Learning Experience — Part I
This is Part I of a 6-part series of posts. If you’re reading this after all posts have been published, you may jump ahead. To do so, click one of the following links (links will become active as available):
- Learning Experience — Part II
- Learning Experience — Part III
- Learning Experience — Part IV
- Learning Experience — Part V
- Learning Experience — Part VI
The past year has been a serious learning experience for me. I have tried, and failed, to work with someone whom I consider to be extremely difficult to work with. Lucky for me, many other people within my company consider this person to be extremely difficult to work with as well.
Let’s refer to this person as Karina for the remainder of this post. Karina is my boss. She’s been my boss for the past year. She’s essentially a newcomer to the company while I am old hat. New employee for a year but I’ve had a long history with the company as a freelancer for 7 years. I’ve seen many people come and go but have had the privilege of staying around.
Now, it’s time for me to depart.
I am extremely sad about this. When I first became an employee, I felt like a square peg in a round hole. I felt as though I were a puzzle piece that didn’t fit. I couldn’t quite find my place. Every time I tried to make headway into a comfortable working relationship, I found myself insecure and unsure.
Then the senior editor left. And I was plunged into a world of carrying the work of a growing agency onto my back. I came early and stayed late. I regularly put in 50-hour workweeks. At that time, my boss said she appreciated my hard work. Once a new editor joined on, she even wrote an email to the entire company thanking me for my hard work.
When Karina first walked in the door, I looked forward to her arrival. She was a black woman (yay! I was no longer the token black person!) and, by the looks of it, seemed seasoned in her profession. Perhaps she was the mentor I had been searching for. Someone who could guide me in my career and be a source of encouragement.
For the first week, she brought her things in and settled into her new office. By the second week, we were having conflict. She was making editing decisions that she had no place to be making. She was essentially trying to do my job for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to override Karina’s “final” decisions on grammar because they were just flat-out wrong.
She also came in purporting to have years of experience as a writer and overseeing the work of other writers. The first time I had to edit a piece that she had written, it ended up having red marks all over the place. It was poorly written, had a few spelling errors, and simply bucked convention for how the agency deemed a Microsoft Word doc should be laid out.
This was within the first month of her arrival. Also within the first month of her arrival, my colleague, the senior editor Jane, quit. I knew Jane had been unhappy in her role for some time for various reasons, but little did I know that she too had experienced so much conflict with Karina in 1 month that she took the first job opportunity that came her way.
This is Part I of a 6-part series of posts. To read Part II, click here.