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Friday, December 2, 2011

New Stuff

I've been sitting at my desk brewing. I've been generally unhappy at work. Not with the work, which is stimulating. And I just finished a class on Trauma which was generally great and which I find myself already using in my work, and I'm considering taking a training program-1-2 years for certification and an area of specialty.
What I'm brewing about is the change of atmosphere and attitude in the office. I've been a Senior Counselor in this office since 2007. It was a promotion from another office. Senior Counselor is first line management. Now there are 3 of us for about 228 counselors, arranged in units of about 14. Mine has 9 counselors and 4 support staff, with one counselor and one support staff on long term sick leave.
We have just come through an acrimonious period with a District Office Manager who was my dear friend and my difficult manager and who was universally disliked by the office. I was distrusted because I was her-long term-friend. Also in my unit I had a union organizer who was required to spend long periods of time in Albany. My friend/boss became seriously ill and retired. Shortly thereafter, my counselor sent a four page letter to Humal Resources complaining about me and my management of him, with frequent references to my boss-she was quite the micromanager! This lette was discussed by much higher ups, including the assistant commisioner and the counselor was transferred to a different unit. The letter was full of lies. It was also written by a union lawyer. I was given no recourse.
This is all a lead in to what happened next.
I had one good friend in the office. She was the other lesbian here. When I got here she asked me to supervise her in finishing her masters degree in counseling, which I did gladly. We have been good friends ever since, socializing with our partners and lunching several times a week. About two months ago I noticed that she was no longer available for lunch. It was her busy month and she was wearing a soft cast for a leg injury, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. but it went on. We finally had lunch, she was stiff. Finally I stopped by her office to chat and she let me have it! She said that I took the management position on union negotions. I was at fault with the counselor. I could have bent the rules to accomodate him. (did I mention that my boss was a micromanager?) She had no interest in anything I had to say, and she did 'nt even give me a chance to speak- and we have not spoken since. I'm hurt and I'm angry. She's not a senior, but she's on the management team. At this time she's the only other woman on the management team. I feel so awkward just being in this small community right now. I also know from her strong reaction that Brian showed the letter he wrote to others and she saw it.
If anyone has any advice for me, I'd really appreciate it.


Terri said...

Oh my. You can try and stick it out, upholding integrity and being gracious to a group of wounded people, yourself included. Unfortunately no one cares about the woundedness of a leader, only the " underlings" seem to care about themselves. Or, you can try and transfer out and start anew, sometimes a system beomes so wounded and self absorbed that it cannot find its way to health until there has been enough turn over...

Refardless, prayers for you.

Processing Counselor said...

Thanks, Terri. Unfortunately the option for transfer is unlikely at best as the state has frozen jobs and I'm needed in this office. I've explored this before because I'd like to work nearer to the beach house and there's an office there. (They refused a counselor that lives near there with her small child!)
The thing I'm maddest about, aside from lose of a friend is not being able to rebut what I consider to be untrue accuisations.

Joolie said...

I've been thinking about you and your situation ever since I first read this post, probably a month ago. All I can think to add is, don't take it personally. Of course it's maddening but you can't control others. I hope you are bearing up amidst the personal crap and finding joy where you can.
peace, Julie.