So one of my current bosses just received a call to check references. I answered the phone and the Director of HR from the company I just interviewed with identified herself and laughed about me answering the phone. My boss, who happened to be getting ready to leave the office found himself almost tackled in the hallway when he almost left the office as the phone rang. Needless to say, he took the call (I think I saw a little fear in his eyes when I jumped off my seat to stop him). Since his office is right next to mine, I could hear what he was saying. At the beginning of the conversation I heard him say (jokingly, thank goodness): “If I say she sucks, will you not hire her so she can stay?” I choked on the orange I was eating. I heard a lot of mumbling but whatever I caught seemed positive.
As he was talking, another one of my references (who was THRILLED when I asked him if he could give me a reference if he got called) walked up to my desk in a foul mood. It seems that there had been a breach of confidence in his area and since his support staff denied having any involvement, he came to see if I knew anything about it (read: If I had said something). Now, there are two things I professionally pride myself with: my organizational skills (I am terribly type A – hence the whole being on time thing) and my ability to keep a confidence (does blabbing about it in my blog count??). Even my bosses have always commented on how things never leave this area. So after I denied knowing anything, which was true but I thought that if I defended my inocence too much would seem like I was denying a guilty action, my prior boss walked away- fuming.
By this time, the reference call wrapped up and my current boss walked out and said: “Well, I didn’t tell her that you walk on water, but I was pretty close to it!” Then he left for his meeting.
The other assistant called me and was complaining about getting raked over the coals by her boss. She denied all accusations (there were three) and was very angry. Her other line rang and I saw that it was HR Director (we can see each other’s lines). I hung up so she could pick up the call and ran like a mad woman to her area. She put the call through to prior-boss's office (he was in a meeting but was expecting the call) and I went and like an idiot, pressed my head against the door.
Ten seconds into the call, the door opened and I almost had a heart attack right there and then, almost making the call useless since I can’t work if I am DEAD. It was the employee he was meeting with, who was coming out of the office to give him some privacy. She laughed when she saw me and closed the door quickly so he couldn’t see me (BLESS HER!). Then, moved out of the way so I could resume my position of shame.
Then I heard it… although I am good “I am overqualified for this position…” “She has a master’s degree…” “I heard her boss say that sometimes she can’t anticipate his needs. Like this time that a presentation needed to be done and he had to ask about it.”
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? I hate when people make assumptions about my life. Who cares if I am overqualified! I ASKED for the job! I decided I wanted it!!! I LOVE the company, and there are very few things I wouldn’t do to to work there! Especially if it means getting a foot in the door. I ALMOST barged in to say: WHAT PRESENTATION ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Do you mean the presentations that YOU were responsible for and that I had to go behind your back to talk to your staff and harass them to get it done and then you took the credit for it being complete (you know, when you walked into the meeting and asked me, with that terrified look on your face, if I had them and then said “thank you” when our boss told YOU “Good work”???) Or the one that was your responsibility and I had to dump my kids at my parents' house (Sunshine was out of town) to come and help Big Boss with it and was here until 9 pm with him and received a hand-written thank you card from him at my house?
(DEEP BREATH….) Sorry I went manic on you there. I, of course, did not do barge in or yell or any such thing. I walked away from the door. Added this to the list of things to talk about during my exit interview and continued to work.
Fifteen minutes later (this is just too weird and good for me to make it up) the other assistant came by my desk. It turns out that out of the three things I was accused asked about, 2 were her fault. The other one was someone else's fault.
And now, I am going to walk away and get something for lunch. I hear that there is Cherry Cheesecake in the cafeteria today and I am armed with a spoon… I will park myself at my desk and not listen to any more conversations…. Ever… OK, at least until next time…