Saturday, March 5, 2011

Geoff's Final Weavernomics Lesson - When To Know It's Time To Go ...

This is probably one of the most painful public statements I've ever had to write. I am not by nature a quitter. But my continuing to advocate for my friends and fellow workers from within Weaver Street Market Co-operative is most likely doing them and me more harm than good.

I have, therefore, today told my Department Manager that I am now actively looking to be employed elsewhere (although I will not actually be leaving until I have that employment lined up), and I will tomorrow divest my worker-ownership with WSM.

I was told bluntly last Fall, in one of a series of three private meetings with the Human Resources Manager, that my continued 'combative' advocacy would no longer be tolerated without consequence. I did not believe her. I was wrong.

I had what can only be described as an ugly meeting with management last Friday. I was told, without any sense of shame, that I was now being targeted by the WSM corporate office.

This afternoon, I had my third performance review in 6 months. I can't work out why. It had nothing to do with my job performance. In the review last December, I was told I was doing a great job. That was repeated this afternoon. The whole review took just five minutes. What was the point, other than to harass me?

I could bore you with more details. But the bottom line is - calling on as much generosity as I can muster - the WSM corporate office and senior management have become tired of me, and I with them.

I have advocated all I can. All is recorded on this blog for future use by anyone who cares to read it. But those who can effect change in our co-op are no longer prepared to listen to me. I have become superfluous (call me 'super' for short).

More than that, I may be a hindrance to change. If good ideas are falling on deaf ears solely because they are coming from me, then that does no good for workers who deserve those changes.

This is especially true with the all important discussions and action plans which we are told will follow publication of the WSM Employee Survey in about two month's time. The last thing I want is for my involvement in those discussions and action plans to cause their effectiveness to be diluted.

Don't get too fussed about The Great Debate That Wasn't between The WSM Board Chair and me. It was never going to happen. The Board Chair has not responded to the challenge, and is most unlikely ever to do so. So much for co-operative transparency. Of course, if he does, I will still be more than willing to engage with him.

None of this is to say that I regret one thing that I have done to try to make WSM a stronger business and a better co-op. My only regret is that I could not have done more.

Well. That and the fact that I will always feel that I ran away. The truth - once again - is that my effectiveness is over; I am being targeted; I would rather go with some good grace, than be fired ignominiously; and frankly (without wishing to sound like a wimp), after five years of this constant 'combat,' the stress is beginning to take its toll.

So. I am looking for new employment. Please keep your ears open, and let me know if you hear of something. I am looking for one of two things: (a) Advocacy, strategy or development consultancy, preferably with a non-profit (have a gander at My Info, to get an idea of my Resume); or (b) continued retail work.

I'm not gone yet. I'll let you all know before I do go. Don't get angry or upset. Regard this as an opportunity. You never know. Management may well be so happy to see me go, they'll end up agreeing to all sorts of worthwhile changes!

Take care. And be gentle with your lives.