Here is the second part chronicling my worst job ever. This job was not only a bad job because it didn’t work out, but it came pretty close to destroying a lot of parts of me that I have built over the years that led me to be successful at many jobs before and after. This job almost killed it.
Yesterday, I talked about how I came to get the job, including the interview process and the confidence that I could succeed even though I didn’t have the exact match of qualifications.
My First Day (aka The Day I Should Have Realized I Was Screwed)
My first day came and I was excited. The job was in a cool building, I was learning something new and I was ready to kick butt. I was looking forward to getting re-acquainted with the manager I’d interviewed with…and I did. For exactly one day.
He met me, brought me upstairs, showed me my desk, then explained that in the three weeks since my interview, he’d taken a lateral move and was now running a different group. The infrastructure group was going to be run by someone else, who I had never met before. We will call her Bridgette.
Upon meeting Bridgette, she was all business. She wanted nothing to do with hearing about my past, and wanted me to get started. She knew I had no auditing experience, which she didn’t really have much concern with, but she didn’t have much concern either with making sure I learned the ropes either.
The way it had previously been explained to me was that, even though I was a lead auditor, I would be teamed up with a lead auditor on at least 1-2 audits, the first one where I would be a junior auditor, and the second where I’d be a co-lead. Bridgette wanted no part of this. In fact, she told me that one of the other leads had given his resignation, so I needed to get with him, pick his brain, and get all the information so that I could pick up his audit. She felt that would be enough to get me ‘up to speed’.
The other lead auditor already had one foot out the door and basically spent about fifteen minutes handing over a couple of file folders and giving me a list of phone numbers. After that, I was on my own.
Not the first week I’d been hoping for.
Needless to say, that audit didn’t go all that great. Bridgette met with me regularly and couldn’t seem to understand why it was I wasn’t getting the basics. I tried explaining that I was supposed to have been given more time to learn the process, but she wasn’t really interested. At that point, I probably should have realized I was screwed, but in the past, I’d been given the ‘dive in and sink or swim’ treatment when it came to new technologies, and I always picked it up just like that. I figured I could do the same with this.
The problem was that I was able to do that because technology came a lot easier to me than learning a new process. I didn’t realize this at the time, but if I would have, I probably would have started looking for other jobs and just taken the loss.
But I didn’t.
I kept on.
The Second And Third Act
By this point, Bridgette had already likely made up her mind on me. So, shame on me for not realizing that I wasn’t going to make this work, but shame on her for not being a good manager and saying ‘Hey, I just don’t think this is for you’.
But she didn’t do that. Because she was the devil. At this point, I had gone of being fearful of her yet trying to please her to simply believing that was awful. I hated going to work because it meant seeing her. When she came in (I got in first) and I heard her coming, it sent a feeling of dread upon me that lasted the rest of the day. It wasn’t healthy.
She assigned me as a junior auditor on the next audit. I was given all my goals and I did them. When she reviewed me at the end, she wanted to know why I didn’t step up and take more of the lead’s responsibilities. I told her that I wasn’t the lead, but apparently it was assumed that I would co-lead, even though it was made perfectly clear that there was only one lead.
Bridgette had this computer case that was bright pink. I have no idea why as she had none of the cheerfulness associated with someone who loves pink. Still, she had it. One day we were looking for a birthday gift for my father-in-law and he wanted a new computer bag, so we went to Staples. While we were looking, I spotted the same bag that Bridgette had, and I started kicking it. Right there in the store.
My then fiancé (she still married me, can you believe it?) actually had to pull me away from kicking this computer bag.
See, what I realize now is that this job was eating at me. It was taking the image I had built of myself as a successful, confident person, and it was being torn apart, bit by bit. I can say this now, but at the time, I wouldn’t admit it. Not even to myself. If my fiancé or parents asked how work was going, I would always answer positively. Same with friends. I couldn’t even admit to myself that it wasn’t good.
I’ll wrap up tomorrow with the inevitable conclusion and some of the lessons learned, as well as see how things turned out in the grander scheme of things.