Showing posts with label betrayal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label betrayal. Show all posts

Friday, June 22, 2012

My "Career" ~ Part 11 ~ Breaking The News

I slept approximately one hour that night.

If that.

I had done everything right, and yet, everything had gone horribly wrong. 

My mind churned with questions; theories.  Had I offended someone irretrievably?  Was I perhaps too boastful about my department's achievements?  I knew I had never actually boasted, but maybe just our "being" had rubbed someone the wrong way.  Our success.  Maybe we'd shown up somebody who was wont to carry a grudge.

Why?  Why, when we had done so well, were we being scattered to the winds like this?

What about my people?  I'd seen the job ads in the newspaper.  They occupied about one inch's worth of print space. 

How were my folks going to react to the news?  How would I console them?  How would I reassure them?

I should have just stayed up that night.  I should have watched Letterman and then some late-night movie, and just stayed awake, and then, at 6:00 a.m., gotten ready for work. 

As it was, I tortured myself all night.  Until I drifted off, mere minutes before my alarm began beeping.

I had already determined that I was not going to attend the weekly strategy session.  Fire me!  Oh, that's right; you were going to do that anyway.

So, I showed up in my office at the usual time, and I just sat there.  I didn't know what to do.  Or why I should actually do anything.  So, I sat, and I mindlessly managed to complete my daily work chores.  And I sat.      

Peter strolled in around 8:00 a.m., and he gingerly eased into my visitor's chair and asked, "Why aren't you at the weekly meeting?"  And I said, "Why bother?"

He mumbled something about "appearances", and I just waved him off.  Like one would wave off a blithering idiot.

I was done with Peter now.  The tables had turned.  I understood that as long as my department remained in existence, I would have to play Peter's game, but I also realized that any consequences I would suffer would be non-binding.  What more could they do to me?

Instinctively, I understood that none of this was Peter's doing, but he was now my scapegoat, and I directed all my animus toward him.  If not him, then who?, was my attitude.  And, in the recesses of my mind, I harbored the thought that Peter could have stopped this, but he didn't.  Logically, I realized that he couldn't have stopped it, but damn, he could have gone to the mat for us, and as far as I knew, he didn't.  He looked out for number one, and as long as he still had a job, all was well in Peter World.

My day supes showed up for the start of their shifts, and I watched them as they settled into their cubes, put their heads down, avoided eye contact with their charges.  I understood exactly what they were feeling.  Soon, individually, they found their way into my office.

"What we're going to do is, we're going to be positive.  Supportive of the company's decision.  But encouraging.  We're going to be there for our folks."

"Prez and Petey can do the announcing and the explaining.  We're there for our people."

"We can do this."

I called Kristen into my office and filled her in on what was going down.  Kristen had been my assistant for three years, and she deserved to be a supervisor, but time had simply run out.  I hadn't chosen others over her; other existing supes had been moved over from Claims into my department.  I should have fought harder at the time, and now it was too late.  I knew I had let her down.

I told Kristen and my supes that we needed to be watchful of people's reactions, and we needed to be there immediately for them.  Be ready with a hug; a few words of encouragement.

It was going to be tough, but I knew my management team, and I knew they could carry through, if only I could set the tone.

And thus, the long announcements began.

I stood in the back of the cafeteria, my supervisors back there with me, and I did a lot of nodding in ascension to whatever blather the prez and Pete were dishing out.  And I watched my folks.  And I stood by the door as they exited out, and put my arm around some, and murmured reassuring words to all.

And then, we did it again.

And again.

And then, it was time to go home, finally.

And I slept soundly that night.  Because my mind and my body just finally gave up the fight.

My "Career" ~ Part 12 ~ Loose Ends

My "Career" ~ Epilogue

Previous Chapters:

My "Career" ~ Part 10 ~ Thank You ~ Goodbye

My "Career" ~ Part 9 ~ A Cold Wind

My "Career ~ Part 8 ~ "Everything's Great!"

My "Career ~ Part 7 ~ Another New Boss?

My "Career" ~ Part 6 ~ "Who Do You Think You Are?"

My "Career" ~ Part 5 ~ Welcome to the I-Land

My "Career" ~ Part 4 ~ Phil

My "Career" ~ Part 3 ~ Karma

My "Career" ~ Part 2 ~ Evil Bosses

My "Career" ~ Chapter One


Thursday, June 14, 2012

My "Career" ~ Part 9 ~ A Cold Wind

It was one of those ominous days.

Instead of a nice ease-into-spring May day, the wind was howling at 60 miles an hour.  I'd never seen anything quite like it.

My main supervisor, Laurel, had one of her rare days off.  We pitched in and covered for her.  Everybody covered for anyone who had the opportunity to take a day off.  It was the least we could do.  Everyone worked damn hard.

Peter called.  But this time, he sounded strange.  "Hey, we're flying in today."

What?  Just like that?  Flying in today?  

"Can you make reservations at a restaurant?  And make sure all your supervisors are there....and Bonnie from HR."

"Laurel is off?  Well, can you call her at home?  Can she be there?  She really needs to be there."

I called my four supes in.  I told them that their presence was required at a "dinner".  I told them that Bonnie from HR would also be there.

We all glanced around the room at each other.  Somebody made a crack about, "do I have to update my resume?".  We laughed uncomfortably. 

I reached Laurel at home.  She asked what was up.  I said, I don't know, but it doesn't sound good.  Laurel said she'd be there.

I called the East Forty and made a reservation.  The East Forty was the most "upscale" restaurant in our little middle-of-the-prairie town.  Since the president of our division was flying out with Peter, I figured McDonald's drive through would probably not be conducive to whatever conversation was forthcoming (although, in hindsight, the image of the president and Peter in the back of my Ford Taurus, scrunched together with Peg, Cathy, Laurel, Tracy, Lynnette, and Tasha, with Bonnie from HR sitting on Peter's lap, all yelling out their orders of Big Macs and large fries, with a chocolate shake for the prez, makes me feel a whole lot better)

My staff and I were, naturally, the first to arrive at the bistro.  I wore a light spring sweater decorated with blue and yellow flowers.  When I'd purchased it, I thought it was lovely.  Now it seemed hideous.  We sat there in the anteroom, with the fireplace crackling, and we ordered drinks all around, because our mindset was, if this is bad news (which we all knew it was), why not be half slockered?

Again, like earlier in the day, uncomfortable black humor was tossed about.  "I wonder if Target is hiring", somebody said.  "Gee, I hope nothing happens to the plane.  It is pretty windy out there."

When Bonnie from HR showed up, she kind of took a seat unobtrusively, and waited quietly.  We knew that she probably knew something, so we basically gave her the cold shoulder.  Bonnie had always been one to throw her weight around, and make herself feel all warm and fuzzy in her perceived superiority, so we didn't even feel bad ignoring her. We felt entitled, under the circumstances.

Eventually, Peter and the prez alighted upon the lobby.  Peter would not meet my gaze, so I, at that point, just thought, you know what?  The hell with you.  The two drinks I'd had before had bolstered my bravado.  I made the decision then that I would henceforth ignore Peter.

So, there we all sat, at that long dinner table, and we placed our orders with the wait person, and we choked down our fish or prime rib, or whatever we'd blindly managed to order.  If anyone felt comfortable, it was not the six of us.  I think we managed to grunt a response here and there to snippets of awkward conversation.  Mostly, we just fidgeted in our chairs.

And the prez, after everyone had been fed and sated, cleared his throat and announced, "Your division is the best division in the company.  You have exceeded; no, well exceeded everyone's expectations.  Everyone looks to you as the gold standard.  I can't tell you how proud we all are of you and your department."

"Now, let's all go back to the office, shall we?  Let's continue the conversation there."

And the cold wind stirred the crackled leaves past our window.

To be continued.......... 

My "Career" ~ Part 10 ~  Thank You ~ Goodbye

My "Career" ~ Part 11 ~ Breaking the News

My "Career" ~ Part 12 ~ Loose Ends 

My "Career" ~ Epilogue

Previous Chapters:

My "Career" ~ Part  8 ~ "Everything's Great!"

My "Career" ~ Part 7 ~ Another New Boss?

My "Career" ~ Part 6 ~ "Who Do You Think You Are?"

My "Career" ~ Part 5 ~ Welcome to the I-Land

My "Career" ~ Part 4 ~ Phil

My "Career" ~ Part 3 ~ Karma

My "Career" ~ Part 2 ~ Evil Bosses

My "Career" ~ Chapter One