Advice for dealing with toxic environment/older, set-in-their-ways management?
June 26,2019 at 9:33PM UTC
Posting this anonymously because this is going to be extremely negative, and I'm hoping for some advice. I currently work in an intensely toxic government agency. Most of the federal workers have been there for decades, and are immensely set in their ways, often to their own detriment. Others actively avoid transparency, and thus accountability. I'm one of a small contracting team who "support" these federal workers -- we all have defined titles and job duties, at least in the contract. Once you get in the door, you're just a body that they'll grab so that you can perform whatever grunt work they don't want to do themselves.
I've made some progress getting an intake tracker set up in SharePoint to at the very least shed light on what we're being tasked with and by who, and am trying to establish singular places for file storage, among other things, but it's pulling teeth to get either a) information regarding a task or b) basic assistance.
For instance, today, my coworker was tasked with booking a conference room. She hasn't gotten cleared yet, and thus has no access to anything. I attempted to help her book the conference rooms, but the ones listed in the email were not available in the system that I was aware was used for reservations. As I poked and prodded at the issue, we got another request for a conference room -- and I began to uncover that there were additional calendars in Outlook, a separate system entirely from the reservation system. I tried to get more information from one of the federal workers requesting the task so I could document the process, but it was like talking to a wall. What was more, she had access to all of this and clearly could have booked her own conference room, but tasked us instead, either without knowing or without caring that we had no idea how to complete the task and thus were set up to fail from the start.
There is a serious lack of training; I'm trying to develop documentation alongside simply establishing processes, but like the above details, every effort is pulling teeth. On top of that, there are numerous ad hoc tasks assigned throughout any given day; there is no singular calendar detailing upcoming events, so we are often notified solely on the day before or day of that our support is needed. I, my PM, and my director plus other staff are trying to get through to federal leadership and other federal employees that this work environment is not conducive to... anything, but as I stated above, there's a lot of walls in this building.
Any advice on how to get through to older management who don't apparently see the value in creating structure or processes? Even baseline ones? I'm already looking for an exit route and have interviews scheduled, but I'm trying to set up as much as I can before my departure because I loathe the thought of just dumping everything on my coworkers to figure out, as other exiting coworkers have done the same. Not sure what really can be said, but I welcome any advice!!!
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