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December 14, 2011

4

and that door slammed so good

by Andrea O'Connell

It was a marvelous day!

I thought I would wake up with some regret at resigning yesterday from my “real” job.  I didn’t!   Not a one.

Well, the paycheck…. ?   Nope.    Not even that has me worried.

I did the absolute right thing by resigning.  The moment I decided to stand up and walk out was not something I even thought about doing before it happened.  It was as if my entire being, all of my senses, converged in that moment and empowered me with a certainty and a conviction that I rarely have experienced.

It needed to happen.  If I were a man, you could say I’d “grown a pair” in that moment.  Hah!   🙂

That workplace had become far too toxic.  It has been from the beginning, five and a half years ago, but I always hoped it would change.  Waiting …. Waiting…. Waiting…. Nothing……….

After five years, I think it’s a forgone conclusion that change won’t happen. Employees will continue to be treated horribly, nothing will ever change until the leaders are held accountable for the messes they make.

The leadership is old-fashioned and ultra conservative. But, it doesn’t fit with what’s going on in the academic side of the university.  I always wondered how the administration  could be so backwards and old-fashioned when the university is so forward-focused…

The Vice President of the university I worked for, has a conservative 1980’s mindset.  She’s stuck there too.  The kind of training and development she expected was what we were doing in the 1990’s, when we didn’t have any tools, and our (the industry’s) understanding of Adult Learning in the workplace was just beginning to make sense.

When people don’t know what they don’t know, it’s one thing, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ignorant.  It means they have a deep refusal to change, or improve or adapt.  It may mean that they have not been exposed to new ways of thinking…. maybe.   But, when people know they don’t know something and still make no effort to change, or understand, it’s either ignorance, stupidity, or laziness – probably it’s all the above – in toxic amounts.  Regardless, it’s not an effective way to run a business in today’s changing world.

At my level in the organization, to be “written up” for being two to three minutes late, when I work well over 50 hours a week, is beyond the pale.  I guess I have come a long way, baby…..   I’ve taken a big step with regards to self-respect.  No one will demean me the way they’d demeaned so many other employees for such a long time.

Can you imagine?  They have actually fired people for being a minute late more than three times?!!!

I kid you not.

Maybe that’s why they thought it was no big deal to write me up?  I think that’s why they tried to talk me into staying.  Did they think giving me a “write-up” is the best way to handle an issue that happened more than a month ago?   It’s true.   They actually think it’s a positive thing!

You see why I had to resign?

If I had stayed there, my self-respect would have flown right out the door.

I slammed the door behind me as I left.  Like Nora in Ibsen’s The Doll’s House.  I did it.  I had my say.

And that is why today was a VERY good day!

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 15 2011

    You made a right decision i think to stay away from them nice writing and story 🙂

    Reply
  2. colleen
    Dec 15 2011

    And…..when you start to apply for new employment, most likely, you won’t have to go into a big explanation why you resigned, That univeristy’s reputation as a employer is most likely known. I am happy for you.

    Reply
  3. Diane
    Dec 15 2011

    Good for you! You are too awesome to be stuck in a place like that! You are on your way to bigger and better things!

    Reply
  4. Dec 15 2011

    Bravo, Andrea! When one door closes (slams!) another door opens!

    Reply

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