A new set of classes started for me Monday. There is rarely a surprise to be found in my classes. I always learn something, even if it is only when to keep my mouth shut, but I am rarely surprised when it comes to the class – the instructor – the participants – or the material.
Kind of makes me wonder why I didn’t do this at 17, but then again it was not MEANT for me to do this at 17.
One of my classes is Leadership Strategies for Women. It seemed interesting when I picked it and sure enough it is still interesting. Yes I know I am 2 days in….bear with me please.
One of the exercises that is due for the class is to take an assessment of you management personality. It color codes you and then tells you who you are. That is assuming that you do not already know who you are.
I do know, yet I was still caught off guard a tad.
I am Blue. Some of the characteristics of a Blue are:
- Theoretical, challenging. competitive
- Sees the BIG picture
- Enjoys solving complex problems
- Embraces new theories
- Skeptical of accepted beliefs
- Brief – terse – concise
- Sees dimensions others do no grasp
- Seeks logical analysis
- Never feels they know enough
- Flouts rules and rites
Sound like anyone you know?
Yeah I know that SOME of you are giggling at the concept of ME being concise, but anyhoooo
It got me to thinking about my last employer.
I got to CCIS in a fairly unconventional way, and within weeks, I said to myself I can run this place. It’s who I am….I don’t think that I would ever TRY but I knew I could run the place if I had to.
I got to thinking about my interview for the position. It was a new position that had never been tried at that office, and I was an unknown character. I met my boss Shirley, and I was impressed at once. There were a few other things that I picked up on at once – especially when my OTHER boss came into the interview late.
I think back to CCIS, because I demonstrated all of those qualities at the interview, all of them.
It was that spirit that got me in the door, it was also that spirit that let me know I could never stay.
The office was a little larger than the last non profit I worked for, but I caught on fairly quickly to what I needed to do.
I had an extended probation period because of my unique hiring – I ended up being on probation for 11 months. That was a major pain in the ass.
In that first year though, I worked. The HR manager who truth be told didn’t WANT to like me when I walked in the door, learned to respect me. In that time I learned to respect her as well.
My immediate manager and I forged a relationship that I thought was a good one, and unlike Arbor, I actually began to LIKE my co workers.
Then that pesky Blue raised her head.
My job evolved as time went on at CCIS. I can clearly recall Ava – my immediate manager telling me what I wonderful job she thought I would do as a file clerk. I clearly recall smiling at her and thanking her for that observation and thinking she’d lost her mother fucking mind.
Honestly, I would not have had issue being a file clerk, I needed the job. What I took issue with was her opinion that it was all I could do.
Thankfully others saw what I could do, and I ended up in yet another newly formed unit. I kind of liked that they were making up jobs for me 🙂
Until the time came to ask for something more.
My position was essentially assistant. Hard pill to swallow considering my employment history, but I took it on because it is who I am.
I did something though that would make my inevitable departure from CCIS necessary, even were I 100% healthy.
I volunteered to work with someone I never should have.
When my unit was created, we were assigned teams. Senior specialists would use myself an other unit members to shift part of the workload. I stepped up and volunteered to work with someone that I hated.
A part of it was bitterness. She’d been hired while I was still on my extended probation period, and she was hired from the same organization that sent me to CCIS in the first place. I was salty. She also had a bit of an attitude problem. She was bold and sassy like I was – but she was also unpolished about it.
I didn’t only run a political office in my history I also knew how to play office politics.
I stepped up to work with her, because the other alternative was that my friend Sinetra would have had to work with her. I felt that I was better equipped to handle Gabrielle *the one I hated* than Sinetra was and I took one on the chin for her.
It was not 100% unselfish. I also thought that me stepping up would look great in management’s eyes, and I would have the opportunity to show them I did not need to be sitting in intake for years and years.
Gabrielle was brand new, I’d had a year in to learn the systems. I could show my managers that I could do the job, there was no way that Gabrielle would be up to needed speed to manage her caseload effectively.
I was right. Although Gabrielle eventually learned how to do her job (mostly) I manged that case load for months. I did the job so well that when it came time for new hires in the position, I thought that I was a shoo in for the position.
I looked at it logically, I’d been DOING the job. Not only was I doing the job, I was doing it 3 days a week, because two days a week I was out at a satellite office. It would take someone they brought in off the street months to get up to speed, for me it was simply a matter of changing my security clearances.
There were a few things I did not factor into the equation though.
1. The system that CCIS was that promotion from within was not something they embraced readily. I SHOULD have known, after all Sinetra had been there for 1000 years and had to fight for every promotion that she got. And when I say fight I am talking no DQ extreme rules fighting.
2. People who are not naturally strong resent those who are. There was a thirst for knowledge and a strength in me that was resented by one of my managers. I don’t fault her for that. She can no more change who she is than I can change who I am, but it remains still. When she got back from surgery and saw my evolution, it was a problem for her. I did not factor that into my logic.
3. My desire to shake things up and attempt a new way of operating was not welcome in a climate that resisted change. We had semi frequent staff meetings, and more often than not I was quite vocal at them. I may have been quiet for my first one…but after that it was on. I kept saying things, like ‘this does not make sense’. I kept saying things like ‘we are being redundant and if we made these 8 or 9 changes it would be more efficient because….’
It was simply never logical to me that some of the processes that were created two years prior when Unification was NEW were still going on when they clients were NOT new. There was a need once upon a time, but we were at a new stage, where more than one person was familiar with how things needed to happen and I saw the ability to get services to clients faster and increase accountability with all of us.
I was mistaken.
When I did interview for the specialist position I was blindsided. My manager who’d professed to be my friend behind the Director’s closed door told me basically I was not shit.
I learned a major lesson in self control THAT day.
My Director who’d applauded my work, told me I was not ready. Ready for the job that I was already doing….okay.
When Monday arrived, one of the positions went to Sinetra and I ran up the steps – yes ran with my big jiggly ass – to congratulate her. She was worthy and even though I would end up being HER assistant, it was a beautiful thing.
I took all of the work I’d been doing for Gabrielle’s ungrateful ass and poured my energy into Sinetra’s caseload. I was determined to help make my little buddy a star. She didn’t need much of my help, but I held her down anyway.
I ended up leaving CCIS not long after that. Health issues combined with the realization that I was just a little TOO Blue for the group.
I could have gone back after surgery, but I chose not to. It was the perfect way to exit gracefully without telling someone to suck my dick because they didn’t appreciate what I brought to the table.
Sometimes appreciation of you comes after your departure. I take a little satisfaction that when Gabrielle eventually left, people finally saw just how fucked up her case load was and it was apparent how much she needed me.
At the end of the day though, CCIS lives on.
I haven’t been back to the building, not even to visit Sinetra. There are people that I like there but there is no need for me to go back. The door is firmly closed, and if it wasn’t well it sure is now right?
It was a great time in my life though despite some of the bumps in the road. More importantly it reminded me that I need to always remain authentic to who I am.
I am Blue.