Back to the story, because I woke up, I was able to catch up with my old friends (coworkers). Last week, while I was in SF, my ex manager messaged me, and told me that my ex serial department head “Kate” (fake name) is leaving, along with the EA of the CEO. They have both been around for more than a decade and truly serve the organization. So why now? And how?
Kate is amazing. She have always been a true leader and a role model of mine. Not only is she perform almost humanly impossible excellent work, she’s also a miracle worker. She cares about all her staff. She host birthday parties for us, ask us how we are individually, most importantly, she CARES.
Don’t get me wrong, she is also the leader you fear, because she have expectations. Her bar is high, she have high expectations in herself, therefore, she expects her handpicked team to deliver.
Why? Because she knows you can. She helps you along the way but her tasks are challenging. She genuinely wants you to learn, to grow, to develop as an individual. She is exactly the leader you want to follow. And what did I learn from the 3+ years under her wings? I learned that respect is earned not given. I understand why the team fight with her and stand by her when time gets tough. I want to learn from her, I want to be more like her.
She also work so hard that she was hospitalized and her health took a hit. That was a dark period in our department, thankfully, she recovered and went back to work. One time I went to work on a Saturday to clear up my desk to move to another department, I heard noises and saw her in her office. She just recovered and already back in the office. She was startle when she saw me. I was like, you should rest more and told her that I’m a bit traumatized to move to IT from actuarial/underwriting after 3+ years. It is not going to be the same. I love the people here but career wise, I hit a wall. She reassured me, saying that it is a good move and although I don’t agree with my new managers way, it will work out in the end. She’s an amazing and kind woman.
I thought that when my ex manager told me to write messages to add onto the message jars for the two lovely gladiators of our old company, they left in good terms. The truth I found out today, was that they were walked out. They got kicked out and as of Monday, the company have now changed its name to our sister branch’s name. That re-branding I was working so hard on before I left. All those marketing collaterals, font, color, website, every little details. All GONE. All changed. That, is what a take over looks like.
I found out that Kate was still working hard the last minutes before she was walked out. WHY? How do you let go of people who dedicate their lives for the company? Simple: You give them a raise, change their title, and then make them redundant. Easy. Done.
I still remember our new CEO coming to us and said “This is a friendly merger, just drink the Kool-Aid” and he laughed. No one else in the room was laughing with him. Just him. I didn’t get it, I googled the phase and that was when I realize what that truly means.
Last year, my heart sunk when people started to get laid off, started to leave, and move away. I left willingly, but they were probably glad I did. Today, my heart aches, finding out the awful news.
So much happened in the past few months, hack, the past few days. We numb ourselves to tolerate bull sh*t because they are endless. What is your exit strategy? Do you have one? If not, find one. You might be next. Make a difference while you can.