Tuesday, May 27, 2008

HR Drama

As a manager, it never ceases to amaze me how much of my time is spent with drama in and around people. Today I dealt with one of our top employee's resignation and the boss' decision to not counteroffer, but promote, in addition to another employee's eventual layoff. This all happens during a time when I have a bunch of technical work to do also.

But it makes me wonder what my real job is and where my energy should be focused. How much time is appropriate to devote to human resource issues? Is it appropriate to promote someone as a means of hoping they will stay? How much do I weigh the ramification, gossip, newly created expectations and potential unintended consequences in the decision. How many people do I include and who will be upset when they are left out. Just when do you pull the plug on an underperforming employee?

So I came up with a short list of what a good boss is:

- Decisive, but not rash.
- Considerate, but not overlly personal.
- Demanding, but not overbearing.
- Inclusive, but respects privacy.

What should I add???

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

If My Boss Were My Greatest Teacher

Yertle challenged me to think of my boss as my greatest teacher and to figure out what lesson he is teaching me.

When I went into therapy in the winter right around when all the s**t hit the fan, my therapist found that I was interacting with my boss in similar ways to how I interacted with my mom during the divorce. I felt helpless, yet I also felt like so many boundaries were trespassed. She was my mom, divorcing my dad, and she spent countless hours telling me why he was a bad person, treating me like a confidant. I gave her power because of her position, but she violated it in so many ways by not respecting the responsibilities of her role as my mom.

These two people, my boss and my mom, were in positions of power over me and they both abused me verbally. Because of their power, I thought I had to accept that form of treatment, that I had no choice, that they were right and that in some way I must have deserved that treatment.

I had people with great responsibility let me down and disappoint me.

So what am I to learn. The cynic says to learn that people in power are no greater than me, and maybe even less responsible. That everyone is human. That even though I am in a lower position, that I have boundaries that no one may violate. That no one has a right to degrade me, no matter if they are my mom, my boss or the king of England.

Yes, thanks Yertle.

I think you helped me uncover my lesson.

He Quit

No, not my boss, my husband!

Bless his heart, he finally quit his job and is looking forward to a wonderful summer with the kids.

It took an ultimatim. I told him that he needed to quit before the last day of school (kids are in kindergarten and 2nd grade) or I would. That seemed to motivate him.

He's going to road trip to his parents, who are in their 70's and 80's, and spend some quality time on his honey do list.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Up and Down - Can People Really Change

The job search continues . . .

I have had one interview that went very well, and I had one position for which I applied go away. The interview was amazingly short (45 minutes) and the interviewer indicated that there would only be one interview. They expect a decision in about 2 - 3 weeks. I am optimistic, but also realistic that I do not have all of the direct experience they might be seeking - I have other offerings though that the other applicants may not. This interview was for a job not requiring relocation.

The job that went away would have required moving the family. After careful consideration and some honest evaluation, we have decided not to move. The situation at work is improving; as such, a longer job search shouldn't affect my health. And I hate the thought of moving my family just to get away from a bad boss - something about that just feels wrong, and I don't think I could forgive myself for letting someone control my decisions that way.

Which brings me to the question, "Can People Really Change?" As you may know, I report to an abusive and arrogant man who has on numerous occasions brought me to tears. I am a strong woman and this has never happened before in my 16 year career which spans 6 different bosses. But, I can see him trying very hard to control his anger and treat people with more respect. Trying and succeeding are two different things. He is a self-centered person and being sensitive to others does not come naturally to him. I suspect that he will simply resort to his natural state once he feels his job is no longer in danger. As such, I am not holding out hope that I can stay here and be happy. Which is a bummer since I am about to get a nice raise in July. Not enough, though, to withstand being denigrated and disrespected.

Am I being too close minded? Should I have more faith in people's ability to change? Am I simply afraid of being hurt?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Interview #1

It's been a while since I declared I Quit!

After a lot of networking and searching job postings, I've landed an interview as a program manager responsible for more than 200 employees. It gets me one step closer to my goal:

To live, work and volunteer, all within one community.

I'm a little scared as it looks like it may be another lateral move financially, which was not part of the goal, and it's for a city facing financial challenges. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that the circumstances are not terribly different than my current situation as far as the organization. So . . . I need to examine the people side and make a decision.

Pardon me if I sound cocky. I know I haven't even interviewed and I'm acting like I have a job offer in hand. I feel confident I could do this job and I feel confident I will interview well.

Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings

It's been forever since I've blogged, and I thought these Unconscious Mutterings was a good way to get back in. Want to play along click here.

  1. Thug ::
  2. my boss
  3. Slurp ::
  4. Icee
  5. Alley ::
  6. way
  7. Sweater vest ::
  8. preppy
  9. Targeted ::
  10. harassment
  11. Snazzy ::
  12. stylish outfit
  13. Oy! ::
  14. Spanish
  15. Jury duty ::
  16. vacation
  17. Low fat ::
  18. yogurt
  19. Responsibility ::
  20. my life