Ever hold a job where you want to just go into your manager’s office and haul off on him/her? Give them your two cents worth of mental anguish you’ve had to endure for months/years/decades and just walk out?
I did that after only four months on the job.
It was apparent from the first two weeks at this job, that the boss was a phantom boss. He hired people to do the work, and did not micro-manage because he was hardly there. I was hired to improve internal processes, and manage client expectations with timeframes. So, I began establishing working relationships with my team members, understanding what their job descriptions were, how they worked, and making sure that the processes that I began to implement were to help them focus on projects rather than constantly put fires out for one particular client.
As I began to implement my new plans, my team seemed satisfied that I was listening to their frustrations and going back to the boss about what their concerns were. Most of it had to do with our biggest client’s needs. They wanted it NOW. Forget what our average timeframe was. Forget that we had other clients to consider and take care of. They didn’t care. They owned our business from what I could tell and ran our timeframes for not only our staff, but for our other client’s as well. The staff was extremely frustrated by this. Engineers who build backend databases can’t just switch over from one project to another – there’s a certain flow of mental thought: Coding for a site is built on string after string of actions. To switch over to another major project is difficult to do.
As a Project Manager, I had to step in and manage the client’s expectations. I had to be firm, yet polite, about the timeframe it would take to handle such tasks and that our engineers would handle their requests as soon as humanly possible.
That wasn’t good enough.
Ok – then, let’s prioritize your needs. Here is a list of ten things you want done NOW. Give me a list prioritizing when you need these, and we’ll work on timeframes.
“We need all of them now”, was their response. Have some candy little girl and settle down. When I would push back, the client would go behind my back and call my boss. My boss would then tell me, “Just give her what she wants.”
WTF? Are you kidding me, Mr. “Get a Fucking Spine?”
Ok. I see how it is now. Because my boss can’t have my back and stand up to a client with a little push back and some basic negotiating skills (which he highly lacked and would have received a big, fat, EPIC FAIL if he ever was on a debate team), I was now part of the group putting out fires and running around like a chicken without a head like the rest of them because one client seemed to be running our business rather than our boss.
This went on for about three months. I had enough. I walked into his office with a spine by the way, and told him….
“You hired me to improve your processes and manage client expectations. I’ve tried to do this but have received constant push back. It is abundantly clear that you are’t running your business. Your client is running your business. So, since you don’t have a single, small negotiating bone in your body, and she stomps her feet till she turns blue and screams to you into the phone when she can’t have her way like a spoiled toddler wearing a tiara, I have no other alternative than to give you my two weeks notice. I wasn’t hired by you to fail. I was hired by you to change your processes and manage clients in a better method than they have been before I came here. When you can’t back me up and assist, What the hell am I here for?”
The boss said he would talk to her and assured me things would get better.
After one month, things remained unchanged. I shot off an email to my boss during one of his many hunting trips, and told him that it’s apparent he doesn’t care about his employees working 70 hours plus a week and putting out fires for one client while sacrificing other clients’ requirements. I’m fed up with the fact that my hands are tied – I can’t help my team and I can’t do my job because the only response I receive from him when he is here is “just give her what she wants.” I gave him my two weeks notice.
He drove back three hours from his hunting trip to talk to me. His talk didn’t do anything for me. He sounded like a broken record. It was like talking to an ex-husband who promised crap he would never follow thru with.
So, with my tale of a dramatic exit now completed, I’ll leave you with a “dream” video on exiting a job not so gracefully after winning the lotto (send the little kiddies out of the room…..)