I have really become frustrated lately at work. To begin with a bit of background, there was some restructuring where our hospital became part of a larger corporation. I work in the business office side, and there had been questions about business office jobs (like whether they would all move to corporate HQ and anyone not willing or able to move would be out of work or if jobs would stay here). Well, jobs stayed here, but they are changed. So everyone who had a job stil has a job, it just is not the same job as before.
The job is, to be honest, not something that thrills me, but I am pretty good at it. I have also gotten pretty good at just coming into work, going into "work mode" and getting the job done regardless of personal issues. (Being stalked when I was not at work back when I lived in NYS, for example.). And as one of my more cheerful co-workers points out, "hey,every two weeks, they give me money!"
So, there are work queues we are assigned, and the work is very quantifiable. Initially, it was more like learning on the job and they didn't stress about quantity finished. Why would anyone expect It to stay that way? So about three months ago, they told us we had a quota to meet. At the time, the quota number was what I was getting done (they had asked us to track our work for a week and a half before we got the quota--again, who doesn't see the quota coming?). I now generally run about 20 to 50% above quota (sometimes I run into a bunch that are the same issue and quick to fix). To hear some of my co-workers talking, it is just shocking that they are telling us how much work we should do and if everyone would just slow down they would "have" to lower the quota. I totally keep my mouth shut about how much work I get done, but let's say quota is 6o units a day, my most recent number was above ninety. I also had zero experience with most of the knowledge content of the job but I have been learning and getting it done. As I told my supervisor in the first review after the quota was given to us (these reviews were in her office individually), I have a goal. That goal is to make exceeds expectations marks on all my job review categories when that happens in December. This is not a zero sum game where only one person can win.
They also said that they were going to crack down on excessive breaks. We have two 10 minute breaks and a half hour lunch. I know some people were clocking in, going down to the coffee shop to get something and then taking a twenty minute break later in the morning, a forty-five minute lunch, and another twenty minutes in the afternoon. Like no wonder you're struggling to meet expectations, KWIM?
Then there's the new thing with mandatory overtime of five hours a week. They let us do it however we want, so I do two long days and three regular days and it comes out right. You can also PTO on "core hours" but you don't get paid the OT rate unless you have worked the full 40. So say you used PTO to leave two hours early, you would get paid 40 hours straight time, 2 hours PTO at regular rate, and 3 hours OT. Initially, I was having to take PTO regularly due to physical therapy (the physical therapy office almost exactly overlapped my regular hours, but by getting first appointments of the day, half an hour of my hour was before my scheduled start time)--so I asked because I still wasn't done with therapy. I am now to the point of only doing my home exercises, but it's been three weeks between the start of mandatory overtime and my graduation to home exercises only. The lady near my desk did the same thing, but didn't ask and when she took a day off, she didn't make the hour of OT up (you have to finish at 45 hours for the week and PTO only can be for your regular hours). So she got written up, which I only know about because she has been loudly complaining to everyone about how the policy was unclear. so we had another meeting where this was spelled out again. Maybe I expect too much, but I think a adult should be able to ask questions of a supervisor and not expect the supervisor to say "Now, NegativeNelly, there's no problem with you taking Wednesday off, but you still need to have your five hours of overtime. It is not one hour per day but five per week."
So the question is, what can you do when you're surrounded by negativity. I have had people say things like how they're struggling, and I will suggest some of the tricks I use to organize my work and say something like, "I find I get more done when I (insert specific technique)." The reply is always "oh that wouldn't work for me (resume complaining)." Being non committal doesn't work, offering suggestions doesn't work. Saying flat out that I am tired of hearing the complaints seems rude. So how can I keep decent work relations with coworkers (obviously why I don't let anyone know how we'll I am doing) and solve the issue of being surrounded by negativity before they infect me with the grumpies?