Month: September 2008

breaking up the band

Yesterday, as OfficeMate, Ex-Trainer Guy and I are still reeling from the ambush that I blogged about in the last entry, our new Team Leader decides, “Hey! What better time for me to really rub their faces in my newfound position of power?”

So he asks to speak to Ex-Trainer Guy in private. ETG reports later that TL tried to lay down the law, even going so far as to declare that he *is* the voice for our Houston-based department head. Keeping his cool, ETG said that he understands – but he still wants to talk to the department head. ETG did talk to Dept Head and was able to get a compromise on one of the new work “requirements.”

Oh, but TL wasn’t done there. He returns and declares that either OfficeMate or I must move out of that office into the nearby cubicle. “They” don’t like people sharing a space. “They” think we’ll just sit in there and talk about negative things. (Yes, those were his exact words. Note to higher-ups: if you’re concerned about us talking about negative things, give us something positive to talk about!)

Looking from me to OfficeMate, TL is all, “One of you can volunteer, or I can flip a coin…?” I guess he was so busy reaching for the coin that OM had to repeat saying that he would move. However, he did call TL on saying that “they” wanted it done. OM told TL, “I know who wanted it done, and I know why. And you do, too.” We *all* know why. Forgive the crudity, but TL has got to leave his mark on everything, like a dog stopping at every tree and hydrant.

So, OM moved out to the cubicle five feet away. I was a wreck for the rest of the day. I went to the restroom to cry twice at work, then I cried leaving work, and on the way to my apartment, and back at my apartment multiple times. I don’t even remember the last time I cried so much, and barring a tragedy, I don’t recall ever crying so many different times in one day. Last night – after another cry – I finally decided why I was so upset: all that pent-up stress from the last few months was coming out as I realized that it wasn’t going to get any better any time soon.

I woke up today with one eye puffy from the tearfest, but I felt more optimistic. OfficeMate, Ex-Trainer Guy and I are planning to go to lunch regularly. (Trying to keep us from talking, TL? Honey, you just gave us a reason to talk more!) We three will continue if not intensify our job hunts, and since our so-called team is only us and TL, I find great comfort in the thought of him being left solo, without a team to lead.

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no email goes unpunished

Or should I say that no email goes un-ignored?

As I’ve mentioned, my company was to be sold to Brand X, and as previously griped, they have not been forthcoming with details about the new order, such as it were. After weighing the risks of speaking out versus grinning and bearing, my OfficeMate and I wrote to the new head of the department about our single biggest concern: please do not put the Checker Person back in charge of our “team.”

Well, the sale of the company was finalized this week. Dept Head was in town, and right before quitting time OfficeMate and I were called to a meeting along with Checker Person. Dept Head announced that CP would continue on in his team leader position.

I felt as if I had been punched.

Dept Head went on to say that we’re all important, and he’ll be in town quite a bit to help, and blah, blah, blah. It was asserted that the past is the past, and from this point on we are all a team. Did we have any questions, or gripes we wanted to air?

OfficeMate and I simply smiled in silence. As we agreed later, there’s nothing more to say. We said all that we could without flat out warning that if CP is put back in charge, we will both leave. We didn’t specifically say that because we didn’t want to start out that way with the new higher-ups. We were hoping they would read between the lines.

As I blogged earlier, I have been casually job hunting, and not just because of CP. With this change of company ownership, I’ve been wondering, since I’m starting over anyway, should I take this chance to move on? The question remained even today, as I had tried to decide whether Dept Head is the type of personality I can work for. And then came the meeting. From the way they’ve handled our sharing our concerns – not only ignoring our request but not even acknowledging that we’d written! – it appears that those questions have been answered. Loud and clear.

As I write this, I’m thinking of how embarrassing it will be if months pass, and I read this again, and I’m still with the same company. Believe me, it won’t just be embarrassing. It’ll be depressing beyond words. I definitely don’t want to rush into accepting the first job offer I get, but right now I’m fed up. I can’t imagine spending another day in that stress, and tomorrow if CP barks orders at me, I just may lose it.

quarking up

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but every once in a while my worryer grabs hold of a thought and just won’t let it go. Well, it happened again this week, after I read an article about the LHC and freaked out about it.

Actually to say that I freaked out is an understatement. Oh sure, I carried on, doing my work and chatting nicely with people, but I spent the better part of two days miserable with the *serious* blahs. I felt as if everything I ever believed in was for nothing. And, lest I spawn a rash of similar thoughts, that’s all the detail I’ll give about that.

Happily, prayerfully and thankfully, I’m all but over it. To be honest, I could’ve just as easily obsessed over a less grand event, action, or concept. Whatever the matter, I have to choose how I’m going to look at it: either with worry or with faith. Neither of my viewpoints will affect the target of my thoughts, but the worry option will leave me … not where I want to be. Hopefully this little exercise will make my faith be that much stronger the next time I face a challenge.

Because I’ve calmed down and can joke about it, I’ve taken to blaming the LHC for just about anything that goes wrong. For example, when my hair doesn’t behave the way I want it to or my socks don’t fit right, I smile, shake a mock-angry fist, and grumble, “Darn particle accelerator…”

dog and pony show

That’s what my officemate calls the job hunting process, particularly when talking with a recruiter is required. It really is a “dog and pony show”, a big game where each of you tries to appear positive and enthusiastic about working together, knowing full well that you’ll take another offer in a heartbeat if it benefits you.

Last week, for example, it turns out that I had applied for the same job with two different recruiting agencies. I had brief phone interviews with each of them, but one of those was them primarily trying to get my information in order to add me to their database of job seekers. I haven’t heard a word about the job I was interested in, so yeah, I’ve pretty much given up on it at this point.

The sale of our company was supposed to be finalized this week, but it’s been pushed back another week. Yet, we still haven’t heard the first word about who’s being hired, etc. Maybe they think it goes without saying that we’ll all be kept on, at least on a trial basis. Still, they’re calling it a “rehire,” and I think that merits at least an offer letter. The silence is only frustrating everyone. Speculation and conspiracy theories fly around the office all day. It doesn’t exactly increase productivity, but there’s not much work coming in, so I guess that works out okay.

Trying to be proactive, my officemate and I sent emails to the vice-president, expressing our concern, but again, we haven’t heard a word from him. I know there’s a lot going on, but it’s been two days, and he can’t reply with a simple, “Thanks for letting me know, let’s talk when I’m in town next week”? If he doesn’t respond soon, we’ll know that the open-door policy they touted was just lip service. The other fear about getting no answer from him is that he knows we’re not going to be hired, so he’s really not interested in talking to us. As I said, speculation is rampant, and it tends to be on the negative side.

So, it looks like I’ll remain with the dogs and the ponies, smiling and prancing as I search out leads on other jobs.