Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

Photo by PoPville flickr user Rukasu1

You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks. I’ll open this thread every morning at 10am.

107 Comment

  • Our bikes were stolen in Shaw on Friday night. I know the chances are slim but if you spot our rides please let us know. Bike thieves suck. http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/doc/bik/2651142857.html

  • me

    I have a rant where I need PoPville’s advice. I don’t know what to do! I was just hired on with a new firm a couple of months ago. My only coworker on the project is the same level as me (same title, just below Manager) yet she has been there for 8 years and hasn’t been promoted once. She obviously has issues with me coming in, being a good bit younger than her, and being her coworker. She treats me as an assistant, isn’t nice to me at all, and micromanages my schedule. When other Managers ask me to do something for them that would take 20 minutes, she will berate me for not running it by her first. Management doesn’t seem to care, as it’s a big company. How can I get across that I am her coworker, not her assistant, and I feel disrespected? She is incapable of having a discussion- she will start to act as if she is my manager and essentially talk over me until I just shut up, because I’m really nonconfrontational and hate these kinds of talks. Yet, I am so new, I don’t want to make waves by telling her she’s out of line. But it’s already getting intolerable. Any help out there?? Please?

    • I would tell her that I was too busy doing my own work that I’m unable to help her. If she takes issue with that, she can take it up with management.

      • me

        Thanks for your help. I’ll clarify and say that I was brought on to a) take some of her work away from her, since she has gotten quite overloaded, and b) do some other duties in another arena. She keeps telling me that I need to ignore that other arena, as (for instance) when a manager asked me to do something there, she flipped and said he shouldn’t be asking me to do that, it’s not under his section, and she will tell him to leave me alone. I was flabbergasted- I mean, of course I will say yes to a manager, as it’s a MANAGER. But she made a stink and berated me Friday afternoon, badly enough to ruin my weekend. And the manager apparently doesn’t care, he said fine, I’ll ask someone else to do it. It’s like no one cares around here. I already have a handle on the work- there is no reason why she needs to call me on her day off, yell because I didn’t give her an immediate update from a meeting (that again happened on her day off) and demand that I tell her what I’m doing every single minute of my day. I’m her coworker, not her assistant.

        • oh yeah, I haven’t been in this situation exactly, but you should nip it in the bud. you have nothing to lose. find a way to speak to her when she comes at you with her ridiculousness and if that doesn’t work then go directly to your manager and if that doesn’t work then go directly to her manager and if they won’t listen go above them. there is no reason that you should have to tolerate her attitude. and if you’re a woman (this is me projecting because I’m a woman), I suspect you are being too nice and/or apologetic. be assertive and unemotional.

        • Line up another job and leave, its the only way to get out of a bad job in a bad company. Everyone ends up being someone’s assistant anywhere you work. I was hired as a team lead but senior employees micro manage me every day. Now that I’m a year and a half in, I’m a little more vested and higher ups know that I’m worth money, i can push back a little, but older employees always assert territory. the only way to disarm them is to make the success and failure of projects you help them on reflect back onto them alone (because they directed it)if the projects fail. Tough life, but when the paycheck comes it makes me feel better. All the best.

    • If having an honest conversation with her does not work (maybe explain your next solution is to go to a manager?) here is what I would do:

      I would start documenting each incident with date and the specific interaction. Only facts, no opinions. Then take your complaint to a supervisor or higher up or HR. Take your documentation so if asked you can recall specific instances as examples. If you take it to a supervisor come with suggestions for how you two can better work together and/or suggestion to transfer you to another project.

      Another possibility: email her with specific requests when she takes advantage of you. This gets the interaction in writing which is better for complaint purposes. This is also really passive aggressive.

      Unfortunately, this is an inherently confrontational situation. You can be confrontational and still professional-but your contentment with work is important. I have been in this situation and totally emphathize, no fun.

      • me

        YES. I am making a list right now. Thank you! I figure that I will have to ask for a mediator of some sort. Because every time I’ve said something to the effect of “Listen, I think we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot, can we have a discussion about expectations and-” and I get cut off and basically told to shut my piehole. Thanks!!

        • I would continue documenting, but if you are currently in a new-hire probabionary period I would also keep it all under wraps until you have passed.

      • andy

        You might consider doing what your managers ask and telling her that you’re doing that when she asks you to do something else instead. If you have an email system, you may want to send messages to both the requesting manager and your coworker when you get assignments from your real bosses that conflict with your would-be boss.

        I don’t envy you at all. Good luck, and take heart!

    • Can you talk to your own manager about this — mentioning that your coworker seems to think that she’s your manager in all but name, and that someone needs to clarify to her what the chain of command is?

    • Since you’re still new, tread very carefully. You are correct in not wanting to “make waves.” She may be a non-player in this organization, and you will probably figure that out soon enough. However, it pays to be respectful and polite to everyone. If you can determine that she has no power over your job and cannot sabotage you with management, you may be able to eventually (and politely) ignore her micromanaging. Sounds like she is feeling threatened by your presence, especially given her position. Remain cheerful, do a good job, and keep focused.

    • Only you can help yourself here, and it’s by doing something you dislike – confronting her. Make waves smartly. Openly tell her that you won’t be treated this way, and stand by it. Apprise your manager that you’re having this issue, but let him/her know that you’re attempting to solve it on your own.

      This woman is treating you the way you’re allowing her to. She’ll continue to do so until you make her stop. Be strong. Good luck!

      • me

        Thanks, all. I think I just needed a bit of a pep talk. I have to tell myself that she doesn’t determine what my career will be- only myself and my manager(s) will do that. Thanks again, everyone. 🙂

        • My guess is that everyone else thinks she’s a pain in the butt too, and that is why the other managers back down and say they’ll find someone else to do the work. Perhaps she was so annoying to everyone that they hired her an assistant (lucky you!) but didn’t want to promote her to manager so didn’t officially have her as your boss.

          • She’s pretty abusive. Escalating to verbal abuse–yelling, berating, etc.—is a pretty effective way to manipulate and control. I know because I was in a relationship like that and basically conceded a lot of things because I did not want the verbal abuse. So it’s very important to document what basically comes down to this woman’s harassment. I dare say she’s got some emotional issues that she is not addressing.

    • Consider her side – she’s been on the project by herself, got overloaded, and someone else, much younger, with presumably less experience, was brought in and she was probably told it was to “help” her. Of COURSE she is treating you as a subordinate. Start out by lulling her into a sense of security by actually behing helpful to her, on your project. She may know more about your office’s specific politics and know that if she lets other managers encroach on your time, she will lose you and not have any help. Once you have her calmed down, see if you can get a sit down with your coworker and whoever hired you (is that person your manager?) to better define who is responsible for what and how the project work will be divided. These two steps should solve the problem in a couple of months, and without having to “confront” her, which you say you are loath to do.

      • me

        Yeah… I know that’s probably what a lot of it is. I have a bunch of managers, none of who hired me, but I am sitting down with my main one to ask him to clearly define my role here. I’ll ask him who I report to and hopefully I will hear directly from him that it is okay for me to work for other people who are higher up than myself when they ask for my help. That will help me be able to tell my coworker “I’m sorry, but I will be working with so-and-so for a few hours next week, so you can know for planning purposes.” And hopefully I’d be able to get a bit of backup if I ever get any contradicting statements from her. Frankly, I’d tend to listen to a manager rather than her, but I also don’t want our working relationship to be even worse. Thanks.

        • anon. gardener

          Another suggestion: in any discussion with co-worker or management, make it all about the work. Don’t digress into feelings. Keep the focus on how her behavior is impeding your ability to do your job, ways to improve job performance – these are concrete, measurable things. If you start to get into emotions, things can quickly get out of control and off track. Afterwards you can call a friend and say all the things you really wanted to say. 🙂

  • Rant: The stupid parking zoning around Tubman Elementary school. It’s Zone 1 only on Irving and the street one north of that, except for Sundays. It can’t be just for residents, since it’s not a sub-zone (1d, or whatever).

  • Rant: Woke up to the sound of an angry violent-sounding man yelling at the top of his lungs. “I guess this sort of thing is to be expected in the middle of the night,” I thought, before realizing it was 20 minutes before I normally wake up. Between that, the shorter days with darker mornings, and the woman who was sexually assualted near Union Station at 6:25 in the morning, I was a little unnerved and wary about stepping out of the house this morning.

    • welcome to city life. yeah, it sucks but the only real alternative is moving back to wherever it is you came from.

      • Or moving into a basement apartment! I don’t hear a thing unless its extremely loud, and its cooler in the summer than upstairs.

  • Yikes, nothing but rants this morning! Can I rave and say the weather was awesome over the weekend?

  • Rant: Dear Groupon, What the heck is a Chemical Peel, and why would someone want such a service even at 68% off?

  • Rave: Went down to Capitol Hill / Eastern Market on Saturday afternoon and loved it. Wish I could afford to live there (the way I would’ve wanted to – not a basement, group house, studio, efficiency and including parking), because it would’ve given me a better perspective of the city. Oh well!

    Rave: We were approved to lease the house we wanted in Columbia! Now to pack and move in three weeks.

    Rave: The weather over the weekend. The weather towards the end of the week. Fall is finally here. What’s the closest apple orchard to DC? I’m dying for some non-waxy apples.

    • SouthwestDC

      Congratulations! I feel so fortunate that my partner and I were able to buy a block from Eastern Market. It took a lot of sacrifices, but I absolutely love our neighborhood and our house, and still can’t believe we live there. It’s perfect.

      By the way, you could have picked up some non-waxy apples while you were there!

      • I know, I saw the apples there. But it was towards the end of the day, and the apples looked pretty picked over. Next time!

    • I know how you feel on the first rave. I went there with my boyfriend on Sunday and it was so perfect out! We had to park about 4 blocks away and the streets were clean, the yard were nice, and there were no disgusting smelling run over rat anywhere. Wish I had the budget…

    • yes, Cap Hill is a gem. I’ve lived here for 20 years. It wasn’t always dogs and baby strollers tho, it used to be quite dangerous and sketchy. If you were smart you would have moved here then.

  • Rave: I made green tomato pie! It was awesome! I didn’t have to throw away my green tomatos!

    Rave: exclamation points.

  • Rave: Awesome anniversary weekend with perfect weather.

    Rant: My skin this time of year. It is a constant battle to keep it hydrated.

    • SouthwestDC

      Ugh, tell me aobut it. My scalp’s been flaking like crazy as well. I wish there were a solution to the dryness problem, but I haven’t found it yet.

      • Invest in a humidifier for your bedroom. Run it all night long. My skin dries out the very second the heat comes on and they only thing that saves me is my humidifier.

      • anon. gardener

        look into DHC products. dhccare dot com. the virgin olive oil and extra nighttime moisture are amazing products – my skin was a mess in the winter before i found them.

  • Question: I live in North Dupont in an English Basement and I’m so excited to have trick-or-treaters come to my own front door for the first time! But seeing as it’s a basement, I’m worried kids won’t think to come. How do I let families know that we’re open for business with candy without coming off as creepy??

  • claire

    Rant: Barely got a chance to catch my breath this weekend, let alone recover from last week.
    Rant: Boyfriend out of town until Thursday evening.
    Rant: Going to be another stressful week at work.
    Rant: Darker mornings and evenings – soon I’ll barely be able to see any sun!

    Rave: My life is still pretty good overall, and I’m getting better at keeping things in perspective.

  • Rave: my new kitchen is 3/4 finished! Well, 3/4 of the cabinets are up, at least, and the remaining ones should go up fast. Picking/ordering countertops and back splash this week.

    Rave: my father-in-law. We’d never have been able to do the sink-side base cabinetry without him.

    Rant: neighbors blasting horrible music last night, two of them laughing at my pleading request to turn it down. But a rave for the guy who actually lives there who finally gave into my begging.

    Rant: asshole driving a silver Jag with MD plates this morning who practically ran me off Rock Creek Parkway. I hope you crash that car.

    • You last rant made me laugh out loud. I thought I was the only one who had those type of thoughts about asshole drivers. lol

  • Bear

    Rave: Back home again. I love that I’m getting to travel for work, finally, but I missed the bf.

    Rave: Fun “welcome home” date last night 🙂

  • Rant: Amtrak not having evening trains down to NC this Friday.

    Rave: Figuring out how to make this trip work anyway. TAKE THAT PUBLIC TRANSIT!

  • i love my job and i have tons of fun work to do but
    i’m just feeling lazy today.

  • RANT: Taylor St block party was like a Chuck Brown concert only without Chuck Brown and the worst drunken dirtbags pissing all over the place. I hope they all had debilitating hangovers yesterday – actually, I hope worse but I’ll keep that to myself.

    • andy

      drove past the block with the gogo blasting that night – was the music fun at least? like, would it have been enjoyable if you were up in your own house listening?

      • i was up in my own house listening…that’s part of the problem…but to your point, there was one good song otherwise it was pretty bad

        the killer is that it was supposed to be a block party, not a party for every thug in nearby vicinity…bunch of rude pieces of trash took this party from family friendly to downright scary

        • I laugh at all of you young Caucasian newbies that decided to buy or rent a house or apartment in certain neighborhoods without first considering what happens when the sun goes down. Welcome to city life

          • Harold, you’re as stupid as your name. I’ve lived on this block for nearly 10 years. That means I’ve experienced 10 block parties. This is the FIRST time it turned from fun family event to thug party.

            I can only assume that you were one of the ignorant, mouth-breathing troglodytes pissing on my neighbor’s house.

            This has NOTHING to do with the amorphous “city life” theory that’s thrown around so often.

          • to harold: all your comments suck, i’ve noticed

  • Rant: WAMU’s fundraising drive makes it so hard to get out of bed because I just keep hitting snooze.

    Rave: Job interview tomorrow!

  • Rant: Now I’m craving mushroom pizza, meatballs subs, and donuts!

  • Not a rant or a rave. Can anyone give me some ideas on how to make a human centipede costume? And, more importantly, can anyone refer me to two people (preferably female) who want to be a human centipede for Halloween?

  • Rave: I’ve got a great boyfriend and I can’t help but smile when I think about him.

    Rant: Mondays!

    • Additional rant: Quitting smoking!!!! It’s terrible.

      • how are you doing it, cold turkey? i need to badly.

        • I’m using Chantix, crazy dreams, definitely not for the faint of heart or those with anxiety or depression. The side effects can be nasty. But on the upside, it really really helps.

          • anon. gardener

            Chantix is a bad drug – rushed to market without thorough testing. No one should use it. Anyone who has any hint of heart/high blood pressure problems, or a family history of heart problems, should stay far away from Chantix. Go to pubmed and look at the research.

      • When I quit, I never told myself I was quitting. I just said that I wasn’t going to have a cigarette until TOMORROW. And just kept telling myself that until I didn’t really want to go through the effort.

        PS: The craving never really goes away, but if you keep telling yourself “not now, maybe later” it helps.

        • I’ve kinda got that mentality, but that’s what caused my last lapse into the smoking world. So this time I said my goodbyes, hopefully forever.

          And it kills me that cravings never go away. I can’t even look forward to relief in the far future.

          • Emmaleigh504

            I read an article that said 1 good way to quit is set a date that you will stop. Like say, I won’t smoke another cigarette after Halloween. Sorry, I read the article in high school, so I don’t remember a citation.

            My Dad used to smoke in high school and college, he told me that after about 20 years cigarettes stopped smelling good to him, so there’s hope you won’t crave them any more.

            Good luck!

          • Oh, I don’t know about that. I didn’t have many cravings after about a year. And fewer and fewer as time went on. Good luck.

          • Of course, I am replying to the thought that “craving never really goes away.”

          • I should have been more clear. YES cravings diminish, but every so often, even years later, you’ll find yourself suddenly thinking “OMG I NEED A CIGARETTE,” but it’s easy to subdue, and doesn’t happen often.

          • I quit in 1993 but started up again two years ago. I only smoke two or three a day right before bed, but I sure do have to have them. I find that when I go out of town, I have no desire to smoke. So maybe getting away for a few days would help you. Of course, I haven’t done that this time around. : I

  • Rave: Halloween season – I got a pumpkin and made pumpkin pie. I just need to do the decorating, carving, and candy-buying.

    Rant: My cold is still lingering around, but I hope to have it beat in the next day or two.

  • Rave: I begin my trip westward tomorrow!

    Rant: I’m pretty sure my suitcase is going to be close to or over weight. I tried rearranging this morning but I really have a bare bones list as it is. Its hard to pack for 6 weeks and 5 different states/climates in 1 suitcase. too bad vacuum bags don’t actually save weight just space!

  • Rant: Monday blues.

    Rave: had a great time socializing with friends over the weekend. Trying to be less of a recluse these days.

    Rant: too dark in the mornings.

    Rant: night sweats.

    Rave: autumn and feelings of inspiration.

  • Rave: Getting very close to putting in an offer on what would be the first place I own.
    Rant: The idea of parting with the money I’ve been saving for a down payment is terrifying, even though I’ve been saving it for exactly that purpose.

    • houseintherear

      yay good for you! Don’t be nervous. You’ll be so happy to see your money earn money as the years go by. 🙂

      • Thanks for the encouragement. We’re not looking for an investment, we just want some place to live that we really like, can call our own, and not to lose money on in the long run. I used to think that was pretty much a given in real estate, but the last few years have proven otherwise.

  • Rave: Won our soccer game yesterday, despite sarting the game 7 on 11 and playing 9 on 11 the entire rest of the game.

    Rave: Weather yesterday was absolutely beautiful!

    Rave: Went to Arboretum with wife and little man, and boy were the coyfish jumping!

    Rant: Only one is that it is Monday and beautiful out and I am stuck inside in cubicle land.

  • houseintherear

    Ranty Rave: I’m nervous about my house appraisal not coming back high enough for my refi. I hope the guy knows what he’s doing.

    Rant: My dog is pretty much in a permanent time out after pushing me out of the way and running out the front door twice yesterday. SON OF A BITCH. (literally)

    • Re houseintherear ranty rave:
      We are in the same boat regarding appraisal. I was wondering if it is totally inappropriate to email local list serv to ask what comps have been used in other appraisals in my area.

    • I think the success of your refi will depend more on heightened lending requirements than the skill level of your appraiser. I got a “drive by” appraisal for my refi two years ago – a few pictures of the outside with a discussion of comps taken from recent sales. This year’s refi required a home visit where the appraiser walked around the house, took measurements and asked questions. I don’t think this guy was more skilled than the last appraiser, he was just following stricter requirements.

      • A friend of mine got turned down because of a low appraisal and is getting another one done. He’s also showing his tax assessment, which apparently is higher than the appraisal. I hope that is helpful. Good luck!

  • saf

    Rant: laid off.

    Anyone need a project director?

  • Rant: DC’s extreme tolerance of punks shooting guns with real bullets.

    Rave: Finally got my passport renewal back in the mail, hope China lets me in. I hear the cops over there don’t even carry guns with ammo.

  • Rant: some massive asshole stole my mother’s debit card info and racked up $1200 in charges at Bed Bath & Beyond this weekend. My dad found out about it last night when he got home from visiting me this weekend. What makes it extra delightful is that my mother passed away in July. Thanks for crapping all over my mother’s memory, douchnozzle! I hope you burn in hell.

    • That is reaaallly awful. My condolences.

    • that happened to me. when my dad died his secretary racked up manicures and lunches at teaism on HIS company card… way to respect someone who used to not take home a paycheck during the hard times so that SHE could get paid. She’s a total b*tch.

  • Rave: Replaced sash cords in my dining room windows yesterday! Feeling handy!

    Rant: I picked the Redskins in the office pool even though I knew Philly would beat them. Now I’m not tied for first place. : (

  • Quasi-rant: I could’ve sworn I read something on PoP recently about stray/feral cats sleeping in storm drains… but now I can’t seem to find it.

    Usually my Google-fu is strong, but right now it seems to be failing me.

    Anyone remember this cats/drains mention, and if so, can you help me locate the thread?

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