All I answered back was: “huh?” The IT manager said he couldn’t help message me because I looked pretty down and depressed, which reminded him of his first time here. He also believed that my workload is more than the other manager who was in my position. Then we started to engage into a conversation. He used to work at Johnson&Johnson Korea’s e-biz team as a programmer for 7 years. In J&J his relationship with coworkers were good. Working here was a culture shock to him – he fought with everyone in the office and had a ton of meeting with director and deputy director. Once he, the other manager, deputy director and director had a meeting, which ended up him saying “look, if she stays here, I’m not going to work.”
The IT manager gave me a great explanation and advice. For most of the managers who work here, this is their first career, and more than half of them worked here pretty much from the beginning for a long time. Meaning they started from scrap when there was no system or nothing. Then they all grew into it, so they do not have a clear idea or feel the need to have a nice labor division or work process and defined role. Of course they are not familiar with how other organization works. Fortunately, because our IT manager is older and have more career experience than I am, he was able to use some leverage when there is an argument. But I wouldn’t be able to do the same. He advised me to shoot whatever the work issue I have directly to the director, and wished me good luck.
Okay, so maybe, after all, I was not firm enough. In addition I was really, really frustrated because they just could not understand me. So I wrote another e-mail to the director, saying:
– Pardon me but l will write this letter in English because I just can’t sum up my mind in Korean at this point.
– You mentioned a lot about multitasking. But here’s how I define multitasking. Say I am a car engineer. If I am assigned to work on Lexus, BMW and Honda simultaneously, that’s multitasking. If I am assigned to work on Lexus, Volkswagen AND cook a Michelin three-stars class French cuisine, that’s not a multitasking. It’s just a bad, planless, inefficient work assignment.
– It’s quiet frustrating that my direct bosses see this matter as a workload problem, not as what it takes to do certain works. But they have their own viewpoint and I have my own; and it’s impossible to force my pov to them, vice versa. I think further talk about workload/work quality will end up in parallel so I won’t bring this up again. Thus, it’s pretty much payment raise or no other option for me.
– Please consider that I did the following works with no help from others: conference call with French, assisted program director in meeting with Belgium consulting firm, prepared all-English pt material for the firm, dealt with the representative of foreign school by myself, reviewed your 30 pg journal paper, wrote your speech draft for multiple times. And, when I was away for a vacation, a coworker didn’t perform a good job in communicating with non-Korean lecturer so I had to clean up the mess.
I also added thank you, and mentioned thanks for your time and such for multiple times in the e-mail. Next morning, my direct supervisors called me for a morning meeting. So I walked in. Their first question was: “so how much do you think you are worth here?” My initial thoughts were: WHAT THE FUDGE?
To be continued