Friday, April 11, 2008

Old Job, New Job, No Job

It has been a long, excruciating time for you, and for that I apologize. The computer with which I usually compose the tomes you are accustomed to reading on this page was rendered woefully inadequate by something Ben Franklin liked to call "electricity." My 5-month old computer was fried after having been acting like a spoiled bitch for a couple of weeks. Finally it decided to give up on life and take the cowards way out. And after all I gave it. For shame.

Anyway, a coworker has graciously allowed me to use her computer for a little while until I can save up the ducats to buy a new one. (If anyone sees a hot price on a good laptop, call me.) Some things have changed since my last post, so I'll just give a quick rundown.

I just finished the third full week of a new job within the company I've been with for the last 7 years. I work for a large health insurance company in Central New York, and I went from the Customer Service department -- where I had served in a couple different functions over the last 3/4 of a decade -- to an internal auditing department. You know how you will complain about how inefficient your insurance company is? My job is to try and fix that.

It is a welcome departure from the previous 5 months, where my department turned upside down. Now that I'm out of the situation, I feel like I can vent a little about it, without naming names of course. Basically, I got a new boss, and she came into the department hating me right off the bat.

I know I know. How could someone hate me? I'm such a sweet boy. The idiot man-child who entertains all around him with his half-witted hijinks.

Basically, I had dealt with this person on a limited basis prior to her being my boss. And though I don't remember when, how or why, I must have pissed her off. I could have said the wrong thing, or stood up for myself at the wrong time in previous dealings with her, but I don't remember what I said or did.

Bottom line: she couldn't stand me. She began micromanaging even the most minute details of the job -- you know, the job I had been doing for the past two years and had actually become quite good at? We had the best January in terms of meeting goals that we've ever had since I started there, and though maybe I'm delusional about this, I took a position that had been routinely loathed within the department and made it somewhat palatable to the other employees. Not to toot my own horn, but I think I had the perfect combination of righteous anger, compassion and common sense to do that job. But I wasn't allowed to do it anymore.

Soon I realized that I was getting yelled at about things that had absolutely no fucking importance, and that my counterpart was doing the same things I was, but he was not getting reamed out for it. I knew it was time to go.

One final point: the person who was previously my boss had arrived with much fanfare, and the reputation for being brilliant and a hands-on micromanaging type. Part of this was true: she decided to basically try to do my job for me, even though I was doing it pretty well, in my own estimation. And considering she had a very high-ranking position in the company, I would think she would have more important work to do than nitpicking every spreadsheet I made that maybe four people looked for no more than 30 seconds. The brilliance, however, was a fallacy. It became apparent that she tries to intimidate people into agreement rather than keep her promise of "open dialogue." And what some saw as shrewd management presented itself to me as petty paranoia. The Emperor has no clothes and more people are starting to see it.

Having put my old department behind me, I am now in the polar opposite situation: a department where I was trained for about two days and then thrown to the wolves. There is no management interference, and I am expected to independently complete all my monthly projects (mission accomplished, so far). It feels like a real job, and I am expected to contribute and be self-reliant, which is an amazing 180-degree difference from the constant looking over the shoulder I had to endure at the old place. (Did I mention that my ex-boss moved her desk right next to mine? And when I left, she moved to another office within about 3 days. Yeah, it's a good thing I got out when I did or I probably would have been walked out by security.)

Bottom line: I'm really digging my new job, and my understanding is that I'm going to eventually be doing a lot of in-depth end-to-end analysis of a lot of the company's processes so I'm really excited. I have also implemented "Suit Up Fridays;" when most people are dressing down, I'm wearing a tie. That will last exactly as long as my supply of shirts and ties does, so probably one more week.

And while I'm still in the first third of my working life, I am happy to say that my old man -- the venerable Robert D. [same last name] -- went to his last day of work TODAY. Sunday will no longer bring the sadness it used to, or the "Sunday blues" as my dad calls it.

No one that I know has ever worked harder than my dad. I won't delve into the cliches of "he always put food on the table" or whatever, but the old man worked his ever-lovin' ass off every day of his life. He worked in a demanding job, dealing with a lot of difficult people (and a lot of scumbags, if you don't mind my saying). And since New York State is in such turmoil, with dumbfuck bureaucrats running amok in many of the departments, he is going to be spared having to be insulted and threatened by empty suits who don't have 1/100th the character or work ethic that he has. My dad is probably the greatest guy I know, and honestly it makes me sick to think of the abuse he has had to take in his job, mostly from pieces of crap looking for a handout. (Bob would probably not agree, but then again he doesn't have a blog now, does he?)

So to my wonderful Old Man, I say congratulations and thanks for all the great gifts you've given to me. You deserve to relax for the rest of your life and I hope you get the chance to do it. Love you, Pops.

So I only have about three more decades left until I can step out of this working life and just kick it for a while. Unless they find a way to extend our lives to 120 like they said they could on a commercial for 20/20 or Dateline or something the other day. In which case I'm gonna have to work my ass off until I'm probably 90 or so. Just my goddamn luck.


Toastie said...

welcome back buddy and congrats on enduring the roller coaster of old position, new position, completely different position.

toast OUT!

SUE said...

Yay! I'm glad you got to keep your seniority at the company but still move away from the vicious hag you were working for. I am a 100% firm believer in karma...expect the Emperors naked ass to be found out sooner or later and shown the door. Also, yay for not having to deal with customer service day in and day out...that had to test your patience routinely.

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