October 13, 2008
Strange that my last race was last month’s Boeing 5K. A lot has happened in the last month, so maybe not too unexpected.
About 3 weeks ago, I was offered a ‘temp-to-hire’ position. I have been somewhat avoiding that kind of job, only because it ends up saying, “I want to do this job forever,” even though I have not seen the job yet. I find myself to be more of a project-oriented person. I like to tackle a problem and work through it, and then move on to something else. (I am still figuring out ultramarathons…)
The job was misrepresented to me from the start. I was told that it was database programming, but it was 90% clerical and 10% “programming,” meaning forwarding files to people from a database. I am capable of doing the work, but it’s about as challenging and rewarding as my first full-time job as an academic office secretary.
I talked to the placement company after the first week because I can already tell it is not for me… and they told me that I’d better stick it out or I would never work for them again. This threat, coupled with the fact that the company could not provide me with something remotely ergonomically appropriate, is not allowing to sleep and may have contributed to my getting a severe cold and chest congestion.
On my 7th day of work, my supervisor called me into her office and asked how things were going. Because of the “threat,” I said everything was fine. She closed the door and said, “Really, how are things going?”
I said, to be honest, I don’t see this as being a great job for me, because I have a lot of more diverse skills. I said, if things go really really great, what is the next step for me? She said, this is really the top of this type of position with our company. She said, you are doing great, but I can tell that you are not happy.
I reiterated how things had been left with the placement agency (Robert Half Co.) and that I wanted to do right by everyone, but that I didn’t want to go through a lot of training with her and then at the “to hire” point, say ‘I’m not really interested.” She said that she would talk with the placement agency and square everything, signed my timecard and sent me on my way.
I thought everything would be great or at least dealt with… and went home to recover from my illness. Three days later, the placement group called to ask why I had suddenly left the job after lunch on Tuesday and never come back!?! Lovely. The placement company accused me of being unprofessional and said I was blackballed from working with them again.
I said, “If you have such little respect for your employees that you don’t back them up when they come to you for help… and then the companies that you place people in are dishonest and make up lies… well then, I don’t want to work for crap-ass company.” (I don’t think I was THAT nice.) The worst part is that the guy who placed me had seen I was a runner (specifically that I had done runs with the Hash House Harriers) and told me he was doing me a favor. I continued seeing him at Hash runs, but I had lost all respect for him.
Three months later, the company I worked with wanted to talk with me why the job wasn’t right for me. I told them, well, besides the fact that my supervisor talked with me and made arrangements for a mutual stoppage of work and THEN someone told them that I skedaddled… (because that wasn’t the original reason, but that’s a MAJOR disqualification) is that you can’t advertise for a programmer and then have the job be ALL clerical. Anyway, a frustrating month where I didn’t feel well… and it affected my running as well.
I had a bunch of anger to run off, and I negative-splitted the second half of the race to run one of my better 5Ks in a few months, with a time of 23:21.