Tuesday, February 20, 2007

if only life didn't imitate art.

or art imitating life.... The superbowl ads from CareerBuilder.com spoke a truth that I was laughing at while I watched, and then cried a little when I realized that this was more real to life than I realized.

Promotion Pit:

Training Seminar:

Performance Evaluation:

Its more than a little sad because I can see this happening every day. And its going to hurt us all.

Friday, February 02, 2007

I quit!!!

Yep. Literally. I just walked out of my job today. It was both terrifying and liberating. I decided that I had enough trauma and pain from this stinking job and so I quit.

Actually I had a plan. I had been planning for quite some time and had decided that today was THE day. I had so many auspicious signs.... Full moon, Start of a new month (Black History Month at that) That and my 30 day probation was about up anyway.

I should give you some background. On January 2nd, right after a very long new years, where I managed to work about 95 hours to finish a project that I had been tasked.... I arrived into work at 9 am, exhausted. I got in did the usual ritual of saying hello and then turning on my computer to check my mail. There it was... the e-mail. It said to come up to a meeting at 11 am for a performance review, not to prepare anything but to be on time.

I panicked. how you deal with an e-mail first thing in the morning when you're exhausted? I did the best thing I could do. I frantically asked my coworkers, " was this the norm? " "Is this how the performance reviews are conducted? " I've never been in a situation like this before and I was freaking out. In the meantime, my boss was out, Her boss was inaccessible. I had no one to turn to and was at a complete loss. Even now just thinking about it is causing knots in my stomach. I couldn't have been in a worse situation. I had a massive deadline due and I couldn't focus. So I paced and I paced, wearing a circle in the rug

I go up to a meeting room at 11 a.m. Sitting there were both my boss and her manager, across the table looking stern and calm. I approached hesitant and sat down . I was immediately informed that this was my performance review. I tried to keep my composure during the course of the presentation. I found out that they were displeased with my work. So displeased in fact, that they found it "unacceptable" and "subpar." When I asked for details. I was informed that I had been polled prior about this very same information. (Turns out, Halloween was my first verbal warning, but I was never told it was my warning, and never got any documentation that it was.)

On top of that they slid a big document across the table at me and asked me to read it and then sign it. I read it. it was the standard fare of HR documents, but in addition there was a typed up single page note. It was so scathing and so personal that it felt personal. In this letter, my manager accused me specifically of holding up the project, and went so far to say "I no longer had faith in her abilities to finish the work."

I was horrified. I had no real response. It was as if someone had hit me in the gut kicked me in the face slapped me around and told me my mother was a cheap whore. All of those hours for nothing! It was so virulent it astounded me. I was told I should sign it immediately on recognition of excepting this document. I told them I didn't feel comfortable signing it. I said, that I'd like to take it away and look it over it before I sign anything. I was immediately told "there would be no more meetings, we can stay here all day if we need to."

My heart was in my throat, and you know me I hate confrontation. So I signed the document just to get out of there, realizing I had signed my doom.

It was a 30 day performance plan, where their immediate suggestions for my improvement included:
  • Send all written material to my manager for review prior to distribution.
  • Reach out to my manager should I feel I need assistance
I wish I were joking. This is verbatim from the "performance improvement" document. I don't know about you but that does not look like any plan for professional improvement. If their complaint was the unsatisfactory nature of my work, how does my sending all of my work to my manager rectify that issue?

Regardless, I had been planning to leave for some time. You can see on the entry from December 29 that I had already been considering leaving. This is simply the kick in the ass that I needed to get out. In that respect, they were nice enough to give me 30 days to find another job. So I took the opportunity and I got down to my new task with a new urgency. I needed to escape. Iworked sparingly in the meantime, but I wasn't really there.

I started applying to jobs furiously and surprisingly I got quite a few callbacks quickly. The larger project i had been busting my back on, went live in January 15. Although I had to work on Martin Luther King holiday. So my manager made a exchange for January 29 and offered the 24th through the 26th as comp time "for all our hard work."

I used my comp time appropriately. I went out for 4 interviews. It turns out I am a desirable property to another company, and they made an offer within 72 hours.

It was just a matter of deciding when to leave my current job. I decided today, and I decided to be worse than they were. I left a note on my desk for my boss when I left for lunch at noon. I don't think she's found out about it yet. I sent a delayed e-mail to the HR manager at 5 p.m.. If she doesn't know by now. She's the idiot I always suppose she is.

It doesn't matter now I'm free.