Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prop is Me

At work last week, I got to be a prop.

We're using an Access based database to schedule our doctors. An Access based database that can't run on anything but Access 2007, requires each person to overwrite on part of it individually to update, and that doesn't communicate with the two other databases being used to schedule the same people to see the other kinds of doctors. It's not great, but having it is better than not, trust me.

Anyway, the down the road plan is to have the scheduling programs for the Medical, Dental, and Mental Health departments talk to each other so we won't accidentally schedule guys for appointments at the same time on the same day. (I always knew this problem existed, but I haven't heard too many complaints. Maybe we're just not told because it's too late by the time it happens and they know there's nothing we can do about it? That doesn't seem likely, though, because the doctors in all the departments like to complain to schedulers. Like we're the ones who make policy, rather than just follow it.) Each department, however, is making their own system on their own timeframe.

Ours is coming along, but the guys building it, and they are all guys, wanted to come and see how the current database is used and what we like and don't like about it. We were their first stop because a lady who works in our department, but not the supervisor even though she should be, pestered and pushed for the department to create the database we're currently using. So, as long as she's in our department she'll probably be on all the computer committees. We were the first stop and she elected me to show the guys how we do it.

Me. I've been with this department for about ten months. The person at my level who's closest to me has been with the department for nearly four years. I was flattered. Her choosing me showed that she had confidence in me. And that's nice because, unlike our supervisor, she smart, pays attention, thinks before she acts, and doesn't praise people lightly.

She told me that my job would be to sit there, do my work, and answer questions. Sounded okay to me. When the time came, I did the job and did the job well. I know enough about computers that the techie guys didn't feel like they had to treat me like a baby and I could suggest, in general terms, how to maybe do certain  thing in what will be a web browser based system. When people got hungry and my part was over, almost all of the guys came over to me and thanked me for what I did and told me that I did a great job.

Excellent, right? So what about the prop thing? Well, at the time of the thanks, I was very pointedly not invited. Not "pointedly" as in they were rude about it, but "pointedly" as in there was never even a thought that I was a person who might want lunch out. Therefore, prop. An inhuman object. I'm not saying that I would have gone to lunch because I probably wouldn't have and I was glad that I didn't have to do my sheepish and uncomfortable, for me, "no thanks." Still, it would have been nice to have been thought of as a human, you know?

Oh, well.

On the bright side, the next morning, on her day off, the not supervisor called me to tell me how wonderful I was. She said that she was surprised at all the work I did. She was surprised at the things I knew how to do, even though they weren't my duty. And she was surprised that I knew as much about how and why our database worked the way it works. She thanked me again and told me that all the guys kept saying how impressed they were with the job I did. (Which makes me wonder if my fat face and body makes people just assume I'm stupid somehow. Maybe I look like I have Downs Syndrome?) Of course, she's not my supervisor and she's in no position to help me professionally.

There is hope, though. A supervisory position in the personnel office has come open. She has applied for it. She deserves the position and they'd be stupid not to put her there. An analyst position or two has come open out there, too. With luck they'll hire her before interviewing for the analyst and she'll remember that I am a hard and conscientious worker.

With my luck... Let's just say that I've not gotten hired three out of three interview since last I've written about work.