Since I first met the folks at my current employer, I loved the company. I loved what they were doing and where they were going and how they planned to get there. I met them--my former boss, the CEO and a woman who was a huge part of the initial growth and then became her own worst enemy--working for a company that provided them call center/dispatch services before their growth exploded beyond expectation with a single contract. Once that single contract began to be implemented, they were out of their element and needed even more of my time to help them build that side of their organization. At first, I did it as part of my role in Client Services from a consulting perspective still working for their service provider. Then, I was there full-time for a few months and REALLY loved what I saw and the visions of what I could do for them.
I was there for 16 weeks and decided that I no longer wanted to work for my previous employer due to issues I saw with the ethics and integrity of the owner of that organization. I was interviewing at another organization to run their call center/client services organization and with a path to run Operations for them. When the CEO/owner of my current organization and I took a trip from their office downtown to have lunch with my then boss, he and I had a talk and I explained that if he really wanted me to be a part of his organization now was the time because I was leaving my current employer and would rather work with him than to accept this new venture I was pursuing. I worked both sides of this equation between my then employer and current employer to help them make the arrangement work for both parties--and it did. This all became official on 7/7/08.
I started as the Service Center Manager which lasted for 2 weeks. Then, I was promoted to Service Delivery Manager and became the single point of contact for our largest account from the services delivery perspective. I was in that role for 11 months when my boss was moving into a role more in business development and needed me to take over his operations responsibilities. So, in June of 2009, I was promoted to Operations Manager. During this time, I had some indoctrination by fire during two big outages experienced by our end-customer. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun because I was so busy with this customer. Then, in mid-December, we heard that the contract was going back to the OEM. This client was so important to the OEM, that they'd basically given their support away for free (most OEM's make their money selling hardware and not services). This loss was devastating to our organization.
From the end of December through Feb 1, 2010, I had to let 12 people go from our Operations organization. The next 5 months were full of uncertainty and speculation without much communication. By June, my boss had grown despondent. Between work and personal issues, he had detached and I was lost in the muck and mire. Summer was a nightmare as he traveled for work and personal reasons. Come August, he took one last trip and then came back and resigned. During his two weeks away, the CEO aligned himself to me to prepare for the possibility of the departure of my boss. We all took a 15% pay cut and I had to let 3 more people go. There was still hope, but it was going to be a fight. We continued to lose more accounts and not land many new or substantial accounts due to the changes in our industry by the OEM's new practices of holding their IP (intellectual property) rights up and causing fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) to proliferate through the organizations we were trying to bring under contract.
Here I am a year later and still in this uncertain time. I don't know if we'll make it or if we'll have to further restructure and redefine ourselves. I have begun to lose faith in the vision of our CEO and his unrealistic plans and expectations of how our customers will use the services and solutions he's proposing. I believe he is out of touch with reality and doesn't understand the industry or the end-customer. In some aspects, he is amazing. In other aspects, I totally question his thought process and "vision" as it is not based in fact or data. His charisma, enthusiasm and belief make it easy to be drawn to him and want to believe what he believes. My realism holds me back from that. While I have an emotional side, it is balanced through logical, analytical and informational sources that ground me.
So, I have lost my lovin' feelin' for this job. I kept trying to bring it back and make it work--just like I did with my marriage. Now, I think it's time to move on...