Sunday, September 18, 2016

Telling God My Plans

Worker Bee Analyst has accepted a position elsewhere in my company. I found this out Thursday.

This was a really difficult week. New Boss was on vacation and I had to deal with a ton of work/inquiries that are really management level stuff. I spent most of Tuesday morning crying in my office being overwhelmed and missing Super Boss. He would not have magically fixed everything but he was my sounding board/reality check. I don't have that anymore.

Worker Bee Analyst won't be leaving in two weeks. He will be splitting his time between his new role and old analyst job. So that softens the blow. The new chief and deputy director said very nice things as I was reeling from the news. They said that I won't be stranded/unsupported and they will make recruiting backfill a priority. They said this, let's see if they are full of bullshit.

This week I also applied to a bunch of jobs. A girl does need an exit strategy. My ego is smoothing over the utter misery because I do love being considered an expert, being in the loop and my opinion being respected. But when I feel my ego getting too puffy, I remind myself that everyone is desperate and I'm the only game in town.

To recap, in the past month 3 managers resigned, a deputy director retired, and Worker Bee Analyst got a new job. I got a new boss. Baby Analyst and I are the only ones left. The only remaining manager is retiring in January.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Moving On

This past week was fine. Yes, I got stressed out and made mistakes at work but life moves on.  In a weird way, I felt a lot happier! Then I felt guilty feeling happy. One of my co-workers summed up what was going on perfectly.  She told me, "You know you are very hard on yourself and you were very concerned about not disappointing Super Boss."

Not having that worry in my daily work, not second guessing every decision I make without Super Boss' blessing, and no cloud of gloom and stress emanating from Super Boss, lifted some kind of burden from me. This week also was really good because I have become a kind of expert in my department so the new chief and director have been turning to me for help and answers.  My ego loves being a know-it-all.  Also, the new chief is kinda awesome!  I am really not good with tact or playing politics so she came to me, mentioned a name, and my eyes widened, and I groaned shaking my head "Ohhh, that's a lawsuit waiting to happen..." She laughed heartily while declaring, "I'm going to like you!"

My new boss is pretty good too. I won't have the same closeness as Super Boss (or as my mom calls it - dysfunctional co-dependence) but we get along really well. He's a nerd so I appreciate his Star Trek allusions. He's a Jehovah's Witness and we had a really weird discussion this week where he declared how "we" have a lot in common. Jews and Jehovah's Witnesses. Yup. And it ain't that the religions begin with J. He wasn't trying to convert me or anything but it felt awkward talking like we are in this super special club knowing the true nature of God.

This morning I got a phone call from Super Boss - who wanted to wish me happy anniversary.  It's my two year work anniversary.  Aw!  I called him a big nerd for remembering and we had a nice chat.  He's doing well and could hear about a new job next week.  Good for him!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Farewell Party

As part of my coping with Super Boss' departure, I organized his farewell party. My analyst team were awesome pitching in for food. I got the card and collected money. I also made a memory jar. I am sadly not very crafty so the jar looked like AC Moore threw up on it. 

Another part of my coping is to know myself clearly. I know I need to cool it on the drinking. A bottle of wine a night ain't good. It isn't just a way for me to relax at night, it's also a way for me to avoid feelings. My roommate left to visit her sister so I asked my brother to stay with me a couple days. I also have an acupuncture appointment.

Friday came and everything lined up perfectly. Our marketing department helped me track down an old framed quote from a former chief who Super Boss admired. So many people in my department helped me set up and brought extra food. About 50 people came. Some former employees showed up too! 

This is the speech I gave at Super Boss' farewell party,

"I met Super Boss July 22,2014 when I interviewed for this job. Less than a year later, he became my boss. You have your own ideas what a boss is but this is what it is like to have Super Boss as your boss. Every day he'd ask me how I was doing, and on those days where I lied saying I'm fine, he'd come into my office and help. He didn't just do that for me, he did that for everyone here. There is a Yiddish word for that kind of person - mensch. What that means is someone who has integrity and is admired and respected. Unfortunately, we're losing this mensch. Please don't be a stranger and good luck."

Super Boss had tears in his eyes when I finished. As everyone sat down and ate their pizza, he personally came over to thank me for the speech. He loved his presents and gave a speech that made some people weepy. Not me, I was in party planner mode. Mandroid cornered me for a chat where he complimented the party and how much love it shows. I decided to be political and use the opportunity to point out the entire dept cares and it is very important to keep that heart. He assured me our dept won't see lay-offs. 

After the party and clean up, I was in my office when Super Boss came in, closed the door, started crying as he thanked me. I gave him a big hug and told him that I loved him like family and that I'll still be around if he needs to chat about life or stuff. The day moved on and around 5 the dept was quiet as a graveyard. It was then that I felt the loss and sadness. Super Boss gave me a hug, I thanked him, and he thanked me.

I got this text from him when I got home:
"I can't tell you how awesome and sad today was.  Thank you again for making it happen.  Those moments filled with joy and sadness together are among my favorite memories.  Thank you."

It is going to be very hard this week having a 4 day work week being the first week without him. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Building the New

This past week has been really difficult. I have gotten no sleep this week and cried every single day. Super Boss told me Monday morning he had given his notice Friday evening.  The work situation is so bad and demoralizing, he resigned with no job lined up.  He was forced to head up a project he didn't believe in and is a huge mistake for over a month. It was killing his spirit.  When he told me I kept a very calm demeanor because it wasn't really a surprise. He has been warning me for months that he had a resignation letter in his desk and he was going to use it when he reached his limit. He had tears in his eyes when he told me and sounded so broken and apologetic, I did not want to react in front of him.  After he left, I closed my office door and cried of course.

I had a good meeting with New Boss Monday afternoon to discuss analyst group plans and work.  I cried a little bit talking about what Super Boss means to me and then I groaned, "Damn it, I really didn't want to cry..." New Boss told me he basically emptied two tissue boxes crying when he heard.  So, that was an awesome response!  Validating my feelings and sharing his own.  

Tuesday was the continuation of me not being upset in front of Super Boss. Wednesday was when that awesome repression/martyr plan crashed and burned. I kept it pretty together for most of the morning. Super Boss was helping me trouble shoot a system problem and was standing behind me while I typed. He announced, "Why don't I move over here so I'm not hovering." I shrugged, "I'm used to it." Then he wryly grinned and replied, "Something you'll probably miss."  I shut down gravity of Jupiter hard on my feelings in that moment but once he left, I was wrecked - like snot dripping from my nose sobbing.  Now that dam was wedged open, I was a wobbly mess the rest of the day. I cried in front of Baby Analyst, Worker Bee Analyst, and a co-worker.  That co-worker is very warm and motherly so she rubbed my back and let me talk.  She also pointed out that the fact that Super Boss is leaving shows how bad things are in our department. 

My mom and I had a good talk Wednesday night where she told me that I had be kinder and more patient with myself and allow myself to go through the rhythms of saying goodbye.  That no one is good at it. I also made a decision that I will try to stick it out at work but I will be looking for jobs elsewhere.

Thursday was a better day where I felt more capable and human. Friday started capable and human but Super Boss got weepy at an analyst team meeting in the morning. After the meeting, an older gruff co-worker from another department who is equal parts scary and hilarious swung into our office area. She talked to Super Boss in his office and then stepped into mine.  She asked me how I was doing and I told her that it's hard.  She told me that if I need anyone to talk to, her door is open.  I was so touched, I nodded, and put my hand over my heart.  Then she offered to give me a hug!  This gruff bear of a woman who I didn't even think knew my name reached out to help me. I got a tad weepy and I jokingly yelled at her, "See what you did?" After she left, Super Boss appeared in my doorway with a work question, took one look at me and asked, "What's wrong?" So Friday finally I cried in front of him and we had a good talk. I told him about a couple meaningful memories I have of him. He said really nice and encouraging things. 

So, this is the boss I am losing after next week.  A boss who can take one look at my face and knows something is up.  Not only does he know, he comes into my office, sits, and talks to me.  Super Boss sends me about a dozen "good job" emails a month and swings into my office in the morning to ask how are things. My first reaction when I see him is to smile.  That smile is going away.

As part of coping with Super Boss’ resignation, I am planning his farewell party. I bought all the supplies this morning and I wound up crying in my car in the AC Moore parking lot. To help me deal, I an trying to remember how lost I felt when seniors graduated and how life went on. I am also alternately avoiding or obsessively listening to Wicked's "For Good". Basically, I have been a weepy mess.  My poor roommate has been along on this emotional rollercoaster.

I gave this poem to Super Boss
I once had a boss
Who insulted my family to co-workers
I once had a boss
Who yelled at me for asking questions
This past year I had a boss
Who told me I am smart
This past year I had a boss
Who built me up when I was overwhelmed

This past year I had a boss
Who finished my sentences
Who made me laugh
Who listened

The boss I once had this year
Begins a new category
He is Super Boss
Thank you [his name]

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Early Birthday

I am turning 40 November 22 so my mother this past March proposed a weeklong celebration in the Berkshires for the summer. I said hell yes. Sunday August 7 began our week in North Adams/Williamstown. My brother stayed Sunday and Monday with us and we had a great time driving out.  We saw an improv musical, checked out Bright Ideas Brewing, went to Mass MoCA

and the Clark museum Sunday and Monday. My brother asked me the funniest question over breakfast Monday morning. He asked me if I spend time curling my hair in the morning because he remembers my hair being stick straight and flat while we grew up. I have absolutely no idea what happened to my hair as I got older but it is a wavy/curly mop now which varies from looking like mentally ill Einstein to Dragonball Z anime. The fact that my brother thought I worked for this look had me howling with laughter as I gasped out, "I have no idea what is going on with this mess."

We checked into our weeklong hotel in Lee Monday afternoon. My brother drove back home after a picnic lunch. Tueday, we scoped out the Lee outlets in the morning and rest of the day was recovery "low energy Chokmah" mode. Wednesday morning we drove out to Great Barrington stopping in my favorite hippie dippy store, Crystal Essence and grabbing coffee at Fuel. We headed to Pittsfield for the afternoon and  I got 3 text messages from Super Boss letting me know about big changes at work. He isn't my boss anymore. Mom and I had a delicious lunch at Eat on North where I cried and tried to process the work changes. Then we toured Herman Melville's house, Arrowhead, and I felt a lot better. Nothing perks me up more than hearing about a depressive author who died thinking he was a failure apparently.

Thursday in the oppressive heat and humidity, we toured The Mount

The garden

The dining room
The library

We grabbed lunch at Cakewalk. Then, we went back to the hotel to cool down and hydrate afterwards. 

Friday, mom and I had a four hour spa package at Body and Soul spa. It was pure bliss. My toes are now gorgeous painted with a deep purple. Torrential thunderstorms blew through. We had a delicious dinner at Mazzeos where I discovered this delicious red wine

Saturday was still evilly hot and humid. We had 7 hours to kills between check out and the concert at Tanglewood so we grabbed a delicious lunch at the Great Barrington Brewery

Then we drove to Lenox to bum around town. Sweaty, exhausted and cranky we decided to skip Tanglewood and head home. The best part was my mom giving away our tickets. The group we gave them to were so happy and thankful.

I am home now rested, rejuvenated, and pretty broke. I am not looking forward to returning to work but I think I have refilled my coping reserves. I know my new boss and he seems decent. I still have sad pangs about Super Boss - I even picked him up a a little gift on our travels! My room-mate even got into the early birthday celebration. She got us tickets to this.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mother of Analysts

This past week was fairly decent! Super Boss was on vacation. I got to be in charge for a week which was stressful but also a bit liberating. Worker Bee and Baby Analyst were there to help me and when I was unsure I sat down with them talking through solutions.  I'm pretty sure Super Boss is going to pick apart every decision I made when he gets back but I don't care.  I did my best and felt good doing it. I didn't cry in my office once all week.

Remember that manager who completely screwed over our group? I will call her Tactical Incompetence. She made my life a lot harder this week by more political games and bullshit. Tactical Incompetence manages a group that is incapable of simple math or revising a memo but she volunteered to take over a compensation analysis task from our team.  Because our team trying to do this task correctly is impeding her group. She offered this assistance in the morning so the rest of the day I bcc'ed her on the emails I sent to her group asking them to fix dozens of errors. The thing that kills me is Worker Bee has been venting to her about his concerns regarding the analyst team. I think that is giving her ammo to dick us over and apparently she is playing the victim blaming Super Boss for issues.

Since work is so political and frustrating, I have been taking advantage of our EAP benefit. The therapist is really good. She pointed out a bunch of things that I need to ponder.  Things like if work feels like family, that's good but this is just a job and work won't be there for me like family.  Also, since I come from a dysfunctional family, feeling comfortable might not be the best sign. Yup a lot to think about. I also don't think it's a coincidence that I had a pretty good week when Super Boss was on vacation.