Promise Made, Promise Broken . . .
Many of you might remember this post about the worst conversation in the history of professionalism, networking, job hunting, and mid-career human decency (I'll allow that far worse things have happened in other contexts (smile)). Hundreds viewed it, dozens shared it, tons sent support and I promised you the minute I got back to work I would tell you who this person was.
Welllllllllll - I am a liar. Sorta'. Here's what happened (to quote the great Adrian Monk who kept me company these past months) I got an e-mail on Thursday morning (before I got the offer, before I was employed) from the person I met with on that fateful day asking me if I could chat for a minute.
I called. They talked and talked and talked. They said they felt horrible and explained everything that was going on with them that day (they thought they were losing their job and that perhaps I was being interviewed as their replacement) and that they knew of my reputation. I was shocked when they clarified they meant that in a good way (I am apparently "better" than them at what we do (sniffs with great self-satisfaction). They clarified that they wanted to find someone earlier in their career to supplement their weaknesses, protect their job, teach/learn mutually, etc. etc. etc. I listened, while seething. Between us - I thought the whole thing was pathetic. If you stink at your job you SHOULD lose it and I secretly hope the 20-something takes them out anyway. I will save the rest of the conversation (it was fairly positive from there) but I will tell you I asked them, directly, if they knew about my post or if they had heard about it (we have mutual friends) and my vow to identify the person once I got a job. They said "no" but they asked, very politely, for me to NOT name them by name and explained why. They pulled up my blog, started reading, and begged me not to identify them.
I thought about it. For a while. I actually told them I would e-mail them later that day with a decision (and told them I was expecting a job offer that might impact my timeline and my action). Fast forward several hours. Job offer in hand, awash in happiness and relief, and feeling very thankful for the kindness of this other employer I typed the following note:
It was nice chatting with you this morning. Thank you for clarifying what happened when we met in person months ago. I don't really accept your logic or actions but I can understand them. For what it is worth, having just accepted a job, I forgive you (as absurd as typing that is I'll be your eyes just rolled to the actual back of your head while reading it) and I will not identify you to my blog readers.
I am in no position to do this but I'll give you some advice - if you're scared about your job, get better. If you are trying to mentor a young professional , do not teach them fear or inhibit them for your own gain. If you are truly sorry, don't ever do what you did to me to another person.
This will sound preachy but I'm a parent and technically married. I would never want to teach my child these lessons or have them or a woman I love and respect treated as you treated me. You are a wife and mother. You, I'm sure, would not want this for the people you love either.
Have a great weekend. Best wishes with your career and, more importantly, with being happy.
Sean C. Amore
Have a great Monday, y'uns! Act with pride.