Thursday, February 08, 2007

You're taking this too personally...

Today I stuck my foot in and my neck out further than I have in a long, long time. Let’s hope I still have a job tomorrow. For what it’s worth, I know in my deepest heart that nothing I did today was done out of malicious intent.

Yesterday afternoon, Department Head gave me the green light for talking to Deciding VP regarding what I need to be doing differently in order to be better qualified for the manager training program. Unable to catch Deciding VP by phone, I sent him an e-mail asking when would be a good time to discuss my training program application. 11:15 this morning, he called and asked if now would be a good time to talk. I (naturally) answered yes, ran a brush through my hair, grabbed a notepad and pen and walked down the hall to his office.

While more productive than the meeting I had with HR Director, I still left it with a somewhat unpleasant taste in my mouth. I told him I was looking for areas to improve in order to enhance my chances next year. I was told I needed to take a more active role in presenting findings present in my analyses (true!). He commented that I would do 98% of the work and then let someone else present (like my Department Head). My response was (and I can’t believe I actually SAID this to him), ‘So my habit of trying to make those I work for look good has bitten me on the butt.’ He responded, ‘No it hasn’t bitten you on the butt.’

Deciding VP then went on to say that it came down to a choice between me and Other Guy, and Other Guy had certain qualifications that I don’t and would have come out ahead even if I had presented more of my findings. Two big issues I have with his comments are 1) I have comparable, if going in a slightly different direction, qualifications and 2) at least one of those qualifications is at least 2/3 a lie. It really burns me up when people cheat and get away with it. I was assured that I am very well respected blah-blah-blah can almost guarantee I’ll be in the program next year, blah-blah-blah. Plus, I'm taking all this way too personally.

After meeting with Deciding VP, I visited with Supervisor, and gave her the highlights. I also said that I doubted anyone in the company had ever looked at Other Guy’s transcript. When she asked me what I was saying, I responded with, ‘I’m not saying anything.’ She later went to Other Guy to ask him how things were going, and somehow got him to tell her about the lie pertaining to his qualifications. I don’t know what she will do with this bit of information, but I do hope the final result is that Other Guy understands that lying to your boss and the company is a bad idea. It’s not like the truth would have hurt him three years ago when he first applied to the company, but the lie could really damage some reputations. We shall see.

On a roll, I went to Department Head’s office and asked if he had a few minutes. I told him I spoke with Deciding VP and gave Department Head the highlights of our conversation. After we talked about it for a bit, Department Head asked me what I felt was the most unsatisfactory part of my meeting with Deciding VP. I told him the fact that it had taken an entire month to happen. If it hadn’t taken so long, I probably wouldn’t have been ‘taking this way too personally.’

I also asked Department Head if there was anything being done about the first name, last name thing for our clerks. I told him I was concerned that it seems our most conscientious clerks are the most upset about this, and I fear they are going to leave the company. He agreed with me and said that the concerns were not being completely ignored.

Then I asked him if I could close the door to his office, because there was something I needed to discuss with him. He made a wisecrack and then told me it was fine. After I sat back down, I told him I was worried about our secretary, and he needed to make an effort to be nice to her. She is afraid of him and is taking his inherent rudeness personally. His response? ‘So you’re saying I need to stop acting like myself.’ My answer, ‘Yes. She has had a hard time recently, including a divorce, and it would make a difference to her if you would be pleasant to her. If you are looking for a topic of conversation, she does have two cats she adores.’ I told him I had broken a large number of confidences coming to him about this, but I felt he needed to know. Department Head seemed to take everything I said with good grace, but he can be funny (and very rude). It doesn’t really bother me, since I have relatively thick skin, but I would hate to lose a pleasant and hard working secretary.

That’s all I’ve been up to today. Let’s hope I find my patient, pleasant streak again tomorrow. I’m set to have a marathon series of phone calls with several sales managers…



Tree said...

I am so proud of you for going to deciding VP, talking to him, talking to your supervisor & your department head. I am dissatisfied for you, so I can only imagine how dissatisfied you are. In a previous life, I have seen someone fired for falsifying his resume'. It seems that a wee bit of due diligence would head off so many issues.

And I love the fact that you are looking out for the clerks (I agree! first & last names? crazy) and for your secretary. I have found that having a good secretary is a wonderful thing, but very rare.

MPPs Mom said...

I give you a lot of credit for your efforts! And I'm sad that they are so transparent. They can't even come up with a "good reason", even after having a month to prepare. I hope you are looking at the greener grass. It has to be better even if it's just a different shade.

joansy said...

great job on all fronts. How did today go? I'm glad you spoke up for the clerks and secretary. I hate that crap.

Heather said...

Wow,sounds like a big day. Congrats on taking the bull by the horns. You obviously have all the right stuff for the management program and I am sure that your frank conversations went a long way towards that!