This next part of the story is something I have told a million times. But never so publicly and never to anyone who mattered. But it needs to be said. Welcome to the cracks in my perfect corporate world.
They said that the company was growing and because of that there would be “opportunities for growth.” Basically they would be hiring new managers. I was thrilled. I didn’t want to be a manager- I knew I was too early in my career for that but I loved the idea of people moving forward in their career (something that still excites me to this day). My friends warned me about my excitement. They were more experienced and explained that the new managers could be awful. I refused to believe that. Everyone was so nice.
In any case I knew who was going to manage us. It was going to be my friend, Aarti. Aarti had been with the company for over 5 years and she had worked on a variety of campaigns. It was a no-brainer. The other option would have been Samantha, someone who worked in the role of 2IC but had recently gotten pregnant. Samantha was 2IC for our team but she was eventually moved out to replace a less efficient coworker in another team. But that’s a story for another day.
Anyway it was time to announce managers and Aarti was meeting with our current manager. I waited impatiently for her to return with the good news. She returned. She had not been picked. No one from our team had been picked. This meant that whoever was going to manage us was going to be from another team.
They picked a lady named Janet. I was very confused. Janet was just sort of there. She wasn’t even a 2IC. How was she picked? But the decision was made and Janet’s trial run was in September. I felt bad for her. She was removed from the team that she had worked in for years and she was expected to run a team of strangers. And of this team of strangers, five of them had already applied for her job. In September they laid out the plans. Janet would run the smaller of the team. Namely me, my best friend and another girl who worked on the smaller campaigns. Two campaigns, three staff, one manager. No biggie right?
I spent the first month being helpful and friendly. Or so I thought. It quickly became clear that Janet did not expect to do work. She delegated everything to us- even the reports that she sent to the HOD. Previously I had managed the campaign pretty much by myself with minimal assistance. Janet wanted to oversee everything. Without doing any actual work. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening. Janet was another favourite of our HOD. It didn’t matter that she had zero experience. Corporate was a chess game and she played it correctly. As a coworker put it to me, Janet was now our problem whether we liked it or not.