Beating the Old Man

NOTE: I wrote this post in July or August of 2014. It was the kind of thing I needed to write but I wasn’t really ready to post it right then – still wrapping my head around it. I DID wait that guy out; I gave it two months after he retired and then I quit. Spent a (wonderful) year freelancing. Now I’m working a job at a place that LOVES having me. They tell me every day. It’s incredible.


I’ve very recently been bumped to an upper tier. I now report directly to the CEO, meaning I’m pretty high up there. However, I am a lone wolf – my department is just me and my work consists largely of one-off, single-person duties. As such, I have no real interaction with any of my “peers” other than the occasional hello or perhaps a shared training session.

What this has meant, lately, is that I am “known” professionally by the people I worked with and for prior to this position. Everyone else in my new peer group only knows me by word of mouth.

Maybe this wouldn’t have been (or shouldn’t be) an issue, but one of my previous bosses doesn’t think much of me being in an administrative (ie: peer) position. He thought I was AWESOME when I was working for him. Now that I’m working with him, he’s not a fan. In fact, most of my interactions these days consist of my former boss (now peer) brushing me off or actively deriding me.

Sometimes it’s too my face, other times I hear about how I’ve been characterized (in closed meetings) after the fact.

It’s made work not just unpleasent. It’s made me distrustful of all my peers, and my boss. It’s created a feeling of animosity toward the institution at large. And it has destroyed my enthusiasm for the work that I do. If I get any feedback at all these days, it’s negative. And I KNOW that I am doing good work. The disparity between what I’m doing and what I’m hearing only serves to further undercut whatever confidence I might still have retained for the others at and above my level.

I want to leave. I think about it through every weekend. I think about it most mornigns when I wake up. It’s a thought that follows me around during really bad days at work.

But if I leave, that’s the end of the story. “It sucked royally. The end.” For perhaps the very first time in my entire life, I want to stay just as badly as I want to go. I’m not going to beat this guy at whatever power struggle thing we’re now engaged in. I’m probably not ever going to be able to undo the damage he has done to my professional reputation.

He’s old. I will outlast him. I can get the end of the story closer to “Then it got a little better. The end.”

That’s enough.



4 thoughts on “Beating the Old Man”

  1. One value in going through this type of experience (and we all suffer the like at times) is you become very quick at recognizing what ‘s going on when you meet up with it again in some form. You won’t waste time wondering if you are the problem and hoping for unrealistic solutions. As a result they are much less painful and more quickly resolved

  2. What an excellent choice you made! … a wonderful year creating fantastic work through freelancing, and now a wonderful job with lots of creativity, kudos, and interesting challenges.

  3. I truly find it amazing the damage one toxic person in our offices can do to us.I’m glad you eventually left, in that type of environment does nothing good for you. And even more, I’m glad you eventually found a wonderful place to work! You so deserve to be valued and loved! 🙂

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