My awesome week at work

2011/11/19

I just got back from Phoenix and it was not one of my best weeks at work. In a nutshell, I got to fly to Phoenix (at my own expense mind you) to be ignored by my boss and the rest of the college leadership and then finally informed that I will be losing my job. Strangely, as I write this I am not in a completely dark place about the whole experience. I know things will turn out alright and perhaps even for the better in the long run.

I've worked for Glendale Community College for over 12 years now. I started there fresh out of college and no idea what I was getting in to. But I had two great bosses and mentors that helped me turn Institutional Research into a career that I love. I was set to quit work altogether when I had Tessa over 10 years ago but my first boss asked me if I would be willing to try working part time, the majority of it from home. It wasn't always easy with a babe underfoot, but I really enjoyed working in general and my job specifically. The college created a half time position just for me and it worked out to be mutually beneficial. That worked for several years and then three years ago when we moved to Austin my second boss told me he couldn't live without me and made it possible for me to work from Austin even though such an arrangement was rather rogue for the college. The arrangement has worked well but we have a new college president and she is reorganizing our office in a pretty big way. I'm basically being forced out. I have strong opinions on this but I'm not sure how to articulate them without seeming like a whining egomaniac.

Anyway, my trip started out with three days where my boss was completely out of the office and everyone else higher up in administration was avoiding me. I should have seen the writing on the wall because one of my other co-workers had just been re-orged to another department and I was hearing rumors about the president ceasing all telecommuting across campus. (Not that there is that much, I'm one of the very few doing it a majority of the time.) Thursday ended up being a tragi-comedy of sorts. It was my co-worker's last day and my boss was also ignoring her (classy) so I had planned a going away lunch for her and arrange for a gift. About two hours before the lunch the HR director walked into our office and asked my boss if now was a good time to meet with me and her. And in that instant the floor fell out from under me. I knew this could be no good. They took me back to her office in the course of five minutes or so informed me that my position would now be full-time and telecommuting was no longer an option. So I have to move to Phoenix and work full-time if I want to keep my job. And honestly, I had to laugh that they told me that they want me to stay on. They even told me that "some people would commute". Yeah. That's gonna happen. They told me that I am "very important to the college". Um, awesome way of showing it. The one glorious bright spot it all of this is that I have a signed contract from the former president agreeing to my telecommuting arrangement until June and so my job will be kept in it's current state until then. Thank goodness (!!!) my wonderful boss put that document in place for me. Otherwise I'm sure my re-org would be effective in November like my co-worker and I'd be all kinds of out of work right now. This way I have a lot of time to plan and prepare and figure out what my next big move will be.

So I cried for the first time ever at work. I totally lost it and couldn't get my composure for a couple of hours. I walked for a long time and then hid in my car until I could handle myself. I'm not sure why it felt so raw but it was really hard to process. Doesn't feel so good when a job that was created specifically for you is taken away by people that (in my opinion) are not well informed enough to really do that. I'm going to (reluctantly) stop my editorial here because a) I am still employed by these people, and b) I truly do not think the world will cease functioning without me. Just cease functioning well :-)

So back to Thursday, one of my co-workers blessedly went and un-invited my boss from our lunch and it ended up being a good-bye slightly bigger and more bitter than I had planned, but good. After lunch I pulled myself together and went to present to a college committee and smiled through their comments and praise about how much they like working with me and what a great job I do. Nice. Friday was "normal". Meaning my boss pretended that nothing had happened and tried to talk to me about how weird everything was with the new president not really landing on what she wanted our office to look like yet and how the atmosphere was "awkward" on campus. Ya think? (I'm self editing here again. Bitterness seeping through.) And then at noon Friday I walked out of the office without saying a word to anyone because all my co-workers had disappeared without telling me where they were going. Good bye all.

Let me recap my current state since I've gone on too long as per usual. I am mad. I feel like they are making a stupid choice and I want them suffer and explode in ruin when they realize how much work I've been doing and how no one will be able to replicate my quality of work for years to come. What was that I said about being an egomaniac? Sorry. I am also hugely grateful that I have months to figure the next chapter. I am feeling nervous because I don't know what the next chapter will be. I am also beginning to be the teensiest bit excited about the prospect of change. I haven't been very happy in my position since my last boss left but too comfortable to do anything about it. Thanks for the nudge, universe.

More to come later I'm sure as I process. But good to write this down while my bitterness is still fresh enough to make for entertaining prose.

3 comments:

Karen said...

This Amber is a gem in so many ways, nobody could really put it in words. I hope you know, I know ...

9f8e5cd2-13a7-11e1-abd0-000bcdcb2996 said...

Call me. Have a contact in Ausin for you. Linda H. 480.837.9433

Melody said...

Ugh! This sucks so hard, Amber. I want to hear more about it on Thursday, esp. the stuff about the next big step. I'll brainstorm your future with you. :)

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