Update of Sorts
Posted by Keen Observer on February 25, 2012
Sometimes things happen. Sometimes these things make you re-evaluate different things, and sometime life itself. I don’t think these things happen often to people, at least not to me, but perhaps I’m wrong. However, this year there have been two such things happen to me already. One was the incredible gift of an amazing new friend from an unexpected quarter. The second was a result of this friendship. Said friend must not blame herself for that.
I’ve never had a friendship develop as quickly or as deeply. It’s one of those once-in-a-decade kind of things. I’m both proud and glad I can call her my friend. So, when something happened at work to her–our shared workplace–it revealed something to me that I could no longer ignore. I will be intentionally vague to protect both the guilty and innocent alike, but the short version is management incompetency that resulted in both public and private humiliation, as well as mental abuse from people who should really know better. The incompetency isn’t just a one-off, either: there is a systemic problem that the powers that be are unable or unwilling to recognise, let alone repair.
I had been able to keep my head down and plough ahead with my work. I found satisfaction with it. I work with good people for the most part, and I got to combine interests and education, plus see results for my work. I largely feel validated in what I do there. I had in the past six months or so rebuffed inquiries from two separate quarters about possible career shifts, because of that validation. Since this happened, I have now put out feelers to those previously-rebuffed people to see what might come of it.
When someone you like gets treated abysmally for daring to speak the truth not just at great cost to herself, but with nothing to gain from it, you can’t help but get upset at it. And depending on what transpires, it’s easy to share rage. For myself it also rocked my world, and not necessarily in a good way–at least for my peace of mind. I had the experience of standing next to one of the actors involved after the fact, and it took some self-control not to pull away as my skin started to crawl a bit. Watching the other actor left me feeling queasy, as his salesman’s spiel was delivered to the company, and later his schmoozing about with staff, as though he hadn’t just tried to destroy someone’s spirit and self-confidence. I could barely look at him and took pains to avoid him.
I had known prior to this that my future at the company was limited. I would not advance very far, because to be a manager, I would have to report to him. I already had issues with him prior to this, but I was largely content to let things be and do my job. The other actor was rarely my problem, so I could also ignore things from that quarter, and commiserate with those working in that chain of command. But their willful blindness was always hard to stomach. This series of events was just a culmination of a lot of problems, much as it was for my friend, but I hadn’t expected events to follow this vector.
And so, I begin actively looking for other positions. I will not stay at a company that views this sort of behaviour as acceptable, nor one that seems not just willing, but eager to drive itself off the cliff. All of the things I have seen, not least of which seems to be the haemorrhaging of experienced personnel; hiring people who are incapable of independent thought or a clear understanding of English; choosing the best of a bad lot from internal applicants, rather than go outside the company; rewarding failure, or, at least, mediocrity; and making it almost a point of honour that it’s really, really difficult to get fired.
So, it wasn’t a difficult decision for me. It seems to be one of those things that just needed an impetus of some sort to start rolling down the hill. And it’s hard to deny what you see, once the scales have been torn from your eyes. So now, I try to change my life again–my protest against a shitty situation–and I have no idea how it’s going to end up. For someone like me, that’s more than a little frightening, but I don’t think I can do anything else and maintain my self-respect.
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