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Coworkers

Thursday was the first day in a very long time I left work never wanting to return. Made me wonder if all the effort I put into my career and working relationships is really worth the end result. As what is the end result again??

So where to even begin. Remember the coworker who told me how trying to get pregnant was going to be so much fun and how he couldn’t wait to start trying and how it didn’t matter if it takes forever since it’s so fun? Yeah, let’s call him N, and he was at it again Thursday. Did I mention he asks me DAILY if I’m pregnant? Yes, daily. He obviously doesn’t understand the challenges of infertility or the haunting stress of IVF. Although really, why would you ask anyone daily if they’re pregnant? I assume he’s doing it to be funny, not purposely hurtful, but regardless, it hurts. It’s my daily reminder I’m not pregnant.

Thursday though was a different topic… accounting, and more specifically accruals. So not to turn this into an accounting course, let’s just assume you understand accounting and accruals, as they’re really not the point of the incident Thursday anyway. But you probably do need a little background on N. I’m not sure how long ago he passed the CPA exam, but he’s the only one I know who has his certificate framed at work, and points it out to coworkers on a regular basis, and refers to himself as a CPA in general conversation, often. Yeah, one of those. So Thursday he came to me and asked for a variance explanation on a specific line item, as revenue was under budget in February for the related department. Side note, I’m not sure why he reports on items for which I make entries each month, but just go with it… I answered with the truth, the accrual entry wasn’t made because the department was unresponsive. I wanted to add that I’m not about to chase after the departments to get their accruals, but I left that part out, for now, as I had contacted them. I really do hate chasing after adults in the business world to do their jobs, but that topic really deserves its own post.

There is really no way to accurately explain the fit N threw at that point. He was rude, immature, unprofessional, and so much more. Now granted, I don’t care for him to begin with, for many more reasons than I listed above, but regardless, his fit was really uncalled for. He basically went off on me for violating accounting policies of revenue and expense matching, hence the point of accrual entries. Now let me assure you, I understand accruals. I also understand materiality. This missing accrual accounted for roughly $50k of revenue, peanuts when you’re talking about a large hospital. So yes, I realize accounting policies, specifically GAAP, are in place for a reason, but to seriously throw a fit about this? We had a valid variance explanation, and last time I checked, we aren’t audited mid-year. And even if we were, we aren’t purposely scamming the system to understate revenue. And did I mention it wasn’t material and could be explained?

So I remained calm while he threw his fit. His first fit.

When my work for the day was complete on Thursday I stopped by N’s to say good-bye, my normal routine, as I say good-bye personally to several people. If you can even believe it, he threw his fit all over again. I seriously couldn’t believe it. So I asked if he just wanted to take over the responsibility for that entry each month, and of course he didn’t, so I said, “then don’t bitch about it.” That actually didn’t shut him up, he kept going on about what the auditors would say and blah blah blah. Finally I just said, “well, maybe I don’t belong working in this department then, N” and I walked out.

It actually felt quite good to tell N off. And he avoided me all day Friday, which was a welcomed change. He didn’t even come over and help himself to whatever I was enjoying, without even asking like he normally would! Yeah, who just helps themselves to other’s meals??

Big picture, this incident got me thinking… Maybe I’m not cut out to work in such a corporate, institutional, organized agency. I see myself as an extremely dedicated employee, but yet I find it very difficult to stay focused and motivated when efforts aren’t rewarded. Okay, fine, I guess you could say my efforts are rewarded, as they give me a paycheck, but what if money isn’t your motivation? Or what if a regular paycheck isn’t enough to motivate you? What makes putting up with (some) awful coworkers worthwhile?

I’d like to say my current role is fulfilling, and yes, certainly parts of it are. But I’m nearing a year in my current department, and it’s always about that time I find myself competent, efficient, and therefore rather bored at times. There are still days I use my brain, but for the most part, I’ve got a great handle on my duties. Granted, certain questions still stump me, but I actually look forward to those!

So where do I go from here? My boss is more than aware of Eric’s residency completion date. And besides, I love my boss. And I love so many in my department. Well, not N, of course, but many others. And won’t there always be some coworkers you just don’t seem to click with? Looking back, I probably should have told N off months ago, as Friday was truly blissful! I accomplished so much with no rude distractions! No one drank outta my coffee or helped themselves to tea bags either!

And so I’m left wondering if I need to pursue this coffee shop idea with more energy. I seem to thrive when I can directly connect my effort with feedback and rewards, and of all the years I’ve worked in a corporate environment, I’ve never felt as if that was the case. I don’t always feel like starting work at 7:30am, and while my current role is extremely flexible, it certainly doesn’t allow me to randomly sleep in and stay later working into the evening. Maybe someday I’ll work in such an environment…

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