I’m an Incompetent Sloth

I’m at the office right now, and I kind of want to go to the girls’ bathroom and cry in one of the stalls. I’ve done it plenty of times before. But I’m going to write instead. Because both crying and writing are ways for me to get everything out, but the latter results in far less puffy eyes. A girl’s got to have her priorities.

I had my Mid Year Review at work this week. A few months ago, I joined a new group in the company that does Procurement for IT services. When I joined the group, I sort of knew was a computer server was. I mean, I’d seen them in spy movies and stuff. Now I’m in charge of managing a 10 year, 6 billion dollar contract for hosting and storage IT services. No big deal.

computer serversFortunately, I work for woman who is a subject matter expert, having earned her degree in IT prior to starting a career in IT Procurement where she has worked for the past twenty years. Unfortunately, this woman is strict, harsh, and encapsulates everything one would expect from someone who grew up in East Germany. Which she did.

Since she has worked in this space for so long, this East German manager typically has difficulty speaking at a basic enough level for new staff like myself to understand. I’ve felt like I’ve made huge strides toward understanding IT in the past few months, despite our communication issues (both ethnically and technologically). For example, I can now translate this sentence:

“The CCN for the DTAO NSD went to the PPC and IBB last week. For K2, we are moving toward ROMv1 prior to DG3.”

That means:

“The Contract Change Note for the Desktop Anywhere Online new service development went to the IT Business Boards last week. For K2 Blackpearl, we are moving toward Rough Order of Magnitude version 1 prior to Decision Gate 3.”

Which means:

“A contract amendment for one service line went to two different business approval boards last week. Another service line is going through a re-pricing exercise.”

Brilliant, right? Once I learned to translate the IT jargon; then I just had to get up to speed on what the heck DTAO, K2, Filemover, Control M, Sabrix, Webphere, XenApp and TAD4D actually are. One is a license reporting application; another is eHosting software; yet another is tax reporting software.

Further to understanding the various applications, I got to connect with the various Product Managers, Project Managers, Service Managers, Product Management Advisors, Category Service Managers, Business Managers and Product Architects – both internal and external – for each of the service lines. Working on a global, virtual team, it is of course no problem at all to keep straight all the people I have never met face to face: Kelvinder, Satish, Bhavesh, Sanjay, Kayoor, Christine #1, Christine #2, Paul, Alexander, Mike, Michele, Haley, Linda, Katrin, Gerdien, Igor and Shadonna.

So now, after four months “in seat”, I still don’t enjoy the work, but I am finally starting to feel like I at least have developed enough knowledge and competence to where I can start adding value. But, as I discovered this week per my Mid Year Review results, my East German manager has yet to be impressed.

In the field where she was supposed to fill out “What this individual has done well“, she wrote:

“Despite extensive onboarding, [Aurora] has made slower than expected progress.” She went on, “She has to quickly increase her knowledge base regarding IT to be successful in the future. She should… be more confident”, ask more questions and act more independently.

Okay, first of all, if that’s the “What this individual has done well” section, I don’t even want to read on to the improvement areas. Secondly, aren’t asking more questions and acting more independently mutually exclusive?

In my last role, I was called arrogant and over-confident. Now I’m being labeled insecure and lacking in confidence.

In my last role, I was told that I dug into too many of the technological details and was advised to focus just on the commercial side. Now I’m being told that I am technologically incompetent and lacking in knowledge.

At some point, some encouragement would be nice. Either at work or at home. At work, I’m an incompetent sloth. At home, I’m a duplicitous woman lacking integrity.

I’m tired of being beaten down. Hey life! Hey God!

(…is anybody listening?)

Authentically Aurora

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13 thoughts on “I’m an Incompetent Sloth

  1. Yep, I’m listening. I’m just me though. Not sure why she thought you were slow to learn when you knew all the jargon. I have no clue what any of that means and that would have taken me months to learn what IT meant. Anyways, you are multitalented. Don’t let your narrow minded work professional life/boss get you thinking you aren’t anything but amazing. She might know IT, but you know both sides of things. You know sweet and bitter, IT and engineering, writing and art, singing and decorating, fun and serious worshipness(not a word, don’t care), and you can deal with people that are super technical like the ones at work and creative non-technical people like me. In the parable of the talents, you got 10 and you are sharing those with everyone. I’m the one with one and struggle to develop it. Don’t ever forget how much talent you have and how humble you are with the gifts He’s given you and how in awe I am of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ben. You are so kind, thoughtful and encouraging. Thanks for being a faithful reader and friend. You always know just what to say to pick me up when I’m down. Don’t sell yourself short on the parable of the talents. You are my bitter buddy, my Barnabas, and my blogging blessing. I am indescribably thankful for you.

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  2. I’m listening too. It appears that your mind has picked up the fact that your supervisor is a harsh leader, favoring the stick over the carrot. It appears that your heart is not yet buying that fact. So let me say what your supervisor is unable or unwilling to say: you are doing a fine job, or you wouldn’t still have this job. There is room for improvement (isn’t there always?) and she knows that you are capable, over time, of accomplishing even more than you have accomplished to date. I can also tell that you understand the purpose of the Review better than your supervisor understands, partly because you know the American corporate process better than she does. So take a deep breath or two, allow your heart to accept what your mind already knows, and go do something fun tonight just because you deserve it. (Yes, you do.) Tomorrow is another day. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, J. I’d intended for my “Is anybody listening?” question to be rhetorical, but I have been so encouraged by the love and support coming from my fellow bloggers! Thanks for helping my head to remind my heart to consider the source of the feedback. 🙂

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  3. supervisors say a lot of mean things when they want to make you feel lucky you have the job so you don’t look for another one, and guys say a lot of mean things when they realize they’ll never be lucky enough to have you because you’re way above them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m listening too. I completely agree with everything Ben mentioned. You’re such a wonderful individual with many gifts.

    That work review is definitely disheartening, but I hope it doesn’t get you down for long. I’m amazed by how much you’ve accomplished, especially in regards to learning about IT. You accepted the challenge and educated yourself. That’s inspiring to me.

    You’re doing a fine job at work, even if your supervisor is unwilling to encourage you. But when life gets you down, I, and many others, are here to listen 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m listening! I read all three versions and I have no idea what any of those things you said mean. Your boss sounds pretty narrow minded. From what posts I have had the pleasure of reading, you strike me as an amazing, talented, funny, strong person. 🙂 She’s just being a grouch. Don’t worry about her!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sometimes managers cut down the employees they view as potential threats. And evaluations can be like a sick game of wack a mole. But on the positive side, jobs provide income so we can do other things besides work. 🙂

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