Cockroaches and Hives

I’ve had a lot of jobs. In my short 11-year tenure of being a working adult, I’ve held positions in two advertising agencies, two marketing departments and a radio station. Through all of them, one thing remained the same. My boss always affected the way I felt about my job.

My first job was as the lowest man on the totem pole in a tyrannically-run advertising agency. It was low pay, zero respect and very long hours. Both newbies and veterans scattered like cockroaches when the owner was around. And the creative director was a raging…well, she had ridiculous expectations of her minions. I left after a year and a half, as most people do at that agency.

My next job was in the marketing department of my family-owned manufacturing company. While working for family may sound like a cush gig, I knew absolutely nothing about flexographic printing and desperately wanted to impress them. They were very busy with little time to teach me the ropes so I floundered along for three years.

After being in manufacturing, I wanted to get back in to advertising so I accepted a position with a small agency. I had good friends and the environment was fun but my boss never had one good thing to say about anyone and made snide comments not only behind your back, but also to your face. These comments were always ‘in jest,’ of course, but everyone knew he meant them. I’ve always held the belief that you have to give respect in order to get respect. Evidently, he didn’t feel the same. Towards the end of my four years there, I despised going to work.

My job as promotions director at the radio station was another new work experience for me. My supervisors there were fun but had erratic tempers. After having stress-induced hives for eight days, it was a blessing in disguise to be laid off along with 1800 other people.

The marketing department at Hogan has been the best experience by far. (And I’m not just sucking up when I say that.) It’s a laid-back, creative, fun environment that I enjoy every day. I’ve also learned a lot about myself including why all of those previous jobs were not right for me and why most of my old supervisors were not good leaders. It has been a developmental milestone to realize my recurring problem of less-than-savory supervisors was not actually my fault and I was actually a successful employee. So if you’re in the same boat, it’s most likely not your fault either. Bad managers are running rampant.

A quote by Dr. Hogan really brought it all home and has stuck with me. He says, “People don’t quit their job, they quit their boss.”

I think he’s right.