A common problem in almost every job is the lack of feedback. Day in and day out, you come in, punch the clock, and get down to the business of doing what you do, but seldom is there anybody there to say, "Lookin' good, Charlie!" or "Gonna have to pick up the pace, Bob...". Instead, you have to wait for that magical time once every few months when someone higher up the ladder than you feels it's time for a review. Even then, you are usually only offered vague references to "increased productivity", "future potential", and "setting goals to achieve before your next review" ("I suppose I could try to be on time for work, say, 3 days out of 5..."). Wouldn't it be nice, for a change, to simply find out what they think of you?
I was sorting through the usual assortment of Jurassic-era PC's that find their way to the DID when a page came over the loudspeaker, instructing me to call The Boss. Now, I like to think of myself as something of a Go-To Guy, someone that can be called upon in tough situations to figure out the best and most efficient way to meet our objectives. So, as I strolled to the solitude of my office, I flexed my mental muscles in preparation for whatever problem The Boss might throw at me.
I dialed the extension and only waited about a half-ring before he picked up on speakerphone. This isn't unusual, since he's usually doing about 5 different things at once.
"What's up?", I asked, projecting an air of calm self-assuredness.
"Hey, Buddy..." We are all, on one level or another, The Boss's "buddy" when he's in a good mood. A good sign, in this case. "Are you very busy at the moment?"
Let me pause here to say that "busy" is a very subjective word. Considering the fact that there is always something to do in MSA One, my cohorts and I are always, technically, busy. However, I'm the type of person who likes to come across as relaxed and on top of everything... an image most people would describe as "not busy". Some have gone as far as to say "slacker", but they just don't see the work that's being done. Besides, if that description of my work ethic was actually true, I'm sure there would have been a lot more "Scenes from the Unemployment Line" posts by now! That being said, I chose my answer carefully...
"Well, I'm just doing a little Receiving..."
The moment the words left my lips, laughter from at least 4 different voices erupted over my handset.
(Warning! Warning! Ego Systems damaged! Self-Evaluation Diagnostic required! Vanity Subsystem Shutdown imminent!)
Talk about a smack-down! Ouch! He had an office full of Sales Reps and Managers who, apparently, had some reservations about the size of my workload... And to add insult to injury (or would it just be more insult to insult?), I wasn't even able to help The Boss out with the problem that prompted the call in the first place!
Perhaps working in a vacuum wasn't so bad after all, eh? Ignorance is bliss, folks...