Saturday, December 06, 2014
Ugh so I'm a lead aka lower mid management at work. That means that I work in a cube, bat cleanup and oversee 4 employees who all know what they're doing and don't really need a great deal of overseeing.
One of my employees bailed on me. I wasn't all that sorry to see it. This is complicated but when I came into the group she had worked there for about 6 months. There had been a bit of turnover so she was the one who knew what was going on. There was a lag between the old lead leaving and my not only coming on board but getting up to speed. During that time she pretty much ran the show. Once I was in place and ready to take over she was very reluctant to hand over the reins.
I'm not a jerk. I am very mindful of the position that she was in. Nothing like having to train your own boss, but she didn't even apply for the lead job so yea I owe ya one but I am actually the one in charge here. She would look for any little thing that I did wrong or that she thought I did wrong and jump all over me. We were friends before this but the relationship has soured as you might imagine.
Plus there is flat out a difference in philosophy (not sure what to call it). She is prone to hysterics. Any little thing going wrong will send her into code red. I tend to be more zenlike about things. Hey we're not saving lives here, this is IT. There is very little that can go wrong that we can't fix. Worst case, we have to pull some serious overtime but no one dies. To me, getting overly worked up does not solve anything and wastes a lot of time. She perceives me as not caring. I perceive her as immature and excitable.
Can I just interject here that I've done a lot of fighting in my day. By that I mean kickboxing, Shotokan, Kendo - not fight, kill, die fighting more like point, score, win fighting. The absolute worst thing you can do when someone is leveling a bamboo shinai at your head is to get emotional. Your brain locks down, you tense up, you lose speed, and you lose.
Also I have higher than I want blood pressure and I can't live my life getting all worked up all the time. Plus she is just so reactive and moody that its dragging down the rest of the team. I don't want my guys walking on egg shells because they're afraid of setting off one person especially when that person isn't even their boss and frankly has no right to go off on them. I do so hate confrontation but I just can't have my guys being bullied.
Anyway, just when I was at the point where we were going to have to have a little sit down come to Jesus about all of this she announced that she was going to go work on the project team.
It solved the problem but of course created new ones. Fact is, she is good with the systems and we're spinning off a segment of our business, winding down budgets, hitting year end, and all the other fun that goes with running finance IT at a big corporation. Plus this was very abrupt.
The rest of the team was so overjoyed about her departure that I really feel guilty about how long we all put up with her without me doing something. There are some complicating issues really. The guy I replaced is still a friend of mine even though he's moved halfway across the country and he was mentoring her so I felt kind of responsible for picking up where he left off and really deep down I feel like I let him down by washing my hands of her.
Well she left me high and dry as it were. We are already one man down and the way I found out that she was leaving my team was that one day when it was her day to pick up help desk tickets she was off on a day long project meeting. She had talked to our boss, but not me. This is a brand new boss so she basically took advantage of new boss not really knowing the full layout of the land.
We now have 5 people doing the work of 7. We had some interviews, but nothing worked out the first round. We just went through a second round of interviews and I think this time we have two really good candidates. They're both internal which makes things easier as far as what the cool kids call "on boarding".
Monday I'm meeting with the director (my boss) and the VP (her boss) to talk about staffing and solidify things.
So imagine my surprise when I casually mentioned this to a woman who does not work for me but has been helping my team out since we're now two men down and she replied that this woman my ex-employee told her that this project work was temporary and she was planning to go back on my team down the road.
I was floored. I know that this move to project work hasn't been as glamorous as she thought it would be but she left me short handed, expected everyone else to just pick up the slack and do her work without bothering to even discuss it and somehow thinks that I'm just going to absorb her back into my group again at her whim.
holy carp on a line
We rotate being on call and she certainly didn't argue with it when I took her off the schedule.
I haven't figured out how to handle this yet except to just pretend that I have no idea she has any thoughts about coming back and scramble to get those two other folks in and trained so we're at full capacity and quickly.
gotta love corporate life huh
In other news, when I took the boy for a walk the other day we saw some forsythia bushes blooming. The weather has been so all over the place this fall that they appear to think it's spring:
This is the look I get when I stop on a walk to take pictures. I probably give him this same look when he has to sniff every tree and bush so I suppose we're even: