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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Adventures in the Corporate World, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Interoffice Politics

The machine chugs on. I've made close to ten hires over the past two weeks, and am close (so close I can SMELL it) to filling the elusive Technical Director position that's been haunting me since the holidays.

Working for a recruiting agency has its advantages. It's all about the bottom line. You fill positions, you get paid, and the questions are few and far between. Do your job well and everything else falls into place. I was a star at my last agency. Worked hard, kept the clients happy, which kept the boss happy. (I maintain a good relationship with Ed, my old boss; we've gone surfing a couple of times since I left; he has a new daughter, but once he's settled into the groove I'm sure we'll paddle out again.)

On the corporate side, there's a whole new paradigm to deal with. Up until this morning, I was quite convinced that our HR administrator hated me (you know the type - when something isn't done correctly, something as miniscule as a typo, she feels the need to CC everyone and let them know. My boss, the managers I work with, the division VP, the CEO, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Donald Rumsfeld, EVERYONE.) and being the new guy was constantly walking on eggshells around her. So she comes into my office today, shuts the door, and says "We need to talk". Great. Fuck.

Turns out that she can't stand my boss, and is planning on quitting, and wants my help to either find a new position within the company or something outside. She's worked for my boss for six years and has finally grown tired of being treated like a "whipping boy". It suddenly dawned on me that everytime she did the CC-the-world-about-Jay's-mistakes, she was engaged in the time honored practice of CYA - cover yo' ass. And I suddenly felt really bad for her -she's in her mid-fifties, single, with a daughter in college, and she's been dealing with this for six years.

Now, since it's always all about me, I'll say this - I have a decent, but not great, relationship with my boss. I'm friendly, and if co-workers ask me about myself, wife, kid, hobbies, etc. , I'm more than happy to chat about them on a very superficial level. But I'm not a social butterfly at work. And I'm not an asskisser (shocking!). I wonder how anyone could play that game with the same person - who by all accounts treated you like shit - for six years and not jump out the friggin' window. Needless to say, I'm more than a bit concerned.

But I'm always thinking, always putting out the feelers. To that end, I did a little Goggling and found the email address of an old friend of mine. Back in the SDSU days, I spent a year as a Resident Advisor (yes, I provided advice and guidance to young impressionable freshmen. I, who earned my fraternity nickname for passing out headfirst in a toilet filled with my own vomit.) and worked for a great Hall Advisor. I found out that Allan is now the Associate Director for Student Development at UNC. So I sent him an email yesterday asking how he was, and seeking advice on working in the college recruitment area. He sent a gracious reply with lots of helpful info. It might be nice to get out of the corporate world and work for a university. I could go to toga parties.


At 3:50 PM, Blogger HipMamaB said...

Interesting, and I thought it was a challenging career change you were looking for... now I see it's only Toga Parties.

Please, no reincarnation of Scooby. Not in front of the child.


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