You Don’t Work For Them…Do You?

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Navigating embarrassing situations can be like walking through cactus.

Have you ever worked for a company where you were embarrassed to be seen working for them? You could be embarrassed because of what the company stands for, what product it puts out, or even other people associated with it. Unfortunately, I can relate to that last point. Earlier this year I was a freelancer for a wonderful company for several months. I thought the idea behind the company and what they have to offer to their clients was wonderful and so I signed on to work for them several times. However, after working less than six events for them, I suddenly realized that I was ashamed to be associated with them due to the local manager for the company.

Out of only a handful of event, I rarely had an opportunity to work an event that wasn’t taken over by the local manager. At first I thought he was just a bit scatter brained due to the size of an event we were covering and that is why he made more than a few unwise decisions throughout the course of the evening. Several events later I learned that this specific manager just tends to run a disorganized, scatter brained, and panicked ship so I should get used to it and prepare for the fires that need to be put out with our clients. I continued working events with him and trying to learn to adjust my own ways to be prepared for what was ahead with him, until I worked an event that had guests I knew. Suddenly I realized I was completely mortified and looking to hide so I wouldn’t be associated with the company I was there with.

I wasn’t ashamed of our product. I was ashamed of all the easily preventable incidents that occurred because of this manager’s actions and caused massive amounts of confusion and anger among the guests at the event. I wanted to take off badges that might link me to the company and the epic amount of problems that were being caused. I wanted to crawl behind the buffet and hide so no one I knew associated me with problems that would tarnish my reputation for prompt, smooth and reliable events. After sneaking out that night when I was done, so I didn’t have to talk to any of the guests at the event who knew me, I called a close friend and confessed that I was so mortified I was considering never working for the company again.

Yesterday I received and email from the regional manager letting me know their event season is gearing back up again and they are interested in knowing if I still want to work for the company. The question now becomes do I continue to represent the company because I believe in what they do or do I walk away from the experience now before I’m associated with another event that goes down hill fast? I considered letting the regional manager know my feelings about not wishing to walk away, but my inability to work for the company if the local manager was going to continue on the way he did earlier this year. What do you all think? Is it better to cut ties before my reputation is tarnished due to another manager’s lack of skills?

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2 Comments to "You Don’t Work For Them…Do You?"

  1. August 8, 2013 - 11:23 AM | Permalink

    I would absolutely be honest about why you do and do not want to work for the company again and let them decide their own priorities and next steps.

    I certainly wouldn’t put my reputation on the line with future jobs, or expect that anything would be different if I didn’t give honest feedback!

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