Thursday, August 18, 2011

Changes Abound

So ... I still have the job.

Yep, still working.


I've been watching the second season of Mad Men, and I'm starting to feel a lot like Harry Crane. At this point in the series (and PLEASE don't let me know what happens from here), Harry has invented a job for himself as the head of the television department, and suddenly realizes it's a lot more work than he expected. He's having a little bit of dread, actually, about how much work it's turned into, and how much harder he has to work than he expected.

I'm also feeling a little bit like ... oh, I don't know. Picture any movie you can imagine where the pilot of an airplane passes out, or dies, or turns into a three-headed dragon. And then the co-pilot/stewardess/stunned passenger in row 14 suddenly has to take over the plane. Yeah. Maybe that's it.

So as I said, I still have my job. My boss, however does not. Several of my co-workers also do not. My department has been gutted. My wing of the office is in tatters, and every day I walk in feels like entering a funeral home.

Oh, and also? We have a major product launch scheduled for the fall.

Wiser people than me might ask - why destroy the marketing department when you need them to do nationwide marketing? There are many reasons for that. Mostly, it comes down to money. We made some major mistakes, lost some money due to missteps, and we needed to bring down our labor costs to stay afloat. I didn't say I was working for a well-funded operation, people. Even though it's a bigger office than I've ever worked in, and a bigger outfit than I've ever worked for, it still just takes one mistake to throw everything off kilter. Some things never change.

So we're doing some innovative things. If you want to interpret "innovative" as "desperate," you can. We've contracted out with a marketing firm that might or might not be capable of doing what we've asked them to do. We're asking some people with very little communications experience to pinch-hit. And I'm suddenly being asked questions that I am absolutely incapable of answering. I get calls at least once a week that would have gone to the communications director before, but now he's not there, and nobody else is stepping in to take their place, and so they call me because ... well, I answer the phone. That's why they call me.

So to sum up - I'm in over my head, my boss is suddenly gone, my work is about to get really really crazy, and people are panicking. Everyone I talk to is either actively looking for a new job or they're getting their resume ready, just in case. The lifeboats are being readied.

Meanwhile, I just come in every day and do my job. I send out the messages I need to send out. I follow orders. I keep busy. I ingratiate myself with my new boss, who apparently thinks the world of me.

But I'm still working. And y'know what? I'm just going to be grateful for that.