Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oh the unexpected!

As I have previously posted, I will most likely be laid off in June or early July due to reasons completely outside of my control. That I knew and was expecting. Talking to my boss this morning however, he told me we needed to have a little chat sometime later in the day. That I did not expect, and left me feeling quite unsettled.

A few hours later, we walked to the conference room to have out little chat, and while I was expecting some sort of unpleasant to bad news, I was in no way prepared for what he was about to say (paraphrased): "You are costing us too much."


Recently the company increased the bps (percentage) that my bosses (bc they are a partnership I believe its higher) have to pay in order to keep an assistant. I knew they paid some of my salary but I guess I didn't realize that percentage increased at the start of the year. This fact, coupled with the market we're in, means every month my portion of their paycheck is more and more noticeable. Now, the news was not all bad. He said that he liked me as a person and as an employee, and thought the three of us meshed well together...which is true...but that he needed me to start brining in deals or else it wasn't cost effective to keep me around. I understand that, but I didn't think that conversation was ever going to happen. In his defense, I was hired with the intent of being a producing assistant, in that I would help the team with their deals, but also bring in my own. I've only brought in one deal, well two, and they both happened upon me by random chance.

So produce an equity line a week, or I'm done. Pretty simple, completely reasonable and totally within my capabilities. The only problem is I don't like selling things to people. It seriously causes me physical discomfort, which is why I've only produced two deals...and really those only happened because they more or less fell into my lap. I have the intelligence, the mental guile (um...sure) and communication skills to find good leads, know why they could benefit from an equity line, and be able to combat all their reasons for not wanting to set one up...but it's just far too troubling for me to do. I canont stand when people try to sell me things, even if they're very polite, respectful of my space/time and are selling me something I can genuinly benefit from, I still get very irritated by the attempt. Its quick, sudden and a very strong feeling of rage really. I don't want to say I hate them, because that's not true, but I guess I do hate what they're trying to peddle onto me...or the very core idea of sales.

I just can't do it. And that's nothing new...I've always been this way. Its not that I'm not capable either, its just that I can't. That may not make sense to anyone, but its completely true and real for me. On the other side of that though, if a deal, a cutomer or a situation is presented to me (where I was not forced to sell them anything), then I am all over it and will kick ass. Existing deal that needs my help...consider it done. Go get a new deal and kick ass?....not gonna happen. I'm a customer service, problem solving, organizational kind of person I suppose. That's what I do best...not sales.

So now I'm forced with a difficult decision. I can stay, at least until June/July when I'm going to be laid off, but will be forced to do the very thing I hate in order to keep my job...and realistically I know that won't happen...or it will but internally I will hate myself and feel horrid...all the whlie costing my bosses an extra percentage of their paychecks so that I can keep a job that I will ultimately lose, and that I will ultimately hate doing for the next three months. Like I said, I like the guys I work for, but I dont' think I can keep costing them dollars when I won't really be able to do what their asking me to do. I thought I would be able to produce when they hired me on, I really did, or I wouldn't have wasted their time and money in hiring me. But ultimately what this has shown me is that I simply cannot stay in a sales job. It's just not who I am or what I want to do.

What do I want to do? I don't know...but I now know its not my current job and I know I don't want to work for WaMu anymore. This job and this company have caused me far too much stress over the past six months, and show no signs of changing for the better. I don't want a job with such a bleek outlook, nor do I want to stay with a company that doesn't seem to care if I work here or not. Some of the people I have met and worked with along the way have made my stay here enjoyable, and have shown compassion, but I don't work with them anymore or I won't get to work with them for much longer.

I have had a blast working here at the HLC. Working downtown was everything I thought it was going to be, and more. I've grown to love the city that I used to hate. Growing up I didn't like Seattle because it was so big, confusing and too fast for me. Now though, I love it, because I've figured out how to tame the beast that is downtown. The people here, for the most part, are great too...even the crazy ones make for sporadic entertainment. And how could I forget the "office trip" to Vegas...amazing!!! Seriously it was the best trip ever. So much fun. And even though its the very thing that will lead to the end for me here, I've learned some very important and valuable lessons about who I am, what I like and what's not for me....and I think those are important things to have a firm grasp on for anyone finding their way through the early stages of their career.

Wish my luck...

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