Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Well that was fast.

Remember last October when I was cautiously excited to take on a new career? It was an industry I knew and love, products I was familiar with, but a new spin on things. I was taking on the sales side of things versus marketing. And I was taking it on with a rep group that seemed incredibly excited to have me. 

Full disclosure. W and I both knew of this rep group. We had worked competitively with them in the same industry for over a decade. They did not have a good reputation, nor were they well liked. But seeing as I had be looking for a career in Minneapolis since before we made the move, I decided to give it a try. You can't believe everything you hear, right?

Turns out, the rumors weren't true. The reality was much, much worse. 

My second week on the job, my boss, one of the principles of the group, told me I was full figured and too big to fit in our lines (not true, I was a L), followed by stating that at his age he can say whatever the hell he wants. He also told me that seem week that he wasn't sure I was going to work out. Seeing as he had been in the office less than 3 days with me since I started, I wasn't sure what this was based on, but I was determined to prove him wrong.

A few weeks later I headed on my first business trip with the group, to LA for the fall '14 preview with one of our brands (the very same trip where I developed Trigeminal Neuralgia). Things seemed to go well, despite the searing pain in my face.

The next week I totaled my car. Which was far from awesome, but was made infinitely worse by my boss telling me that I need a car and that not having one is reason to let me go.A week later we had another sit down where we discussed whether or not I was able to handle the stress of the job. The stress of the job? Yes, that I could handle. The stress of a boss telling me I was fat every other week, a totaled car, a nerve disorder, and another threat of being fired? That was maybe a bit much. But I begged and pleaded for him to give me an opportunity to do the job and prove that I was a valuable part of the group.

Did I mention the time he told me that I was a "big girl" like the purchaser he was trying to send samples to, but where she was muscular and worked out, I was just big? That moment was not just shared with me and my boss, but with two of my office mates. I'd like to think we bonded over that moment.

It had already occurred to me that taking this job was obviously a very, very bad decision. That I had unknowingly put myself in a very unhealthy and unhappy situation. But I felt it was in my best interest to dig deep and hang in there until I could get my resume out there.

The office closes for the holidays, so I took the opportunity to work from home and study up for the upcoming shows and events. I came back to work energized, knowing that my ability to work an event was solid. Set up and take down? Piece of cake! I was confident that I would turn things around that week.

And things went well, other than the fact my boss ominous hovering over me literally gave me an anxiety attack one of the days.   

Or so I thought.

I came in bright an early the following Monday, ready to send out my follow up emails and confirm my appointments for the next week...only to find my boss sitting in my office waiting to let me go.

Things just weren't working out for him. He thinks the world of me, and would be happy to 
write a glowing letter of rec for me. Blah, blah, blah. I managed to gracefully pack up my desk and leave the building without telling him where he could put his letter of rec.

I've had a few days now to think things over. I wish things could have ended on my terms, but I know it was for the best.  The environment was hostile and unhealthy. Saying it wasn't a good fit is an incredible understatement. All I can do now is learn from the situation, and move on.

As my girl Kelly would say...

So if you know of an amazing marketing or events opportunity for a hardworking, passionate, creative, gal in the Twin Cities let me know! Bonus points if it's in the outdoor or cycling industry!!

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