happy to help

I already told Dave this whole story, and he made me feel much better and was very encouraging. However I think I still need to write about it to get it all settled in my mind.

Yesterday I was "in the shits" as we like to say here at work. Which is to say, I was totally freaked out. Good may come of it, but that remains to be seen.

We just this month instituted a new Purchase Orders system for keeping track of alcohol purchases. Theoretically, the manager puts together a purchase order when they order wine and gives it to me to set up in the accounting software. When the wine is delivered, the manager then staples the purchase order to the invoice and gives it to me to enter and match with the purchase order file. Then I take the now-accounted-for invoice and put it in my binder. There it will theoretically remain until I go through the binder, determine that it has been paid, and move it to the long-term storage cabinet in the other room.

In practice the managers have been creating purchase orders in my accounting software and doing it wrong, mostly because I haven't shown them how to do it properly. Often the purchase order is not created until the manager has the invoice in their hands. And the alcohol invoices binder is something I just haven't messed with. It is a filing disaster area that I have not really touched in months. The managers often go through it, pulling out invoices to check prices, see which wines we ordered etc. Of course if we had the PO system all together they could just look through those and get the same info...but since the purchase orders are often created incorrectly, sometimes not created, etc that is not yet feasible.

And, as I discovered yesterday, sometimes for some unknown reason, the alcohol invoices end up in my binder without me ever having laid eyes on them. Which is not just against procedure. It means that the money we spent in that invoice has not been put into the accounting software at all.

Which means that when I went to make the month-end report on everything we spent in June so main boss could bring it to the managers' meeting, the number I gave him was WRONG. Like, by about half. I've been struggling the last couple of months to give him correct numbers on our labor expenditures. First because the detailed reports we get from the payroll company are confusing and hard to interpret, and second because I had no idea which parts of our expenditure were the important ones that needed to be tracked in the report. Pretax wages, after tax wages, tips, employer portion of tax, etc. Very confusing. So I was concentrating so hard on finally getting the labor numbers right (which I did) that I didn't think it necessary to go back and re-check the physical files on the alcohol numbers (over which, as I've established above, I do not have control).

Main boss comes back from attempting to start the managers meeting and drops the end-of-month report on my desk and goes something like "What is this? I told you so many times to pay attention to what you are doing." I object that this was what I got out of my accounting software, to which he replies something like, "This number is not right, it can't be right. Go back through the invoices and do it again."

Which was upsetting to me in and of itself. But when I discovered the actual state the files were in I freaked right the fuck out. Lisa was trying to talk me through it but I was crying in my anger and wouldn't calm down, so she went to get big Z. He was very nice about it even though I actually yelled at him at one point and at another said some very negative things about myself, in the vein of "I can't do my job and this is just more proof of that." And he helped me calm down enough to attempt to come up with a plan. Which is of course the same plan, in its general broad outlines, that main boss has been telling me for months that I need to do, but given me absolutely no suggestions as to how I can bring it about in practice.

But I'm still just so angry.

Because in order to keep up with the filing aspects of my job I need to become supremely unhelpful to other people whose jobs have little to do with mine. This means not answering phones, printing menus, taking reservations over the phone, digging up receipt copies for customers, any of the dozen things I do throughout the day to make other people's lives easier. I really, really suck at saying no. Especially when the things asked of me are reasonable and well within my ability and will harm the restaurant if no one does them. I need to eliminate words from my vocabulary like "sure, no problem", "any time" and "happy to help." And I like those words. I like the way they make other people feel about me.

Now I'm going to go punch in and start filing like my ass is on fire. 'Scuse me.