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. 


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...