May 24, 2016

When you are a square peg in a round hole

It will be of no surprise to anyone reading this to learn that I can be somewhat opinionated. But you see, that isn't a problem. The problem is HOW you deliver said opinion. Or even just speaking it at all really. You see, I just got fired (again) after 5 months working in an environment that I would deem unhealthy for anyone who has a mind of their own. You see, the organization is practically run by three women, two of which are 70+ years old. You know the saying that you, "Can't teach an old dog new tricks?" It is SO true!! So let me back up here---

When I was hired I was told they were excited to have someone come on board with such great ideas and a passion for educating Alaskans. I was excited to come on board. For the first month or so I was called the "favorite" in our department. My boss invited me for wine, told me about her family, and yes, treated me like the favorite child. Then I think she realized she didn't hire someone who would come at her beck and call or agree with her when it came to spending an outlandish amount of money on a SIM table that we'd NEVER USE! I had an opinion- shoot me. One day she was in our Deputy Director's office and we had a meeting to go to. I quietly knocked on the door and was WAVED IN. I explained we had to go or we'd be late. It was then our DD yelled at me. Yelled at me like a bad child. "How dare you enter a closed door meeting with such unimportant information. Do not ever come into this office without being invited again. We were discussing information you should not be privy too. Get out!" I was shocked. I had never, in my entire life, been yelled at like that by a manager...especially one who was moonlighting as our HR Director! I spoke to my boss about it later and she said, "That is just how she is." Umm. NOT Ok. It was then I knew my boss would never back me up... so so so true it turns out.

Now to the "setting me up for failure" part of the story. 
Step One: There is a girl in our HR department who claimed I offended her during orientation, and  I was "dismissive" of her in the bathroom (what does that even mean??). I have not said more than 20 words to this girl. So I asked her nicely what I did that offended her that she would go to HR more than once about me. She said nothing had offended her and that she had never said anything of the sort. I requested a meeting with all parties involved, it never happened. I was told to forget about it.
Step Two: I had a counterpart in Valdez. Same job. Same job description. Same. Same. Same. Except for one thing- I was asked to partake in extra meetings, write RFP's, help with grants, etc. etc.
Step Three: In the 5 months working there, I was never asked about the progress of my work or the work of my staff. Nobody ever asked how we were doing, how things were going, nothing.
Step Four: I was told by my boss to not pay my staff for helping in their village council offices. When I explained that to my staff, an email from the Village Chief was sent to my boss and our Executive Director saying basically that he was appalled that we wouldn't pay our staff to help out in their own village. Did my boss say, "Sorry about that? We will do so from now on"? NOPE. She threw me under the bus saying I had made the decision without her knowing. Ridiculous.

So last week when I was called in to the HR conference room with my boss and the HR Director and was given a list of "offenses" that included offending the HR girl, not being supportive of my staff which is why they aren't producing work and stepping outside my job duties.
I explained that I had tried to rectify the situation with HR girl, and the only time I have ever "stepped" outside my job duties was when I was asked by my boss. I asked if they had talked to my staff to determine if I was or wasn't supportive (they had not).

So did it come as a surprise to me when I got my pink slip? Nope. You see, when you have a boss who doesn't care about your work ethic, performance and only cares about themselves, it just won't work for someone like me. I look at the big picture, I look at my staff, I look if we are spending money appropriately. Even though I am not from the region that I worked for, I wanted the program to be a huge success. Something it hasn't been in the years that it's been going on. I wanted my staff to be proud of the work they did for their communities. I wanted to create a product that would be used and not just shelved in storage units. And you know what? I was doing a good job at it too.

I get it. I am opinionated. I won't ever change that for anyone or for any job. If you want to hire some brain dead lackey who will do whatever you say regardless of the outcome, then go for it. But do not hire me explaining that you did so because of my ingenuity and great ideas when you know darn well you will never let me exercise either of those things.