Thursday, December 08, 2005

After Five Years, Ken Does The IMPOSSIBLE...

(As with all of Ken's stories, you must endure the "parable beginning"... sorry...)

So, I was driving into work today on the 55 freeway. Right around 4th Street, a car two lanes over gets a flat. His left-rear tire practically explodes! You can hear it thumpity-thump on the road - because he keeps going. Oh, there was a moment of swerving there but he stayed in his lane. He kept going.

We pass 1st Street. We pass the 5 freeway. Then, his tire just shreds off the wheel - it leaps right off - jumps into the lane beside me!

But, he keeps going. You can hear the metal screeching on the pavement. But he keeps going.

We pass McFadden.

Suddenly, he veers to the right and exits on Edinger.

True story.

And this is exactly how my life has been. About five years ago, I got a flat of monumental proportions... but I kept going.

And it's about damned time I got off the road.

What the hell am I talking about?

I went into my boss' office yesterday. I was hired over five years ago as a marketing writer and was asked to help with technical manuals. When this guy started three years ago, he decided that I would do NOTHING but write technical manuals. Oh, he didn't decide right away. I wrote some ads for him and he loved them. If he didn't, he shouldn't have had me do them over and over. But after about a year, a couple years ago, he told me, "We don't hire marketing writers. You're a technical writer. Your job is to make widgets. And you're going to keep making widgets as long as I'm in charge."

A few month later, he brought some friends on board... as marketing writers. The both sucked horribly. One of them even quit.

I went in, acknowledged the new opening, and asked him if, since I was hired to do that job, he would consider me for it. He said, "No."

But not right away.

First, he told me that the job was being "retooled". Its duties would now include managing the writing staff in addition to marketing writing. So, I wasn't qualified.

Did I mention I was also the manager of the writing department before he started? That I was removed because he didn't like my crazy ideas, such as "proofreading", because they were a waste of time? So, there are two jobs I've done at this company and have done well... for which I am not qualified.

Normally, this would devastate me. You see, the big secret is, I like my company. I think it's capable of being a first-class company with first-class products. They are the number one networking company, by virtue of the amount of cash they spend on PR, but they still put out a crappy product with crappy documentation (no thanks to my attempts to improve it - see "Proofreading") and crappy customer service. I want to help make it a good company. I'm just not allowed to help. I'm shut out of the process, which is a horrible feeling.


I say "normally" because, yesterday, things changed.

I decided to leave my horrible, nightmare job.

I decided just a few minutes after getting myself another job.

I decided after getting a job that pays a lot more with people who seem (on the outset) to respect me and my abilities.

So, I looked at Mike, thanked him for his "honesty", and handed him my letter of resignation.

First, I'm rid of Rosa. Now, I'm rid of my nightmare job. What's next? A published novel?

... let's just be happy I found a new job for now.


Fred Mertz said...

Yeah! WooHoo. Ken I wish you all the luck and best of times in your new position! I know your job has been rough, at the very least, for the last few years. I am glad you found a new path... hmm... new path... one path... something there... oh damn lost it.

Good job Ken!

Jenn from WA said...

Ken - GOOD JOB! Your career at that other company sounds like my career at my current company. Which is EXACTLY why I'm leaving. There must have been something extremely exhilarating and rewarding in so many senses to basically tell them to stuff it. Oh I can't wait!