Road Closed

Road Closed (Photo credit: Zahlm)

My last year of employment with the company I’d worked for for the past 10  years, was probably my most successful. I had learned how to find my niche in a market where big banks ruled, I’d learned how to market myself as the go-to person for community banking and the  money the office had on deposit was more than it had ever had since its inception. All of this despite the fact that I had been going through the most tumultuous times with upper management who upon taking over, had decided that I had to go and that I didn’t know how to effectively run my office even though none of them had ever worked outside of a traditional banking environment and had no clue what was involved in running a bank located inside of a supermarket.

Add to their ignorance of how things operated, they quickly realized that my employees were some of the best trained and began to use me like a Major League Baseball farm team and move my fully trained employees to their favorite offices giving me what they thought were problem employees but were just employees that didn’t fit their mold or were people they were unable to “control”. I called them on it more than once even going as far as to use the “Farm Team” analogy just so they knew that I knew what was going on. It wasn’t until  we went head to head on a lie…and they lost, that management backed off.

In the time that I was granted a reprieve, I was able to focus on my office and do exactly what was needed to make myself and the office successful. I become a more community minded member of the business community but my community involvement was strategic and specific to the needs of the office. Knowing that I did not have the flexibility to promote my office the way a traditional Office Manager did, I took to becoming very involved with the local Chamber of Commerce. I positioned myself to become their go to person to promote/sponsor events in conjunction with my office and strategically sponsored community events, school events and the local college. Within three years the office went from having, as low as, $6 million on deposit to having $20 million on deposit- a feat never before accomplished by any Office Manager at that particular office. Oh and did I mention that most of this was accomplished while working with a staff of two people? Half of what the office should have had working in it to run efficiently.

All of this success, while marginally recognized, meant nothing to upper management. After months of  being undermined and not receiving the support that was not only needed but considered mandatory, by said management, finally caught up to the office and as the head of that office me-the hammer dropped and when questions about who was ultimately responsible for the issues the office had (which were mostly due to having insufficient staff) the answer started to become clear that there were decisions made above my pay grade that contributed to the office’s failures. It became obvious, very quickly, that in order to save face, someone had to go and that someone became me.

Even though I was fired and more importantly, ready to go, I am glad that I can look back on my work with pride. While I was unable to see my vision through to completion, I am able to say that despite the setbacks and the underhandedness, my office was more successful than it had ever been and I was able to walk away with with the knowledge and the know-how that can be applied to any future endeavor and it was all a result of my hard work and dedication–a feat that no one can ever take away.

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