Tonight I need to do all the packing that I should have done at the weekend, or go to sleep really early and do it in the morning…both sound like perfectly viable options but I’m sort of kicking myself for letting it drag to this point.  Either way I’ll complain in depth tomorrow when I’ve actually packed and gotten ready to go.

Today, I’m going to see how much I can complain about an issue at work without actually mentioning the issue with any detail specific enough to identify what I do, who I work with or how I do it – I work with sensitive information (except when it’s not) and how much I’m actually allowed to tell people is a very complicated spaghetti chain that nobody in my office fully understands.  But my poor co-workers were forced to endure this problem most of the day, and it’s the only thing on my mind.

At its most basic definition, my job consists of giving information to certain people who have authority to see it.  Our previous procedures weren’t great, but they got the job done – however that big old evil issue known as ‘human rights’ (and trust me, there is only one phrase I hate more than that one – don’t get me wrong, I’m all for human rights, but it has been abused to the point where it has almost ceased to have meaning) and privacy came into play.  Basically, at least 2 sectors were unhappy with how information was processed and received, so last year they began changing the system and putting the new one into place.  Now I have to admit, the new system is better in a lot of ways.  It solves a lot of problems…although the sector I’m specifically talking about has gotten rid of the privacy elephant in the room…by swapping it out for an entirely different elephant in the room.  They haven’t so much gotten rid of the problem as they have renamed it, but they’re happy with it, that’s their decision.

All of this sounds good, and one might wonder what it has to do with what happened today.  But back story is required – these procedures began being put into place late last year.  We gave both sectors lists of what we needed, and what they needed to do in order for us to do our jobs.  Essentially, we had lists of people, and they needed to go through them and tell us who needed to be amended for the new procedures, because certain people had outdated information or had reasons for staying on the previous procedure for now, and other people we didn’t have information on.  They returned the lists, and we got to work fixing up the system for use.

Within a week, we had dozens of angry calls from people whose information had been amended and shouldn’t have been.  The office put an immediate halt to the project, and both sectors started yelling at us for editing the wrong people.  Then we did some searching…turns out neither of these sectors – who have no interaction with each other by the by, had actually bothered to look at the lists we gave them.  Just gave them a once over and then sent them back – which meant we’d been changing information that we shouldn’t have, and missing out people that we didn’t know about.  And both sectors tried to pin the blame on us!

Thankfully when that ridiculous issue was spotted, it got taken higher up and last I checked, is still being batted around the tennis court of higher management as to who is to blame.  The situation seems to have resolved itself, and now both new procedures are in place, though we still dread the random phone call from the one person who we amended and never realised it until now.  A few still prop up here and there.

Today just reminded us all of how – despite the information we all work with – irresponsible people can be with it, and how desperate they are not to be blamed.  What happened?  My line manager got the most passive aggressive email you’ve ever seen from someone in the first sector, about how they’d discovered we were still using the trial reference code, and that thanks to this, all of the synchronising information was wrong and we were damaging their databases.

Now my colleagues discussed this, and they honestly couldn’t remember anyone talking about trial codes, so we forwarded the emails on to a higher authority…who replied with the sequel, to the most passive aggressive email you’ve ever seen, citing (with examples no less) that there is no trial code.  The code that we (and indeed Every. Other. System.) are using is the correct code, and he has no idea where they got the other code from.  There was no reply to that email once it was sent on.

What is it about people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions?  Especially with our line of work.  We’re not dealing with lost shipments or losing decimal places – getting something wrong will affect someone, and if it’s not caught immediately has to be fixed by that person because we lack the ability – even though they’ve done nothing wrong.  Both sectors were giving clear instructions on what to do, and ignored them.  Then, when people found out they tried to pass the blame to us because we were the ones who were actually editing the data.  Now they’ve given things their own reference codes, and trying to pass them off as correct despite the fact that nobody else uses them – and indeed amending the system to use theirs would be months of effort that could be put to better use.

It’s getting to the point where certain people in the office refuse to deal with any calls pertaining to these two sectors.  Both have been given procedures that makes everyone’s lives easier, but give the sectors a lot more work than I think they thought they’d get (genuinely think that before this all started they thought we were either overpaid slackers who just pressed a couple of buttons every day, or excessive over analysts who would look over their work so they didn’t need to).  They just can’t seem to wrap their heads around the sheer amount of work this new procedure has given them.  We get it – this isn’t something you’re used to, we’re here to help.  But please actually tell us when something is going wrong or you haven’t done something so we can tell you what to do and fix it.  Don’t try to pretend whatever happened was our fault and you were just following orders – we have paper trails, and it just makes everyone’s life harder.