Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Strange Things Are Afoot

I don't know why, but it seems like I can't have all things in my life going well at the same time. Now that I am personally happy, with a great man and wonderful son, my professional life is taking a wicked hit.

First, let me give you some history. I have been with my company for 15 years. In that time, I have been a supervisor of billing (1 year), supervisor of help desk (6 years), special help desk analyst (after my maternity leave), EDI specialist, and finally EDI Supervisor (7 years). During that time, I have been seen as someone who can be counted on to get things done. Until now.

2 years ago, my mentor and the best boss I ever had left for another position cross country. The team I am supervising is not perfect, but we got things done. After Prior Boss's departure, things turned rather ugly. I was going through my divorce, was emotionally checked out, and struggling on a daily basis just to keep from having a nervous breakdown. That's when some rather unscrupulous people on my team decided that I was in their way and had to go. They began slowly, planting seeds of unrest amoung the rest of the team. A new boss was hired and they used that to voice their discontent to him, without going through me. New Boss discussed these things with me, and I would assure him that they are just trying to stir up trouble. Then New Boss is given new duties which he promptly embraces and ignores our team. I have no support, no direction, and am just trying to keep things status quo. The particularly venomous people on the team use this to stir up more trouble and to strengthen their own positions...

Then, the team complains to HR and I am subjected to a Leadership Review by my team, peers, and management. What follows is not so much a blood bath as I had expected, but a "loop hole" for the powers that be to force me out of my role. I was presented with the results (most being from the team) that stated that I was "in need of improvement" and HR says, "I'll be honest, it is extremely difficult to recover from this" and "Perhaps you aren't happy and need a new position" and "We can help you find something else". Well, what does that tell me? That they want gone. So I talk to my boss and determine that he, too, wants me to step out of my position and that he feels I am really valuable and if I wanted to stay, he would be happy to keep me. So, I decide that I like the work, and he was taking on the people part, so I would stay.

So, here's the wicked hit I referenced earlier...

There is one person on my team that is doing her damndest to make sure the team knows that she is being put into a place of power, and that I am being demoted. She has shared things with others on the team that she should not have, and she managed to get everyone on edge again. She is clearly poison, but the New Boss seems to think that she has merit for the team. When I found out that she is telling people that I am no longer supervisor (which has not been made official), well, that didn't sit well at all. On top of that, every conversation she has with the New Boss is related back to me to show me how valuable he thinks she is, how he values her opinion, and how he obviously relies on her (/sarcasm). And I am sick of it.

So, I met with New Boss and let him know what was going on. He is not happy, but I feel better now that he knows about it. I have to tread carefully, but I know that I will be damned if I will let someone weasel in behind and try to push me out anymore.


Janice said...

Good for you! I admire your courage!! I worked under much those same curcumstances for a few years and it about did me in. Looking back, I should have done just what you did, and if it meant losing my jobp at least I would have had my pride and sanity. GOOD FOR YOU!

Jeff said...

Have faith... People who are butt-heads at work may "get over" for a while, but they *eventually* get their comeuppance. Now, sometimes, particularly if you have a bad boss or (worse) the boss *is* the butt-head, it takes a while. Sometimes years. In the meantime, see if you can figure a way to (a) suffer silently, (b) point out said butt-head-ery to the "powers that be", or (c) do an end around and get away from it completely. Not necessarily in that order.