Learning Experience – Part IV
This is Part IV of a 6-part series of posts. To jump ahead to Parts V and VI, click here and here, respectively. To start from the beginning, click one of the following links:
I figured that evening would be a night where I would get out around 7:30 or 8:00. Again, shame on me. At 6 pm, a 40-plus slide PowerPoint with text-heavy slides and speaker’s notes was dumped in my lap . The sheer amount of work before me had me estimating a 3-hour job to get the work clean and out to client. Wondering why such a text-heavy job needed to go out the door tonight, I went to my fellow editor and asked if the job had been on her radar. She looked at her list of jobs for the day and said that it was going to the client without editorial review. I asked my boss if this was really necessary to do tonight and she said yes it was. I couldn’t resolve the conflict in my head that the project manager in charge of the job said it was with the client and my boss who said that it needed to be done right away. Having no idea that I was making a major mistake, I asked the account supervisor—the person who would know best—whether the job needed an editor’s eye. To my dismay, he confirmed my boss’s assertion. Satisfied that I had heard the answer from “the horse’s mouth,” I sat down to complete my job thoroughly.
After I completed my edits and Karina, me, and the new senior writer were regrouping, I accidentally let it slip that I talked to the account supervisor to confirm my boss’s instructions. Karina flipped out and we began engaging in a 2-minute argument right there. We were in the middle of the office so she cut it off before it could escalate any further but then brought me into her office and resurrected the issue again. Karina practically yelled at me, got egotistical, authoritative, and gave me serious attitude, challenging me with “Who’s your boss? Who’s your boss?” repeatedly. At first, I was pretty calm and puzzled by the situation but 5 minutes later, I was raising my voice too. She accused me of going over her head when, in reality, the account supervisor I talked to was not as high level as she was. (He was the brother of the president of the company but still…) She ego-tripped on me, demeaned me, and “put me in my place.” After 10 minutes of realizing we were getting nowhere with each other as I defended myself, I ended the argument with an annoyed and insincere “I’m sorry. It was a mistake. It won’t happen again.” Satisfied, she dismissed me with a wave of her hand.
I left her office absolutely baffled but somewhat fuming that she felt that her position gave her the right to basically yell at me. I think a couple of things bothered me: that she used her position of authority to bully me; she gave me serious attitude in a very unprofessional manner; she pulled me into her office to yell at me when she should’ve stepped back to address me later in a calmer manner; and only relented when she heard what she essentially wanted to hear—”I apologize. I was wrong. I will never go above your head again.” That’s not what I said, but I’m sure that’s what she heard and that’s what placated her.
This is Part IV of a 6-part series of posts. To read Part V, click here.