Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Two beers and the chute

By now, everyone knows the story of the Jetblue flight attendant who got fed up after 20 years of working with the public, tendered his resignation over the plane's PA system, grabbed 2 beers from the galley and popped the escape chute onto the tarmac at JFK.

Recently, a friend of mine received a job offer from another employer. Her current job was something she enjoyed doing, represented a promising career track, but was marred by some pretty nasty workplace politics and a less-than-effective management. She tried hard to stay above the fray, but because she was the target of some internal backbiting, it was difficult.

She carefully weighed her choices. Her current job paid well, and held potential, but it had little security and no benefits. The new offer paid a little less, and was somewhat of a step backward, career-wise, but had great benefits. What to do?

One day she was called to a meeting. It was presented as a "cross-training" opportunity for all staff, but it soon became obvious that it was a chance for her co-workers to beat up on her, courtesy of an ineffective and misguided supervisor.

She took all she could take, and then she opened her mouth and told them what she thought of them. And then she gave her notice.

People are complex. I had been listening to my friend's side of the story for a while. I had also heard from some of the other workers, too. Miscommunication, scapegoating, failure to give the other person the benefit of the doubt lay on both sides. But, overall, my friend was the one who tried to reach across the chasm, tried to keep it professional, tried to see the other side. The others were less giving and, in some cases denying there was a problem at all.

Well, now it's over. Her company is really going to miss her, because she did a great job. Her detractors are going to be impacted by losing her, though they don't realize it now.

Me - I'm gonna buy her a couple of cans of beer and an inflatable chute. She deserves it! Best of luck, my friend.

Have you ever had a "grab two beers and pop the chute" moment?


Susan B said...

Yes, once I worked in an office where the office manager was always trying to undermine everyone else's work. One day I went to grab a toner cartridge to replace the one in the copier, and didn't realize that she'd placed the cartridges from the old machine on the "current supplies" shelf. When the owners of the business told me they were going to take the cost of the machine service call out of *my* paycheck, I told them where to stick it and walked out. I felt as if a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders as I walked home that day.

smalltownme said...

Yes...when I was told we would have to lay a person off and I was already doing the work of 3 jobs I said "I want to be that person." It was glorious.

Anonymous said...

Today I feel like quitting a volunteer position because one person in particular is sure that the world revolves around him. Deadlines? Not for him. I stayed up late two nights in a row trying to put together a project without his (granted, rather important) input and finally sent it off with empty spaces to be filled later. Today, 4 days post-deadline, multiple articles come sauntering in... and I am disgusted.
I like my position (job), but not the position I am put into month after month.

Aunt Snow, I'm glad your friend left a losing situation. Her new job is her chute, but I'm sure she can use the beer and a buddy to share it with!

JCK said...

Loved this story. So glad your friend had a choice of another option, that may prove much healthier and more satisfying!

Also love the image of popping 2 beers and doing the escape chute. I hadn't heard that story. :)

Sue said...

I had one, but I was so young and I needed the job. I just took what was said to me and went home to be angry and upset. I wouldn't put up with such crap now!


Is your "friend" really you?

Glennis said...

No, MAYBELLINE, my friend is not me. I happen to have been a rather close witness to the proceedings, though.

SUEB0B said...

I worked at a family restaurant where there was the family, 2 Mexican dishwashers and me. I became the goat. The family felt they could criticize me and make fun of me because I was the outsider - they didn't pick on the Mexicans because their Spanish wasn't good enough.

One day they were particularly jerky. The next morning I called in well. I said "I feel too good to come to work there today. Or any day, really." They FREAKED out and called the house about a dozen times. It was well worth it.