Thursday, February 10, 2011

And it begins ...

I started some loco shit today and didn't even know it.

Every quarter, the president of our company gives an update on the business and, as his assistant, I organize the event. Multiple offices dial in and he eventually opens it up to questions. He specified to me earlier that he'd like to encourage people to be more proactive in expressing interest and curiosity in regards to company activities. So today, after another employee asked a question, I went ahead and asked mine because, as usual, no one from any of the other cities had the courage to do so (which I will soon find out why).

I basically asked him if there was a possibility of expanding to a certain part of the world because I had read in the newspaper that he was in the process of acquiring a couple of companies in that direction.

He answered me straight, made a couple of cracks, and was completely at ease.

Later in the day, I get a phone call from an executive assistant with whom I work nearly exclusively. To sum it up, she said I was out of line, that I have not been with the company long enough to ask questions without first having them approved, that 20 some odd people were concerned that I was revealing company secrets, that rumours are now being spread about my ability to keep my job, and finally, that it's surprising the boss hasn't reprimanded me yet.

Oh boy, where to start? It was a Q&A! I'm not allowed to Q in the Q&A? What sort of fucked up logic was this?!

She lectured me for 15-minutes and told me she didn't want to hear my explanations. "What compelled you to ask a question? You could've easily asked him in person!"

I told her the boss was encouraging that kind of environment during the conference and I just went with it. There was no "strategic motivation" behind my intentions.

After more babbling from her part (while I silently banged my head against the receiver), I heard a momentary pause and said, "Is there anything else you'd like to speak to me about? If not, then I'd like to thank you for bringing this to my attention, it was very much appreciated. I will definitely watch what I say next time, but I need to get back to work."

And hung up.

I brought this to my boss's attention. I was concerned that my job was at risk. He said he received a few emails about the same thing, but he told me not to worry too much about it. "Actually, don't worry about it at all," he clarified.

He said the information I brought up was public knowledge, he's discussed the same things in media interviews, and nothing I said or he elaborated on was confidential in any way. I mean, my question was based on information released in a newspaper article published last year! It's not like I told everyone I came across an email detailing a deal, how it'll going down, and when money will exchange hands.

So basically, these complainers haven't been reading up on the company and think that whatever I say must be a result of my privileged position. It's called Google, look it up!

Ugh, corporate culture. You'd have to be at the very bottom or top to survive it unscathed.


Adèle said...

Eeeks sounds like some of those people are squares.. but man, you have such a great way with words!! I would've been in tears.

Lily said...

Some people get boners off being squares. They clutch their pearls at the faintest hint of diversity.