Throughout my entire life, every time I would be in the car with my dad on a warm summer day, we would always listen to the Red Sox game on the radio. I remember being a little girl and smiling whenever I would hear our favorite sportscaster's distinct voice yell out, "Homerun! Over the green monster it goes, can you believe it?!" For my whole life and even still now, whenever I hear that voice, I immediately think back to my childhood. I never would have guessed that one day that man would be my co-worker, and that one day I would work for that radio station, the job I always wanted.
Right after I graduated from college, I attended a sports career fair at Fenway and met a man who later hired me to be on the radio station's street team. I stayed on the team for six months until I moved up into a full-time professional role. I was extremely happy to be working at the radio station I was always such a big fan of.
I was finally able to put faces to all those voices I grew up listening to, and I even got to know them on more personal levels. I started meeting professional athletes I never once thought I'd have the opportunity to meet. I felt accomplished whenever friends or family would ask me about my job and I would tell them about the station I worked for. "Wow, you work for them, that's so cool," was the typical reaction. It made me feel proud.
So, why did I get up one day and quit?
I could sit here and list the millions of surprising reasons why I left this place. But, I will only tell you about the major things that really made me realize I deserved a lot better from my work environment.
THEIR TRUE COLORS SHOWED WHEN I TOLD THEM I WAS LEAVING
When I quit, I DID give a two weeks’ notice out of courtesy (in Mass, it's not mandatory, you can leave a job "at will," or whenever you want). However, for very valid reasons, I decided to leave just two days before my full two weeks was up. As a result, I got an off-putting email from my Vice President. He claimed I wasn't loyal for doing that, and wrote, "Loyalty, Nikki, is not your strong suit." I thought this was a little strange and honestly, this accusation upset me. I respectfully responded under the impression that he maybe didn’t know I actually did give a two weeks’ notice...but apparently he was well aware.
He surprisingly wrote back again, and in his rude e-mail said, "The good news is, I won a bet you'd never stay for the two weeks." Real mature for a sixty-something year old man, huh? He continued on in that e-mail, trash talking me, making false accusations, and pretending like he actually knew me as a person and an employee - which was the worst part about all of this. My VP didn't know me at all whatsoever, not one bit. I maybe had three actual conversations with him in the two plus years I worked there.
This is also the same man, who a few weeks before this incident, had preached in a meeting how we really shouldn't take vacations and that we should only focus on work. He even praised one of the managers for working during her entire vacation and constantly staying connected to her laptop and phone.
That is just INSANE to me. The point of a vacation is to recuperate, relax, and most importantly spend quality time with family or loved ones. We were not put on this earth to just work our lives away and die. I feel sorry for that man for thinking that is the case. And the fact that he actually wasted time out of his work day to email me these childish and completely false things, just further proved why I didn’t want to work for such an awful company anymore.
BEHIND THE GLITZ AND GLAMOUR WERE SOME SERIOUS MANAGEMENT ISSUES
I've had a few jobs before this one, and I've never in my life seen management quite like this. I worked for multiple bosses in this position and each one of them had quirks that unfortunately led to some serious downfalls.
We had a huge turnover rate the last few months I was there. People were leaving left and right, but they failed to recognize that this was because of the poor management. When those individuals did leave, my boss started forwarding me her entire inbox of emails because she couldn't keep up with how shorthanded we were.
I never minded picking up the slack, but my boss was really difficult to work with. She often lost track of things, expected you to read her mind as she would never give an explanation of what she wanted, and would re-send me something I already finished three days prior. She was very scatter-brained and this was apparent to everyone. Even the higher managers knew of her non-manager-like behavior, but they simply said "it's just how she is."
Moreover, the managers never treated their lower level staff correctly. Regardless of all of the work we did, large projects we would work tirelessly on, and all the crucial background work we took care of, it never mattered. All of the credit went to the account executives simply because they pulled in the money directly, even if we were the ones who did 99% of the work. I remember a few of us speaking up when people started quitting. We tried expressing how unappreciated we felt, among the many other problems going on. No changes were ever made, nor steps towards making them.
THERE WERE DIFFERENT RULES FOR DIFFERENT PEOPLE
I understand there may be different rules for different levels of seniority - BUT - there were different rules for people in the same position as I was in! I remember one day I had to leave an hour early for an appointment, and my boss straight up asked me, "Why do you need to leave early, where are you going?"
That actually isn't an appropriate question for your boss to ask, but nonetheless, that day, I was told I wasn't allowed to leave an hour early due to some mysterious "handbook rule," and that I actually had to take a half vacation day and leave at noon. So, instead of having me there for almost the entire day, they opted to make me leave at noon. Made no sense to me.
A week later, a co-worker in my same position asked to leave an hour early and he was able to do so, without any question or issue and without having to take a half vacation day.
These kinds of things always went on. Some people could come in an hour late while others couldn't be 15 minutes late or they'd be reprimanded. Nothing was ever remotely fair or made sense half the time.
THEY WERE STUCK IN OLD WAYS OF RUNNING A BUSINESS
The entire place was definitely not up to speed with current 2016 workplace trends and changes. For one, they gave people in my position a really hard time if we needed to work from home, regardless of having 100% email access and ALL of the necessary software installed on our laptops. The managers even tried creating weird rules for it, like if you were sick you weren't allowed to work from home, but if you had something else where you just couldn't be in the office, it was maybe okay for you do so with permission, but then other times you maybe could if you were sick? I don't even think they understood their own made-up rules.
Incentives and raises for lower level staff were nonexistent here. I remember sitting down for my yearly review and being so excited thinking that based on my performance, I was going to get my first raise.
I sat down with two of my managers as they proceeded to tell me how I was truly a vital part of the team and how all of the account executives talked so highly of me. It was going even better than I imagined, with an influx of compliments and super positive feedback. But, when it came time to talk money, one of them oddly claimed,"We don't really know how that works." I argued that since this was my one year review and nothing but excellent things have been said about my performance, I thought that would mean some type of raise. I was gravely mistaken.
THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR GROWTH
I never wanted to be a salesperson. I simply took this job because it seemed like a great opportunity to get my foot in the door at my favorite radio station. With that being said, there was a position I was about to get promoted to right before I left. But, this promotion would have hardly paid much more than what little I was already making, and after moving up to that role, there would have been no role above it that sparked my interest.
More importantly, I was no longer challenged by the position I was in, I was tired of the unnecessary drama, and I wanted to start pursuing something more fulfilling.
The point is, if you're miserable at your job, or unhappy with your current career path, always remember there are so many other opportunities out there. I was not treated correctly here by any means, but I tried really hard to stay since I was good at what I did. Despite this being the job I always wanted, I made a decision to leave and move forward with my life and pursue a brighter career path.
Never give up on yourself and never stay somewhere that makes you dread coming into work. It was hard for me to get up and quit in a place where I felt so comfortable and made a lot of friends along the way, but I knew it was something I had to do for my own happiness. Now I'm onto bigger and better things, and am so grateful I walked away.