Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Opinions Please

I had an incident at work today that I did not handle very professionally. I need opinions on my method of handling it tomorrow.

As I have told you before, I am an Executive Assistant at a very large bank. The local executives were relieved of their duties back in June. Since then I have reported to this man I'll call A. A and I have adjoining offices. He has to walk through my office to get anywhere. Next to my office is a man I'll call B. For the past 60 days, the only communication that A and I have had is small talk, such as "Hi, how are you?". That's it. I am always bragging on how nice and considerate B is. I was told in June that I would be reporting to A for 90 days and then if no jobs became available I would be severed. About 3 weeks ago, a man I'll call C, approached me about being his secretary. It sounded like a good position and I accepted it. Yesterday, when I got to work, C told me that he and I would be moving to another floor and that I would report to a team leader. The team leader is nice, but has no clue as to what I am doing. She treats me like a member of the "steno pool." (In Mad Man speak, I thought I would be working for Don Draper, but found out I was working for Joan.) Today, when I got to work, A told me that someone would be coming in for an interview. I didn't think much about it until I overheard him telling someone that he and B were interviewing someone to be their Executive Assistant. I was livid! I looked up the job on the website and there it was. It was like the position didn't exist until I moved on somewhere else. I felt like I had been stabbed in the back. I printed off the job posting and attached my resume and took it and laid it in A's chair. Everyone that I talked to said that they knew about the posting, but couldn't tell me. I cried for a long time. I finally got over it. About 4:50, A comes up to me and says that he wanted someone with a marketing background and that is why he was interviewing the candidate. How did he know that I didn't have a marketing background (I don't). He's never seen my resume. He doesn't know anything about me except where I went on my vacation. He added that since I took the job with C, I was not available. I told him that I took the job so that I would not be severed at the end of the month. He apologized for upsetting me, but I just turned my head the other way. I couldn't even look at him. I started crying. I apologized for crying at work. I have never cried at work, except when there was sadness. On the way home from work, I decided that I am going to email him tomorrow and say:

"I'm sorry for the way I behaved yesterday. I have been an Executive Assistant for over 15 years and loved my job. In order to stay at the bank, I took a position in the other department. My ego is not handling going from being an Executive Assistant to the "steno pool". When I came into work yesterday and found out that an Executive Assistant position had become available, I was hurt. It appeared that the position materialized after I took a position in another department. I felt "stabbed in the back". For the past two months, I have tried to keep a positive attitude towards everything that has gone on recently, but yesterday was more than I could handle. I am always bragging about what nice guys you and B are, and I hope this does not tarnish our working relationship."

Does that sound okay? I'm not apologizing for how I feel, but for how I behaved. I also want him to know how I feel. He's not going to be there tomorrow, so I thought I would email him. If I find out that he talked to B, I'll copy B on the email. I dread telling C what happened. I'm afraid that I might cry.

I'm not in the mood to post about my vacation buys. I'll post about that tomorrow.

Thanks for any advice that you might give me.

6 comments:

Preppy 101 said...

I wish I could help you. I never worked in an office; I was a school teacher for 33 years and the educational environment is very different from a business environment. If I did have an issue at work, I probably would speak with the person face to face and not use email. But that's just my approach. And honestly, if you're not going to have to work with these people anymore, I might say nothing and just drop it. Move on to your new position and look for something else if you are unhappy. I know you are hurt, but sometimes it is better not to continue the drama. I don't think I have been much help. Sorry you had to experience this.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

I've been in a similar situation and it does really hurt! But I agree- speaking in person is much better. Emails are tricky when it comes to emotions. Good luck!!

tintarosa said...

I've been on the receiving end of a similar situation. Speak to the person. No one will know how you feel unless you tell them. Be carefull with emails. So many times they are missenterpreted.

Casey said...

Ok, bad idea to cry at work. I'm just sayin..... It'd be one thing if you worked with women (I'd like to think we'd be a little bit more understanding), but you're working with men.
I think you made a good move by printing off your resume and submitting it for the position. A might have been able to access your employee file from the HR person? If you submitted any sort of resume or application in the past, it might indicate the lack of a marketing back ground. And by the way, an EA position that requires a marketing background sounds like you'd be more than a EA (doing two jobs and being paid for only one).
As for the email, writing to vent is good, but never send it. Better to cool off for a while, get another opinion, and edit! Here's what I thought was good:"I'm sorry for the way I behaved yesterday. I have been an Executive Assistant for over 15 years and loved my job. In order to stay at the bank, I took a position in the other department. When I came into work yesterday and found out that an Executive Assistant position had become available, I was hurt. It appeared that the position materialized after I took a position in another department. I hope this does not tarnish our working relationship." Maybe add something fluffy and slightly ass-kissing? You don't want to burn bridges, and maybe he could help you find something else or be a reference.

Beth Dunn said...

Oh that would upset me too! Your email sounds fine. Best of luck with everything. xoxo

Brenn said...

Although I've only been out of school and working for 8 years, I currently work with all men so I know how that can be sometimes. I agree with the others that a face to face conversation is a better idea than an e-mail. This way you have a better idea of how the other person is interpreting your thoughts and feelings. I can see how you would be hurt by them not offering this position until you were gone but in your post it sounds like you and B had a much better relationship than you and A had. The opportunity with C could turn out well and you never know how things will happen in the future with all of the changes that seem to be going on at your bank. I guess in short, if you feel the need to clear the air then do it in person and move forward.