Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Progress at a Terrible Price

A couple of months ago I attended and uncomfortable meeting.
My team is responsible for maintaining security settings on a group of servers. Since these are far from the only servers the company owns, there is another group with the same function which handles the rest.
In this meeting, we were discussing the previous weekend's remediation activities when that team's Director showed up.
He sat next to me, sandwiching me between himself and his people.
And he freaked all out on them.
He said their metrics were horrible. He said the numbers indicted incompetence.
He said that if the situation didn't improve before review time, he'd start lowering salaries.
I sank lower and lower into my chair. I was just thinking about crawling under the table to make my escape when he looked directly at me.
Then he asked them if they thought my manager would put up with the kind of horrible work they had been putting out. And he waited for them to answer.
When they did, he agreed. Of course my manager wouldn't, but he also didn't need to because I do my job.
I was pretty sure that there was no way I'd be getting out of their cubicle area after the meeting without a severe beating, but I managed to find a friend right outside the door and I physically clung to him until we got to the stairs.
I never attended another of those meetings, even though they have remained on my calendar.
But yesterday I had a meeting with that Director regarding some old findings in the environment which is my responsibility.
I had everything pretty much figured out, but I was still nervous. Not everything was done and unfinished work seemed to prompt him to ranting anger.
When I showed up for the meeting, he was in with some sales guys.
I listened to him outline the hoops he'd be putting these guys through in order to secure an order. He also recommended that they go directly to his boss, who would then defer to ham anyway.
But, when he emerged into the waiting area he smiled at me.
Then he said something which has haunted me for the past eighteen hours and promises to haunt me for many more to come:
"Hey, Garrick! You look so much older than the last time I saw you! Security work is definitely aging you."
. . .
Me? Aging?
The meeting that followed was a blur. Everything is fine or really awful or something.
The point is: Me? OLD LOOKING?!?!
I had to wait over an hour after the meeting to go home and frantically exfoliate and do my skin toning exercises. That hour was spent just tugging on my face to check the elasticity.
No pinching, just tugging.
I'm not sure how I'm supposed to handle this.
When I mentioned it this morning (in what could possibly be defined as a panic) to a co-worker she told me that it was probably just my split ends making me look a little worn down.

I may never stop crying.

1 comment:

Shana said...

Crying ages you. I would avoid that.