Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Exit Strategies

It's been a long day and night.  I'm sitting here at 11p on Monday listening to The Breakfast Club play in the background, laughing every so often and then feeling a stab of guilt when I do.  I have a friend going through the fire at his job and it makes me sad.  I've known him for over 10 years, watched him rigorously apply himself - wringing every bit of knowledge he could out of two graduate degrees and countless hours of study all the while working to pay his way.  He's been at his job for 3 years and just so happens to be employed by a corporate robot who doesn't have the first clue about people, what it takes to work with them, or how much my friend has done to build the division he is in charge of - and friends let me assure you - he has gone above and beyond what is required of him. 

So when I hear scenarios/lines like (here's a couple mild ones - I'll spare you the ugly)

-My friend was at the airport leaving on his business trip to a remote part of the Middle East where he would not have internet access for a week, and X was emailing him (as the airline attendant asked him to turn off his phone) demanding that he have certain irrelevant figures regarding the American side of the business emailed to him on 3 separate days my friend would not have internet access - which X knew good and well.

-"While I was overseas on business X fired one of my people and threw them out of the building without consulting me at all."  When I asked what the person did and discovered he just held a different belief on how something really insignificant to the business could be done and that there hadn't even been discussion over it, just an immediate termination I felt ill.

I've worked in business long enough to know that this is what the corporate big boys and girls refer to as "coaching someone out of their position" aka making someone question their work ability, destroying any desire they may have to do their job well, and bullying.  The "coaching someone out of their position" technique is used by people who don't have the human decency aka "balls" to tell someone they don't want to work with them anymore.  More often than not this type of person is very threatened by the person they bully out and/or cannot control them into becoming a clone.   Pardon me while I gag.   

At times like these I can't help but be tremendously grateful that I wake up and work from home every single day.  As much as times are lean right now, I don't have to deal with the additional stress of a controlling employer.  (Thank God!!)

 Instead this is my alarm clock.
And  my Assistant.  Sure my desk is a little messy, but I eat chocolate 
bars and leave the wrappers strewn about with zero micromanagement.
And the most inter-office drama I deal with is cat hair on the lamp shade 
while the Chef sides with the cat.

The only gossip I overhear is the Chef saying to the cat:  
"You're making fur lampshades now, aren't you?
  That's your specialty.  You're going to run Jonathan Adler right out of business." 
True story

Sure my job might have looney-tune sidebars, but at least I'm not working with people who are certifiable.

Control freaks scare me.  

I hope none of you ever have to endure this kind of treatment - or be trained to believe this is the way to conduct business in a professional manner.  Honesty will always go a lot farther - everyone appreciates and deserves it.

*I'll go back to talking about clothes tomorrow.*

55 comments:

Krystal said...

Yah, that scenario made me mad just reading about it! While I miss the work world...I also don't - office drama is for the birds!

Collette Osuna said...

I love your post.....Im fortunate enough to work somewhere where I have free reign....after 13 years, I guess they think I deserve it:)
Im #2 in charge, next to the owner....its a great feeling...I get mad just hearing about stories like this!!!


Enter my Tulle Giveaway♥

Indigo said...

Thanks for the lovely comment you left on my blog! I've been enjoying looking through your past posts.
It's sad to hear stories like this.

jemina said...

Hi Carrie, I LOVE your posts, and I know how cruel the big organization/ company could be, I feel for your friend, thanks for posting this, I love reading posts such as yours, you are honest and true

Keep on writing darling

Take care and LOVE,
Jemina
xoxo

Jaclyn said...

this made me so upset just reading it. i hate how some people feel better about themselves only when they control others and put them down. hope your friend stays strong or finds another job!

Diana Mieczan said...

I am also very lucky that I work from home and dont have to deal with all the office drama...Its so sad what happend to your friend..So sorry,sweetie
Kisses

Kristin W said...

Aww your sweet kitty makes me swoon :)

Speaking of drama, there is SO MUCH being a teacher! I try to stay to myself and worry about what I need to do...but it's hard when you have to "collaborate" and work well with others.

Companies/people like that make it unbearable to do what you love. Obviously I can't teach without working with other or working from home.

Hope your friend finds something that makes him/her significantly happier :)

Chiara said...

Oh I understand office drama far too well...
Lovely pictures
xoxo
www.joiedevivre-chiara.blogspot.com

Chas said...

Haha! Your cat is too cute!

Erika @ ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

oh to be my own employeer! - then again - if that were so - i don't think i'd work, being honest here! .. @ least my job is SUPER laid back - i show up in Juicy sets in the winter - can't beat that!

*kiss kiss*
Erika

PS - spreading the word - come one come all and
*Enter Camille Beckman Luxury Give-Away Here*

Jess said...

I am loving this post! You definitely have some perks being your own employer! I hate that about your friend and his work....but ya know, everything happens for a reason, his employers sounds like a REAL, YOU KNOW WHAT on a power trip (to put it very nicely) and I wouldn't want to work there! Not every place is like that...God is taking care of him! Nobody should have to deal with that guy!!

And exit soap box.

Sonja said...

Ugh yeah that sucks! People spend so much time at work, it's really awful when you have to spend it with people like that.
Your work on the other hand...sounds pretty sweet! :o) as do your colleagues hehehe

Daniela said...

...unfortunately, its what most people have to deal with right now. We can't up and quit. I can't, at least.

Josie said...

Dear girl, I am so sorry for your friend. That is such a drag and sounds like seriously unfair termination. However, I have to remind you to never feel guilty about laughing -- it's the best medicine for anything. Wishing you all the best and a happier tomorrow :)
xo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

Anna Jane said...

i work in corporate america but am lucky that my job isn't like your friend's...however, eric's can be like that..ugh. it's very frustrating!

i'm so jealous you work from home and that your assistant has four legs :)

Brianna said...

I was basically forced into quitting a job last year. I worked there for 2 years and my manager and I had never really seen eye to eye. When I asked for my college graduation day off (three months in advance, mind you), she told me I couldn't have it off but decided not to tell me until about 2 weeks before. She basically gave me 3 options: you quit now, you show up and work, or if you don't show up you're done. So I quit. She was and still is a wench.

Marie a la Mode said...

Carrie for the past 3.5 years I have endured so much negativity and borderline harassment at work from the miserable person I worked under and this boss was let go just last month. My workplace is a whole different world now and my coworkers and I are so much happier.

What goes around comes around.

Dancing Branflake said...

Urgh, bullying! It makes me angry just reading about it! I called someone out on it and the results weren't pretty!

Taylor said...

ok, so I have tears in my eyes. BC Your friend is somehow me.

Hi- my name is Taylor and I succumb to the hypothetical dangling-carrot of corporate america as well. Lets see beyond the crap pay, and endless promises - it seems like no matter how hard I push myself and develop my department (which I have been part of since the initial focus group, and am currently an integral part of its success today)it honestly doesn't matter.

For instance my new boss calling and telling me there is a position she knows i would be perfect for, a higher level bit more responsibility - except they would really prefer the person work in India where 3 of my other team members are located - so they could have a hands on trainer for them...WTF then why even tell me - she said we should wait for the perfect US opportunity bc she just knows one day one will open up.

I go home and cry. I get frustrated, but somehow I still come in every day and give it my all - bc I was taught that hard work and dedication pays off.

I am SOOO thankful the Hubs has a great job, where he makes more than I am hopefully in a few years there is a chance I will have the option to quit and go do something I want to do. Use my creativity and run with it. A Boutique? An event styling company? Try a run to work in fashion? who knows...but that light is what keeps me going.

Jesus, sorry for the rant, but this has been weighing on me a lot lately - even causing tiny squabbles with the Hubs and I - bc he knows no matter how much I give I am not getting anything back and he doesn't like to see people affect me like that...but some reason i stand up for them, corporate america.

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry about your friend! It's so unfair! It's got to be one of the most frustrating situations to go through. I couldn't imagine having to put up with craziness like that in the workplace.

But I have to say... Your cat is so cute! And it sounds like you get some pretty juicy gossip! Fur lampshades? Hahaha!

ruthy ann said...

that sucks....i just "quit" my new job yesterday. starting over from square one.

Jude said...

Oh my gosh, I so feel for your friend and wishing the best. It really sucks and yes, I've walked that walk! I had a terrible coward of an old boss who also made me *almost* question myself, until I realized this person was just a sad, pathetic person, threatened by me and many others. I'm happily free of that job, moved on, and enjoying my telecommuting life at another place these days!! :)

Nikki said...

Ugh I feel for your friend. My last company would just demote until you quit yourself. We were never allowed to make any decisions or stay in a position long enough to be effective. Talk about lack of balls.

Nikki said...

Oh no, sorry for your friend. That is just wrong!! Wish him the best!
xxxx

Marcie said...

Carrie,

I have a friend who was the victim of a corporate bully. Basically they dug into her low work self esteem and made her question everything about herself, literally making her feel like she was unemployable. The thing is that she graduated from the #3 law school in the country, is very bright and is very likable. Their loss, but it is bullying at its worst.

Thanks for writing this piece.

xo M

Mo Pie, Please said...

The Chef is quite the funny man, eh? It's stories like these that really make me incredibly relieved to be done with my corporate law firm job and to have full confidence that Ill never go back to working for a giant corporation again. Ugh!

BenchesandChandeliers said...

thanks for sharing...great post.

http://www.benchesandchandeliers.com

Daisy said...

scenarios like this are infuriating. absolutley terrible treatment of not just employees, but human beings. I am so lucky to work for an honest, fair and in the scheme of things relatively laid back healthcare company.

Valerie said...

This is terrible! I feel so badly for your friend. Hopefully he'll find a better situation where he doesn't have to deal with that soon. I envy you for working at home. I'd take a messy desk and furry lamp shade over over corporate america any day. Love your assistant, haha. ;)

xo
Valerie

Kristin said...

If you cat is looking for a business partner...mine is really good at creating fur cushions!

Kristin said...

and I meant YOUR cat...not you...need more coffee. HA!

hip hip gin gin said...

Ugh, I feel so sorry for your friend. Hope he can leave that job soon, nothing is worth that type of treatment. And unfortunately I've had that type of boss before, they can absolutely make you hate life and question your sanity. I've been thinking lately how high school never ends, and stories like this just prove it to me, I mean grown adults bullying their employees, come on.

la petite coquine said...

Terrible treatment of your friend-I hope he finds someone more reasonable to work with soon. We've all been there-I can't wait until I'm not there anymore!

Erika @ ~TiptoeButterfly~ said...

THANK YOU for ur comments - u crack me up every single time! - we're gonna be lil old ladies with hunch backs all for the sack of our Coco's!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Co-workers/bosses can be real jerks sometimes! I feel that because of the economy people are really getting mistreated because companies know we are lucky to have a job :(

kelli g. { bug miscellany } said...

bwaaaah? that is absolutely amazing. it grosses me out to see really stupid people get drunk on a truly insignificant amount of power (i was married to the military for a little while, so this is something i'm all too familiar with).

my family is currently in the midst of trying to manage my dad's business, while he recovers from a massive stroke. things are...not going well, 100% due to the fact there are some vultures determined to destroy what he has built and make off with the scraps. there is a special place in hell for people like this. (i currently imagine it's a very warm, smelly airplane with no exits, the beverage cart only stocked with lukewarm v8, and some kid running up and down the aisles screaming his bloody head off.)

hmm. i think there's some anger pent up in there.

anyway. sorry to be a downer. i guess what i meant to say concisely is:
"i can sympathize." and "some people are real dooshes."

LyddieGal said...

Your work environment sounds like a good one. You are very fortunate to be able to work from home!

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend suck with a miserable boss. Hopefully they will move on to a different job soon.

Fashion Meets Food said...

oh my word is your cat so cute!!!!

xo

Courtney Erin said...

I worked in an administrative position at a university for several years before quitting to go back to grad school and I can honestly say that I had the boss from hell at my job and so much of what you say resonates with me - I've never been happier than I am now, setting my own hours, supervising my own work, etc.

xoxo ~ Courtney
http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

What a horrible situation! You are very fortunate to work from home and not have to deal with corporate America. It's not a pleasant place and don't I know it. I've worked for many a maniac.

Sorry to hear about your friend :(

Katie said...

So many things about life just flat out suck, don't they? I hope things get better for your friend, and I'm glad you've figured out a work from home situation, even if that cat does sit and walk on the keyboard a lot it seems.

Lori said...

I had a manager once who was a total control freak. Because of this we nicknamed her Nazi in Nylons and the Great Big "C" ~ true story. We banded together and wrote to upper management to let them know what was going on. She was escorted out of the building about 6 weeks later. Bitchy ~ maybe ~ but moral was better and we pulled together as a team and made it through some difficult times. I say Bravo for posting this Carrie and can I say I love your assistant??!! xo

Closet Fashionista said...

Ugh that really stinks!!!! :(
http://aclosetfashionista.blogspot.com/

Jess said...

Sorry about your friend - not cool at all. I always feel lucky being a teacher - I don't have to deal with anything like this! Working from home would be awfully nice too... and spending the entire day with my kitty would be the best part, for sure! ;)

Jessica said...

I hate reading this because I know all too well how it happens. Fortunately, my boss has just transformed into a whack job, which is much more tolerable.

heather yalin said...

Ugh! Make me gag is right. So happy for you and your home office dramas! I'm pretty lucky to not have worked for A-holes like this, almost ever. Don't think I would last long in an environment either. And that especially sucks! I did the whole full time (double crap crap minus the immediate boss) job while fully time school and grad school. As if that wasn't fun enough....

Miss Caitlin S. said...

Well said!!!! First off, thank you for your kind words! I didn't know you were a Recruiter and I appreciate your insight. Secondly, love this post. Sometimes Managers are just people who are control freaks and really, their management skills are horrible yet they continue to call it good in the name of superiority. I agree with you that coaching someone out of their position is viral. My last Manager was like this and would do things like ask everyone on my team to send a tally of how many calls they take in a day at the end of each day. Um, hello? No, I don't work in a call center and I don't work in a position where this would be relevant. I take jobs at my desk as they come in pertaining to the work I've done or people needing something, what in God's name is relevant about me tallying up how many times I'm on the phone. Needless to say, she isn't a manager anymore. I hope things get better for your friend, work issues can be exhausting. Love your "office", great coworkers!

Miss Caitlin S. said...

* I take CALLS

Claire Kiefer said...

I am lucky to not have to deal with this kind of thing/nonsense in my job . . . not sure how I'd handle it, for goodness sake! Sounds like a nightmare. While not the same as working from home, my little high school bubble gives me much safety & security . . .

Signe said...

Yuk! Your friend’s boss makes me want to gag too!

My last boss was the same sort of person and it was such hard work just getting up in the morning and going to work while working with him! My mind would not let go of work even in my time off and it just took so much energy just having to deal with that single individual so I can see how straining this must be for your friend. Best of luck to him!

S.I.F. said...

Uggg! I hate that your friend is going through this. I found out today that my position *may* be becoming irrelevant here in about 6 months, and even though everything has been up front and in the open for me... That STILL makes me nervous! I can't imagine being pushed out like that though!

I just hope I'll be able to steal a tip from your book and somehow finagle my way into working from home as well! :)

She Wore It Well said...

I put up with terrible workplace bullying for over a year recently. Never again! I so feel for your friend :( and I so love the kitty cat, even though I am terribly allergic to cats, I would probably end up in hospital within minutes of a cuddle :((((

corksandcaftans said...

thank you for finally putting a name to what happened to me at my last job. and the bully-er was most certainly threatened by me, and when I was out on my ass, angry, wanting to bomb the place, now I know wtf it was and not to let it happen to me again!

hi kitty! I hope you don't leave your eye boogies on the lamp shade like Eli does when he rubs all over it.

Gina said...

i aspire to one day work at home and hang out with my kitties! ;)

mary k said...

just stumbled upon your blog, love your style and authenticity!!
that story is all to common now-a-days! it just happened to me recently. BUT, out of bad things, come GREAT things!
it's so awesome to be your own boss, you're blessed!
the Chef and the Cat are awesome "co-workers" to have around and hear gossip from : D !!
keep it up and be real!
<3 mk

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