I went to bed early but woke up a little while ago and of course, the thoughts started up again. It hit me then – a formula to explain what I’ve been talking about – a way to describe why it is that I am so disheartened.
I took a huge risk when I chose to accept this promotion last August. I traded the security of a permanent classification for the promotion based on what I was told would be my position and opportunities.
My new position (back then) was going to be: A + B + c = AA2 (Office Manager), A = Budgetary, B = Supervisory, c = basic administrative support duties.
I arrived to my new position and my new boss was no where to be found – it was a Thursday. I was told she’d be in by 1pm and then she finally showed up at 3:30pm that day… and I found out her last day would be the next day, Friday. I got a 15 minute meeting with her in which she essentially described all the personnel in the office and what I needed to prepare for each. There was no job description, no line of reporting since she’d be leaving, no job performance expectations.
I was told I could “make” of the position whatever I wanted.
Then she left.
The following Monday, I was notified (due to my budgetary role) that the operating budget – which was supposed to last us a full fiscal year (July 1 – June 30th) – had only $1400 left in it and we had charges to process against it amounting to $2200. I located an account with enough funding to cover that charge and got it covered.
I busted my ass, did a review of all the accounts, wrote up an analysis of what our status was and submitted it to the man I have ultimately come to call the Big Boss.
This all happened between my starting date, Thursday August 14th and the first week in September.
October 14th – staff meeting – my position was gutted. With no forewarning, the Big Boss assigned all the supervisory and budgetary oversight to an enrollment specialist in our group and made him the Unit Lead for our small group.
This meant that in one fell swoop, with no warning to me before the meeting, my position lost the functions of A and B, leaving on c. Why I thought that anything would be different with the transition now is blind hope and naivete on my part. By the time the gutting happened, I was effectively trapped by a complete lack of positions for me to move to on campus and the gradually dying job market external to campus.
It hit me…. there is nothing I can do. I can’t beat perception.
The Big Boss doesn’t realize how he impacted me last fall and has no idea why I’d be frustrated or upset. As is typical of management level, he doesn’t understand.
Perhaps, to anyone outside the situation, it sounds small, like upset over nothing. But the advanced level duties were stripped away, leaving nothing but low-level clerical work – things that anyone could do with minimal experience. That’s the point. I’m wasted there. I took a risk for a promotion that ended up being hollow. A friend didn’t understand why I was upset…. he said that I’m still getting the raise, so why does it matter?
Here’s the core of why… the busywork does nothing for me mentally, that’s true. But the job itself also does nothing for my resume. What a waste of time. Plus, unused, those talents and skills I’ve worked so hard to gain are gathering dust and being lost….
I mentioned before that I knew this was coming and I’ll just hang in there, get through coursework and move on to becoming a professional. That’s true. I’ll work on my cold-call packets and try to present myself as ready to make the transition. But I also made this promise to myself tonight… This is my last admin position. I’m done. If I want to break the cycle, then once I leave this position there is no looking back. I don’t care if I have to take a short-term unpaid internship (this will be possible due to financial aid and again, is strictly a short-term option).
It’s time to cut the “umbilical cord” and it’s time to stop selling myself short. I’m cleaning off the white board in our home office and I’m going to outline my plan. I need the visualization. Mentally, I have to begin separating from the past.
The final part to all of this… I have to get out of the blue funk that I’m feeling since the truth of my situation hit. I’m not the only person going through this. A woman in our office – she’s the heart and soul of it – she is facing the same kind of truth. She wants something that will not happen and it’s eating her up. As upset and bad as it is for me, her situation is worse. I try to remember that, but honestly, I’m too internalized about what I’m going through myself. I can step outside of it and look at both of us, acknowledging that we’re both suffering, but there’s not much I can do to help us.
I have a white board in my office at work and I think I’ll post something up there to remind me to hang in there.
Ahh. That’s the other thing. I know I might as well enjoy my office while I have it. That’s the other outcome to all of this. I can see the writing on the wall… my days of having that private work space are ending. It’s back to a cubicle for me. The part that I’ve been seeing as a bonus to sticking it out – the time I’ve had available to study and do additional projects? Yeah. That’s done.
Ok…. I’m wrapping it up. I’ve vented. Now it’s time to move forward. I just needed to get it all out there. The weird thing is that I’m not mad about it. Like I said in my previous post, I made choices. Now I have to live with the outcomes. Yeah, I was given bad information back in July/August, but that’s life. Yeah, I missed out on opportunities because I took what I was being told and believed it, but now it’s time to put the exit strategy into effect and that means regrouping mentally.
I can’t keep letting this derail me. I’ll figure out how to deal with it.
(for one last time, here it is…. my primal scream of frustration over the situation: