After six years I quit my job.
The decision didn’t come easy. I left a company where I built a lot of friendships and many of them were sad when I decided to leave, but after a number of years trying to make myself content with a company that was progressively making my life miserable, I made the decision to walk away.
In the past year-and-a-half I’ve had to deal with an upper-level manager who loved to play mind games. One of his favorites was to walk in my office and tell me that everything he needed was high priority for a top-level executive. However…the majority of his requests were never for top-level executives.
The reason he would use this particular mind game was because he thought that it would make me rush to get the task completed sooner. However, I saw through his little game and knew that it was only so he could brown-nose the directors into thinking that he was more efficient than he really is.
Consequently, I knew he was full of crap because I communicated with each Admin Assistant of all the top-level executives on a daily basis, and I would ask them directly if they or the directors had any purchase requests.
About 99.9% of the time…they said no.
On top of that, my direct supervisor was extremely naïve when it came to the manager’s little mind game, so when the upper-level manager would tell my supervisor that it was for a top-level executive, my supervisor would panic and start hounding me until I finished the task.
That was really frustrating and annoying.
Even more frustrating is that this little dance between my supervisor and the manager. . . I called it the dance of the ignorant and naïve. . . got worse through the COVID pandemic. EVERY task suddenly became an emergency for a top-level executive.
During the past year alone working for this company became unbearable, and not just for myself, but for many others who are still there and still dealing with numerous problems that plague the workplace.
Here are a few examples…
#1) – I spoke with a Supervisor not in my area and she vented to me about the overall negativity of the company. She complained to me about how senior level management does not care about the people, and they only care about themselves.
She shared this story as an example:
Two co-workers passed away from cancer in the same calendar year in her area. As a supervisor, she made every attempt to help her co-workers deal with the loss of their close friends, but when she brought up the situation to upper management and requested grief counseling for the employees, upper management declined the counseling and informed the supervisor that they all need to “just get over it and move on”.
The supervisor had tears in her eyes and struggled to compose herself as she relayed this story to me. She said this was very disheartening and depressing for everyone in their area to not have someone in management show some concern for the individuals working for this company and the grief they were experiencing.
I asked if she or anyone in their area brought this up with human resources and she said no, and that it wouldn’t do any good since past situations have been brought to the attention of HR, and those situations were swept under the rug or discarded.
#2) – An administrative assistant for one of the high-level executives reached out to me to vent because she didn’t feel that anyone in her area could be trusted. As we talked, she vented to me about how the company lacks in communication skills.
She described the management structure as a “free-for-all” where everyone in a management has an idea that never gets communicated and then everyone in supervisory positions have an idea that never gets communicated and none of the employees who are actually doing the work know what they are supposed to be doing.
She also mentioned that management and supervisors across the entire company are very hypocritical and seem to take advantage of time off requests, but never extend the same courtesy to their employees.
One such case was when an employee wanted to take some time off to attend a family gathering, but was denied vacation leave; however, the same supervisor who denied the employee’s vacation request, takes ample time off for family-related matters whenever they please!
Furthermore, she mentioned that managers seem to take time off without ever requesting leave and they are able to pile up their sick and vacation time (FYI–the company allows employees to accumulate vacation and sick time per pay period), however the managers would never allow their employees to get away with that. Since she’s an admin assistant for a director, I tend to believe her.
#3) – I touched base with another co-worker who vented to me about the serious problems within the company and how no one knows what the procedure is for anything and most people are making it up as they go.
He used my team as an example and said that the team I work on has been lacking in providing a procedural manual for over 10 years. It’s been requested by upper management, but the lower-level supervisor refuses to create one.
He also mentioned that it’s been almost impossible to get an update on a status of a purchase request and no one knows how to request computer devices or software licensing purchases because the process keeps changing and no one is conveying the changes to the people who make the requests.
(I had to agree with him because I mentioned that I do my best to get as much information out as I can, but the rest of my team seems to fail at providing any kind of direction or communication, which is extremely frustrating for me because I’m usually inundated with emails and instant messaging.)
#4) – Another administrative assistant to a high-level director informed me that communication stinks in our company, and that if I leave, they will never get anything purchased because I’m the only person that communicates and gets things done for them.
She also told me that when she sends in a request, if it gets assigned to someone other than me, she’s pretty confident it’ll never get purchased because everything is in complete disarray without me there.
#5) – I had a co-worker within my field of Information Systems & Technology (IS&T) vent about the lack of integrity among the leadership of IS&T.
They told me about some of the poor communication and promises that were made to get desktop computers replaced with laptops for the entire company to have a remote setup in case of another pandemic.
However, he said that none of the upper management or supervisors could make a decision on how the process was going to move forward or what devices would be purchased; nor did anyone provide a time table of when it should be implemented or completed.
He went on to say that most of the leadership will convey something one day, but a week later change their minds and not pass the information on until the employees have already done the majority of the work. He also said that no one trusts anyone in management.
After listening to these complaints for the past few years, I finally did something about it.
On May 4th of this year (2021) I reached out to someone in human resources and attempted to convey just how serious things are within the company and how frustrated employees are with upper management, and that if HR doesn’t come up with a plan to listen to and help these employees, that this company will lose 50% or more of its workforce before the end of 2022.
The HR rep told me that she was “very concerned” with the information I was telling her, and with my permission she emphatically stated that she would “pass on my name and the list of issues to the HR director”.
I really thought she would pass this information on because I really thought she cared about these people as much as I did. But after two months…crickets.
I reached out again to HR asking for a status update…and to my disbelief…no reply. Not even a simple “Hey, got your email, no time to reply with details, but we’ll touch base soon.” Even that would have sufficed, but nothing.
Mentally. Emotionally. And physically I had nothing left to give that company. So, after all the issues…all the frustrations…all the headaches… I sent them my letter of resignation and walked away.
I feel like I have a new lease on life, and I don’t have any regrets.
I feel free to be healthy again.
I know there’s a better company out there, and I’m hoping to leave the pathetic dumpster fire behind me.