With my courage summoned, I bounced into F/OM’s office today and asked to chat. He closed and locked the door behind me. I asked if I could return to consulting for the agency. He pondered it and said anything is possible, but my position is so integral to the agency that if I can’t be full-time, then he is going to have to post the position. I said I understood and that after racking my brain for two weeks, I have finally decided that it is time for me to leave the agency.

While he kept a stoic face, I think I really did throw him for a loop. I told him I felt bad, especially since Brat just left. I learned that starting today, F/OM is interviewing for Brat’s replacement. We joked and he had to give me a little guilt trip, of course. I told him I felt really bad and that the worst part of me leaving is knowing that he’s now lost half of his top staff. I had to laugh with him though, because I said that now he’s going to have to supervise the Incoherent Twit. Oh, if only I had a camera to capture the disgusted look on his face when I said that!

I didn’t hand over my letter right away. I really wanted to talk to him first, to give him time and opportunity to change my mind. He did try, of course, but it wasn’t enough of a sell. I said that I really appreciated the incredible opportunity that I was given … to be given an executive position there when I was in a dead-end specialist job at Easter Seals at the time of the offer. However, I had to tell him, I realized in a big way that I can’t make it at that agency, at least, not right now. Maybe in five or 10 years, particularly if the regime has changed, I’d love to come back. I reminded him of an old conversation between us, when I told him that I would love to work strictly for the Kinship Institute when it is up and running. I said I’d love to write articles for the trade journal that we are developing for it, and I’d give anything to keep doing projects for the agency on an as-needed basis. F/OM said he’d love to hand me a project here and there, if he can. (read: I’m sure the Puppeteer will never want to hear from me again. F/OM did not insinuate that, but it’s been in the back of my head … they HATE people who defect from their precious agency.)

He did say that he would greatly miss my writing abilities, and my project management skills. He said I have a way of really pulling things together and pulling off the impossible. We laughed about how I turn proposals in at the last possible minute, yet he did commend me for being incredibly efficient with all of the work he delegates to me. I told him I would kill to take him with me … he’s the best supervisor I’ve had. He said he wasn’t all that great, that he couldn’t give me the time and guidance I really should have received from him. I said that he is probably the only reason that I’ve stayed, and he’s one of the limited individuals whom I will miss.

Hell, since I was resigning, I laid it on the line. I said that I would have loved to have survived at that agency, but I’m tired of wondering what the hell I’m going to get into trouble for not doing, because I’ve spent time on a bunch of other projects that were also a priority. I said I can’t prioritize when everything’s a priority, and that I think we need to grow the programs and initiatives we already have in place before we start doing all these random programs. I cited the Larimer School … Puppeteer wants us to move into that, and I said that should be our priority, because it’s our new headquarters, and we can grow from there, but I am confounded by the fact that I am charged with finding money for all kinds of other stuff (like a transitional living program for people newly released from jail) when that isn’t even our specialty and we still need money for Larimer, too. F/OM said that with our decreasing caseload, we have to find a way to thrive, and that means expanding our client base. I said I thought it was nuts, nonetheless.

And furthermore (oh, I was on a roll), I said I am capable of so much, and I’ve started to do some really great things there, but they didn’t give me the resources I needed to do my job effectively. I said that with no office and the poor excuse for a staff that was thrust upon me, I was set up to fail. Oooh, he looked like I slapped him! After he recoiled a bit, he said that I’m getting my office in two weeks, so that’s something to anticipate. I said whatever and that with Incoherent Twit, I felt like I failed her as a supervisor. I said that they’re so big on moving employees “to the next level,” (Lab Rat is having a seizure as she’s reading these words! Nyaaaah!!!!), and I failed the Twit ‘cuz I just couldn’t drag her to a level where she isn’t ready to be. And I said that she didn’t help me when I tried to help her, so maybe I am a lousy supervisor, but particularly, I’m a lousy supervisor for her. I told him to get someone tough … someone who can take the Puppeteer’s crap as well as someone who can put the Twit in her place.

F/OM said ya just have to get used to the Puppeteer, that you can’t take it so seriously and personally, that she barks a lot but at the end of a day, it’s just a job and you can only do so much. I said that I do not have to get used to such treatment as is dished out there, and that this treatment has stripped me of, well, me. I said I was always happy and proud and really together before I got there. Now, the Dawn that I remember has been lost, and I need to find her, wherever she is. Is she in Virginia? Probably not, but that’s where I am going to start looking.

F/OM asked me if this is what I really want, to go to Virginia and start all over again and leave everything behind. I said of course I’m not sure, but I am very big on Fate. I explained that the day I was suspended and pissed off as all hell at the agency, Shawn called and asked me to interview. That was amazing, that on a day that I was at my wits’ end, that call would come through. I said I had to give the job and city a shot … something led me down that path, and frankly, I’m tired of swimming against the current at Two Strikes. I said I felt like I’d never fit in to that place.

He said that he knew I wasn’t a good fit, but he was hoping that after I saw all the wonderful things I had accomplished and was capable of doing and all the good work that I was cranking out, that I would naturally see myself as becoming a good fit. But he had to concede that sometimes, once you’re in a job six months or so, you realize that you might not have made the right decision for yourself. I admitted that it was in October that I was not only unhappy, but I knew that happiness was completely out of reach. However, I said I knew that I had to leave Easter Seals, and I am glad I made the move, but it’s unfortunate that this job that seemed so promising, is now killing my spirit.

I told him how bad morale really is, and that my own morale is beyond saving. He said morale is down because the agency’s going through some growing pains, that everyone’s working at 110 percent capacity and that we’re all getting burned out. I said that wasn’t necessarily true, that I like hard work but certain people, both above and below us, make things too hard to want to keep fighting. I told him I am just plain old tired and that a change of scenery is in order.

He said that I obviously just wanted to talk and not resign, because I didn’t have a letter ready. So, lo and behold, I pulled my letter out of the stack of crap that was in my hand. He read it and sighed. He said he accepted the resignation and was glad I’d given my 30 days’ notice so that I can have my vacation paid out. (woo hoo! I have two full weeks coming to me!!!)

We had a wonderful conversation afterward, about him and his future (questionable though it may be) with the agency. He’s been there seven years, and frankly, he said that once Larimer is done, in two years, he wants to move on. But he also said that Puppeteer is looking at new opportunities for him, to keep him challenged but to remove him from the day-to-day that keeps holding him back from accomplishing something. He said that she really wants to make the Foundation into something big … to put him in charge of the Foundation and to give him a small staff. I had to laugh … again, the Foundation is something that falls under me presently, and I don’t have the energy or the time to get it off the ground. I’m glad if F/OM will be able to dedicate himself to it full-time, if that’s the path he’s meant to have. But I also know the Puppeteer … she changes her mind quicker than I change my scandalous underwear. Anything can happen, and it might not be what he wants it to be.

At any rate, that was my resignation talk. I felt good afterward. Lab Rat said that’s because that’s the weight of the world being loosened from my shoulders. I made a gesture like I was flicking the Pretentious Bitch off my shoulder, and we got a good laugh out of that.

Lori told me that James told her about my resignation. Funny, but I saw James about six times today, and he never even said hello to me, let alone acknowledge my news. Like I said above, they resent people who escape from there.

James caught me after-hours and asked me to read and RFP and determine our eligibility. He said, very snottily, that Puppeteer wanted me to do the proposal, but now that I’ve announced that I am leaving, I am to have the Twit take the lead on it. LOL!!! Christ, federal proposals are a disaster to put together, and to have her writing 40 pages about a topic about which she knows nothing, HAH!!! Something tells me that they might be taking me up on my offer of consulting after all!!!

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