Saturday, August 6, 2011
No sooner had I received word that my position was stable, than our manager announced she would be leaving. She was taking another position with a different government agency, and a new manager for our office was being fast-tracked. The following week, one of two remaining job counselors, and the only remaining woman except myself also gave her notice.
Now just three short weeks later, the office has changed radically. Since I started there in January of 2010, seven co-workers have either transferred, resigned or been let go and five of them were women. I grew up with five brothers, and was, by anyone's standards, a tomboy. I don't feel uncomfortable at all around men and I can hang with the best of them, but it is still a bit odd to go from such a diverse team (young, old, multi-racial, mixed gender) to what exists now (five middle-aged guys and me).
The man chosen as the new manager started this past week. His first order of business was removing lamps, artwork and all manner of decoration from his office. His blinds remain closed all day, eliminating the panoramic view of the skyline and a nearby, wooded pond. He keeps the light off in his office and sits in the dark except for the pale light of his computer monitor. The ongoing discussion of team sports (boring to me) now fills the air for long periods each day. Where my previous manager was a strong woman who treated me (almost) as her equal in the office, he assigns me secretarial tasks and says "Thank you, dear", (mildly irritating) when I complete them. This is definitely going to be a major adjustment for me.
My former manager speaks very highly of him, having interviewed him herself for a different position some months ago. It is way too early to tell what sort of manager he will turn out to be. I will certainly reserve judgement for a month or two. He asked to meet with me yesterday, and for a little bit under an hour, asked about my observations, ideas and concerns for the office, which I found promising. Personally, he seems nice. He appears to be generally serious and well-intentioned and I am reassured by that, as well as by the fact that he has a corporate background. Hopefully he will run the office in a fair, no nonsense way. We shall see.