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Chasing The American Dream

April 30, 2005


It’s a beautiful tropical day here in sunny Florida. 85 degrees, sunny, breezy, a perfect beach day. Well, at least that’s the view from where I sit. And I’m not liking where I sit. In fact, I’m not liking a lot of things lately. Not being able to blog is only one of the things I’m not liking. So sit back and let ol’ Plantation catch y’all up on things.

I’m sitting on the 9th floor of some bank building just south of downtown Miami. Yeah, I’m at work on a Saturday afternoon. I never in a million years thought this new assignment could be as bad as Gilligan’s Island. I mean after all, the email said the assignment would simply be, “a two-week assistance program.” Tuesday, April 19th was my first day here. There were five of us crammed into a tiny conference room, papers strewn everywhere. It was a picture of disorganization. I was given my assignment, and it was business as usual.

At about 11 a.m., the Managing Director came into the room and all hell broke loose. He began yelling about a meeting held the previous day and how he was embarrassed because of the work quality and lack of knowledge from the team. I made a mental note and just kept at it. Later that night, there was a client meeting. Once again, the Managing Director came back fuming. More mistakes, more embarrassment. At 7:30 p.m., he looked at me and gave me the ‘come here’ finger wave.

I hate the finger wave. No good thing has ever developed as a result of a finger wave. The MD frantically was looking for a private spot for us to talk. I thought to myself, what kind of damage could I have possibly done in the 8 hours I’ve been here? He finally found a spot. The board room. What could be more ominous? I mentally prepared myself for the worst. Well, I didn’t know it then, but getting fired would *not* have been the worst thing. So he proceeded to tell me the whole story. In a nutshell, the project has been a clusterfuck for four months, we have zero credibility, he’s tired of it, he needs leadership, and he’s putting me in charge. TA-DA!

And from that moment on, this fucking project has taken over my life. So far this week, I’ve worked 86 hours. On Thursday I got home at 4 a.m. The days are long and extremely frustrating. The good news is that I’ve restored order somewhat and have gained the confidence of management and the external auditors, but this project is so fucked up that it can never be considered ‘good.’ Yesterday’s events really made me consider whether I want to continue in this profession.

We had a Board meeting that included our MD, the client senior management, the external auditors, and the audit committee board members. This was my second Board meeting. The first was interesting because I got to meet the Board members. They were very Latin, very arrogant, very pompous, very demanding, and very annoying. This meeting, I met the Chairman. He fit right in with the rest of them. One of them sat next to me and he had the gall to put his bare ugly-ass feet on this beautiful cherry conference table. Anyway, as I mentioned, our work has been shit, and so the Board just went off on guess who?

I was belittled, berated, and cursed at. Honestly, I didn’t mind it. It’s all incense and peppermints, meaningless nouns. You wanna know the worst part? My chicken-shit MD just sat there and didn’t say one fucking word. Not one. I sort of gave him a glance like, hey man jump in here anytime. I’m getting buried here. I mean, shit. It’s been his project for four months. I’d been there for a week and I was taking the heat. As I sat there, I seriously thought I needed to quit this profession. 18 years of this shit and I really *have* had it. I gotta figure out what else to do. I better get going on the book.

To make matters worse, after the meeting, the MD came into our conference room and berated the team. A total and complete downer. I gazed around the room and looked at their faces. I wished I had a camera and was able to take a picture because I would have posted it. What I saw was complete and utter shock and despair. Great leadership, dude. I guess they don’t teach leadership to Execs any more. Our company has none, that’s for sure.

The worst part about this whole thing, as mentioned, is that it’s taken over my life. My apartment is a friggin mess. Laundry piled up, dishes in the sink, unmade couch (don’t sleep in the bed), mail piled up, etc. My car’s dirty, too, inside and out. I haven’t paid any bills, I haven’t exercised, run, and I’m getting fat. I haven’t written or read any blogs. I’m more miserable about all that stuff than the all the job bullshit. I’ve got to reclaim my life. But now I’m in it for the long haul. It looks like June 14th is the project end date. Two-week assistance program. Give me a fucking break.


  • thank you for periodically reminding me that i didn't make a mistake getting out of my profession after 13 years.

    what a hellacious place.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 8:43 PM, April 30, 2005  

  • Lx, I want to thank you for not busting me on all the typos. It must have killed you. That was horrible. How did you resist?

    By Blogger Plantation, at 10:01 PM, April 30, 2005  

  • Life is too short! Find another job, unless you make a ton of money. Even then, life is too short!

    By Anonymous Sher, at 10:19 PM, April 30, 2005  

  • man, i am so sorry. i don't put up with shit very well, but the not bloging or reading blogs would kill me. i didn't quit my profession. it quit me. but i agree with sher. life's too short.

    By Blogger ropedncr, at 11:54 PM, April 30, 2005  

  • I'm agreeing with everyone here that life is too short. Sometimes a job is not worth the piled up laundry, the dirty car or not having a life. I've been in these situations and yeah, it's pretty ugly, but I become a robot. A person without feeling or emotion and do what I have to do and get it over with (until I get home and become me again.) It sounds like this place will do down the toilet after you leave. The only reason why you were belittled and berated is because the MD and his cronies are too insecure to see that the problem is THEM! So whilst (I know you love that word!) they blow steam on you, let your mind drift to things other than they're barking. Let them get the ulcers and the stress headaches, or just picture them naked (scratch that) or be a dog, pretend you hear the words but blah, blah, blah is all you understand.

    Don't let 'em get to ya!

    By Blogger Mari, at 12:40 AM, May 01, 2005  

  • Sorry to hear. That truly sucks!

    When you sacrfice yourself and your life, it's time to move on. It's all about quality of life and often the bucks just aren't worth it. You must be exhausted.

    When you're forced to take that kind of bullshit in the corporate world, don't forget that you've become the scapegoat. That's a horrible place to be, but I think you know better than to take it personally. Your MD is obviously an asshole, but if you begin to plan for your future and take steps to change it, you'll find what you deal with on a daily basis will be easier to handle, knowing that the end is in sight.

    By Blogger Jewels, at 9:01 AM, May 01, 2005  

  • Twice (or maybe three times) you said (or referenced).... really made me consider whether I want to continue in this profession

    Hmmm, what's that telling ya?

    And I certainly hope you were not lumping all hispanics into that one comment....they were very Latin, very arrogant, very pompous, very demanding, and very annoying. You wouldn't do that would ya? ;)

    By Blogger catsteevens, at 12:27 AM, May 02, 2005  

  • Bro-I'm offering you a way out...if you would just open your eyes for two seconds you'd see that the door was right in front of you...all you have to do is turn the knob...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:45 PM, May 03, 2005  

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