The cool thing about being the newbie contractor is that you are detached from everything … and everyone. So, you notice … stuff.
Case in point?
On my first day, some random woman came to my cube. “Welcome, Cha Cha! I’m Jan!”
I thought it was nice that this random coworker stopped by to introduce herself. “Oh, nice to meet you, Jan,” I said. “Where do you sit?”
And with what I thought was a friendly conversation-starter, my new coworker positively recoiled.
“I … am your DIRECTOR,” she said. “I sit in that big office waaaay over there.” She gestured.
“Oh, great,” I said … and watched her waltz away.
OK. Somebody takes the corporate hierarchy pretty seriously.
Yesterday, a new contractor joined the team. Jan welcomed her, too. I overheard the whole thing.
“Welcome, New Contractor. I’m Jan!”
“Oh, nice to meet you,” the newbie said.
And then there was … an awkward silence. That went on. And on. And on. In my fantasy, Jan the Director was waiting for the newbie to grovel or genuflect. But newbie? Just sat there.
Finally, Jan couldn’t take any more overt disrespect. “OK,” she said. And walked away.
I think it’s impossible to make it to senior leadership in a corporate environment unless you’re literally insane. Amiright?