Work has been overwhelming the past two weeks.
Following the typical office pattern, employees in various departments have gradually realized they can dump their work on the admin and s/he can't really do anything about it. I can't exactly give these tasks to anyone else, being at the bottom of the totem pole, unless there happens to be an intern or temp around. I don't want to complain too much to my supervisors about the issue, because I need to demonstrate I'm capable and efficient and can take on the world in order to move past the admin portion of my job.
You have to play the game. That's what they tell us. But do I really need to keep my mouth shut and work overtime while pregnant just to satisfy people who aren't my supervisors? I definitely believe in teamwork, but not when I'm the only one doing the work and they are getting credit for it. The decision they make to dump their work on me isn't very smart: most admins move up in my company, and rather quickly at that. Pretty soon, for all those Boomers obsessed with hierarchy, I will be "equal" to you. Might want to think again before handing me your crap on a stick.
I work behind-the-scenes to some extent, which makes it harder for higher-ups to detect when their staff is taking advantage of me. But I'm pushing forward in the communications aspect of my job to gain visibility as a true asset. I'm putting my stamp on the areas where I want to be working in a year.
Ultimately, I need to say no. These people are not authorized to give me their work, and it's presumptious and arrogant to believe they can give work to some who is not under their umbrella. It's the beginning of the wave, and I need to establish how large I will let it get before it just crashs down over me.
You don't really have to play the game. You have to figure out how to reinvent it. When this wave of overwhelming work is over, I'm going to write up a description for departmental interns -- something we don't actively recruit -- and propose that I find, select, and supervise said interns.
I will cultivate the work-life balance I want. I'm just now figuring out what I want and how to get it ... it's just taking a little longer than I expected.