You as in a former boss of mine, V. Some of you may remember a brief mention of her in a post a while back (I'm not even gonna search it out because it was so minor). My post basically talked about how I was paranoid on all my IVF meds and thought she was out to get me. I realized that was the meds talking, but also knew that we had a lot of other issues.
Just for a base, here's an example of her issues with me back when. I was handling a territory in my home state negotiating contracts. It was the biggest and busiest territory worked out of our office. We took on expansion in the neighboring state, and while I handled my normal territory, I also handled the largest territory in this expansion state. Needless to say, I was working from 7:15 to 5:30 every day, with no lunch. I still couldn't keep up. I busted my butt to do so, and didn't complain. Because it was my job, and I loved it. She sat me down one day and told me that I wasn't doing enough, that she expected more from me. I made sure she knew the long days I was working, and she basically told me that I must need another way to prioritize and organize. Mind you, by this time I had been with the company for 8 years, had gotten nothing but rave reviews (and I worked as a supervisor in customer service!!), and had been promoted 4 times in these 8 years (and 2 more times since then). I don't have a problem with prioritizing and organization, I simply had too much on my plate and apparently my best wasn't enough for her. So, I said if that was what needed to be done, then I was open to, and looking for, suggestion from her on how to make that happen. (mind you, at this point I was closing my office door to try to keep the world out and she told me I was distancing myself from everyone and needed to keep my door open more)
I don't know, get creative.
Nice leadership V.
After that I had a nice long conversation with my director, her boss. He basically told me that he knew I was the busiest rep, that I was doing a great job, and just to keep my head above water as much as possible, that they were getting ready to start hiring some more people. The same day we had this conversation is when he offered me a promotion, a lot more money and a sweet moving package to move to the expansion state.
So, now you have an idea about V.
It has taken me a couple of days to write this post because I'm so pissed.
The other day I had an email from an employee that works for V now, and has for a couple of years. She just got back from maternity leave. During her pregnancy we had many conversations about breastfeeding and the benefits, and I made sure she knew if she ever had questions or just needed support, to call me. I am so pro-breastfeeding I think I even drive myself crazy. So her email asked me for some pointers on pumping at work. I was so excited and sent back a nice long email with what I had done. Then we ended up talking. She filled me in on the fact that V is riding her about the time it is taking out of her day to pump.
First of all, this is a salaried employee. Second of all IT'S FEDERAL LAW!!! For God's sake, we work for a HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY. That's right, a health insurance company. How can you say my company wouldn't want this to happen???
So, I proceeded to explain to her the law, and also explained to her from a management perspective (at least the way my HR does things) that we cannot do anything about the number of hours a salaried employee does or does not work - all we can do is push the 'are they getting their work done' aspect of it, and if not, handle any verbals, write ups, etc from that perspective. Makes sense, doesn't it? If you're getting your work done and you are a salaried employee, then who is management to tell you that you're not working enough hours?
So, we had a 2 state staff meeting out of town Thursday and Friday, and I got to see this new mama. We ended up chatting about it more, and as it turns out she is now the whipping post. However, she mentioned that really all of her staff get crap handed to them, except for 1. Did I mention that V's best friend works for her? I bet you can guess who that 1 person is that doesn't get the shit beat out of her (figuratively of course) at work everyday. Yep, her best friend (who joined the department right after me, but admittedly was not hired by V as she wasn't the manager yet).
I tried to remain very PC since I am a manager with the company, but I basically told her that if she was having problems with either the pumping aspect of it, or being the whipping post, that she needed to talk to V's boss, HR, or both. I also let her know that if the rest of the staff felt the same way about how V treats people, that they ALL needed to talk to V's boss, HR, or both.
In a small part of my mind it made me feel just a TINY bit better knowing that while I was her whipping post back when, that it was not necessarily just me, but rather who this woman is as a manager. However, I feel horrible that there are other people in my company dealing with what I had to deal with. I mean seriously, I am a manager too, and do not feel the need to hang my 'power' over my staff every day, and give them only negative feed back instead of positive. In fact, I have had one of my staff that has struggled. Know how I handled it? We talked about it, we tried to find out if we could pinpoint why she was struggling and where it came from, and then we came up with idea's together (some from her, some from me, some a joint effort) on how WE could work on it to make it better. Notice all the we's there? After all, I'm only as good a manager as my employees are.
Know what? She's doing 100% better today. She still has a little work to go, but it's amazing the turn around I've seen. I'm not trying to say I'm an amazing manager, but there's a way to get good work out of a person, and there's a way NOT to. V is the epitome of what NOT to do.
I told this employee to please keep me updated. I am going to be SO pissed if I find out that she stops breastfeeding (she struggles with supply issues as it is) because of a manager being a complete wench.
Ohhhhh do I dislike her.
I have so much more to tell you all (and get back to my memories since meeting K) but I'll have to get back to that. This was so much more important to me right now.