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a new chapter: the world is upside down

It’s been 8 months since I’ve written here.  Partly because life got more complicated.  Well.  Mostly because life got more complicated.

Back in September I mentioned a bit about the changes at my job.  Even before that, I’d mentioned my boss.  Looking back on it now, it’s very clear that she was abusing me – verbally/emotionally.  Not just me, but me more than other people.  When I first started there, I thought that she was great.  Then I found that she was sometime-y, alternating sweet and mean.  But it seemed to be with everyone.  Time went by, and it seemed like I was getting a lot of hits, but I figured that I just wasn’t seeing other people get the short end of the stick.  It wasn’t until my work-buddy said something to me because he noticed that I was particularly getting picked on that I realized how bad it had gotten.  As I am wont to do, I internalized quite a bit, multiplying my white hair, contemplating quitting and complaining to my family on the worst of days.  When my work-buddy left, greatly influenced by her general suckiness, I became focused on finishing a particular project and getting out of dodge.

A few months later, things started moving quickly, we were interviewing candidates to take over for my work-buddy and settled on one.  The day she started, my boss tendered her resignation.  I was shocked – blindsided, really – and a little sad…weird, I know.  The woman my boss had been grooming had always said that she’d leave if the boss left, but I wasn’t sure if she really would or not.  And in the interim, she took over.  A week after my boss’s last day, the new girl and another coworker quit.  They were gone the following week.  But a week later, the guy wanted to come back.    My company balked at that, and it wasn’t clear if they would let him return.  I took on quite a bit of additional responsibility as the more senior woman and I handled the work previously handled by ourselves + 3 other people.  It was a difficult time, but when things are that dire, you just do what you can do.  No one is really expecting you to be able to do 3-4 people’s jobs.  At least not at my job.  Two weeks later, my last compatriot gave her two weeks notice.  That’s when I thought I would become a babbling idiot.  I took a short vaca to get away from it all (because I actually had to use the time) and came back to a pure unknown.

My company decided to let the coworker who had left but wanted to come back, come back.  Thank God.  We interviewed and hired two more folks for our group, one started a week after our last straggler left, the other a month or so later.  My old boss and the senior woman who left tried to get me to quit, saying that our company was a sinking ship.  They said that everyone left was incompetent and that I couldn’t trust anyone.  Especially my new boss (my old boss’s boss), any person outside our group, or the new people we’d hired.  In the meantime, I spoke with my new boss and told him I wanted to lead our group.  He happily agreed, and told me that he wanted to let me try it out for a little while before we finalized things.  I viewed every interaction with him and everyone outside our group with suspicion, as I had no experience dealing with any of them.  The cautions of my ex-coworkers were ringing in my ears.

I became responsible for our group, training our new members, and doing a lot of things that I’d never done before.  Because I was suspicious, I was more assertive than I’ve ever been, not taking anything for granted.  I frequently mentioned my desire to speed the process of officially obtaining my new position to my new boss.  I stayed in contact with my old coworkers because I honestly didn’t know much about what I was doing.  I was learning as quick as I could, but most of what I was doing was stuff that they’d kept amongst themselves.

I finally got a raise at the beginning of the year, after having done ~3 people’s jobs for ~3 months.  Then, they internally posted the supervisor position for my group.  Legal reasons.  My new boss warned me that he fully expected that there might be some obnoxious people who applied, but he didn’t see anyone else on site that could possibly be more qualified than me.  He told me not to worry.  My old boss, was completely opposite.  Somehow she knew when the posting went up.  She called me, and told me that  the new people in my group were going to put in for it, and not to trust them.  And that I needed to be very clear with my new boss, because he might not give me the job.

I was nervous as it was, having had a lot going on already, and that day I just couldn’t take that.  I was completely thrown, and nearly started crying from the stress after I got off the phone.  And I’m not even a worrier.  I ended up having to take a moment out to pray with a coworker.  Which helped.  The next day, I had enough perspective to start asking questions.  Like how in the world would my old boss know something like that?  She hadn’t had any contact with either of the new people in my group.  Once the posting closed, I went and asked my HR rep how many people had put in for it and she told me she’d only received 1 application – mine.

At that point, I became purely disgusted.  I cannot think of any reason for my old boss to have told me such a lie, other than just to mess with my mind.  I’d already started pulling further away, but this was the straw.

I finally went to the interview, and watched my boss nearly tear up at some of the answers that I was saying.  He’s apparently a lil bit sensitive.  Tho some of that could’ve possibly been theatrics. (so I’m still a little suspicious. he seems like he’s quite skilled at blowing smoke)  I tried my best and the results were positive – I am now the supervisor of my group.

And now – I really do love my job.  I have frustrations, sure, all jobs do.  But I love it.  I am learning a lot, I work with really great people – my group is truly awesome.  They work together, help willingly, and they’re honest.  And that’s all besides their technical skill, which is definitely on point.

Folks outside of the group aren’t as awesome as us, that’s true, but they’re not the jerky incompetents that my old boss had indicated.  (Except for one guy that just annoys everyone.  I think there’s one of those everywhere.)

Last year this time I couldn’t have predicted any of this.  I expected my boss’s boss to leave; my boss would take his spot; the coworker she’d groomed would take her spot; and I’d still be in the same place I was last year.  Maybe advanced a bit.  Nothing major.  Instead, I’m the boss.  The world is upside down.  And I’m loving it.

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