I obviously haven’t been blogging much, despite intentions to the contrary. Here’s an explanation why:
From: [Company Managers]
Subject: Assumption of role as ‘Acting Supervisor of Quality Assurance’
Date: July 17th, 2006
On Friday July 14th [Boss Man] discussed the opportunity to become ‘Acting Supervisor of QA.’ If you chose you would assume the role of supervisor of your functional area—Quality Assurance—on a temporary basis for a projected period of not more than 3 months. This would allow the current manager…to transition to her new role within the organization.
We addressed that the organizations requirements for the manager of a QA were considerably more experience and more actual management experience running a dept. [sic] We mentioned that should your performance of these duties be satisfactory we would give consideration [emphasis original] to your assuming the role. This was and is not a guarantee of an automatic promotion or assumption of those duties.
In consideration for assuming these duties temporarily you would receive a $1500 bonus in your August pay and another bonus of $1500 in your September pay if you are performing in that role satisfactorily.
During the week of 7/17, [Boss Man] will meet with you to set the specific expectations for this ‘acting supervisor’ role. We request that you summarize those expectations in your own words so that we can include them in your file with this written confirmation of this agreement and your discussion with [Boss Man].
If after the discussion of expectations you feel that they are unclear or if during your performance of your duties you come upon any problems that you are unable to resolve please do not delay in bringing those problems to [Boss Man’s] attention immediately.
Please sign a copy of this email and bring hard copy to the HR office.
I find myself alternately pleased and annoyed about this. For one thing, I have almost 10 years in QA, with over 3 of those in a management capacity of some sort, including managing a team of up to 9 people for over a year. During the initial discussion, mentioned in the letter above, with Boss Man, he seemed a little taken aback when he learned this about me. And thus the pendulum swings to the other side: it’s true that the managers of this company haven’t seen much from me, since I’ve basically been cloistered in the QA department, stuck underneath a “manager” who has never been an effective advocate for the department—or even reasonable QA practices. I learned, after a while, that my complaints and suggestions might as well have been made to the wall. Given this, perhaps management’s lack of trust in my capabilities is understandable.
Nonetheless, no follow-up discussion has yet taken place, and I wouldn’t even have gotten a hold of this email if it weren’t for my going to talk to the HR director about concerns I had that nothing of the original talk had been put in writing. So, I still do not know what it means to “perform in this position satisfactorily.” Worse, the timing of the transition happens to be during one of the worst “crisis mode” crunch times in the history of this company, which is basically always running in crisis mode.
Note also that I am apparently only vying to become a “permanent supervisor,” as they are planning on hiring a “real” manager as soon as they can find someone with over 4 years as a manager and 10 years in QA (thus “out ranking” me). I’d still be getting $18K per year more than I make now, so while all this “manager/supervisor” bullshit does bother, it's not by too much.
An extra $3000 over the next month or so is undoubtedly an attractive carrot, as well, and I have found myself working a lot of extra hours this past couple weeks, with more ungodly overtime planned for the next couple of weeks, in the hope of making a good impression (and getting stuff done that has needed doing for a long time - another rant in an of itself), even though I still don’t know the definition of “satisfactory.”
Finally, all this comes while I’ve been making a concerted effort to find a job in Phoenix and move back there, since it’s where the bulk of my family and friends reside. Should I put that on hold and focus on getting the bonus money? If I do end up getting the “permanent” supervisor role, should I stick with it for a year and leverage my way into a better paying job in Phoenix in a year or so?
This is all so annoying.