Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Please Don't Congratulate Me

Anyone interested in why I haven’t been emailing or blogging much lately? I have no excuse other than complete mental and physical exhaustion because of this:

To: All Bank Employees
From: ***
Date: 10/2/2007
Re: Lafayette Branch Manager

I am pleased to announce that Heather L has been promoted to the position of Branch Manager at our Lafayette Rd. branch. She began her career with *** in 2004 as the Assistant Branch Manager of the Lafayette Rd. branch.

Heather began her banking career in 1991 at Portsmouth Savings Bank. She has held various positions over the years from teller to assistant manager while increasing her knowledge of the financial field.

She brings to her new position excellent customer service skills, an understanding of the existing customer base, and desire to learn and grow with the organization.

Please join me in congratulating Heather in her new role and wishing her much success!

What a load of sh*t. Desire to learn and grow, my fat *ss. I’m really not happy about this.

Our last manager left on August 10th, and I’ve been manning the ship alone ever since. Originally I applied for the job, but then withdrew my application because I felt really manipulated and that just made me more stubborn about the entire situation.

I’ve been in banking now for about sixteen years, and I can honestly say that this is not where I ever thought I would be. I took my first bank job as a teller because it was a step up from working at the mall. As time went on different opportunities came up I moved around and did different things but always stayed in banking. At that point in my life, it didn't seem that bad. Then I went and got divorced. This meant I needed more money, fast. I took my first banking position in management, and I’ve regretted it ever since. You know when something just doesn’t feel right? This didn’t feel right. Of course, I was in a situation where I couldn’t possibly win and there were even days when there were tellers physically attacking each other in the lobby. I had no support, no back up, no chance. After M and I got engaged, we decided it was time to get out of Massachusetts and see what was going on back home on the Seacoast. So, off to another management job in banking. Still not feeling right but a job none the less which was really the important part at the time. This wasn't as bad, since there was an experienced manager already there, but still it was not quite what I wanted. Until of course, she quit. And I don’t blame her, she needed to quit.

So, this brings me back to this August. As the only person who could do any type of customer service or supervision at all, I was pretty much here all day every day 8:15 to 5:15, usually with about fifteen minutes for lunch. I couldn’t leave the building. Well, I could leave the building, but the farthest I could go was usually the mail box. Some weeks I would get a day off during the week when another branch manager would take pity on me and cover for the day. The last time I had a Saturday off was August 11th. There's no overtime pay since I'm salaried and this is truly the first time I have regretted that.

When I withdrew my initial application, no one seemed to care. Frankly I couldn’t have been more honest with these people about just how much I didn’t want this job, and how I was obviously not the person they were looking for. Time passed. A few weeks, in fact. There was no ad placed in the paper. No one else internally was interested in the job. No one outside the bank really even knew we were looking for help. Five weeks after our manager left I was approached by the same woman I originally interviewed with, and I was asked to reconsider. It was made fairly clear to me that the only way I was going to get any help here at all was to take over as manager and find an assistant. I thought about it for a couple of days. I finally said yes, I would reconsider, as long as they knew they were getting me exactly as I am. Nothing had changed for me in the last five weeks and I still didn't really see myself as the type they were looking for. But I was willing to give it a shot. I really and honestly thought that since they asked me, this was a done deal and we were all just going to move on. In general I think I am pretty smart and savvy about people, but sometimes my naivetĂ© stuns me. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The very next day, they put an ad in the paper, looking for a branch manager. Many, many days went by with almost no contact from these people. One of them was overheard to say that since they had put in the ad after all, she wanted to get her moneys worth out of it. Yep, after this same person asked me to please take the job she says this. I kept getting put off. One day when I actually asked what was going on I was told that she was talking to the other idiot in charge about this “situation.” When I asked her what situation she was talking about her answer was, “well, you know, how you decided you wanted the job after all.” Like I had thrown them all into a tizzy because suddenly I wanted the job. Like they hadn’t asked me to take the job. I’m the situation? Me? But, wait. I don't really want the job. I said yes because I felt I needed to. I'm the situation? I thought I was fixing the situation. I'm the situation?!?

On a Monday I was told I would know what their decision was on Friday. Friday I was told I would know on Tuesday. Tuesday I was told I would know on Thursday. Thursday came and went with noting at all. Finally, last Friday, after SEVEN WEEKS of manipulation and time wasting, I get a three minute phone call saying they want to offer me the job. And I had to decide right then and there. The only reason I have said yes is because at this point I want to get paid for what I’ve been doing for two months. Plus, if I can just manage to hang on until February when we get our bonus, it will certainly be a better bonus. Great reasons, huh?

I just hope I’ve made the right decision.


Alex said...

I won't congratulate you, but I also know you know how to use this to your advantage...there is something out there and this may be the item on your resume that helps you get it.
Anyway, miss the blog, and the emails...take care.

Heather said...

Thanks, I know it will probably be okay when all is said and done, but I just hate, hate, *HATE* being manipulated. It just makes me crazy.

Kate said...

i wonder what your new (albeit frustratingly gained)authority might get you? time off, an assistant manager you like, saturdays back? i took my current position for many of the same reasons - divorced and needing a reliable income and benefits. i almost didn't take it... seemed like too much hassle and when someone asked me did i "looove money" , i almost ran out the door. i made the right decision. i'm pretty sure you did too, especially since you've been doing the job. might as well officially put it on a resume, and get the pay.

Heather said...

In theory, yes, certain things will be easier. In theory I'm supposed to be able to choose my assistant manager and get them trained quickly and all that. In theory I'll get Saturdays back.

So far, I've been told that they won't let me promote the person I'd like as an assistant, and it could easily be two more months before whoever ends up here can be alone on a Saturday or any other day.

I don't think there will be many short term benefits, but I'm hoping a few of the long term benefits will pay off.

Within fifteen minutes of telling the girls in my office about the promotion, each one of the three came in to my office, sat down, and started complaining about each other and things they didn't like. I guess they've been holding back for the last couple of months! I told them all to write their suggestions down and we'd talk about it later. I felt like such a manager...