Promotions. Incentives. Upgrades. Executive. Chief. Senior. Managerial. Supervising. All of them equal work and responsibilities. And frustration. And scrutiny. And stress. And misunderstanding.
Aside from getting my review at work today, a friend of mine just got promoted. In the midsts of the excitement, I congratulated him, suggest that he and I go get a drink or have lunch on me one day soon and was very excited for him. I hung up my cell phone feeling very happy that he called to share the news with me and as I stood there coatless in 23-degree weather… the realization hit me just like the wind was… he’s now in the shoes of the predecessors that they fired unfairly. The ones that were under CONSTANT scrutiny and fending off barages of fire from the higher ups. The same ones that seemed stressed all the time and felt like nothing they did was ever done right. Now, he’s in the direct line of fire. And I’m worrying for him. The new title is GREAT. The money is EVEN BETTER. But I fear and pray for his sanity. His sense of self. His creative ability. His time management. His confidence in his own talents. His family time. His values. All the things that jobs have the ability to alter or flat out take away from you. I comfort myself with the idea that it was two women who were fired and he and another man were promoted into the vacancies… in a company run by 2 men. So… he instantaneously has the upper hand. He’s a de facto member of the Ol’Boys Club. So he’ll be able to finesse it better and share the jokes with them that the other women probably couldn’t… and release the owners from the awkwardness of having to be slightly less themselves so they could appear to be half way human (let alone gentlemanly). Maybe it’ll be different for him. I pray that it is.
The only way it’ll ever be different for me is to keep moving. The dreams of stability are all but dead. Maybe every 3 or 4 years. Pick up and go. Dreams of advancement due to merit are also dead. The only way I’ll continue to move up is if people get 1) outsourced 2) downsized 3) fired or 4) die… or any combination thereof. How about me being a darned good worker and really dedicated to a good company? No? Doesn’t cut it anymore? Ok.
I’m trapped in my wheel by politics that I refuse to play.
Someday we’ll all be free. But will we know to leave when it happens?