Monday, May 01, 2006

Doing the Right Thing

My employer offered me a promotion today. I turned it down.

Pablo, David, Sharon…..SSHHHHH!

Hi, I'm Lisa and I have had the same employer for eleven years. Early on with this company, I envisioned climbing the ropes in the Liner industry. I enjoyed my colleagues. I enjoyed international correspondence. I wanted to be successful. When I reached the sixth year, however, I realized that the one supervisor in the office was not leaving anytime soon and the RVP had previously advised that I could not be a manager without first being a supervisor. Women in this company are underappreciated, initiative is scarce, leadership is lacking, and training …what’s that? The only option I had was to acquire new skills on my own, so I went back to school to earn an MBA and to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

After a bit of ruminating, I tripped over the idea of the Foreign Service. You see, in the 1950’s and 1960’s my great, great aunt Lucille was in the diplomatic service. She was single and could get away with letting a wild hair lead her down whichever path her dreams led. Here I am, on the otherhand, married with children and dreaming about a similar life that includes dragging my clan around the world with me.

Hmmm I seemed to have gotten off track somewhere…Oh, yes..the supervisor. The supervisor gave her notice today. The operations manager knows of my goals and she knows that I only plan to be in Charleston a few more months. Even so, she asks me if I’d be interested in the supervisor position (did I mention I’ve been there eleven years?). I tell her no and that I intend to leave in July or September. I rationalize to her that if I leave in July, I would be leaving before the current supervisor leaves...and wouldn't that look odd.

Looking at the situation from a practical standpoint, isn’t it in the best interest for any company to train a supervisor who intends to hang around for a little while instead of reorganizing the office twice within a matter of months? I know it’s hard to put personal preferences aside. Yes, I would like a few months of increased salary and responsibility…which would, in turn, affect the grade and step of the DOS offer. What I don’t want is to make anyone think I might stay because of the promotion. It would send mixed signals to my coworkers and it would mean increasing my workload at a time I should be decreasing it to get my affairs in order and to train a new hire.

I am going to miss them. I was just looking at some office photos from about three or four years ago. At the time I was trying to find a more interesting background for us so I, umm,had everyone pose at different places around town. It would have worked, too...if only Nicole had straightened her hair that day!

I'm sure you would appreciate these photos better without us blocking your view. I know I have the plain versions somewhere in this computer. There are just too many files where they could be hiding.

Did I get off of the subject again?

Ha! Imagine me turning down a promotion. Who would have thought?

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