Must try harder

I don’t really talk about work much in my blog. Partly because, well, it’s work and who wants to hear about that? Sure, I enjoy it but “today I translated 3 texts” doesn’t really make good blogging material.
The other reason I don’t talk about work is because I don’t want someone from there accidently tracking down my blog. None of them are English but all of them know enough to be able to figure out who I am within milliseconds. So the less I say the better. Not that I would say anything bad, but I might accidently mention something I shouldn’t, so I choose not to say anything at all.
Today I shall be talking about work though…

There are a number of things that completely baffle me. Every day things. Things that come naturally to other people. Small talk, striking up conversations with people you’ve never met before, knowing the right thing to say in certain situations. It’s all beyond me. I’m saracastic, I don’t think before I speak, I get shy around new people, I don’t have a clue what to say half the time, even to people I know, and when I do manage to have a conversation I annoy people by constantly interrupting without even realising I’m doing it. I tend to come across as either, rude, mean or anti-social, which kind of limits my ability to make friends a bit. Look up “socially inept” in the dictionary and you’ll probably see a picture of me.

Now my crapness seems to be spilling over into my work as well. I do manage not to be sarcastic or speak out of turn while I’m there. Knowing what to say is a lot easier in a professional context. But things are not as good as they should be, and I’m sure it comes down to the same source.

Today I only had one translation to do. I was finished by about 11:30 then I had no more work, so I asked the boss for some more. So he gave me the job of printing out and folding advertising letters.
Later he came and called me into his office. I was taking too long over the letters, he said. It should have been done by now. Also I didn’t look very happy about doing it. Then he said he’s noticed that I seem to watch him when he comes into the room (which I hadn’t even noticed myself doing. *Sigh* I guess it’s the same as with the interrupting). I don’t seem to be involved enough in the work I’m doing. I don’t give the impression of being motivated or seem like I’m enjoying myself particularly. But I am motivated and I do enjoy my job. That isn’t the impression I give though, apparantly. Then he went on to say that, while it’s good that I ask for something to do when I run out of work rather than just doing nothing, it’s not good enough. I should be looking around for something to do then offering to do it rather than expecting him to tell me what to do. I believe they call it taking initiative. Yeah, well I would do that, except clearly that’s enough thing I’m missing. Because if I could see something for me to do I wouldn’t need to ask. But I do need to ask. So obviously I’m missing the “figuring out what I could do apart from my own work” gene as well.

So dear readers, if anyobody’s actually managed to make it this, far I need your help. How do I convince the boss that I am motivated and do want to do my job well? If I’m ever going to be given a proper job I need to make the best possible impression now!
On the bright side, they are pleased with my actual translations. It’s just everything else I need to work on. Sometimes I think the best thing for me would be packing boxes in a factory or something. Just someone giving me some clear instructions and me following them. I might be bored senseless but at least I wouldn’t be able to mess anything up.
(Sorry this post is so long andconfusing. It seems I’m having some trouble expressing myself at the moment)

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Must try harder

  1. I’m right there with you, girl. I completely identify with the being socially inept!

    But in terms of the work thing… are you sure you’re *really* motivated and enjoying your job? I mean, obviously you enjoy the translation part, because that’s what you want to do. But I know it’s a horrible feeling to finish what you’re doing and see nothing else to challenge you – and you don’t seem like the sort of person who’ll be particularly challenged by printing out and folding advertiing letters. I speak as someone who spent a LOT of time doing exactly the same thing over the past few years!

    Anyway, what i mean is, it’d be hard for anyone to look motivated and enthusiastic about that sort of work (and a bit unrealistic of your boss to expect it, to be honest). So *is* it where you want to stay? Is there a possibility of a change, a step up, where you’ll be kept busy with the stuff you really want to be doing? Or is it a matter of sticking it out for a while to gain appropriate experience? Just wondering…

    Sorry, freakishly long and nosey comment. I lurk here, but I do read every day so I feel like I know you! 😉

  2. Yeah, I was quite confused when he said I didn’t look very ecited as well. I didn’t say anything but I was thinking “umm, I’m folding letters. How would you like me to look??” ITo be fair, it is the first time he’s had me doing anything like that though. Usually I do get to do “my” job, but today was stupidly quiet and no work came in for me.
    At the moment I do want to stay there. And until today I thought my chanced were looking good. Still 3 months til the end of my internship though… anything could happen in that time! But as of right now I’m looking at (hopefully) staying there for a couple of years, getting lots of translation experience while I finish my Master’s and save myself a bit of money then I’ll probably see about going freelance.

  3. That makes sense. And freelance is definitely the way forward! 😉 Good luck. I say you adopt a permanent grin whilst at work, and if the job of letter-folding comes up again make a game out of it, set yourself challenges like how many you can do in five minutes, that sort of thing. That’s what I used to do!! 😀

  4. I also know what you mean with being socially inept, especially in work, I have the same traits myself.

    With regards to your boss though, I think he’s being unfair. If people come to me asking for work then it shows a willingness to work, I can’t see how he can fault it – unless it’s something you do everyday when there is clearly loads to be done – which you’ve said there isn’t. You can’t magic work for yourself if you don’t know what else needs doing. Do you have team meetings in work or anything like that, maybe offer your assistance at them when he tells people what needs doing. Or, if you know you will finish your work early, mention it early in the day ‘once i’ve finished this, i’ll help you with that’ etc.

    He might just be being a boss and keeping you on your toes. I was once marked down in my appraisal by my boss for occasionally not shaving and having a day or twos stubble (even though i don’t see customers), he had nothing else to criticise me for!

    Fire elastic bands at him next time he says something to you 😉

  5. Cynical Scribble – haha, thanks for that. The image of me flicking elastic bands at the boss amused me 😀
    I think he did mean it cos he specifically asked me to come into his office instead of just saying something to me when I first came to ask. And he did say it’s good that I’m asking him for something rather then just not doing any work, but I should be doing more than “just” asking.
    There’s only 4 of us (including the boss and his wife) so we don’t really have any team meetings, or at least we haven’t yet.

    And now I have to go to work again. I hope someone’s sent a huge document overnight that needs translating into English…

  6. Cynical Scribble – haha, thanks for that. The image of me flicking elastic bands at the boss amused me 😀
    I think he did mean it cos he specifically asked me to come into his office instead of just saying something to me when I first came to ask. And he did say it’s good that I’m asking him for something rather then just not doing any work, but I should be doing more than “just” asking.
    There’s only 4 of us (including the boss and his wife) so we don’t really have any team meetings, or at least we haven’t yet.

    And now I have to go to work again. I hope someone’s sent a huge document overnight that needs translating into English…

  7. I think you’re me, or am I you? Not sure – but the whole sarcastic / shy thing definitely rings bells with me. Next time you run out of work to do see who looks busiest in the office and ask them if they need some help (not the boss though), they’ll all love you and defend you to the hilt the next time the boss starts nit picking, plus you won’t have to stuff envelopes! Hope things get better : )

  8. Welsh Girl – Well I do ask the other two if I can help them first, then if they have nothing for me to do the bosses wife says “Go and ask my husband”. So I do. But apparantly that’s wrong. Hmm.

  9. I don’t see quite what your boss expects. You finish your job, you ask if there is anything else you could be doing, it seems perfectly sensible to me – what is he thinking that you could ‘find’ to do? Does he think you are going to print leaflets randomly, or stuff things in envelopes or start translating something that doesn’t need to be translated, just so that it looks as though you are using your inititive? Maybe rather than ‘just asking’ what you can do, you should say ‘Now that I have finished my work, shall I make coffee/do some photocopying/fold some letters’. Perhaps he wants you to suggest what else you could do rather than ask? I must say I am a bit puzzled by him.

    1. Aah, this is an ancient post! No idea why WordPress felt the need to email it to people again now! I don’t work at that place any more, and my current boss is lovely (and has no problem with any one asking for work… not that I’ve needed to recently. I have enough to do as it is!).

  10. Oh dear, sorry about that – I wish I had looked closely at the date. I have to say there were a few things about the post that puzzled me – one of them being that you were an intern! You could just delete my comment, and wordpress might consign the post to the past, where it should have stayed! 😉

Leave a comment so I know you stopped by!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s