Workplace woes

This has been a rough week, not only because of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary last week (which, I cannot let myself think about – I have a 7 year old and frankly it’s just too painful to imagine “what if”) but also because I created some drama here at work that I now regret.

Last week I was on a conference call with one of the VPs of our company and several others who are in my same position at different locations. During this call the VP stressed (several times) that if we had any issues, any at all, that he wants to know about them. He said we are his eyes and ears and if we had ANY issue that we were concerned about, to call him directly and it would be kept in strict confidence. He didn’t say this just once, he said it several times, plus he made us answer back individually when he said “does everyone understand?”.  Now, it’s no secret here on this blog that I have issues with my boss, so I called one of my colleagues (who is in a temporary supervisory position over me) and discussed some issues with her and asked her “is this something VP would want to know about?”. She was insistent that he would want to know, so she called him. I don’t know exactly what she said to him, but his answer to this problem was to call the Regional Manager, who is my boss’ supervisor.

It was at this point I got sick to my stomach. Our regional manager is crude and rough and doesn’t sugar coat things. My colleague kept assuring me that he would handle things in a professional manner, and everything would be fine. I knew in my gut that everything wouldn’t be fine though.

Well, sure enough, the Regional Manager called my boss on Monday afternoon and told him almost exactly everything I had said to my colleague. He didn’t give names, but there are only 8 of us in this shop, so it’s not hard to narrow it down. When my boss got off the phone, he looked shell-shocked. He came to me as a confidant and asked me if I had heard anything or knew anything about it. There was no way I was going to lie and pawn this off on someone else or make my boss wonder who said it, so I confessed that yes I knew about it and it was me that made the call. He was again, shocked.

We were only able to talk about it for a few minutes before other coworkers interrupted us, so we sort of left things hanging for the rest of the afternoon. It was super tense and I felt awful. I really did. I hate conflict, especially if I am the cause of it.

I did a lot of thinking that evening and realized that even though it was handled poorly by both the VP and Regional manager (neither one of them called me. I think they should have called me before talking with my boss), I realized that how my boss does his job is none of my business. The happiness of my coworkers is not my responsibility. Why I thought I needed to sit in the judgement seat and decide that my boss is not working up to his potential is beyond me. It was bratty and stupid and I feel awful for sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong. For all his faults, my boss has been nothing but good to me (lets me do pretty much whatever I want/need to do in regards to my kids or appointments or whatever), and I crapped all over that (sorry for the crude visual, but that’s exactly how I feel).

I stand behind what I originally told my colleague – there are issues here. But I cannot make it my personal crusade to ensure the happiness of every employee here, and trying to do so has backfired on me and made me look as if I’m just trying to stir things up. I talked with my boss and he was very gracious about all of it (which of course made me feel even worse), and things seem to be okay between us, but I still have this bottom-of-the-dumpster feeling that I can’t shake.

I’m writing all of this here so I can get it all out, plus I need to be clear about things when I talk with Janet (therapist) this afternoon.

I’m dusting off my resume and putting the word out that I am available. I think I should have left here a long time ago, maybe this is the catalyst for that move.

Bottom line is, I feel terrible for causing all this. I feel frustrated that I didn’t listen to my gut and instruct my colleague NOT to call the VP. I feel disappointed that the higher-ups didn’t handle this discreetly and professionally. I feel stupid that I wasn’t mature enough to just keep my mouth shut in the first place.

So many feelings, so little food to stuff them down with. (that’s a joke, there’s plenty of food, trust me)

I am humbled and ashamed and hope that at my next workplace, I’ll be smart enough to learn this lesson and not repeat my mistakes.


8 thoughts on “Workplace woes

  1. Wait, wait. You did EXACTLY what your VP said to do. The real problem is that he handled like a fool. You badgered you and hammered you to do something, you did it, and he did what he did. I understand you feel bad about it, but the blame (if there is any) is all on him.

  2. I have made more than my fair share of mistakes in my working career. Being outspoken and saying things I shouldn’t is at the top of the list. Believing that I have any influence over how the higher ups run the company & treat employees is another. Thinking I know better than others & making sure they know it is another. Yes, I’ve been in your shoes & it sucks big time. (and it is ridiculous how the VP asked you each to repeat “yes I understand” and then went & put you in this position…bad management all around at that company, it sounds like)

    It was smart to be honest with your boss that it was you. And if what you said was the truth, and no one at corporate was aware of it, then maybe it needed to be said. And maybe something good will come of it. And maybe that something good includes you getting up the gumption to find another job.

    I am glad you have your therapist to help you process this experience. I hope the time off over Christmas will help ease any remaining tension. Hugs.

  3. Please don’t beat yourself up over this. I guess what they say about good intentions is true but it’s done now and your heart was in the right place, it’s too bad your higher ups are crude and ignorant. It’s now time to move on, smile and be nice, and remember all that food won’t change anything. Sometimes you just have to let things go so don’t ruin your holiday thinking about this!

  4. I wonder if the same thing would have happened if you had called him directly? Either which way I guess it doesn’t matter now. I really admire you for telling him the truth that you had reported it. I don’t know what I would have done. Probably mumbled.

    I wonder if your counselor will have a completely different take on the whole situation.

    Oh, you keep talking about your co-workers. But didn’t your boss doing a poor job affect you as well? I think you are being way too hard on yourself.

  5. Everything is a learning experience. From here, it seems like you were trying to do the conscientious thing. From your vantage point, you see it a different way. We all have our “ouch” moments. Ironically, even before reading your post, I had a flashback of some “ouch” moments of mine at a hospital I used to work at. Yuck, yuck, yuck! I wish I could take it back (there’s many things where I wish I had do-overs).

    I hope your session went well.

  6. You didn’t do anything wrong. You did as you were asked about something that had been bothering you and was clearly evident to those there. THEY handled it badly, not you, and you are unfortunately in the spot that gets hammered on. *Hugs* You know I’m behind you, no matter what. And hey, if this gets you to a job where you are happier? Maybe you just did the best thing, ever!

  7. Dorothy of Oz is sure to be an instant classic for the whole family. The film is due out next year but the buzz being created is undeniable. Between the vastly talented cast and the original music, how could you not be excited! Glee’s Lea Michele is in the title role as Dorothy Gale and she will bring such a fresh sound to the legendary character. Let us not forget Martin Short, Bernadette Peters, Kelsey Grammer, Dan Aykroyd, and many more bringing life to both new and older familiar characters!! Dorothy of Oz has all the components to be the new family favorite!

  8. We all have our own experiences in our workplace. I had my lessons when I am still working in an office. I see myself to be superior than others, which led to my early resignation…nice read….

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