2014-08-12 - 9:57 p.m.
This just made my day. An e-mail from an exec at my old company who I supported who is fantastic at the job done there for years was in my in box. As with many of the talented people I worked with( I have discovered) from my former company, she started her own business recently. As these professionals become really efficient at their job, they can complete the same amount of work in less time. Some end up having time on their hands so START A NEW COMPANY motivated by their passion in life.
It is just remarkable as I reached out to the co-workers who were THE BEST at their jobs for references to discover that they often ALSO ran their own companies.
I found award winning sales folks at the fortune 100 telecom company run companies following their passions of :
One in seattle LOVES SOCCER and FOOD and has TWO (NOT ONE BUT TWO!!!) Companies revolving around those themes! I so would love to meet him!! His was the one account manager my co-workers HATED!! He was so persistant that they found him offensive and annoying. I on the other hand WELCOMED his calls which kept me in the loop and I never hesitated to pick up his deals they saw as high maintenance as he demanded COMMUNICATION.
I swear I worked in a bizarre dysfunctional office with about 5-7 attorneys and just 2 contract managers (one who was an attorney) that had this philosophy of "LEAVE ME ALONE SO I CAN GET MY WORK DONE!"
They HATED when anyone attempted to, GOD FORBID- COMMUNICATE!!! To them it was an interruption!
I think I became the black sheep of the group as I didn't have this adversavial attitude toward the sales and other teams WE SUPPORTED that was strangely dominant in my group.
I found it so very bizzare. YES the sales folks at times would attest to being able to sell things that were at times not yet developed! YES SOME were not technically REALLY knoweledgable and in wanting to make the sale promised we could deliver the moon, but it was EASY enough to give them a reality check and keep things kosher.
In any case Today I sent a LINKED in Message to an exec we worked with (As we supported the group this exec leads) who MY COWORKERS MOCKED terribly as a very personal Christmas Card was sent yearly. For the first three years there NO ONE KNEW WHO THE EXEC Was but we got this personal card with pictures of the kids etc... Everyone joked about it. IT WAS REALLY FUNNY in a way. I always kept them on my bulliten board and YES it made me laugh we never met the person and had NO CLUE who they were. It was in YEAR FOUR the exec traveled to meet us and my group was MOCKING in the reception. They were so convinced this person was a ditz. They made an opinion NOT to be open in the GROUP THINK Manner as the exec had been the butt of jokes for YEARS.
I actually LIKED the person when I was introduced and continued to work WITH THE person when others just ignored any requests from help from our group!! (Heck I would have been responsive EVEN IF I didn't LIKE the person AS THAT WAS MY JOB as I saw it!)
THERE WAS A WEIRD RESENTMENT of me as when SALES asked for help I WAS HAPPY TO OBLIGE and was greatly apprechiated but my boss would LATER say at times "YOU don't work for sales, you work for me"
My boss honestly had this philosophy that there was a STRICT process to be followed and if anyone in sales EVER screwed up we should NEVER HELP THEM FIX IT QUICKLY but rather should let them SUFFER to learn a lesson! I didn't mean to , but at times also unknowingly UNDERMINED her when she said something Could NOT BE DONE (but I was not in privity with her executive communication) and then I quickly DID GET IT DONE!)
I heard the critician from her AFTER I would had intervened to mitigate the damages of some mistake made; to mitigate risk or to codify an agreement ... some promise made BEFORE it was codified and signed in an executed contract. I would find out IF THE PROMISE WAS TENABLE and draft the amendment PRONTO. I wouldn't WAIT for one not available (or rather not willing to review), but escalate up the chain to get approval IMMEDIATELY.
I WAS GREAT At that! BECAUSE I HAVE GOOD COMMUNICATION! So at times it was HER BOSS who approved. I never meant to make her look bad but rather MEANT to be efficient and a team player!
I swear it was some bizarre power play that made my boss not like me and want to get rid of me. I didn't know that HALF THE TIME she was telling some sales team " WE CAN'T DO THAT" while someone came to me with a request to GET IT DONE and I DID!!
That happened more than my boss cared for; and it also happened on meetings with the head of legal on more than one particular occasion when I specifically recall her idea being overruled by HER BOSS who then asked ME "Msafire, what did you propose?" ( an idea that was shot down- most often MONTHS BEFORE, SERIOUSLY MONTHS BEFORE when I was presented a problem, proposed a solution, and my initial suggestion was SHOT DOWN . followed by MONTHS Of the interdisciplinary team- and understand these were GLOBAL deals- sometimes with attorneys from other countries and regions ALL MEETING and hashing it out, to then have the BIG BOSS circle back, review the notes and ask me WHAT WAS THAT SUGGESTION? To then say "WE ARE DOING IT THAT WAY. MSAFIRE I WANT YOU TO DRAFT IT AND SEND IT TO X"
Which I did.
But X , OF course WAS NOT MY BOSS but the very DIRECTOR ATTORNY Of ANOTHER Legal group my Boss BUTTED HEADS WITH.
It was the professionally terrible outcome for me.
My boss shot down my ideas, but then when others VALIDATED Them, that didn't make her re-assess me but RESENT ME!
Now it is TRUE I was WEIRD in my work. YES I worked 12 hours at times to get done what others could do in 8 and at other times could crank out a well done viable solution and product in just hours when it took others MONTHS of discussion to come to the same conclusion of the best course of action.
I KNOW I was inconsistent.
So when I reached out to this former co-worker Director who was responsible for compiling all the sales stats that our group IGNORED EXCEPT FOR ME- as I WOULD complete her metric spreadsheets etc. for her to provide a report of our contracts status with SPECIFICS and MEASURABLE CRITERIA OF FACTUAL DATA _ VALUE, Turn Time, Whether deal signed or a no go etc...
For Cripes sake her report was given to our CEO; so HOW COULD I IGNORE HER REQUEST FOR INFO ??
Well anyway, SHE RUNS HER OWN BASEBALL RELEATED COMPANY!!
HOW COOL IS THAT??
My group MOCKED her.
It was all about &%^$%%$ CONTROL as in MY BOSS wanted to be in CONTROL
WE SUPPORTED SALES!! Don't you GET IT?
WHO IS HE TO TELL US HOW TO PRIORITIZE?
THE SALES DIRECTOR of this sector of our industry!!
For G-d's sake (hey I think if you are going to use that name emphatically, almost in vain then the Jewish tradition of never spelling it in full somehow seems apt- EPECIALLY while talking about corporate America as it seems like a sacrilege to mention the supreme being in relation to the evil machine at all!! )- Well, you BETTER listen to the SALES DIRECTOR'S IF YOU HOPE TO BE PROFESSIONALLY SUCCESSFUL as a company!
I just never understood why our team seemed to not GET IT.
Before I left there was a shift from the top down where my boss was doing things differently than before AS SHE WAS TOLD TO.
I however just did those things LONG BEFORE the higher ups said to. It was just common sense to me and I never asked PERMISSION. I was so surprised to be later PULLED BACK and told NOT to do things, to the ONLY LATER have those same things I HAD DONE become DIRECTIVES from my boss' boss for our WHOLE GROUP to do.
DUH, Is that not COMMON SENSE?
I still feel very validated every time I get some feedback from the sales teams I supported.
This was the e-mail I received back today after I sent a brief CONGRATULATION! very excited to see this very talented AND PERSONABLE exec has started her own baseball related company: - "Hey there. I had no idea you were gone. I am so glad you are taking the bar. You are great at what you do and will give you the opportunity to get paid well for what you have always been doing:). I am still with ***** [ censored her to not reveal the unfortunate employer who made the mistake of letting me go- "FORTUNE 100 LARGE TELECOM CORPORATION"]. Not traveling affords me the opportunity to juggle both jobs. It is obvious which one I love most:). Please keep in touch and let me know how the new world for you is going and I will let you know for sure if I need someone to help with contracts and soon, an attorney when you pass the Bar. Thanks for reaching out to me!" - Hey reader, excuse the caps. I am a bit fired up when I think of this whole topic of my being fired! It is honestly STILL Really painful. I am grateful for the support I receive from the former sales staff, but nonetheless, the pain will likely be there until I land a new job and/or finally pass a BAR and feel like I have proven my worth, skill and ability yet again!