The Best of September - Horror Stories From Advertising

I took a little drive this week. My home business has been booming... to the point I have to schedule with my local clients when I can come by to do pickups. This week I had 3 jewelers to visit on the South-West side of town, so I decided that once I was done collecting the repairs I would drop by my old company and hand-deliver Halloween party invites to my friends who still work for the agency.

I tend to drop in about once a month to have lunch with some of the gang anyways - but that usually consists of me coming in the front doors and then going down a hall and into one room. This week I made rounds throughout the whole place (with expressed permission from the all-important powers-that-be). I wandered around as though I had never left - chatting with people and just catching up. It was great to actually have time to stop and not feel rushed by my schedule.

Not surprisingly - there were many nervously whispered queries about my recent post regarding the state of the company. People wanted to know what I know - beyond what I would write here. Looking back at previous posts... I feel comfortable saying that I trusted my gut instinct the whole time I worked there. I just KNEW things were amiss at that place, beginning when I a temp-to-hire and I was called a racist for calling my college roommate Masami (The Boss thought it was a nickname - until I told her it was actually my roommates' name), and continued to have a bad feeling due to the inappropriate behavior of management and their lack of managerial skills, then because some smaller core clients were being ignored because a certain blonde control freak kept bending over and taking it up the ass trying to make bigger paying clients happy, then when my husband and I had our jobs threatened because we wanted to leave work on time one Friday because we had both put in 56 hours that week and were just mentally fried, then when I worked until 2 in the morning the night before I went on vacation to save The Boss' job, and many others you can check out through the course of this blog's history... the signs have been around for a long time.

There was a Friday night I can remember back in August of 2007 - where the department I worked in had put up with a full week of bitching from The Boss. At the end - I think we had all been cornered and screamed at a minimum of two times each. We needed BEER. Everyone went to a local bar - and started drinking (silently at first). Finally someone said to me, "It must be great knowing that you'll be able to quit soon." They were right - - my husband had left the company already, management knew I wasn't far behind, and really we were at the point I didn't need to work anymore but I just didn't have the heart to leave things undone. I told everyone at the table that night that the company would be falling on hard times very soon and they needed to jump ship and get planted in a new company before they didn't have a choice. Of all of the people at the table - I have been the only one to quit in the past year.

Can you guess who pulled me aside to pick my brain and get advice this week?

Three people from my old department.

All of them nervously whispered to me - checking over their shoulders to see if The Boss was watching. One person was close to tears... another was just frustrated with the aggressive recent changes and the new expectations on remaining employees. The overall feeling I was receiving while walking around was nervousness - the kind that makes the air feel charged with an uncomfortable energy.

I told everyone to just trust their instincts because I have no advice to give. My advice came out over a year ago and now it may to late to heed it.


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