I slept until noon.  Man did that feel good!

It’s Friday, and my new boss told me to take the day off.  Who am I to argue with the boss?

As promised, I’m going to relate the story of why I now have a new job, why Fauna quit and why Merryweather has resigned.

It all started last year when Flora was “asked to resign”.  Even though I work in the same office, I reported to a different entity, but still helped wherever I could.  For around 4 months, the office was without a director – and then my mentor was hired.

She needs a name – cause I’m pretty sure she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.  In continuing to stick with the Disney theme I have going with nicknames – I’m going to refer to her as Mulan.  She doesn’t bear any physical resemblance to the character what so ever, but instead holds the virtues of hard work, stepping up to do what needs to be done, questioning the norms, and doing what is right as near and dear to her.

Mulan came in and observed for the first several weeks.  She implemented some minor changes based on our employee survey – including group weekly meetings to discuss what we needed to do for the week, along with individual weekly meeting to discuss whatever was important to us at the time.  Even though I wasn’t her direct report, she included me in the meetings as I was part of the department.

One of the first things I did was explain to her how frustrated I was that I didn’t get the training I needed to do my job and if she was willing, I’d be coming to her with a lot of questions.  She welcomed the opportunity to share her knowledge.  We ended up having massive weekly meetings because of this – where the other two would be done with their meetings in 20-30 minutes, we would talk for an hour, two hours, one time three hours.  The conversations were 90% about work and how one thing would lead to another.  She would apologize to me for wandering off-topic, afraid she hadn’t answered my initial question.  So many times I assured her that not only did she answer the one question, but also answered a half-dozen more that I didn’t realize I had.

What spawned from the sessions was a mutual trust between us.  I trusted she would answer any question I had (even ones she didn’t know the answer to, she always followed up with where to find the answers) and she began to trust that I have a natural instinct for the job.  She also began to realize that if she asked me a question, I would answer it truthfully – no matter the subject.

I’ve always had my own personal policy – if the boss is smart enough to ask the question, I’d better be smart enough to answer it truthfully.  I don’t offer more than what’s asked and I don’t run to any boss to “tattle”, but if they ask the question, I answer it.

One of the very first questions I remember her asking me that was not job related, but rather department related was, “Am I going to have issues implementing change in this department?”  I answered a resounding, “Yes!”  I could already see Fauna pushing back on some of the minor changes.  And I was seeing Merryweather starting to withdraw.

Apparently, these meetings we were having, while nothing but positive for me, were causing resentment in the office.  I was blissfully unaware of this for the first six months.  And then it came out that the others viewed me as the boss’ “pet” employee.  That I could do nothing wrong in her eyes, that I wasn’t being held to the same standards they were and they started pushing back.

What Fauna and Merryweather conveniently forgot was that Mulan couldn’t hold me to the same standards because I wasn’t her employee.  She treated me like her employee, but the group weekly discussions that touched on “no overtime” for example, didn’t apply to me because I reported to a different department.  She didn’t hold me to the same standards, but she didn’t have to either – I held myself to those standards on my own and she could see that.

And then Mulan started implementing REAL changes.  We didn’t talk about it, but I could see both Fauna and Merryweather actively pushing back.  I just shook my head.  Change happens no matter what the department – especially when a new boss comes into the picture.  Pushing back just shows the boss that you are not adaptable and is a strike against you.

And so the tug of war between the employees and the boss began.

Playing this game against a boss never works unless the boss is weak.  Mulan is not weak – she was chosen for the position for a reason and the biggest reason was to implement change in the department.

One of the things I suspected about Fauna from the start of working in the department was that she was taking shortcuts on the job.  I had no proof other than gut feelings, but they were there.  She had been in the position for 20+ years with Flora who had been her boss for 20+ years.  They appeared to have developed a type of relationship where Flora wouldn’t bother Fauna as long as Fauna was doing the work.  But Flora never double checked Fauna’s work, so she became complacent and lazy.

Mulan checked the work, and asked questions, and kept asking questions when those questions were evaded.  She was suspecting the same thing as me – that shortcuts were happening.  Mulan was also discovering aspects of work that wasn’t being done at all that was required.  In our meetings, she would ask me if I was doing “X”.  I was honest and would say, “I have no idea what “X” is, but if you’ll teach me, I’ll make sure it’s done.”  Apparently, she was asking Fauna the same question and getting an answer that would circle all around the question, but never answer it.  Apparently, this happened over and over and over.

Now, the only reason I know this is because one of my strengths is being able to read-between-the-lines.  My kids hate this aspect of me because I can always guess what they’re planning on doing without them saying.  It serves me in my job as well – including this aspect.  Mulan has never told me about the conversations she’s had with the others, but the things she does say tells me the others would evade and give vague answers to her questions.

Fauna wasn’t getting anywhere with Mulan and Mulan wasn’t letting up on the high standards that she expected from Fauna.  One Friday, Fauna announced that she had turned in her resignation.  She had gotten another job, hadn’t been looking she assured us, but the job just feel in her lap.  That’s fine – good luck!!  She still emails me wanting to know what’s going on in the department.  She’s been gone for almost 2 months now.  At our first one-on-one meeting after Fauna turned in her resignation letter, Mulan immediately asked me if I would be willing to switch positions and report directly to her.  YES!!

Six weeks later, Merryweather has now turned in her resignation.  I feel sad for her because so much of what she has said over the last couple of months reminds me of my kids and their struggles with their mom.  At one point, she referred to Mulan as her “evil-stepmonster boss” – a direct reference to her own step-mom from 30+ years ago.  There is obviously some deep-seated resentment there that I’m pretty sure she’s conveying on Mulan that doesn’t need to be.  That’s another post and some intense therapy there.

Fauna’s last day was July 11th.  I took over doing my job and hers at that point.  I’m doing the jobs badly at this point I might add – you can’t do two full time jobs well, no matter how much overtime you put in.

My last day with the other entity was August 11th.  I’m still doing that job and the new one as no one has yet been hired for my original job.

Merryweather’s last day is September 12th.

Someone better be hired soon!!!  I can’t take much more of this!

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