That phone call I mentioned last week? It may come sooner rather than later. I just had a review with my boss. In the middle of 2013 I was assigned to a project for which I did not have the skills and expertise. Even though I went through a lot of effort to get the skills I need to do this job, I basically have been evaluated to being the lowest…. THE LOWEST…. contributor in the department for the ENTIRE YEAR. Relative to my peers, I am the person that makes the smallest, tiniest, least valuable contribution. LEAST.
I am expendable.
The stuff I did for the first half of 2013? Busting my butt as the subject matter expert for our application’s users world wide? Doing what it took to make sure our application ran reliably and dependably? All the all-nighters and weekends? That meant NOTHING. The fact that I spent the last half of 2013 taking classes (formal and informal), boning up on stuff as much as I could, to try and get out of this hole that was basically a setup for events that are happening and will happen in 2014? Total waste of time and energy.
I now have the skills to do that job that they assigned me to do, but it also requires tribal knowledge that I do NOT have, and that is not documented anywhere. The “team” members that I work with are so swamped that they don’t have time to field my questions or write anything down. So, I basically told my boss, “Giving me a bad review and thus setting in motion the events that will lead to me being forced out of this company is not going to fix the problem. And you have a REAL PROBLEM. You have a team that has too much work and not enough people to do it. And until you can fix the knowledge transfer problem, you can keep hiring new people and then later you’ll be firing them because they aren’t contributing, over and over, for forever and a day, because they won’t be able to do any better at this job than I’ve been able to do.”
Not that he has any say. This is an edict that has come from waaaaay up high and he’s just doing what he’s been told to do. If he doesn’t do it, well, fine, HE will get fired and they’ll find somebody else to do it in his place.
The fact that I’ve been a consistent top performer for YEARS? Don’t they (“they” being the higher-ups in this company) even wonder how a top performer could go from the top to the bottom in six months? And how the root cause of this extreme failure might not even have anything to do with that individual?
I am insulted. I feel angry. INTIMIDATED. Depressed. Mortified. TOTALLY WORTHLESS. Hysterical. Annoyed. Anxious. Confused. Disappointed. And really. Really. REALLY, REALLY, *****REEEEEAAAALLLLLLYYYYY PISSSSSSSED OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.
I should note that I’m not the first. We had a contract employee on our team that was “let go” a couple of months ago. For the same exact reason.
I keep asking myself… Is there anything else I could have done to avoid this? The answer? Probably, but I certainly don’t know what it would be and nobody else took it upon themselves to tell me.
So now I have to figure out what the next step is. I haven’t been fired… yet. It’s pretty likely that it will happen, and that it will happen by the end of March. It’s really tempting to just coast until then. Except that’s not how I roll, I can’t just not do my best; as stressful as this situation is, that would just compound the stress and magnify the loss of self-worth. And, if there is an outside chance that I do avoid the big RA bullet, I have to be able to somehow continue to justify my existence after March.
I’m certainly not the first person this has happened to. However, this is just one more link in the chain of events over the past few years that has continued to beat down my spirit.
Did I mention that I am really, really, REALLY PISSED OFF?