Yesterday a friend of mine from work quit her job. I've known this
day was coming ever since she told me she was an
undocumented citizen paying taxes under a Social Security Number that
doesn't belong to her. My little sister is part of the group that works
to keep the system clean but hearing my friend talk about having to
cross the border when she was eleven and how awful things were in her
homeland has given me a different perspective.
My friend asked me not to tell anyone why she was leaving. She was going
to ask the HR manager to meet her somewhere but I said she didn't owe
that to anyone and she should send HR an email to let them know she was
leaving; end of subject. Her boss is the man responsible for me working
where I do. Recently he asked my friend to represent our company at a
trade show. A couple weeks ago she was down in Miami working with
another rep at a show designed to generate international interest.
After I got the text that explained why my friend was leaving I asked
the guy I sit next to if we could get away for a while. During
my lunch break I had some time to think. Every time I walked past my
friend's desk I removed as many of her personal items as I could manage
without arousing suspicion She sent me a text telling me she was so
embarrassed she could never show her face there again but I told her
that everyone has skeletons in the closet and things in their past that
they would rather not have anyone know about.
Attitude plays a role in determining how I feel given certain
situations. I believe that because I've seen the effects of both
positive and negative outlooks. One way to view things is to look at
other people and how they're standing in my way. Another angle I could
use is to seek ways for me to work with or around these people. The
problem is I am tired of working against people whose goals are not in
line with mine.
Tuesday afternoon I listened to my boss explain teamwork and how we
all love each other so each other's burdens become our own and together
everyone achieves more. It was kind of funny watching expressions
flash across my supervisor's face for there is no love for the guy who
sits directly across from me. At the end of the meeting my boss gave me a
hug and so did my supervisor only her hug was genuine.
One of the guys I work with jokes around about how nice it is to see
me. We're actually making fun of my boss who will tell people how valued
they are and what a great job they're doing only it is all suspicious form and lacking substance. It's patronizing, demeaning
and pretty demoralizing and I can hardly believe that she expects me to
feel sorry for people who are paying five dollars a gallon for gas when
those same people are complaining about paying taxes on six figure
Wrath, righteous anger, has its place and as I walked out of that
meeting I had a decision to make. Either I can choose to blame my boss
for being who and what she is or I can accept her position in my life as
a challenge and prove that I understand corporate games by winning. I
used to really envy my boss, what she represents is significant but
after that meeting I decided that she's old school and I'm bringing
fresh new ideas into play.
It was funny sitting in that meeting with two women who are flirts. I
rarely flirt at work and when I do it is because I know that my words
and actions are not going to be misconstrued or taken in a way that I
didn't mean them. Lately I've been reading this book and I had a lot of
fun building the conversation up to a point where the people who were
supposed to be talking started asking me for dating advice.
The book I mentioned gave me insight into what makes people tick.
While some people are lazy or unmotivated I think a lot of people are
actually scared of rejection. They don't realize that the path to
success doesn't have to be paved with failure and a long line of
rejections. At work I have no idea who is going to be on the other end
of the line when I call and that's where the game starts. I have about
ten seconds to establish credibility and generate interest.
These people are bombarded with sales calls so why is anyone willing
to listen to me and what I have to say? My message is not unique, my
secret is that I seek for ways to connect with people and I respect
their time. I listen for sales cues which is how I ended up getting a
customer who has spent less than a hundred dollars with us in the past
eight months to introduce a product we have to a customer of his.
Selling one on one is inefficient. Networking and the ability to
reach a large audience is critical, it's now who and what you know and
how you can influence the purchasing decisions of another. While some
people are content to court one out of every twelve accounts they touch
base with I'm more like the practitioner in Minnesota I spoke with
yesterday. I want every call to be effective. Reaching for the low hanging fruit is easy. Yesterday I left work exhausted. My
challenge is getting my body to keep up with my mind.
By the end of the day I'm so wired and tired I can't think straight
or communicate effectively. My boss wants numbers but I'm trying to
preserve the quality and integrity of my product. Is running ten miles a
day better than a good cross training program? Is it better to reach forty
accounts or to get thirty percent growth out of fewer accounts? Is there
a way to avoid the quick kill and focus on relationship and rapport
building despite my time constraints? Am I foolish for loving my job and
the people I work with when management refuses to reward my successes?
When a person is underperforming it is the responsibility of
management to train, coach and educate that person. Right now I feel my
boss is underperforming. She's abandoned her new department in favor of
the outside sales team because she's in outside sales and that's who she
identifies with. Listening to her defend the outside sales team was
laughable and a different type of person might not realize that she is
handicapped by her inability to develop a department she isn't there to
My boss does not see any value in working with my deparmtment which
means our sucesses are our own. If she was more of a process driven
person she would have the outside sales people sit with us and cross
train each department so synergy flows between those two competitive
channels. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Currently I see
our internal struggles as more of a threat to our success than any of
our competitors. My customers tell me what the competition is doing and I
wouldn't be hearing their stories if the competition was better than we
Right now I work for the joy of the game - the invitations I receive
from people who want to meet me. I love hearing skeptical voices turn
warm, listening to conversations that have turned personal and knowing
that there are people out there that I will never meet who are better
off because of me. To some I am the voice of reassurance, to others a
harbinger of excellence - I can't be all things to all people however
maybe someday I'll meet the voices of those who have been all things
professional to me.
Until next time,