Work Drama – or As The Stomach Churns

In today’s episode, a member of our cast uses the phrase “hostile work environment” to describe the atmosphere created by the head of our department (DH).  This launches HR into action to investigate.

A bit of a back story: our department is relatively young – like started being built a year ago. It was built by a woman (DH) who is not a manager but believes “how hard can it be”?  She is also very event driven and emotional meaning all events create an emotional response.  Her outbursts would make a drill sergeant look calm.  As her stress levels increase, so does her lack of filter. 

Is she professional? Fuck no.
Is she the worst I’ve ever dealt with? Not by a long shot.

My direct manager (DM) who works for her is not a good manager either.  When she is stressed, she freaks out.  Instead of nose-to-the-grindstone, she flees for cigarettes and coffee.  We bail her ass out at least once a week.  She get jerked around by the DH, but doesn’t know how to filter things either. 

Last week, the DH and the DM got into a bitching war at each other in email.  Would have been fine if the department was the only members of that email list.  But no, most of the other department managers were on there too making us look unprofessional and unable to keep the fighting in our house.  Nope, mom and dad took it onto the front lawn for the neighbors to see.

Our DM was quite proud of herself for doing it.  The department was embarrassed and angry she did it.  It’s bad enough when the DH does it – now we have the DM egging her on.  So, we called a meeting with her – and confronted her on it. She looked like she was going to cry.  Oh well.  She needed to know how she was not helping.

Oh, and I should mention that the way she did it made her look insubordinate.  Perfectly documented for a quick and easy firing.  She also was made aware of that too.

As this was going on, the DH sent another email blast directed at one of my cohorts.  A cohort who got pissed and upset and left saying she may or may not come back Monday. 

And post email blast, our DH decides she is taking extra days off herself so she wouldn’t have to deal with it….

….or so we thought.

You see, we found out since then that her boss is now involved.  Guess HR’s visit about the investigation forced him to take action.

She wasn’t home because she wussed out.

She is home because she was given some “things to ponder” with “an answer expected upon her return”.

Meanwhile, most of the team is upset that she is “giving the profession of project management a bad name”.

I mean, we gotta add to the drama of the situation.  So let’s add it by mentioning it at every meeting.

On top of all of that, HR continues their investigation. I got to meet with my friendly HR person today.  We actually had a very candid discussion but mainly because I was mentioning my concerns in terms of HR, risk to the company, etc.  We had a great talk about what this organization needs in general – not just our department but in IT in general.  It was great to see she was as aligned as I am. 

So this is the drama/soap opera I have joined.

Good times.

I guess the good news is that it is never boring.

What do you think?

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