September 26, 2009

Good (and not good) News

Good News: I have a job next week.
Bad News: I was so excited about next week I didn't want to do anything last week.

Good News: The job comes with a significant pay increase.
Bad News: The job is 100% travel.

Good News: I knew I had a job before the school started inviting people in to extend job offers.
Bad News: Everyone else didn't know, so the fact that I didn't even get an invite had everyone looking at me funny.

Good News: The three people I was worried about the most in this transition got out clean; myself and my counterpart got jobs elsewhere, the CIO got a job offer at the school.
Other Good News: The school offered jobs to 7 additional employees.
Bad News: They canned L, C, D, and S. A. (sob). ***

I think this is the part of the bad news I am taking the hardest. S. A. is just a good person, adored around campus, and very good at her job. Her firing makes no sense.

Let's get something very clear here: I've always been a very practical, sometimes hard-hearted realist. I know how to save my own rear end. I will always secure my own advantage first.

I have no concept of loyalty or trust to any multinational company once they start talking about layoffs, staff reductions, redundancies, you-name-it.

I started college at a time when they were trying to impress upon us that we will have approximately 7 jobs in the course of our working careers. I'm now on #6 and I graduated 5 years ago.

So when this mess between corporate and the school got started (approximately this time last year), I did exactly what I needed to do.

I thought through the options strategically, trying to determine where each entity's best gambling position would be.
I updated my resume.
I began to troll the job boards to see what was open where.
I waited.

This was probably the hardest thing to do, but I did it well. I waited to see who would show their hand first.

The school showed their hand first.

They (meaning their representatives) came to see us, lulling everyone else with talk of loyalty and duty, trying to impress upon us the idea that they were committed to bringing everyone back into the fold, that they considered us "family", no layoffs, no redundancies, maybe a slight decrease in pay, but hey, at least you would have a job.

I immediately started applying everywhere I could.

You see, in my short working life, I've learned that when any company starts talking about loyalty and "family", it's time to bail. They already know who they're going to keep and who's going to go. However, they don't want to scare anyone into leaving yet. They need you to work, and work hard, until the moment they let you go. Meanwhile, they're going to make sure that you get just enough news about what's going on to keep you nervous and scared. I don't play that game. Corporate didn't lie to me. They made it very clear: we just had layoffs. We might have more. If there's a job open, apply for it. We'll try to help, but we might not be able to do anything for you. I appreciate not being lied to. I can work with hard truths. I decided to work with that one.

So I applied for a job with the corporate office right before the school and the company went into mediation. Lucky thing, because the company agreed not to recruit any members of the staff before the school had a chance to extend their job offers. Since I applied for my job before they came to an agreement, I was grandfathered out. I could apply anywhere and everywhere I wanted. Everyone else allowed themselves to be lulled in. They assumed, they believed, the school would bring them in. They all thought they were doing such a great job that there wouldn't be a problem.

The other consultant and I knew better. We updated our resumes. We talked strategies. We sent each other jobs. We committed to getting each other out of there. I signed on with corporate. She got a job as a Director at a major Research University. She spent this past week on a cruise with her family. I enjoyed Andrea's company, wrote exit documentation, and basically chilled. We did what had to be done because both of us knew (1) the school was lying through their teeth and (2) even if the school wanted to bring us back, they would attempt to humiliate us in the process. They saw no value in the work that we did.

Best part about getting this job: All of a sudden the school sees great value in the work that I did. Since they (in their infinite wisdom) cut my part of the department from 5 people to 2, no they don't have any functional support. You got questions? You better have answers, because Victoria doesn't work here anymore, K won't work here at the end of the month, you fired L, J isn't answering any functional questions, and D. is going to be entirely too busy (and doesn't know enough) to answer those questions.

Yup. Now there's great value in my job. I think I'll take it somewhere it can be appreciated.

***Names shortened to protect the innocent (and very hurt).

1 comment:

  1. Great that you have a job and very great that you didn't hanged around and kept listening to lies. :)
    I am happy for you.