Apr 27, 2020

The story for a Monday.

I implied that a lot happened at work over the last few months and it did.

As Newcorp, our latest round of corporate overlords has tightened their grip on us it’s been clear that changes were in the offing.

My boss’ boss suddenly left back in December.

It was a little surprising because he had been jockeying to find his way up the ladder in Newcorp but it didn’t quite seem to be working out that well for him.

Oddly enough, this had been his only actual job in the industry and he had been with the company over a decade. During that time, his biggest skill was in planting his nose firmly up the rear of anyone in authority above him and it was this practice that allowed him to move up in the ranks.

Our old company was somewhat smaller than Newcorp and the overlords were based out of the New York office which allowed the Prince (as he will be called) to rise to a lofty status where he was just below the head of the office and number three down the org chart.

When Newcorp came in all that changed. Over the next several months with each reorganization, the Prince found himself falling lower and lower on the org chart and he was all too aware of it too. This was evident when I overheard a conversation on the elevator that he was having bemoaning that very fact.

In the meantime, more than one person openly asked, “Just what DOES he do?”

So, first there was the announcement in the fall that he’d be taking another position within the company and then about six weeks later it was that he was leaving entirely.

And he did leave...

And suddenly the job became more akin to a normal job and the change was glorious.

I don‘t think the Prince was truly a bad person but he was insecure and more than a little bit of an ass.

I say this because he could obviously be charming and you’d witness that whenever he did a client dog and pony show, when he was interacting with someone highed on the food chain or also whenever he was dealing with the remarkable number of recent grads from his alma mater he had managed to staff in the office (more on that another time).

But to a person, almost everyone in the studio who all had years more experience in the industry, was on the receiving end of his disdain and contempt. Let’s take it one step further, he was rude and an ass so very often.

I don’t know if he had so few duties but his idea of managing was to walk through the office several times a day at a brisk pace with his head on a swivel seeing what was on people’s screens. The first week I was there, I asked the co-worker who bought me in about it. It was that noticeable,

Then there would be the times he would stop and make a point of belittling someone. One time I had a question I asked him and it was like getting the fourth degree and being interrogated instead of getting an answer. You can be sure I never made the same mistake again.

So, when he announced he was leaving although people expressed the required sadness there were secret cheers.

Immediately the tenor of the office changed. Things always got done but now without the Prince the underlying level of tension was absent and it made for a better day for all.

Thing is... I can’t believe I survived! Then again, I reached a point in the late summer last year where there was a bit of a showdown and somehow, someway I managed to outmaneuver the Prince and my boss as well and it became clear that I wasn’t going anywhere and that was because I could see what people were doing and put a stop to it before they got to deep into the bullshit narrative they were trying to paint.

Lesson - Better days are always ahead if you can be strong and stick it out. Which is probably a great lesson for these times.

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