And With That, He's Gone, Like a Puff of Smoke

Short version, I quit my job today. Hey, here's the entire dialoque.

"I'm quitting."
"Do you even want to know why?"
"Okay then."

And I hadn't thought of it this way until just now but its a perfect metaphor for my nearly four years of working there. She never wanted to know, she just wanted it done. And if it wasn't done then she'd narrow her face and get all nasty looking and demand to know why it hadn't been done.

The straw that broke this camel's back? Reneging on $5000 in commissions I earned from sales for the company's big event. I either let her walk over me or I stood up. And today I stood up.

And here's a theme song for the day.

The longer version:
I've been working my butt off for the last three and a half months for this major company event. Since the marketing manager left, the burden of the planning and execution as well as the running of the show itself, fell on me. And I did it. I kicked ass. I did, in effect, three jobs and did all of them well. I was both sides of the show coordination and my usual PR duties. That's a hell of a lot of jobs for one person.

But the show was a complete success (and yes, I do note that I'm being intentionally cryptic as to who I worked for and what I did as I'm not really all that into exposing myself to a lawsuit, yes, she's that lame). Let me back up just a little bit though so you can get a better idea of the situation.

The leadup to the event was highly stressful and the company only replaced the marketing person a few weeks before the event. Too late to be of great use in the planning but would prove invaluable in the execution. And, for some reason, my boss, who I've been working for and with for almost four years, for some reason she decides that I'm going to be the target of her capricious assaults of whim. These are when she demands you stop what you're doing and do what she tells you to do, regardless of what you are currently doing.

Only, the last few weeks, I started telling her no. When she demanded (literally demanded like a petulant 8 year old) that I hang up the phone I'd been waiting on hold for 20 minutes to confirm the delivery of insurance papers for the entire office and it was the last day to make sure, I told her that I wasn't about to waste 20 minutes on hold to appease her that moment.

Anyway, so she decides to try and convert me to her whipping boy. But I made a deal with myself that I would see the event through and see what happened on the other side. Well, here's what happens on the other side.

After delivering on my job with better press coverage in 2005 than ever before, after delivering on my PR work for the event, after also undertaking almost the entire rest of the event and then the event being a major success from every quarter. From food to content to location, all things I either chose or was a major part of the selection process. It was my baby and I kicked ass at it and that was good for me.

It will also be good for the company with a rough estimate of about a million bucks in new business resulting from this event. Not too shabby especially considering it made money on the front side too from the registration fees.

And part of this deal, aside from me running it and organizing it and being responsible for it, was that I earn a commission on the sales I did for the event. Only my now ex-boss cheapskate ass decided that "We weren't doing commissions" this time. After all of the mother fucking hard ass work, long hours and it was an astounding success? The company stands to make a million bucks and she's going to rip me off of $5000 that I earned? How in the hell she had the gall to even say it is just truly amazing to me.

Oh wait, this is after she didn't even bother to thank me for the event and how well it had gone. Everyone else (except for the sales asshole) said more than once how great the show had been, what a resounding success it was for the company and how fantastic a job I did in coordinating and executing the whole thing. Speakers from the show told me, attendees told me, there are blog entries about how great the food was, media stories that have come out of the thing and more. And I didn't do a good enough job to warrant the day after it off much less my commissions that I earned.

It was the last straw that made me instantly have no choice but to quit as soon as possible. And I did. I rode my motorcycle home at lunch, got my truck and went back to clean out my desk.

When I got back, there was a company wide meeting, all 12 of us. Monthly deal where everyone says what they're doing. I'm seething, of course, but contain myself and do my moment and then go to my office and start packing it up. I went next door to talk with the president, who is a man I respect and trust because he has earned both, and I told him that I was quitting.

It caught him completely by surprise and I explained my immediate reasons to him, the larger reasons (the fact that the company was going to be hamstrung as long as she was calling the shots and did so by hunch rather than logical business process and more) and then let him ask a question or two. We talked about a two week thing but we both recognized that two more weeks in the office was just not possible given the situation. He did recognize that I deserved the commissions and would talk with the boss lady and see what he could do.

Which is smart, of course. It is money I did earn and one of the very few people you really want to leave your company angrily is your publicist. Publicity works both ways, there's the good kind that we can turn on and off. And there's the bad kind that makes companies change names and relocate or fold altogether.

No, its not just about the five grand, though it would be a good help, its about having enough and just not taking it anymore. Its about not allowing it to happen anymore, its about standing up and saying, "No, fuck you."

And it felt good to do. I hope more of the people in the office do the same thing. It wouldn't take very many more before the place caved in upon itself and that would be cathartic to watch. Evil should destroy itself eventually. At least its nice to think so.
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