Thursday, July 15, 2010

Upside

It's official. The Company has decided to move the Daughter's account to another Client Director. The transition took effect last week, even though I will still be supporting them behind the scenes for a little while longer.

For anyone who has been keeping up with my blog, you know that working for my Boss and her Daughter has been one of my greatest sources of stress over the past year. I have been on the verge of quitting this job more times than I could possibly count. And when I'm not fantasizing about quitting, I am contemplating how great it would feel to tell these women exactly what I think of them.

The last few weeks since the transition was announced have been interesting. Especially because of the way it happened. Back in January, I filed a complaint with the Company about the conflict of interest between my Boss and her Daughter. They promised me that the account would move to another division that is not controlled by my Boss. After six months and no further action from the Company, I decided to gently remind them about my challenging situation.

This time, when I approached the Executive Vice President he agreed to speed up the transition process. Within a few days my Boss told me that I would be moved off of the account and the staff who report to me would be moved to another manager. Suddenly there were notification e-mails going out to the client followed by a series of planning meetings between my Boss, the new Client Director and the rest of the team, most of which I heard about second hand. I felt like everything was happening around me, but I had no control over it.

Usually when I leave a job it's because I have left the company as well. So I am not around for the inevitable blame game that follows my departure. But in this case, I have the unique opportunity to see my name being dragged through the mud in real time.

The Daughter is in Phase 2 of testing her database. I have been following the e-mails but other than that I am trying to step back and let the new Client Director guide the process. This week we found out that there was a report the Daughter sent us for validation of the database, but the team had not tested it. Of course, all hell started to break loose. I remember reading through the e-mail chains and wondering who the Daughter was going to blame for this one. Clearly I had nothing to do with it, or so I thought.

Later that evening, I checked my blackberry and saw an e-mail from the Daughter to me telling me that this report was something she and I had discussed in our face to face meeting after the last round of testing and that she was frustrated that I had not followed up. She went on to say that I had promised her I would not release the database until it matched up perfectly with this report. I sat there in amazement as I re-read the message. Then I turned on my computer and looked at all of my notes from the meeting. There was no mention of this report anywhere.

I forwarded her message to my Boss and the new Client Director explaining that I had never made this promise to the Daughter and I forwarded all of my notes. The next day I started seeing e-mails from my Boss, the new Client Director and other staff on the project. It was clear that they had already discussed this and had decided on the best course of action without my input. Which was fine with me. I certainly had no desire to become more entrenched in this downward spiral.

As the blame continues to flow my way, I have been wondering exactly what took place behind the scenes in those transition planning meetings. It is becoming apparent that my Boss has led everyone to believe that I have been the problem on this account all along. And the Daughter is ready and willing to send nasty e-mails about me to back up her story.

When I started working at the Company, I was introduced to a concept called upside. Basically, it is a category they use to track additional revenue that is possible, but not guaranteed. My Boss is the master of the upside. While other divisions are struggling to hit their targets, my Boss is pulling revenue out of her back pocket and exceeding her forecast every month. Its like playing a round of black jack with a gambler who always has an extra ace or two up her sleeve.

Apparently revenue forecasting is not the only place where my Boss has significant upside potential. Watching her and the Daughter manipulate this transition reminds me that I am way out of my league. It seems like the best I can do is to set my ego aside, accept all of the blame for what has happened and try to move on with my life.

My Mom is one of those people who always tries to point out the lesson in any bad experience. When I started having trouble with my job she told me "Well, at least now you know what you don't want to do." And whenever I broke up with a boyfriend, she would say "Well, at least you figured it out before you got married and had kids."

Looking back on my negative experience at the Company, I guess there are some positives that have come out of it. If I had never taken this job, I would probably not be writing this blog right now. It took that level of frustration to get me to break out and find a way to express myself.

And I probably would not have gotten my kitchen remodeled either. Working for the Company offered me the flexibility to work at home during the construction. That is not something my previous employer would have ever allowed.

I was talking to the Boy about my latest blog topic and I asked him if he thought that when life gets tough there is always a lesson in it somewhere. "Sometimes things just suck for no good reason," he explained. "And the only lesson is that you are strong enough to get through it."

Maybe he has a point. As I contemplate my new found freedom from the Daughter, I think back on all of the months of wasted energy trying to deal with this untenable situation. I wish I could say that I am just happy it is over and I am ready to move on. But the truth is that I am still feeling resentful because I had to go through the whole experience in the first place. It consumed an entire year of my life that I will never get back. And the only good thing I can say is that I survived it.

We all want to believe that everything happens for a reason. And I guess in the greater scheme of things, that is probably true. But sometimes the reason is not immediately apparent to us. In fact, it may take years of hindsight before we are able to see how a rough time in our lives eventually led us to something great.

In the meantime, maybe the key to finding the upside is to try not to let them get you down in the first place. Easier said than done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am glad that B^%$# caused you to start writing this Blog! Who knew my inspiration today would have come from the Boy!