Just learn to get along!

18 Oct

There are some departments at the office I regularly get into arguments with. Most of the time it is because they are trying to add to our work load to get an annoying client off their back. And as we have been working with 75 % of the personnel we had this time last year, we are quite vocal about not taking on any unnecessary work for other departments.

In the beginning, I took the unnecessary requests back to the colleague in question to explain to them why we would not be doing this at the moment, and to recommend alternative strategies.

Of course the colleagues were annoyed. In most cases they had already promised the client they would get the task done. And let me assure you, I am NEVER happy when someone else goes around making promises about the work I have to deliver.

At some point I caught several colleagues … uhm, MAKING CLAIMS about orders from the top floor in order to make me take them. And most times when I went upstairs to ask about the project at hand, I would learn that the claims had been … exaggerated. Okay, I’ll say it as it is – the colleagues had been lying to me. I did not have written proof, but I had witnesses.

Next logical step for me – get written confirmation for every extra job coming from the top floor. If someone in the comfortable chairs thinks a job is truly important enough to make another client wait longer for their requests, I am happy to oblige. After all, I am being paid to translate whatever they send my way. The whole organizing/keeping track/meeting deadlines thing is something my department does because we like not living in a snowstorm of unorganized papers and angry demands.

Today, as I was coming upstairs with yet another task that had been claimed to be “from the top dogs straight to my desk, so you have to hurry!” Surprisingly, the top dogs did not know anything about the case. They discussed it and determined that, yes, this was important. Fine by me, we are flexible like that.

But then one of the personal assistants said to me, “Why don’t you try to get along with them?”


The colleagues repeatedly lie to me. (There. I said it.) They make promises to clients I have to keep. They try to guilt-trip me into doing extra work while we are struggling to get everything done on time.  AND IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO PEACEFULLY RESOLVE THE ISSUE?

No, thanks. I am not Mother Theresa – and thank the gods for that – and I am not responsible for my colleagues’ happiness. If they want to get along, they might want to start by behaving professionally. I’ll see whether I like that enough to play nicely.


2 Responses to “Just learn to get along!”

  1. petoskeystone October 18, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

    So, are these colleagues you’re supposed to be getting along w/male?

    • diandralinnemann October 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

      The colleagues I usually have trouble with are male – it might be simply because most other departments are headed by men, or it might be that they somehow confuse this honored, trusted, capable professional translator with some kind of personal assistant to send running. ^^

      (There are occasional discussions with female colleagues, but they usually end with a real solution both parties can live with. Believe it or not, I am actually on my colleagues’ side in this madness. ^^ )

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