Endgame

Honestly, I’d been looking for a job with an uncertain degree of seriousness since February. The General’s untimely departure from TxInc didn’t bode well for anyone and we knew it. Attention was on our division, at least from the main body of the company and the scrutiny was fairly intense. Tink was doing her backbone thing, Rooster was giving us the sales pep-talk. I knew my client was up for another major hurdle and while TxInc had never really earned a sense of loyalty from me, I was fiercely loyal to my company and to the pink posse.

Apparently these moments are rare in a professional life, but for about a year, the four of us worked together just about seamlessly. Yeah, there were frustrations, but they weren’t serious and they didn’t threaten the cohesion or productivity of the group. We worked together, no one resented anyone’s success, no one’s interests collided, we all were given the room to do our job and we were supportive (for the most part) with out being overbearing.

We were the kind of colleagues that were happy to see each other in the morning, and just as happy to hang out after work. Four women working together without the petty backstabbing that usually characterizes a group of women in a professional setting. Not just that, but we encouraged each other to better things. I know Greta’s pride in her appearance wore off on me a little bit. I’d like to think that something I had to offer wore off on her. Dorey started wearing pink and asserting herself. Tink? Well, she’d have to tell you what she picked up from the other three. Certainly Dorey’s tact and diplomacy was enviable. I’m not sure what I brought to the table aside from being Tink’s mini-me.

That part, at least, was good. The job itself was boring, but I never went home trying to figure out how I was going to dodge the knife that someone was hoping to lodge in my back.

As the figurative walls started crumbling, the relatively open group turned into fierce practitioners of M.A.D. Mutually Assured Destruction. It wasn’t hostile, it was just very uncertain. The loyalty started moving away from the pink posse and towards individuals. Every broad for herself, in essence. So the conversations became prefaced with “what is said in the car, stays in the car? if I happened to be catching a ride to the metro with someone. The caveat was always there that, whomever you were talking to, you were the only one who knew what they were about to say.

The weird thing about this was that I was possibly the only one in the group who didn’t make a huge secret of whatever was going on, with the exception of my job hunt. As it was going on in February, both Tink and Greta knew about it. But then as it was necessary to placate Rooster, I pointed out that I’d had other offers and hadn’t taken them, the implication being that I was therefore loyal, when the reality was that I was just not interested in what had come my way. Anyway, my displeasure with TxInc wasn’t a real secret, so I was perhaps the poorest candidate in the group to play MAD with. I was playing my own game, but it wasn’t the sort that depended on secrets from other people.

So Greta told me things that I was never to share with Tink or Dorey or anyone else. Of course, I’ve got a memory like a sieve, so I don’t remember what these things are anymore. I didn’t cough them up at the time, in any case. Tink told me stuff she wasn’t supposed to. Dorey was better at being circumspect. Even Rooster was in on the game. I got to the place where I’d burst out laughing when someone started anything with “now, you are the only one I’m telling this.? One can only assume that it is generally untrue that you are the only recipient of a given piece of information, but whatever blew up their skirts. I sat on a pile of bits and pieces of information and kept my own mouth shut.

But it was different. You could feel the poor foundation under your feet, it was just a matter of time before it started crumbling. So I was submitting resumes for US Government jobs left and right. I was talking to other contractors on my client site. I was looking, but nothing seemed quite right. Not until Tink was released. After she left, any job offer seemed very much right.

She was released on a Friday and by Monday, the bullshit was too high to wade through. I wasn’t impressed. I’m not a dummy and it was clear I was being lied to. I had another job within the month. Actually, I had two job offers. I took the one closest to home. That wasn’t the only advantage – it had the job title that I was after and it is a Big Ass Company. Good for a girl’s resume, in theory and enough room to maneuver with out having to change companies once a year. And if it turned out to be half as miserable as working for TxInc, at least I’d be less than 20 minutes from home.

Anyway, at the other company, I really liked the VP I spoke with, but the people on the ground, the people I’d be working with on a daily basis just didn’t seem like the kind of people I wanted to be around. Of course, BAC hasn’t proven to be such a hot choice in that department, but that’s another day.

I resigned on a Friday afternoon. I hadn’t told Greta about my search or interviews. I hadn’t told anyone at TxInc, except perhaps Cali (California, the office manager. A really nice woman and feisty as hell, which was the winning vote as far as I was concerned.) I sent an e-mail with very limited language to Rooster, who was my manager at the time, and immediately called Dorey as a friendly courtesy.

Now, I happened to be at the client site when I resigned, deliberately of course. They’d been dramamongers for ages and having Rooster lie to my face about Tink’s departure made it really hard to be there. Archie had moved into Tink’s office and the whole thing was just strained and awful. So there I am, on the phone with Dorey sitting in my open office-space cube at the client. I have my forehead resting on the desk and the phone in my ear when I tell Dorey that I’ve just resigned. She’s shocked and horrified and the first thing that comes out of her mouth is that she hopes I’m not quitting out of a sense of loyalty to Tink. Rooster asks me if there is a dollar figure that I will stay for. I say no.

And then they begin to tag-team me, mostly with the assumption that Tink has talked me into this and that I’m leaving because Tink was released. Rooster contradicts his earlier lie about why Tink left, and they both insinuate that Tink was released for cause. If she had been released for cause, they were not at liberty to discuss it, and she wasn’t released for cause, so it was all very weird. They accused me of being cold, Rooster was hurt that I hadn’t told him that I was looking, they both said that I sounded as if I had been coached… It was a nightmare of the proportions that gives a girl indigestion for an entire weekend.

Particularly as I was preparing myself to go in on Monday morning and face another round of abuse. Come Monday, they apologized for insinuating that Tink had left for cause and totally reversed their behavior and were nice and professional thereafter. Well, at least for the next two weeks. After which point, I haven’t had occasion to speak with either of them.

And now Greta is an interview away from an offer, and Cali is looking too. Rooster is gone and soon it will just be Dorey and Mr. Banks (who shall get his own post some other time) just like it was before any of this started.

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Endgame

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