Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Makin' it to May: To Fly, Or Not To Fly

This is at least the third time I've witnessed it, or been in the aftermath of it — somebody flying the coop and taking people with them. This time I've sat quietly as people ran around with their hair on fire. I listen and I'm observant — that's how you learn things. I can just feel when somebody is angry or stressed and it permeates throughout the entire office. I'm also nosy, like really goddamn nosy, and I didn't have to prod very much to find out the basic details. In this case, I would have rather not known what was happening. It's that feeling where you wish for a corner office instead of a cubicle, not for the prestige and the extra room for a La-Z-Boy recliner, but just for the glorious-ness of a door that you can close allowing you to hide. Especially this time. In the past, people were pissed off and spiteful in a situation like this, but this time they're sad, upset and disturbed...

Betrayal and backstabbing — it's part of business and a lot of people's grand scheme to get ahead. It's not a practice I choose to partake in though. I've worked for terrible companies and left without making a scene — just me walking out the door at the end of my two week notice with my talent — something they can never take away from me — was statement enough. I've also worked with people who think they work for a shitty company and whine and bitch all day long, when in reality they don't work for a shitty company — their attitude is shitty and they're lazy.

We have to work from the time we're 22 to usually at least 65 — 43 years of our lives we'll be slaving away behind a desk, on the phone or in the field and if we're lucky, we'll have one or two good bosses thrown in there that we can call mentors. And, if we're really lucky we'll get to be somebody's good boss one day too. Unfortunately, the rest of those bosses are likely to be either incompetent or just mean...shitty.

Shitty companies, shitty bosses and shitty people — all causes of statement makers who decide to display a grand gesture of leaving, doing their own thing and taking people with them. The shitty people are the worst.

I've always believed in being humbly ambitious. And, before all the seasoned business people clutch me to their bosom smack me in the face and say, 'you're too young to know shit about shit,' I must say that I've witnessed this occasion enough to know that it's wrong. There's a right way to leave and do your own thing and there's a wrong way and there's no better lesson than to watch it happen the wrong way over and over again like I have.

The best Karma to have is when a company is sad to see you go, but happy that you're spreading your wings for growth. They never say good riddance, but only good luck. It's a lesson I learned a long time ago and only proves itself to be more true as I move from one stage to the next. No matter how shitty your company or your boss is, don't grand gesture yourself into a hole. Be graceful about it. Don't be one of those shitty people even if you think they deserve it. Do it the right way and you'll have far fewer ghosts following you around to sabotage your mind and your plans.

But what about the shitty people? I've never really thought about what it will be like when it happens to me. One day I will be somebody's good (hopefully) boss and it may happen to me. Then, I will have my corner office and my La-Z-Boy, but that door is not going to help me hide from anything. How will I handle it? Lawsuits, firing and threatening people, carrying around intense anger — I've seen all of that too, but none of that is the right way to handle it. Of course, bending over and just taking it isn't the right thing either. As I watch it unfold from afar, trying unsuccessfully to hide in my cubicle, maybe I'll finally get to see how to handle it the right way. However, I think Starbucks may have to substitute for my corner office some of the time. People running around with their hair on fire is quite distracting to an intern with a lot of learning to do.

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