I posted about this on Facebook a couple days ago. I wanted to explain in something longer than a status update. This didn’t completely blindside me and is part of the reason I started this blog so that I could share this journey. Hope it helps someone and/or that I do not bore people too much.
I started working with the company the summer I graduated from college. I was in the Accounting Department of one subsidiary. Over the next few years, I moved from Accounting Clerk II to III to IV to Associate Accountant. I wanted to move to Accountant I. However, my manager and the department head weren’t willing to give the desk that title. Though they said I was doing the work and getting the pay of one. Why not give me the title? I was trying to move into the parent company, as I realized to move up in the subsidiary someone needed to die or retire – and that was probably a good twenty years away. No one could give me a good reason or deficiency why I wasn’t being selected after I received interviews. I decided to call Miami and find out what it would take to obtain my Accounting degree. That would remove a possible objection, right? I had a Marketing degree, but the Accounting sometimes wants that specific degree. It turns out I was two classes away. I decided to complete it. I won’t say juggling both was easy, but I knew for me that I needed to do it. I graduated in May 2008.
The end of October/beginning of November, a position opened up in Internal Audit. We were currently being audited, and I promptly gathered the materials requested. When I handed them over, I asked for interview advice which the two guys gave. One of the managers, who had previously audited us, called to offer advice. It went well. I was glad to leave the subsidiary behind since it felt sometimes as if I was navigating the set of Mean Girls.
I started and was impressed with how much there was to learn about the breadth of the organization. It was a little odd that except for a couple managers and an administrative assistant – I was the only female. The guys seemed to accept me and tended not to play games.
In the fall, I began working closer with my particular manager. He was a stickler for everything. He found 6 ways to improve the audit over last year’s. I only found 4, well I failed on 2 counts. There were 40 samples and on 1 Adobe file, I forgot to add the page numbers in the footer – inexcusable. A question was asked – a specific answer was expected, not a general one, but please start speaking immediately, a good auditor doesn’t need to take 2-3 seconds to think and gather their thoughts. Okay, I can accept that these are areas I need to improve.
We took a couple trips together. I found out about the “socializing” after work. I tend not to be a big socialize and was frankly amazed that 5 drinks could be a minimum. I know I tend to be naïve in this area, so I emailed a friend. He’s a Marine, and they aren’t as naïve as me, correct? I found out that yes, I would be out drinking male Marines. I don’t think I should be doing that. However, I will have the occasional glass of wine. One of my co-workers didn’t drink at all because he’s Baptist. However, I found out later that he volunteers to be the designated driver and will “try to enjoy his time.” While I wasn’t volunteering, they are on a business trip they should be behaving responsibly. Beer for breakfast on the way home to pick your daughter up from pre-school? I’m not going to help you. The waitress uses incorrect grammar? I’m not going to laugh at your jokes about her, in front of her. I don’t care as long as I receive the correct meal. Besides, so what? It doesn’t mean she’s an entirely stupid person.
At the end of February, I was told I just wasn’t meshing well. I wasn’t confrontational enough. (Because everyone wants to work with a confrontation person?) I was being put on a Personal Improvement Plan, but truthfully I was being given sixty days to start finding a job. I tried to be true to them and give the company eight hours a day. But I wasn’t happy that after 10 and a half years, I was going to be fired with no attempt to help me move towards a part of the company, I was more suited. Of course, I knew that at least three divisions had made cuts in personnel so far in 2010.
Then on Thursday, the split was made complete. Tomorrow I apply for unemployment. The Lenten series at church was “The Wild Goose Chase” because the Celtic Christians referred to following the Holy Spirit as a Wild Goose Chase. And I’m waiting to see where He leads.