Thursday, November 10, 2016

Zöe 5

New Message

Dear Ryan,

I want to share a brief story with you that might give you some understanding (or patience!).  Sort of where I’m coming from.

In a previous life I got a big promotion to account manager for a big client of ours.  Prior to that I had managed a few smaller clients, but the company wanted me to take on a bigger challenge and focus my skills on a single account.  It was a big step for me and significant, maybe in a selfish way, because I was the first female to take on such a role.

Things went well for about a year and then I kept running into this guy - in the hallway, in the parking lot, in meetings, on conference calls and so on.  It was a bit like Coffee Guy, but I had not yet learned to keep my shields up.  Anyway, one thing led to another, he bought me coffee a couple of time, then we started having lunch once a week and before I knew what was happening we were “dating.”  I write dating like “dating” because it wasn’t really in a romantic sense, but maybe more than a hanging-out sense.

I began to confide in him things that were happening at work and in my home life, and he was a good listener.  He was a great listener.  If I had been paying attention I would have realized that he paid the most attention when I was talking about things I was doing managing the account.

The short story is that he was pumping me for internal, confidential information that he was passing directly to his negotiating team.  I didn’t see it coming until the very end when we began to negotiate the annual contract.  It should have been easy - here’s what we’ll do, here’s what you’ll pay, a little back and forth and done.

It wasn’t like that at all.

They began to ask for concessions they never asked for before, and for a bunch of free stuff.  They seemed to know exactly how far they could push us and managed to lock us into a two-year deal with the option for a third at the same price.

My managers were furious.  Furious at me. 

It got worse.

Rumors began to fly that I had shared company information with my “boyfriend” who worked for the client.  I found out later he was the one who started the rumors.  Shortly after that I was called in for a counseling session with my manager and at the end of that they told me I was going to be replaced.  About a week later I got hauled in again and told that they were having a problem placing me in another position.  I had two choices:  resignation or termination.

I resigned.

Ryan, I’ve never told anyone this story before. It was a very embarrassing and painful experience and it took me a long time to get over it - if I am.  I keep to myself, lock the doors, pull down the curtains.  Fool me once, shame on me.  It’s a work in progress.

We’ll talk soon, OK?

All the best,

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