Toxic jobs, bad hiring, and freedom: A financial victory story
February 10, 2016
Most of us have had our share of bad or indifferent managers, some of us have had absolutely terrible managers, and sometimes those terrible, no-good, very bad managers were Toxic Waste Phenomena.
For those of us in the latter category, if and when we escape, we often vow to ourselves never to go through that again. It was one of my strongest motivators to get the hell out of Dodge (debt, that industry, that job), build a career where I could write my ticket, and never again be subject to the unsavory whims, or drunken flirtations and grabby hands, of a petty tyrant.
People think that Michael Scott from The Office is funny, and I think I can see the hint of “but he means well” that makes it possible to laugh at him.
Y’all, take Michael Scott, take away any good intentions, replace them with pure solid selfishness and disregard for humanity, and that’s the level of bad we’re talking about. The shenanigans that people can laugh at, I suspect, are because most people think that’s a parody. An exaggeration. They don’t imagine there are people for whom that’s a reality. I could never really sit through much of The Office without feeling the urge to vomit because that, minus any funny, was three of my former managers.
Is it any wonder that the friends from those former jobs that I keep in touch with feel like friends made in foxholes?
Over the summer, my old friend and ex-colleague, C, told me that our former Toxic Manager (I’ve had a few) from 12 years ago started texting her. That TM was fired years ago for incompetence, but out of the blue, sent a mass text to a handful of former employees with a personal life update, ending with “if anyone still cares about me”. Friend who is far too kind for her own good, sent a nice reply back with a congratulations and “hope you’re well”, and worried to me that she was being uncivil in not extending a hand of friendship to someone clearly in pain. Perhaps I shed my humanity a long time ago but I pointed out that TM was piling guilt on a former employee who was never a friend, and if she’d been any good at her job, she wouldn’t have expected it. A true friend wouldn’t have, for example, have welcomed C back to work after bereavement leave with massive guilt trips about how hurt she was that C didn’t confide in her about her father’s death and her feelings. C was then forced in the awkward position of having to try to comfort TM and her hurt feelings over C’s loss. True story. But like I said, C is too kind and attributes her kindness to others who are wholly devoid of consideration for others.
Well, it’s happened again. Except this twist is magnificent.
A friend, Z, left the company specifically because of a TM, without another gig lined up, and eventually found a job at a start-up. He was far from the first. TM had driven out at least 4 other people before this, and if TM hadn’t left, Z would soon have.
He was so much happier, and he soon proudly welcomed into the world his new baby. Everything was coming up Z.
A few months ago, he said that TM was interviewing at his company! This was after TM had been fired for incompetence at a company that doesn’t easily fire. Of course, I felt strongly that he should speak up. He has strong and valid concerns about TM from personal experience, and TM’s work history is consistent. Warning: contains bullying and petulance.
Apparently, Z did. And his company went and hired that terrible TM again.
So Z quit.
And invited us to his retirement party.
Z and I weren’t close, we just kept in touch over the years, but I am ready to throw on a dress, make some sparkling confetti and pop a champagne bottle. And that’s before we even get to the retirement party!
Because, y’all. Z is maybe 40 years old and even with a new family, they can afford for him to quit instead of sacrificing his health and sanity working alongside someone whose track record for the past 20 years has been to torment colleagues and underlings like you
wouldn’t couldn’t believe.
This is why we save.
*wipes away a happy tear* I entertain the notion of early retirement a lot, for many reasons, but this is a favorite. The freedom to walk away from any bad situation because you can and you want to is amazing.