I want to shift gears and share something happening in my life. I've hesitated for a couple days whether or not to do this because I didn't want to stop the great flow of the previous two posts. But with Dave continuing the conversation, I've decided to share.
The other day I was summoned to my manager's office which is about 10 miles south of the branch I work at. He didn't tell me what the meeting was about or if I was to bring anything. That worried me a little because meetings held in his office are usually to discuss sales goals or results or something in the area of how to make our branch perform better; all of which require paperwork and binders and sales reports. (If you remember my post from earlier in the year where my boss misrepresented me in front of his boss, I wasn't going to make the same mistake again.) So I went prepared for similar discussions, but no amount of binders or spreadsheets could have prepared me for what was to happen.
The meeting was with my boss and the boss on the next level up. They informed me that they were moving me from the branch I'm currently at to the one I was now sitting in. They hemmed and hawed at different excuses for the move, but finally came out and said it was because I make more than anyone else in my position. The new branch is five times as big as the one I'm currently at, and as such could support my salary better. Or so they said.
I'm not sure how much I want to share with you or how much you care to know, but I will tell you their decision is not as simple as that. And they didn't present it simple like that either. They started by insulting my sales results and the performance of my tellers and my dedication to my branch, and on and on and on. They went on to say that by moving me they would be able to manage me better in the areas I'd been lacking. I like to think I can be pretty objective, even in personal matters, and so I attempted to separate myself to see if they had a point. Was I lacking in my sales figures? Was my branch worse than it had been before I came? Did my tellers not know how to do their jobs and was I ineffective in coaching them?
The answer to all those questions as compared to my bosses' claims are very different. In the two and a half years I've ran my current branch, the sales to goal and profitability of the branch have far surpassed the previous two managers. I came on board midway through 2005 and had some fixing to do to repair the damage done by those I replaced. Even so, we came within a few percentage points of hitting our numbers for that year. In 2006 the numbers were 106% and to date, 2007 is showing 113%. As for my tellers? They've made more incentive money in each of the three individual calendar years than in three or four previous years, combined. Sounds successful to me.
So what was behind this move and why make such bold statements against my character and performance? (I really like the company I work for and I think they have their head screwed on straight when it comes to the business of banking, which is why talking ill of them is hard for me to do.) The reason behind the decision to move me is simply about the politics of money. For some time I've been informed that my salary was at the ceiling for my position and it would be in everyone's best interest if I moved up in the company. But I didn't want to then and I don't want to now. As my Dad loves to say, I'm a satisfied and content individual. That doesn't mean I'm lazy or that I don't work hard. The exact opposite is true. But since the managers are paid on the profitability of their branches, if they moved my salary out of a successful (thanks to me) small office and moved a lower paid person in, they make more money. And since I'm really good at what I do, they know I'll be successful at the larger branch as well so they'll make even more money off me when I get established there. From a business point of view, it's a great move for them. From a selfish point of view for my managers, their incentive checks both just got bigger as well.
As for the harsh statements about my productivity? There's a really good possibility that they may be trying to convince me to quit. If I did that they could hire some college grad schmuck to do my exact job for half my salary. No, the company wouldn't get the production out of that person they'd get out of me, but my bosses' paychecks would be much larger. And they could hide that offset for a long time.
So what about me? Well I now have an hour commute to work; an entire two hours of my day will be spent in a car. I make no additional money, so with the increased gasoline bill that means I'm taking a pay-cut. And I have to start all over again with a new client base in a town I have even less attachment to in a job that's all about those attachments. So do I start looking for another job, and thus play into their hands? Or do I put my best foot forward and continue to work for people that don't want me around?
I'm really trying to find a positive light to this but it's hard. The only thing that keeps me humble is knowing I at least have a job. I make a decent wage with good job security. It could be worse. I just heard my friend Rob has to work three jobs. My Dad can't work at all. And I have many friends who own their own businesses and everything they have is tied up in them. So I have it pretty good, right? I'm trying to remember that, but this sucks. It really sucks. Sorry to unload, but it's been heavy on my mind for a few days and will be on my mind for a long time to come.