It’s been more than a week since I had my job offer. But because the headhunter company waited until I had an offer to start the paperwork, it’s unfortunate but I’m still going through a drug check and all the background checks. The drug test was a piece of cake. I might talk a lot of game but I haven’t had a toke in months, plenty of time for any detectable substances to metabolize through my system. The background check should be a piece of cake as well. I have no criminal record. I have never been fired from a company, at least not in my professional career. I’ve always had the philosophy that if things are getting so bad that management needs to get involved, it’s time to scoot.
But nevertheless, a background check is a background check. And I have to admit that one of the forms used to investigate my career history was completed incorrectly so that set the process back a bit. The way things look now, I’ll be starting a couple of weeks behind my original start date. Hopefully, this process will be complete by then and I’ll be earning a regular paycheck soon. In the meantime, I’m technically still on the market and ready to be somebody’s Access database application development whore.
Just the other day I got a call from the company that got me my last job asking if I would be interested in a job with another Fortune 500 company in downtown St. Louis. It would be another telephone interview. My skill set wasn’t exactly a match for the job that they were advertising for. But my reputation as a hard worker preceded me. The woman on the phone went on and on about all the great things she heard about me at the last job. Other than my immediate manager, and maybe her manager, the woman said that the people that I had worked with were still very supportive of me.
The woman on the phone and I went back. She was the very first person I ever talked to at this company. She just so happens to be their lead technical recruiter. Not exactly a friend. If she didn’t have a job for me chances were pretty good I’d never hear from her. But it was good to hear her say what she was saying. And then she laid a bomb of good news on me.
She told me that after I had left about three months ago, two other people who worked in my group left as well. And the people who have stayed are begging for management’s attention to help straighten out the problems in the department. Customers are complaining that their work isn’t getting done. Too many of the employees from this particular group are being written up and are being reported to human resources for corrective action. A lot of people inside the department and outside the department are unhappy. And it all seems to be because of my old manager and her inability to let the people who report to her do their job without her constricting, meddling, and totally unwelcome interference.
And then the woman at the other end of the phone gave me a bit of news that was a bit too good to be true. My old manager was written up and put on probation herself. She didn’t know why. That really didn’t matter. What mattered to me was that karma truly can be a real bitch to someone who’s a real bitch. Whatever else the woman at the end of the phone said was lost. I was trying to get her off the phone so I could call a couple of people back at the job for some kind of confirmation. I called my old partner for his take on things.
The guy I used to work with the most had no idea that his manager was under probation. But he did say it explained a lot of things that had been going on in recently. About a month ago, my old manager’s manager was reassigned and my old manager got a new manager. He went on to say that his boss, my old manager, had been calling in sick on a regular basis for the past couple of weeks. And when she did make it to work, she was only at her desk for a few hours before she would leave for the day to run an errand. My friend had thought she was looking for a job. He never suspected that she had been placed on some form of corrective action herself.
My friend was stressed. He always hated change, even when it could turn out to his benefit. But he has been through a lot lately. He wanted to find another job himself, but either his tolerance for pain was much greater than mine or he simply didn’t want to take his chances in this somewhat fickle job market. He sounded very sad and unenthusiastic. My heart went out to him. I assured him things would get better. It was always darkest before the dawn.
I hung up thinking that the upper management folks at that job must be a seriously clueless bunch of folks. My old manager has been there for almost a year and a half. She had virtually gutted a team that had functioned well prior to her arrival. She turned that group into a serious basket case. Now that group has to be rebuilt along the customer relationships that they once enjoyed. Upper management could’ve saved the company a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of headache if they had simply stayed on point and had done their job. Now, a lot has to be done to reinvent that team and set that ship right again.
But I must admit that my old manager did me one big favor. I’m out here working to do something for myself. Yes, it’s true that I’m trying to find another job. I’m doing the interviewing thing trying to get somebody to give me a steady income. But that is truly going to be a temporary. I have to do something for myself these days. Any time I go to work for somebody else, let somebody else call the shots, let somebody else yank my chain, I’m giving that person too much power over my life. Thanks to my old manager, I was a big basket case myself when I left. I don’t ever want to put myself into that position again.
Instead of giving the next company that hires me my all, I’ll only give what they pay for. A forty hours a week check gets a forty hours a week worker, nothing more and certainly nothing less. The major part of the rest of my time will be spent getting my own business off the ground. I owe that to myself and I owe that to my family and I owe that to our future. No more jumping through other people’s hoops. I see that as nothing but a waste of time. It’s time for me to do something new. And I could not have done it if it wasn’t for my old manager. As much as I hate to say it I really must say, thanks boss!