Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bougie Workplace Chronicles - When Helping Your Own Goes Horribly Wrong


For those not in the know, my day job on Paycheck Plantation is Human Resources. Specifically Talent Acquisition Consulting. I've wanted to quit and write full-time for over ten years. The struggle continues. Let's move on...

There was a sister-girl on my team. Grown, over 40, been in recruiting a while. She seemed professional, hard-working, knowledgeable and pleasant. Right before Thanksgiving, we had to cut resources on my project. Client was slow to move candidates to hire status which impacted our billing which impacted our budget and the next thing you know, my team is cut from five to two. Le Boo, dammit.

But since I'm good people and I liked her (we'll call her Kendra), I found a position working on a similar project for the same client. I thought Kendra would be a fit and I recommended her to the higher ups. In chatting with her, I explained that the role she would be slotted into was high visibility, high stress, and high maintenance but if she did well, she could really craft her career moving forward. It's the role I started out in at this company and I've been able to maneuver around pretty well based on the contacts I made and th e revenue I generated. She was excited, management loved her, it was a done deal. Her job was saved, the holidays would be happy. Hurray for all, right? 

Fast forward a few months. I get a call from Kendra asking if I could authorize a pay increase because she was "doing way too much work for too little money" um... welcome to Corporate America, sista girl? Surely this was not her first time at the circus, she knew how the clowns played? Anyway... I tell her I have no such authorization capability but if she hung in there maybe she could bring it up with someone over my head after the first of the year when budgets were being reviewed.

Sometime in mid-January, Kendra goes gangsta. Calls up the Sr. Manager and Director and asks for her $$$. In fact, she demands $$$. Bad news for Kendra, she hadn't hired anyone in 62 days. So um... cuz for why are we giving you an increase when you're not close to hitting your target numbers? Kendra goes Shaquandraeneisha on us. She calls in Human Resources and tells them that I promised her a raise to get  her to take this job. AND that I have been exposing her to "same race racism" on a regular basis. 

**crickets**

Can someone look that up for me? What in all the fricky-frack of God's Good Kingdom is same race racism? Colorism, classism, ageism - I got those. Same race, what? She no longer reported to me, I only talked to her on client calls once a week. Was I racist for saying, "Hey girl" on the call? She said the rest of us on the team made her feel like she was in a hostile work environment. Ma'am? We all work FROM HOME? Who is messing with your living quarters? And what does that have to do with me? Girl bye...

Kendra quit working. Oh, she didn't quit her job, she just quit even pretending to be productive. Instead, she attempted to file suit against me, everyone up the chain three levels above me, the HR girl who told her she was tripping, the HR woman that the HR girl reported to... on and on. And of course since she had quit working, I had to step in and do all her shiggity so the client wouldn't trip. Say it with me now: Michele. Was. Tart. Turned on the computer every morning with my fist balled up.

The beauty (and pain) of the consulting business is that if people love you, you get put on the best projects and you're golden. If they don't, you get put on "the bench" - unpaid purgatory until another client picks you up and falls in love. We put Kendra on the bench. Brought in a former military Dudley Do Right type to take her place. So now I'm doing her job, training her replacement and doing all the shiggity for my own job which is significant since they never re-staffed my group. Say it with me now: Michele. Is. Tart.

What you can do to help is go out and buy 1 million copies of my books so I can quit. I'll throw a great party, you're all invited. :) Ha!

No really, the lesson learned is that you can't reach out to everybody. Because some folks will bite the hand that feeds.

Anyone been through this at work? Where you tried to help somebody out and it came back to bite you in your hindparts? Do share...

23 comments:

One Chele said...

Damn...that chick needs an ass whooping immediately. Who does that? Clearly she heard what she wanted to hear when you explained to her the job & now she's upset, but she went about this the completely wrong way.

One Chele said...

I had a similar experience. I brought in a former co-worker who in turn became an "operative" and that led to my firing. Fortunately for me, the reason the company told the unemployment office as to why they let me go was pretty racist to them and I didn't have to do anything but let them pay me to continue my education.


That former "friend" was "laid off" a few months later. I love karma.

One Chele said...

this was a lesson I learned the hard way. "Hooked up" one of my homegirls and she came in and cut a complete fool. Like security had to haul her outta there kind of fool. Goes to show even when you know people, you don't know people. Because I brought her in, they looked at me sideways for six months.

One Chele said...

Nawl. I don't do hook-a-bruh-up, help-a-bruh-out, hold-door-open-for-bruh at the workplace. I don't play with my money. Ever. You get in and I'll point you in the right direction, that's all I can do.

One Chele said...

I'm only 7mos into my profession, and none of my people are in my field so i don't have these kinds of issues...yet. I've never really been the "hook a sista up" kind of person anyway. Not for myself, and definitely not for other people. At best i'm willing to alert someone to an opening or provide a reference if i know someone applying for a job somewhere else. But personally vouch...nah.

One Chele said...

I don't have any stories like this but I am feeling your pain. I had to go back and re-read "Same race racisim" several times. WTEFH?

One Chele said...

One thing my daddy told me was 'don't fuck with people at your job'. I don't do hook-ups, nothing. I keep to myself unless it calls for a collaborative effort...and even then, I'm watching my back. I've even gotten to the point of not asking people for hook-ups. I know my work ethic, but the workplace, in general, is a crazy place and it's a game board. All politics.

One Chele said...

I can't relate but this is why I am hesitant to recommend people for positions. SMDH!

One Chele said...

Dang, Chele! This was some real salty, b.s behavior on the part of Kendra. Wow...
This reminds me of a valuable lesson I had to learn the hard way in my twenties: every sista ain't your sister. My naïve heart was so bummed from that lesson; took me a while to get over it. But, I am wiser now.

One Chele said...

One time a college friend who is habitually late and at times loud when we (used to) hang out was out of work. There was a temporary position available. I ASSumed that her actions with her friends were not how she behaved in a business setting. I was wrong.


First she was late. Very late. Job was midtown Manhattan - very easy to get to by multiple trains, buses or camel. No excuse. Then she wore a suit that was suitable only for clubbing or enticing Deacon Do Wrong. From what I heard of the interview she not only talked herself out of a position that a monkey could have been trained for she also left a poor impression regarding my dear college. In any case I learned the hard way to be beyond selective of whom I give work references to. It was only my impeccable work reputation that saved me from that wasted interview.

One Chele said...

"Deacon Do Wrong", HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Him and Pastor Promiscuous probably got her number on speed dial.

One Chele said...

But I'm sure this is one negative, compared to the many times you have helped someone out and it works out. The problem is her not you and you should continue to help if you can but always learning. If you have a good reputation, the other person is viewed more negatively than you. This has not happened to me to do this degree.

One Chele said...

Why did I get my cousin an entry-level job and that fool was an hour late every day? And got mad when they fired him? Family...

One Chele said...

Girl, I hear you! I just went through a similar situation with a Black female. I am still not at the point where I might not beat her down when I see her.



Stepping away from the computer now...

One Chele said...

This hasn't happened to me, but my BFF. Young sister in her group was very bright, but rough around the edges. Upper management asked BFF to take young sister under her wing. She complies, she even asks me to be the young lady's mentor outside of work because there are certain things you just can't tell someone in a work environment. Long story short, young lady ends up filing a complain with HR on BFF after receiving a less than stellar review. Management sides with BFF but before they could put young girl on a performance plan, she takes some sort of extended medical leave (mental issues). I think the gal is still employed at the company but she hasn't worked in awhile.

BTW, I keep hearing of these younger employees taking these mental leaves. I wish I was hip to that before I got fed up and just left my corporate position.

One Chele said...

Hey y'all! I am back, Bay-bee!!!!

Anyhoo, I recently had the pleasure of having former co-workers recently contact me looking for a hool-up. Co-workers who couldn't even bother to answer my calls when I was job hunting and they were flush with positions I was qualified for. Fast forward a little over a year later, I heard from two of them (from different past jobs) sent me some 'Hey Girl!' emails through Link'd In. After some shallow pleasantries, each wanted to see if my organization was looking for anyone or if I knew anyplace that was looking. I sent one person some random Monster links from the emails I get every day, and the other I sent her info from the company I left due to the fact I was going to bust someone's skull to the white meat. They suck - she should do well if hired.

One Chele said...

I have an employee out on FMLA at the recommendation of her psychiatrist right now. FMLA leaves are killing me...slowly. (blinks...)

One Chele said...

I feel the same way, unless I've actually worked with that person.

One Chele said...

Never been in that position. But damn. Glad I'll never BE in that position. I work for the government so there's no oh let me give your resume to so and so.

One Chele said...

Oh she tried it! And suing everybody and they mama??? She needs a reality show, It Ain't My Fault!

One Chele said...

I learned a golden lesson many, many years ago while in the military in my early 20's - everyone who is my skin-folk is NOT my kin-folk.

One Chele said...

I nicknamed my former office nightmare Single White Female. Not sure why she started clocking my ordinary life, but she did everything to take it & my joy after I used my influence to get her hired at Cozy Consultant Getting Bank Inc. Not sure who told her HS diploma admin assistant self that she could be paid on my post graduate degree'd & specialty certified seasoned industry level just because we were social outside the office & she was the other black female in the company. Retrospect, she really hated me & I was too busy loving life to notice. She tried it with my man, my clothes & purchasing a condo in my building. If I switched up & starting coming in at 8:30, she'd show up the next day at 8:15. It's been years & I'm still baffled by the #cray Nice to know it isn't just me.

One Chele said...

Damn, that's so messed up. I've recently gone through a similar situation and disloyalty and laziness to that extent is hurtful. I am sorry.

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