Friday, January 15, 2016

Without Letting Go There is No Show

This was overall a horrible week. What ruined this week was the automated billing process.  The process that was rushed through testing and built by people who did not understand the billing process and guidelines.  The latter half of that sentence? Super Boss and I just discovered that Tuesday. We had to read the project design document to a programmer out loud and define what we had just read.

Tuesday started with me testing some new coding and seeing absolutely nonsensical results in the system. I started feeling the building panic and frustration so of course I needed to shed a couple tears in my office to decompress. Then I asked Super Boss to go over one test case with me to make sure what I saw was wrong wrong wrong. We spent two hours realizing every case we tried was completely wrong.  I announced that I was trying not to freak out then five minutes later, I was sobbing. The looming deadlines, workload, and a programmer who had to debate every request we made.  Super Boss offered to let me go home and when I turned that down, offered to help as much as he can. He also suggested looping in Prince Analyst for work support. I kept working on billing, testing here and there as all the other work I needed to do piled up in my email inbox and queue in our system.  I was working and stewing in utter negativity and misery. I swung by Super Boss' office to give him an update I got from a voicemail.  What I told him, made no sense to him.  But I had just really quickly listened to the message in between all the billing crap. He reached for his phone saying that he needed to quickly check in a call.  I told him not to bother and he asked why. Then I said it.  I said the thing that broke everything.

"Because you have a damaged stupid analyst working for you who probably misunderstood." Super Boss hit the roof, yelled at me saying that I need to "cut the crap" and he started hitting the furniture in his office. I was scared so I got angry.  He was already angry.  We wound up yelling at each other.  He didn't yell mean things he yelled that when I say stuff like that, do I know how that makes him feel, and I need to let people help me. Then he got a second wind of frustration yelling how we have a team now that is not at all trained and kinda broken. So, me being in a completely rational state of mind picked up on that snapping, "Yeah, this team is broken." and left his office slamming the door.

I sat in my office with my door closed shaking and crying. I knew exactly why I had such a visceral reaction.  Remember how I have learned about triggering? But man... Super Boss? Someone I so completely trusted? That added an extra layer of upset.  I tried using all my tricks to calm myself down, the breathing and visualizations but it didn't help. I decided to work anyways so I called the programmer to discuss some system fixes. Crying on the phone is completely acceptable, right? Afterwards, a co-worker came into the office with a request and asked me how I was doing. Yeah, that question got an awesome response. But this co-worker just is so warm and loving, she held my hand, rubbed my back, and told me that everyone in our department has felt the same way. She let me cry, apologize for crying, and cry more.  

I calmed down and asked Prince Analyst for help on part of the billing process. I wound up crying in front of him while I showed his what to do.  The programmer came down to work with me on system fixes.  I cried in front of him too.  Our department director swung by and guess what I did?

I emailed Super Boss to stop by my office when he had time. He showed up a couple hours later.  I asked him to close the door.  I stated that I did not think his behavior earlier was professional or acceptable.  He had tears in his eyes, nodded, and apologized. I told him the message was appreciated but the method was horrible.  He asked how he should react when I say such horrible things about myself. I replied that if someone is upset and vulnerable, yelling feels like an attack. I added that he knows my history and what followed an outburst like his for me was punching and kicking.  He apologized again and pointed out that even though he isn't showing it but he is incredibly upset about how messed up billing is.  That made me feel a lot better and a little less crazy. He also stated, "You are smart." I thanked him and he said, "That isn't a compliment, it's a statement of fact."
We called in the programmer and had a big meeting of the minds where it looked like Super Boss' head was about to explode. He turned purplish red and put a shaking hand to his brow. When we realized the programmer inverted the process logic. To enroll in billing we need four weeks of no earnings, to unenroll we need a week of regular earnings. Swap that, that's what we got.  CHRIST!

Around 7:30 at night, Super Boss and I were talking in my office.  He asked me what would it take for me to believe in myself.  I said jokingly, "Well, I have this great boss who tries to build me up..." He smiled and said, "What if I'm not here?"  I picked up a picture of my mother's family and told him a story about my Grandpa. I ended begging, "Just please don't leave." He shook his head and took a shaky breath letting me know that it's getting harder and harder to find reasons to stay.  Ugh, ugh, ugh!  Of all the days to hear this... I told him that I can't imagine this job without him and he said he couldn't imagine this job without me. 

I wound up getting home at 9 and called my mom crying. This job is a great fit but on some days it feels like it's going to kill me. Last year I felt like it could be a lifer job but now I think I can barely make it until 2018. Exiting stage left possibly sooner if Super Boss leaves.

He went to an all day seminar Thursday and came back extra solicitous. I had a very trying day with more things broken in the billing system and covering the department in his absence. But it was manageable and I just was exhausted. I had to tell him at one point that it isn't his job to make sure I'm happy.  He explained that he had a good day and he knew I had a tough one so he was just trying to share the good in my direction. Super Boss also said he has been so upset this week, he almost cried on the train home. . The seminar had shown him that here is so much more he could be doing as a boss.  He was in tears when he said that. So, I told him my friends and family all think he's amazing and would love to meet him. After a long talk, his good mood came back and he got a couple really good laughs out of me.  After a big guffaw from me, he couldn't stop smiling like a fool. 

Friday was a pretty good day with just three billing issues needed to be fixed. The programmer promised us magic. Super Boss was a bad joke machine. I decided to make a list of every single billing issue I have logged. Man, looking at that made me feel so much better! Bonus, the majority have been resolved.

I started researching forms of platonic love.  Because I figured out that it isn't just me who feels like Super Boss is family, it's mutual. I'm pretty sure it's philia that is picking up storge aspects. Outside of my family, I have never seen a man cry as much as Super Boss. That isn't a judgement at all. In fact, I feel honored and touched that he has that trust and comfort with me. He is so buttoned up and shut down usually, the contrast is striking. He doesn't just care about my happiness and well-being, he really cares about my interests and opinions. I don't know if it's healthy professionally and I'm pretty sure the way we took Tuesday out on each other is because of this philia. But on the flip side, it's helps us look out for each other. His birthday is Tuesday. I have planned a surprise lunch for him. I have lied to him flawlessly about the bogus meeting on his calendar. Ha!

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