Sunday, June 18, 2017

So about that job...

A month ago I posted about the odd situation I got into at work, where I was flat-out asked why I didn't apply for a position that came open.  I went through all of my reasons, and in the end I just had a gut feeling that it wasn't the right time.  Boy, was I right.

So, a few weeks ago I got a random email from the head of our talent management department.  Pretty quickly I figured out it had to do with the position, which still hadn't been filled to my knowledge.  Sure enough, she asked me why I wasn't interested.  I explained my reasons (again) and she explained that she really just wanted to make sure there wasn't anything I didn't feel comfortable telling the manager for that open position.  When I finished explaining my take, she said that what she was hearing from me is really what they want to hear from every employee--basically that I want to learn as much as I can in my current position before I move up and take a job that I may only be partially prepared for.  Could I do it?  Sure.  Could I do it better with more base knowledge?  Absolutely.  She loved hearing about my concern for loyalty and not wanting to put my current boss in a tough spot if I were to move on.  Long story short, she was thrilled with my attitude and position and I was free to go.

After I got back to the office, I stopped by my other co-worker's desk, the one who had actually applied for the job, and asked her if she'd heard anything.  I saw her in an office with our main boss and the hiring manager the day before and figured it had to do something with the job, particularly since it had been accidentally blurted out by our big boss in a meeting a couple hours prior that the position was still open.  Well, she spilled on everything that had happened--they knew she wasn't getting it, didn't tell her in time, etc.  After all that, I had to be honest and tell her my side of the story, and it turned into a couple hours of brutal honesty and secret spilling.  We needed it by that point!  During that conversation I got a head's up that our main boss was interviewing for another internal position, which was not good news.  But at that point we seemed to be OK because one good candidate had been hired for another open position and we figured that the entire shake-up would actually give us an opportunity to rework things to work best with everyone's strengths.

Fast-forward to this week.  I came in Monday, exhausted from the Syracuse trip.  We found out there were random donuts available elsewhere in the building, and as we came back to our desks ready to eat them, we were ushered into our main boss's office.  She told us she got the other job so she'd be moving to a different department in about a month.  We were pretty deflated after that.  I said (and my immediate boss agreed) that had I taken that position, she'd be walking out the door herself if she had lost both me and our main boss.

A couple hours later I heard my boss talking on the phone with someone, and I could tell by the conversation that whoever it was was leaving their position.  It turned out that it was the project manager for our calling program, who has been a steady mainstay for years.  We were already losing two other members of that team--one was being shifted and the other was not a good fit for us--so this was a major blow on an already rough day.  Shortly thereafter I returned a call I had received earlier that day from my contact for the unit I manage.  We had been through an interesting year, with both of us learning as we went in our first full years managing the program together.  We also undertook a major crowdfunding project that had been an amazing success, which led the way to a great year.  But guess what?  She's leaving!

So that was three in one day.  We couldn't blame any of them for the decisions--they were great moves for each of them for different reasons.  But we were devastated.  We literally couldn't do much more than groan and laugh at how ridiculous the day had been.

Well, in the spirit of my favorite Facebook memes, the next day apparently said, "Hold my beer". Still reeling from the day before, we ended up going out to coffee for a scheduled meeting that afternoon.  As we were getting settled, another member of my department--the one that would have been the boss for that open position--announced SHE was leaving.  It felt like the hits would never stop coming.  We were completely flabbergasted.  Afterward, the remaining three of us (we have a couple other admin-focused people, but my boss, the other girl who applied for that job, and I are really the core of the operations at this point) marveled at what would have happened if either of us would have taken that job, as we'd basically be the one tasked with running that whole section of the department in the interim, which neither of us would have been prepared to handle.  It would have been awful.  It's bad enough now, but at least this way that whole section of our department is some higher-up's problem to deal with, rather than one of ours.  So yay for that.  But it's small consolation when your entire department has been gutted and there will be three of us plus a new guy trying to keep the department afloat for a couple months heading into a new fiscal year.  It's a lot to deal with.

Ironically, before last week's events, the three of us were approved to take a half day to go to an event put on by one of our vendors.  After everything happened, we found it appropriate--and necessary--for the three of us to have that time together.  The event was in Syracuse and our sales rep took us (and some other University employees) in his RV, which was awesome.  We were treated to appetizers, a tour around their facility that updated us on their capabilities, and the most amazing dinner.  We could have one of 10+ types of wine or 6+ types of beer from a local brewery, or the brewery's root beer.  They had clams and shrimp cocktail for appetizers, followed by a lobster and steak dinner with corn on the cob, potatoes, and rolls.  As if that wasn't enough, they started serving root beer floats (and we got to keep the glasses!), and there was also a lovely dessert table.  It was overwhelmingly awesome and we were so happy to have had the opportunity.

It doesn't, however, really soften the blow of the chaos we're heading toward, but it was nice for a night.  It's all so hard to believe, but I guess it's comforting to have my gut feeling validated so emphatically after wondering if I'd made a mistake not wanting to move up sooner.  It still may not be the best situation, but it's one I can live with, and there's definitely something to be said for that.

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