Sunday, September 20, 2009

Interesting Developments

You know, it's not like I have a grand plan here. Mostly, I just float along, and end up wherever the current takes me.

In high school, I was considered "gifted" and therefore was allowed to participate in the Governor's Summer Institutes for the Gifted and Talented. They were summer camps ranging from 1 to 3 weeks long at various colleges around Ohio, each specializing in a different topic. I applied to Shawnee University's program to become certified in scuba. I was rejected for that, but they put me into the engineering program. Of course, I went anyway. A week at a college far from home and parents at sixteen? I will study anything you want me to, just let me go. When I got there, I learned that every single one of the 40 of us in the engineering camp had applied for scuba and were put into the engineering labs instead. We got intensive four hour lectures followed by two hour labs, homework, and quizzes the next day. The scuba kids played in a pool all damn day. I still firmly believe it was a trick. They didn't really need my math scores for scuba, did they? Of the 12 or so people I stayed in contact with, every single one of us ended up going into engineering in college. Coincidence? I think not.

My first "real" job came about because of a random post on a cross-stitching forum... something along the lines of, "I can fix this, I'm an engineer dammit." And one of my online friends replied back that she was hiring engineers, what sort of engineer was I? Several hours of interviews and a personality test later, I had a real job as a junior supplier quality engineer. I've been in supplier quality ever since.

So, yeah, no grand plan. I just bumble along, and so far, it's mostly turned out okay.

Well, the winds of change are blowing again and I'm not sure what to do about it, so my plan is to go with the flow and see what happens.

My boss (or, as I call him, the asshole) has taken a new job. Starting on October 1, he will be production manager in our factory. Also on October 1, his job will be posted. I don't really want it, but I can't think of anyone who is even as qualified as I am, and if I don't go for it, I have no right to complain over whomever the next person is. So, I'm going to go for it.

I've told my boss' boss (aka the idiot) that I'm going for it, and while he is hard to read, my odds may be better than I thought. I really thought that, since the idiot and the asshole hate me, I have no shot. But, the idiot informed me that he wants me to go to the next global meeting for my department - which is the job of the lead engineer, which is the job opening.

I pretty much have to apply - I can't complain that there's no room for advancement in the company and then not go for the one and only opportunity likely to come up. Also, it's the next logical step in my career, and will get me management experience, which always helps when looking for the next job. I have no idea if I'll get it - the idiot told me that he never gets many applications for jobs. (Partly, this is 'cause quality is a nightmare. Also I am not alone in labeling him the idiot, except my label is nicer than most. No one who isn't completely miserable where they are is going to apply to move into his department.) So I may well be the only applicant. Keep in mind that with the current economic environment, we are under a total hiring freeze, and all jobs must be filled internally. I know there are scads and scads of really qualified people out there who don't know enough about our company to run for the hills, but we aren't allowed to hire them. This greatly improves my odds of getting this job.

So, if I get it... probably not more money, 'cause as a degreed engineer, I make more than my boss now. But maybe I can negotiate for additional vacation time or something. The chance to do more travel, especially international. Direct management experience.

But, as much as I'd like to, I can't take a new job with them and then bail, so I'd be stuck here for at least another year. Our little department of misfits is NOT a walk in the park to manage, and will probably turn my hair even more grey. I have said, more than once, that if it were my department, I'd clean house, fire everyone and start over. Given the hiring freeze we're under, that isn't going to happen. I'd get to spend scads more time with the idiot. Oh joy. Of course, with the asshole leaving, that's going to happen anyway.

If I don't get it, I will have a new boss. As they are opening it up to international candidates, my new boss will almost certainly be German. He'll come in and change everything. I hate change. *sigh*

It'll be interesting to see how this works out. The asshole is a VERY political creature. He's quite charismatic, he's been in this area longer, and knows everyone, and made it pretty clear to people that they could be friends with him... or with me. It's one of the reasons that I remain so alone here. Now that he's out of my department, that may change. Of course, if you're the sort to be influenced by that sort of thing, we're probably not going to be that close, but it would be nice to be invited to the parties and things that pretty much everyone else in the factory gets invited to attend.

Another interesting tidbit - I told the idiot (during our two hour car trip aka bonding expedition the other day) that I was perfectly willing to go to overseas on assignment for the company. He was surprised by this, since the asshole told him that I wasn't. *sigh* Sabotage at every turn. So the seeds have been sown there too.

Wish me luck, and stay tuned for whichever direction I float in next...


The Caustic Bunny said...

Good luck.
Managing is like herding cats except cats are more orderly. What has worked for me is the philosophy that "we are all adults equipped with a brain." Come to work acting like one and using it. Your responsibility to live up to your potential, mine to ensure you have rewards to reach for.
Let us know what happens.

threecollie said...

I hope this all works out well for you. Sounds like a gigantic challenge but one that you will do well with. I manage life the same way....just taking the opportunities that pop my way. And that hasn't worked out all that badly. Lots of interesting diversions that weren't in my game plan (such as it was) but were enriching and fun. Good luck.