Promotion to Manager ... uh oh!

It seems that good things do happen to those who wait. Surprisingly enough, that also applies to me.

You may recall some weeks ago, I lamented Critical Mass’ ability to see the need to promote from within. It wasn’t so much about me as it was about using the resources we had, and not stalling forever on putting people into open positions.

I kept raising the red flag. I was, well, a kind of whistle-blower, but only in reminding management that we were rapidly heading for a serious problem if we didn’t fill the position that I knew needed to be filled. I bugged Allard, and I bugged Cory. I wanted to make sure that we would have some sort of movement on the issue.

Today, things started to fall into place. Cory had told me a couple of days ago that a decision would be made today about that open position, no matter what. Whether someone got promoted or not, I didn’t care too much — I just wanted that space filled. Allard’s being pulled in too many directions at once to be an effective manager for Marketing Initiatives. We need somebody who can do the job.

Just after 16:30, Cory wandered by my desk and asked if I could join him for a quick meeting. We were joined by both Allard and Veronique. My hopes of just having the position filled raised considerably — just Cory is one thing, but adding in the Technical Director for MBUSA and the Technology Operations Manager … well, let’s just say that I saw things going a different direction.

The cat was let out of the bag within moments: I was getting the promotion. I did everything I could do to stop grinning like an idiot. I was exceptionally happy, and not just for the selfish reasons you’d expect. It was also because we were promoting internally, showing everyone that it was possible to move up. We were putting in someone who was very much aware of the MI projects and how most of the system works. And someone who already knows most of the team quite well.

I’m not the company’s first choice — I know that for a fact. There were at least two candidates ahead of me, both external hires. They had both refused the offers presented to them. I don’t know the details, but I do know that one apparently wanted a lot more than what Critical Mass was willing to offer. I suppose when my updated contract comes through and the salary survey kicks in, I’ll have a better idea.

This promotion doesn’t come free, either. I’m actually going on probation for two months. I suspect part of that reason is to see if I can actually handle the management duties. (I’m confident I can.) But the other reason is to watch for two bad habits I need to work out of my system.

One is my bad temper. I’ve had one for years — as long as I can remember. I don’t know where it comes from, and it has caused me a lot of trouble in the past. I’ve gone a long way to try and control it, but every so often it peeks through — usually under a lot of duress.

A manager should never tweak at anyone, regardless of situation or behaviour. Although I haven’t had an outburst in well over a year, the last one is haunting me. It’s something I’ll need to work on.

The other issue is related to how this promotion (partially) came around. I nagged. A lot. And I bypassed the chain of command to get my points heard. Although this is an issue which I’m sure could be debated until the end of time, the simple fact is that management has to show a unified front — you can’t have one person doing one thing behind another person’s back. That’s basically what I did when I went behind Allard to try and convince Cory that we needed to promote from within.

But this doesn’t really concern me too much. As I’m no longer developing, I won’t be regularly landing in positions where frustration will crack my calmness — especially since the project manager who brought it on last time left Critical Mass some time ago. And I have no reason to side-step Allard … at least that I know of.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Allard and I will transition the position — Allard will back out and I’ll step in. It won’t happen overnight (especially with me going to Japan in a couple of weeks), but it is happening.

Now if I could just get myself a date…