Author Topic: No, I can't be in two places at once... Waterlight's Spine Story #1  (Read 4756 times)

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Waterlight

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<BG>Though I work in HR, I'm sometimes called upon to do translation/interpretation where I work, since I speak fluent Lavenderese.  In this particular situation, I had permission from my then-supervisor to spend a couple of hours interpreting for an event at another work site--as long as I got back to the office in time for an interview with a candidate who was flying in from out-of-state, since Boss would be out of the office all day and couldn't be there herself.</BG>

12:05 pm:  The event is over.  Coworker #1 has offered me a ride back to my office, since I don't drive and I took the bus directly to the other worksite in the morning.  He asks me to wait 5 minutes before he drives me back and I agree.

Sometime between 12:05 and 12:10:  Coworker #2 greets me and asks what I'm doing at her worksite.  I tell her I was interpreting Lavenderese for Worksite Event.  CW#2 says, "Oh, really?  I need a Lavenderese interpreter for a meeting with a parent at 12:30."  The interview with the out-of-state candidate, which I've been specifically asked by my supervisor to sit in on, is also at 12:30.  I reply:

"Sorry, T., I can't.  I have an interview back at MyOffice at 12:30."

"But YourBoss can do the interview!"

Normally, all it would've taken for me to be able to do the Lavenderese interpretation for T.'s parent conference would have been a call to MyBoss to let her know where I was going to be and how long I'd be gone.  But in this instance, I'm afraid it really wouldn't have been possible.  I would have been disobeying a specific instruction from MyBoss to be back at MyOffice for the interview--and I would have inconvenienced not only a candidate flying in from out of state, but also three or four other interview panelists who were coming in to MyOffice for the interview at 12:30 and expected me to be there.

"Sorry, no.  MyBoss is out of the office today so I'm the only person in HR, and I have to be back at MyOffice by 12:30 for this interview.  I can't be in two places at once."

CW#2 was not taking no for an answer well.  She made some snide remarks about me "not wanting to work with the families"--which was "an interesting assumption," now that I think about it--before CW#1 let me know he was ready to go.

I found out later, from someone who'd worked closely with CW#2, that she had been a bit of an SS to work with under the best of circumstances.  Somehow I was not surprised.   ::) 
“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson

jayhawk

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Re: No, I can't be in two places at once... Waterlight's Spine Story #1
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 02:05:48 PM »
Wow!  You're batting them out of the park! 

Waterlight

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Re: No, I can't be in two places at once... Waterlight's Spine Story #1
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 07:55:14 PM »
This request was MUCH easier to say no to than the request in Spine Story #2.  In this one, I really was unable to accommodate T.'s request because of a previous commitment at the same time.  In Spine Story #2, I was able, but unwilling, to do it.  Situations where I can accommodate a request, but for whatever reason just don't want to, are still hard for me.  Situations with Special Snowflakes--especially screaming Special Snowflakes--are just hard for me to deal with, period, whether I'm able to do what the SS wants or not.

So I might've batted this one out of the park, but I still strike out often enough to need wise advice from e-Hellions  ;)
“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Minmom3

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Re: No, I can't be in two places at once... Waterlight's Spine Story #1
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2013, 01:37:47 PM »
Maybe reading enough stories where somebody feels MUCH HAPPIER after spine polishing and telling somebody wanting something from them that "No, that won't be happening" will help us ALL stand up for ourselves when we need to.  Hearing how there is disapproval and fallout, BUT the world does not end is always good!
Mother to children and fuzz butts....

BeagleMommy

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Re: No, I can't be in two places at once... Waterlight's Spine Story #1
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 03:49:33 PM »
Yay, Waterlight!

I have to wonder though, didn't Coworker 2 know that the parents attending the meeting spoke Lavenderese?  You would think she would have made arrangements.  After all, she did not know you were attending the event where she met you.

Waterlight

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Re: No, I can't be in two places at once... Waterlight's Spine Story #1
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 04:33:20 PM »
Yay, Waterlight!

I have to wonder though, didn't Coworker 2 know that the parents attending the meeting spoke Lavenderese?  You would think she would have made arrangements.  After all, she did not know you were attending the event where she met you.

Yes, she did.  Usually her co-teacher (who spoke Lavenderese) would sit in on a meeting with a Lavenderese-speaking family--but apparently she was out sick that day. 

CW#2 was NOT without other resources, despite her protests to the contrary. 

1.  Our policy states that anyone calling in sick needs to call in at least 60 minutes ahead of the start of their shift unless it's an emergency.  This is so we can arrange for a substitute to cover that classroom for that shift. 

2.  CW#2 would have discovered her co-teacher was out sick upon her arrival at work that morning.  Given the typical work schedule for the teachers at this site, and the start time of the scheduled meeting, CW#2 would have had four or five hours to make arrangements for a backup interpreter or to reschedule the meeting. 

3.  All site managers have access to a list of active interpreters we can use for meetings with non-English-speaking families, including several Lavenderese speakers.  I can't speak offhand to the availability of specific Lavenderese interpreters, but I do know at least a few of the interpreters on our active list are available on short notice for situations like these. 

4.  If worst came to worst and no one from the interpreter list was available, at least one other employee at that site spoke Lavenderese and could have sat in on that meeting.
“The best lightning rod for your protection is your own spine.”--Ralph Waldo Emerson