Tag Archive | Management

I feel like the baby they took the candy from

I am in tears again.

My company is going through a “restructuring” phase.

Step 1 was to terminate nearly 800 people

Step 2 was to make each remaining employee scramble about to complete tasks that used to belong to 10 people

Step 3 was to motivate us to work even harder to make the company more money with vague empty promises

Step 4 was to mistreat the remaining workers and cause several more to resign

Step 5 was to ask the remaining workers to do the jobs of 20 people with no pay increase and even more vague promises

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I have never experienced mismanagement at this grand scale before. They have eliminated the core of our company and reduced our ability to deliver a quality product, but they don’t seem to know it, since they have no idea what any of us actually did. Some of the people that were terminated had years of specialized expertise.

At our annual leadership conference this week, we created a new vision statement, worked on team building and planning both short and long term goals to get us through this tough time. I was OK with not being chosen for the supervisor position I interviewed for last week. I was really OK with that and was ready to get a new focus and back to work. And then when I got to the conference, they announced that my current supervisor was moving up to general manager, and then they offered me her job. A lateral supervisor position to the one I interviewed for, and told me it was a better fit. I agreed, and I was ecstatic. The new roles were announced to my team, and we spent the new few days with some of us in the office, and some calling in from home, planning our new direction.

And then yesterday, 2 days after assigning my new role, as my team was working together in our new roles, our director emails us, from the office down the hall, that our new titles have been revoked, and they expect the current supervisor to take on the additional duties of the general manager while remaining our supervisor. Without a pay increase. And I am to remain a senior lead, on part time with no benefits. They took it all away before I ever really had it.  And I cried, like a baby. It hurt so much. I did not realize how much I wanted that promotion until they took it back away from me.

So now what? I am hurt and insulted. But my budget is already tight, and I care about my company and the remaining coworkers too much to just up and quit. But I am putting out feelers as I have no job security at all. And I’m not sure how long I can continue to give them the expected 29 hours a week, while not completing everything assigned to me with my team so small now, and with no benefits, no sick days, etc. This sucks.

So, I try to be grateful I was not fired, that I still have this flexible work from home job. I try to go back to how I felt before all the empty and broken promises. I am trying not to think of how they are using me and not sharing any profits with me. That is especially hard when the execs are brought to our meetings in company cars with chauffeurs, from their stay at the Four Seasons, and they discuss “dropping 20 grand” last week at a furniture store down the street.

So I only have 3 more hours to work this week to stay under 29. I wonder which tasks can wait until Sunday? We’re going to have so many angry clients. I have always responded to their requests within 24 hours, usually within a few hours. Now they will wait days. I hope our company’s reputation will not be ruined by this ‘restructuring’. God I hate that word.

I was feeling ok, and then I got an email from a team member that still thinks I am now her supervisor. She sent me her timesheet. Ouch that hurt. My supervisor/Manager is meeting with the director and trying to fight for us, so we have not announced anything to our team. We are hopeful they will reconsider. And we don’t want to confuse our team any more than necessary. What a mess.

Just give me back my candy.

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Internal Energy vs External Energy

Away this week on a business trip and thinking about energy.

Found out my promotion a year ago was in part due to my positive energy. I have to laugh at this a bit, but it is true, unless I am alone, I focus on being bright and positive. No one here has seen me sit and cry, no one here knows the inner turmoil and self-doubts. They see me as bright, confident, and always willing to jump in on any project. They don’t know about the downer days.

I don’t feel like I am hiding anything, or that I am showing a false me. In fact I now know that everyone goes through these downer days, some with past abuse, and some without – it is just human nature, not abuse survivor nature. This realization has been crucial to me moving forward and feeling like I belong with the rest of humanity.

Being here, away from my family, in a busy lively city, is energizing to me.

I met our new CEO, and was introduced by my manager as a “whiz”! The CEO shook my hand, nearly broke my fingers, and said she was happy to finally meet me. She was wearing a suit so expensive, I am sure it cost more than my entire wardrobe put together. She exuded power just by standing in the room. Her presence was energizing. She has great plans for our company, and looking up her Bio, I am confident she will do exactly as she plans. Big changes for us, but everyone who can be energetic and flexible will come along for a wild ride. The others will be left behind. I don’t feel badly about this, it just needs to happen.

Now I don’t know if it is unusual that our entire management team is female, but I love it. We get stuff done. Being in a room full of strong women (like myself??) is intoxicating. Yes I am one of them. I have to let myself accept that, and cherish that. I belong here.

So the pressure is on – In the next few weeks I have to complete a project, train a new team, and embark on unchartered territories in a pilot program. My manager says “Can you do x by x date? ” I just say “Yes, of course, tell me what you need and I’ll get it done”. She says, “That’s what we love about you”. And behind my external show of positivity and confidence, my mind is swirling on where I can find the info to actually do what I just said I would. It will be a challenge, and I look forward to it. Most of job is so tedious, I can’t wait to dig into something new, and I have to admit, I can’t wait for them all to say “Wow” next week. Is this a cocky attitude? Perhaps, but the past has shown this to be true.

I would love to increase my external energy, to make people feel about me what I felt about that CEO. But for now I will take “bright and positive” and try to keep my internal energy bright and positive as well. And then, truly, anything can happen. We all have such power to change the direction in our lives – we really do. I’m just not sure which direction I truly want to go, so I am letting the changes happen slowly and naturally.

Stress didn’t beat me – I got this

I had to fire someone for the first time ever in my life. I actually thought it was going to be much harder, or that I was going to be harder on myself, but I feel good. It was the right decision.

I gave my trainee many chances to improve over the past 2 weeks, but at some point I just realized she wasn’t going to cut it. She was not a good match for our team. If I kept her going, I’d be wasting valuable time and money on her training and letting down the team. I had to let her go.

We were unprepared for her reaction to the news. We expected pleading for more time. We expected anger. We expected her to blame us for not providing proper training. Instead, she very quietly admitted she was in over her head, and had extreme respect for what we do, and she was relieved to be let go.

People amaze me everyday. This was the best possible reaction, but I can’t imagine myself ever giving up that easily. But then again, I would never be in that position, as I would have learned and done my homework in the first place to make sure I was successful. She was not self-driven like me and the others on my team. When tasks are given to us, they get done – very well! I rarely have to check up on people, very few drop the ball. It is a great way to work.

Firing this one meant starting the interview process and putting us backs weeks in our schedule for a new hire. It is stressful to choose the best candidates. Luckily I have a team that does this, not sure I ‘d want to do it all myself – what a huge responsibility. But once they are hired, I am the trainer. It is up to me to make them into independent cogs of our well-oiled machine. I love this part. But it is stressful and demanding.

I did not cave in and call off, I did not get a migraine or panic attack. I am completely surprised. I have a long record of collapsing when the stress gets too high. Other than having a bit too much coffee, sugary snacks and packaged food to deal with less time to cook, I didn’t even self-sabotage.

I even kept up my new exercise routine every day but one this week. I am so happy.

And to top it all off, my new friends invited me to a concert tonight. So after this most stressful work week, and stressful party planning (I have 3 RSVPs now too!) I get to go out, drink a bit too much, dance and laugh a whole lot with some other amazing women.

We will not chat about our hair or nails. We will not complain about work or husbands. We will not complain. We will simply enjoy the music, company, and atmosphere and shake it until our bodies remind us we are no longer 20, wait to sober up, and go home exhausted and smiling.

My life is good. So good.

Drink

(Image via Wikipedia) Is it 5 o'clock yet?