Tuesday 9 March 2021

On my own terms with my own story

In the quest for self-respect

One morning 4 years ago, I exited a telephone conference that was not going well and walked out a job of three years at Barclays Bank. Things came to a head out of a growingly irretrievable relationship with my manager who was appointed to head the team I was in just 6 months before.

I could not put my finger on it, but in attitude, tone, demeanour, and much else including microaggressions, matters had deteriorated for reasons he only could say for his lack of respect, or courtesy towards me. The many times decisions for which my input was required got to me through indirect, if not unintended means.

Too many times, I tried to have meetings to discuss issues that he would not commit to. As I tried to engage his peers to intervene, not much traction was gained. My role progressively reduced in significance to the point that I was a mere box-shifter called in to firefight where my knowledge was material but with no acknowledgement of my contribution.

I was done with it

Much as it seemed a cushy job, it was also soul-destroying and that conference where it came down to being asked whether I was going to do it or not. A mundane task precipitated by a colleague who had walked the boards from a junior to his position and probably would never get that status in any other organisation.

I looked for the most senior person around, handed in my badge, my laptop, and my phone, whilst being asked if I was sure of what I was doing. I was more than sure; I was done with it. I left without a notice period, called the taxi company, and returned home.

I told my own story

Later, I called the agency to inform them of my decision and then wrote a comprehensive notice of my abrupt resignation which was copied to the other managers I had served during my time there. Sadly, in a response from one of the managers who I had reported to for almost two years, he said, there are two sides to the story.

I thanked him for his consideration which was in reality a dispassionate view of my situation. My ex-manager himself never had the courtesy to respond to my letter, not once. It was disturbing, but not too surprising. He eventually was let go of a few months after I left. I can’t even remember his surname; he is that forgettable.

Out of this came other opportunities, even one where a consultant I was working with recommended me for work with his company and this presented a thriving development as I completed a 30-year career. When I think about it, this was my story, whether I was believed, or anyone needed to hear the other side did not make any difference to what I experienced and how I told it. I am grateful for my life; it is mine and no one else’s.

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