? This is real life!!!! There are SERIOUS ramifications... I'm disgusted.

Furthermore, I have no idea what I'm going to do. I want to contact the board and slap them around until they see what's going on, but I kind of know they aren't going to listen - I technically don't even work for them anymore. We were supposed to all have a personal interview with a panel from the board to discuss "A" and our problems, but now that we're CCI and not HHR, that's not going to happen, even though 90% of the HHR board is also on the board for CCI. And! I feel like somebody should tell AmeriCorps that "A" is the actual problem, because even if I leave, she's going to be allowed to fill my spot with some poor, unsuspecting, innocent youth, who might not be as quick on the uptake as I am. The other two AmeriCorps volunteers that I work with don't even seem to understand what's going on. I'm SO FRUSTRATED.



At 9:02 AM, Blogger Shinobi said...

Since you are a volunteer, and your "career" isn't at stake here. I would definetly contact the board and try to convey your sense of events. Especially if A is still not around. Whichever board is in charge of you will do. I just think you should try to provide them with some information from a less biased source. I wouldn't trash A, but try to show them how things were running effectively without her. But you have to be careful not to make it sound like you just hate her and that's why you're doing it.

You gain nothing by sucking it up, so you can at least try to make some kind of improvement.

I totally feel your pain in the nightmare job department. You can make it through and it will all get much better!

At 1:17 PM, Blogger AliceAyres said...

I agree. You seem more impartial than a person who wouldn't be going to graduate school in a few months, and you're highly articulate. It couldn't/wouldn't hurt you to make your voice heard, even if it's just a drop in the bucket. Someone might be listening. Love, A


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