Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I don't know who came up with the term, and, quite frankly, it smacks of management consultancy, so it's not a term I am particularly fond of. However, it sure does seem like the perfect term to describe what it is I am now doing given that I left my company on Friday.

That's right. Little Miss Risk-Averse left her job, with no fallback planned, because I have taken more than enough crap from senior management, and, in all honesty, whatever experience I was getting was not worth the aggravation and heartache.

I wish I could have said I resigned, because that's what most people assumed I did. I didn't. Rather, the old contract came to an end (i.e. they terminated it unilaterally), the company offered me a weekly contract on a rolling basis "probably until Christmas" and, at the end of the first week, I was asked not to come in for the next two weeks as, because of overseas visitors, they would not have sufficient desk space and computers for everyone to use. Instead, they'd call me at the end of the two weeks to see if I was still interested in coming in.

Yes. At the end of it all, it came down to that: desk space.

An issue so f***ing insulting that I think I would have been perfectly justified in telling them to f*** off and just left. Instead, what I did was e-mail all of my clients and tell them that I was leaving. A dignified goodbye. More importantly, a goodbye. I don't think people who'd left before me have had the chance to do that. And even if they had, that in itself - the fact that two people in a very small organisation had left in less than three months - should send some kind of signal to the clients. Well, I hope it does.

I also sent the e-mail to some of my friends working in the sector. Why? Just to prove to them the reality of the people I had been working for. Face it. There are two sides to every story. I'm sure people were probably harbouring some small percentage of doubt as to how bad my boss could be. Not after that e-mail.

So, what have I gained from all of this? I can't quite answer the question other than saying I've learnt what it is to attempt to run a small business, and what kind of manager I never want to become. Other than that, I have learnt that I can talk to customers and hope that the skills I gained - even over a short period of time - don't go to waste.
More importantly, where do I go from here? I don't know, to be honest. I'm taking a week or two out just to relax and recover from this experience. Regardless of what I've told people, I recognise that I have, to some extent, been damaged. Working for that company for 17 weeks - the last four under some rather unpleasant circumstances - has taken its toll on me. I am exhausted, drained, and, rather tired of working. And, for a workaholic like me, someone who uses work to get through her problems, that's not a good thing.

In addition, I would hate for the last few months to have been a waste. I don't think it is in the slightest, as I took a risk. It may not have worked out, but I've proved to myself that I am capable of taking risks, and, I can say, loud and proud: I tried. The reason why I took the risk remains though. I am sick of my old job. I've spent eight years doing that function and the thought of returning to it makes me want to scream and claw my eyes out.

So, right now, I'm trying to catch up on other things. I'm starting yoga at Good Vibes this evening, in addition to my usual Power Plate sessions. I'm trying to catch up on dance. I'm cleaning my flat before my parents arrive for their annual visit. And, of course, I'm catching up with friends, both old and new. I have met some truly nice people as a result of this experience, and, that, at the end of the day, isn't something that my old company can take away from me.

And the boyfriend? He has been amazing. I will admit that I am still a little afraid he will choose to vanish the same way MD did a month or two after my position was cut back during the global financial crisis, but, I'm older and wiser now. I don't think he's going to run. And, face it, even if he does, I just know that I'll be strong enough to cope with that. I can't explain why it is I feel that way. I just know, the same way I know I'll get through all of this just fine, one way or the other.

Less than two weeks to go before I turn another year older. What a year it has been.

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