Andrei Freeman (lordandrei) wrote,
Andrei Freeman

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A nice chat: a retrospective on a curse...

I got to chat this evening with an ex-manager. I say ex, because we got laid off together from the last company that laid me off. I really liked the guy, probably one of my favourite managers... If it weren't for the fact that I should have known.... he was doomed!

I'd forgotten (while working for him) that I had a bizarre curse. No one who manages me directly ever lasts for more than a year. And this goes back to the very, VERY start.

Oh, at first, I didn't notice the curse at all. The first job I held was at a *mumbles* pizza *mumbles*. I went through 3 different managers just in the 2 months I was there. Some got promoted to other stores, some left, one got pregnant and quit (I didn't like that one), but the managers I had when I started, all were gone by my last day.

I worked for a radio station and the Asst Mgr. who hired me... got fired because the new Station manager hated him. The guy wound up trying to frame me for theft from the station and was later caught and fired.

I worked for the University of Pittsburgh... We had a saying in those days. If it's more than 3 reorgs in 2 years... well, you get the idea. Yup, 3 different managers. It's funny, when I started at Pitt there were 6 people between me and the Provost. When I quit, the Provost was my direct report. I moved to another department at Pitt. The hiring supervisor left 8 months later. His assistant who took over, left a month later.

Then there was the San Diego Startup. 3 managers gone. But to be fair... The company did eventually lay off 70% of the staff in one day. So, there was mismanagement from the start. :)

Which brings me to my ex-manager. A really, really great guy. The company really didn't know what they were losing. See, I think I forgot about the curse, because I actually lasted 2.666 years there... All under the same manager. (Granted, I went thru 2 cubes and 3 offices)... but in fact, we got laid off on the same day. I was out of the office when it hit; so on a technicality, I outlasted him. (He signed severance papers a few hours before me.)

Oh... but what about my last job? Oddly enough, the way that things were structured, my hiring manager wasn't really the person who supervised me. No, that was the team lead engineer. (Who left within 6 months of my hire.) The next 'eldest' team member took over... He left at the end of the next cycle. From my hire I was 5th in line, but the oldest team member (the one smart enough not to take lead status) also quit after the second supervisor jumped teams. So I went from #5 to the second seed. I reserve the term "Number 2" for the guy hired just before me... But for reasons that make more sense if you understand the slang involved.

Now interestingly, none of these were 'my fault.' None of my managers or supervisors left because I was: a difficult employee; hard to manage; or unwavering in my ideals. It was the company or managers' own pursuits that took them away. I just seem to be the one who had the string of similar events.

So... how do I combat this curse. Well, there really is one and only one answer. The universe has made it very, VERY clear. I'm really not meant to be "Managed"..., So obviously, I have to be a CEO.

So... who wants to help fund my venture :)
Tags: curse, nostalgia, work

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