Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Worst Job Ever

We've all had jobs that we have hated or couldn't wait to quit in protest (I think...I have a friend who got a job out of college with his father's company making six figures where he works four days a maybe there are exceptions). The job I had that was my worst job, and I even knew it at the time, went from January 2006-December 2006. Well, actually I only worked from March 2006-December 2006, but I had to study for financial tests, as well as prepare for my new job and chose to quit my previous job to focus on my new job and studying for the tests. The worst job I ever had was in the financial services industry. Not a boiler room or anything like that, but sort of a more low-key boiler room with a financial company that isn't Edward Jones, Prudential or Charles Schwab, but competes against them. The job sucked and was a time drain, as well as a drain of a lot of money out of my pocket. Here's how my worst job ever came to be.

I was working as a manager in a retail job, which I actually enjoyed fairly well. The only parts I didn't enjoy were the hours (if it weren't for the hours I would have stuck around) that entailed me working until 2am some nights and getting up at 4:30am during the week when I had to work early. I've never had much of a set sleep schedule, but I couldn't do this for long. It just threw me off. I also didn't enjoy unloading trucks and being on my feet all day. It wasn't a great job and I would come home exhausted from walking around and lifting shit all day. I'm not lazy, trust me, but I like to go to the gym for fun and don't want my life to be one big visit to the gym. Plus, I missed having weekends. Weekends are important to me.

So I decided I was going to look for another job and I did. I found a financial firm that was hiring (as all financial firms are at all points during the year...which is something I didn't know at the time) and went in for an interview. It sounded good. I'm a people person, I got most of my weekends back and I had no girlfriend and no reason to not work long hours. As I said repeatedly at the time when I asked why I took the job, "What else do I have better to do?" I thought it would work out in the end. Just a note, if your reasons for taking a job encompass the following four reasons:

1. I don't like my current job.
2. What else do I have to do?
3. I have no girlfriend.
4. It will work out in the end.

Do not take that job. Just don't. If only I could give myself this advice before I wasted a year of my time. So I quit my current job, went to the pre-job training sessions (another red flag) with this financial services firm, and spent most of my time trying to pass the four exams required to get licensed. I also hung out, drank and partied with my friends during this time, which was by far the coolest part of studying for licensing exams. I also spent time putting out fish bowls (yes, actual plastic fishbowls) at restaurants for reasons I will explain in a minute. I had seven restaurants when I started my with this financial services firm and felt pretty good about myself for that. So I started my new job in March of 2006 very pleased with how very pleased I was. It did not last long.

So let me get these fishbowls out of the way first. I have to explain this. The marketing plan for this financial services firm, the entire marketing plan other than to go to your "natural market" (which is a polite way of saying "Call your family"...which I will get to in a minute) was to put fishbowls out at restaurants where people could put their business card in there and win a free lunch. It's no scam, I had a budget for $10/person that I got reimbursed for these free lunches. They ate, I spoke for five minutes about investments, etc and then got the fuck out of there to let them eat. I of course gathered their personal information so I could call them later to see if they were interested in talking more in-depth about these investments. I was up front that I would be calling them. Again, it wasn't a scam and I got reimbursed at $10/person. The problem is that outside of saying "Call your family," this was the ONLY marketing this company was capable of supporting. Oh sure, there were other things you could do, but you had to run it by corporate and then get all this other bullshit completed in order to get your alternative marketing event (that's what it was called, as if any idea outside of "Put a bowl in a restaurant so someone can put a business card in there and then you can hassle them for a few months over the phone" was just so crazy it needed more time to be dwelled upon) approved. It wasn't worth it and took time with no guarantee it would work. Oh, we also went to Costco every Saturday to offer free $20 gift cards for giving out personal information to us so we could stalk you by phone. That's really what it was, stalking. So I lied, there were three marketing techniques this company had. Marketing savants they were not.

The problem with these lunches is I would create a specific menu everyone could eat off of so I could stay under budget and my $10/person limit included tip and drink. So at some restaurants where people who earn more money chose to eat lunch, I would have to dip into my pocket and pay out of my pocket for lunches I wasn't getting reimbursed on. These are the type of people you want as clients, people who have money. I needed these types of people as customers so if they act like dicks and choose to order off the main menu then I could swallow it and pay out of pocket or refuse to pay and ruin any slight chance I had at gaining their business. Since money was made off gaining business, I often swallowed my anger and just paid out of pocket for lunches that were over $10 per head. This led to a lunch I had with the assholes from the North Carolina Education Lottery. These assholes were notified by phone that I had a special menu they could eat off and that is what they could order on the menu for lunch and they could not order dinner for lunch. I was taking them to a local restaurant here in Greensboro that sold ribs and steak for lunch and dinner. The person who dropped the business card in the fishbowl stated she understood. Spoiler alert: She ignored this and requested all 15 of the people who came to lunch get a full menu. The waitress obliged. I told the waitress this isn't how it works and the asshole lady who dropped the business card explained this was the deal and I am liar. I could not have been more clear that there was a special menu when we set the lunch up. I even had it written on the piece of paper I sent out confirming the lunch time. Because I was a wimp, I said "Fine" and then EVERY SINGLE PERSON AT THE TABLE ordered steak, except for the asshole lady who dropped the business card who ordered steak AND ribs. She took some home for dinner, of course. My bill for 15 people came to around $300, which means I just spent $150 to take a bunch of assholes from the North Carolina Education Lottery out to lunch. By the way, they all gave me fake numbers. This was towards the end when I decided I was quitting, but let me go back to the beginning again.

Okay, so if I did get a person to drop a card in the fishbowl and took them to lunch, I would get their personal information, then I would call and stalk them. This is the point where I stopped becoming everybody's lunch bitch and became a motherfucking telemarketer. I'm not sure if this is a bump up or a bump down. I hated this, but it was part of the job. Before every phone session which went by this schedule (and this schedule was not fucked don't eat, you don't piss, you do nothing but "smile and dial" with the leads from your lead box*):

Monday: 5pm-8pm
Tuesday: 9am-11am
Wednesday: 2pm-5pm
Thursday: 4pm-8pm
Friday: 2pm-5pm
Saturday: 9am-12pm

*By the way, this "lead box" was part of what happened sometimes called "a lead box audit" where my vice president would go through my leads and tell me which ones I should get rid of and which ones I should keep. Guess what? I never was told to get rid of any leads, even some five years old or more, and this "lead box audit" only served the purpose to ensure that leads weren't being fabricated by the advisors using their own handwriting to put down fake numbers and names. I can't emphasize enough how much I would never encourage someone to work for this financial services company. 

That's a lot of talking on the phone and to this day I still hate talking on the phone. There were "warm-ups" before you spoke on the phone, because we were all morons who couldn't talk on the phone without warming up, for 10 minutes and then the calls began. I asked one time, as I am want to do, why it is if a person says they aren't interested we don't hang up. I was told they may be interested if they hear more, which never made sense to me. Personally, I always know if I'm interested in something and if I say I'm not interested then I'm not interested. But again, for the sake of sales I had to assume every human I spoke to was a drooling moron. If I happened to get someone on the phone and they agreed to come in and talk to me, that was a good thing. Of course people didn't show up sometimes and then there would be a long discussion about my "show rate" which means I didn't close them well enough on the phone to get them into the building to speak with me. Since it's my job to control the universe and the people in the universe and all. Because it's entirely fair to blame me when someone tells me they aren't interested in my services, I convince them they are interested and then they decide later they really aren't interested. I'm sure there's a science to getting people to show up for appointments I didn't care to understand. If your show rate wasn't good, then it became a problem that involved sitting down and talking about it. It's sales and how sales go. Sometimes people show up, sometimes they don't. I'm too logical and it didn't make sense to me to talk about why people didn't show up to meet with me and it became something I was doing wrong in closing them. People have minds they make up no matter how convincing I am. That's my position.

So before they came in to see me I had to get that person in to speak with me on the phone to get them interested in seeing me. Sometimes they came to meet me. That's great, right? People like me in person generally. I'm pretty casual and say what I think or mean. So what this financial services company did was take away all of my likeability in favor of a 4 page document we had to memorize and were tested on (yes, tested on it) to make sure we had it memorized. Then I would give this speech to every client who met with me in an effort to remove any likeability I had and make me sound like a robot. This document served as an introduction to me, what would be discussed when I met with the client and would take up to 10 minutes to go through. So all likeability has been ripped from me and I'm now a robot. When I pointed out to my vice president part of my likeability is that I speak off the cuff and think on my feet, it was explained to me the script works. I asked if they had never not used the script and they said it was handed down from corporate and was proven to work. Showing I was quick on my feet, I pointed out this meant they probably had not tried an alternative method and so they can't say for sure the script works better than another method. This did not endear me to my vice-president.

Let me get to the hierarchy of this financial services company for a second. I had a vice-president who was in charge of the office, a mentor who was over me and a few other employees and would listen to us and advise us, as well as a coach who was in meetings with me at the beginning. Quite the hierarchy. So I had three people on my ass at all times preaching the gospel of bullshit the company was peddling. It made Scientology look loose and non-rigid in comparison.

So I had a script I hated and that ruined all likeability. I was doing well otherwise. I rolled over a little short of $2 million into the company in my first few months and this was proof that what they were doing worked. What my coach and all of the other parts of the hierarchy didn't know is I didn't use their stupid fucking script when I was alone in a meeting and told the people at my lunch that there was a short scripted beginning and then we would talk candidly. Yeah, I'm not good with being told what to do. So who knows what worked, but if I told my coach/mentor/VP what I was doing, it would have gotten shut down so I had to let them think their process was working. It's hard being a passive-aggressive rebel. So many compromises to make.

Also, we were fee-based financial advisors. So if someone wanted to work with me, they had to pay $500 up front. Yeah, no one wants to do that, which made my job hard. When I pointed out that we are collecting $500 and giving up potentially thousands of dollars this fell on deaf ears. This is the type of company that would break their arm jumping on the concrete to grab a quarter. Sure, you have to pay doctor bills, BUT YOU HAVE A QUARTER! I had so many clients who couldn't give me $500 but wouldn't mind investing with me. I couldn't take their investments because the industry was going towards fee-based advising, so of course it made sense to pass up thousands of dollars to have $500 for sure in your pocket.

My rollovers and clients stopped for a period through the summer because I no longer gave a shit. I wasn't in fear of being fired (you have to bring in a certain amount over a specific time frame or you will be fired) because my numbers were still high. I didn't like the hours I was working (which was from 8am-8pm Monday through Thursday, 8am-5pm on Friday, and Saturday 9am-12pm, which didn't include appointments I set after hours) and frankly was tired of being told it was my business to run but couldn't run it how I wanted to. There's only so much, "It's your business, take control of it...but only how we tell you to take control of it" I could hear before I was going crazy. I had a Master's degree and had some ideas that just weren't going to work with corporate. The long hours sucked and I decided I needed to quit when I could. The problem is the money was still good and I didn't want to be unemployed. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) thought I was crazy for even thinking of quitting without having another job. She would support the decision though. It wasn't time to quit though, because I enjoyed my co-workers and wasn't motivated enough to get past the hump of wanting to quit and actually doing it.

Then my tipping point came in a conversation I had with my vice-president. I was genuinely concerned I wasn't getting any accounts and went to him for advice. In the next hour he mapped out 200 people from my natural market I could contact. Again, the only marketing device they know of outside of doing lunches is "Call your friends." On this list included my best friend from grade school whose parents lived near my mother, but I had not spoken to him in 15 years. My girlfriend's father was on this list too. Because nothing says, "I really like your daughter" by hitting him for money. It all seemed pretty fucking ridiculous and it was at that point I realized these people have absolutely no clue how to help me. They don't know the job they claim to know. They don't know how to increase my sales other than to guilt those who love/like/know me into opening an account with me, and of course paying $500 to do so. I told my VP this was unacceptable. I had come to him for help and all he could do was try to get me to leverage my friends and family. That's not a solution and won't be a solution. I want to learn to sell and help people by gaining accounts, not use my family and friends to make me feel better about myself. He said something that I don't remember, but it wasn't helpful and involved cursing. He was a very persuasive guy, but I saw through him pretty quickly. He was full of shit. Once you understand he was full of shit, everything he said/did made sense. 

This was the end of summer. I waited another month to think about my decision and then told my girlfriend over lunch that I was quitting December 20 and going into "Operation Shutdown" until that time. I was going to do everything my way and spend the day away from the office (I usually had a lot of time during the week to go around and collect business cards from the fishbowls and search for new restaurants) not doing the two lunches per day, but doing 2-3 lunches per week. During the time I usually sat in the office and tried to get better at my job, I would be playing Playstation 2, eating lunch with my girlfriend, and going to the gym. I'm not sure she believed I was quitting December 20, but I don't bluff.

So for the next month, I refused to train any new employees on how to do lunches (yeah, I wasn't good enough to get accounts, but was good enough to do training...go figure) by thinking of reasons to get out of having new employees follow me to these lunches. I did anything I wanted to do and had not had time to do. I turned what was a 60-65 hour a week job into a 40 hour a week job where I wasn't tired and could be on top of my game when I did lunches and met with prospective clients. Around the end of October my numbers started getting better. I got an account a week for a month (which was pretty good) and was brought in to tell how I did it to new recruits. I preached the gospel I was told to preach...sort of. I did throw in a few of my own personal thoughts like instead of doing lunches five days a week, go eat with a loved one during one set day of the week. Needless to say, I was asked to not speak to the recruits again, even though at that point I was one of the better performers who had been there less than a year. I deviated from what they were being told about hard work, 60 hour weeks, and don't eat with loved ones but try to get their money instead.

I held back a little when speaking to these new recruits. I didn't want my VP or anyone else to know what I was really doing, because I wanted to drop my new business plan of working a 40 hour work week when I pretended to quit on December 1. Yes, I had a plan to pretend to quit just to see what the reaction would be. I had three goals in this pretending to quit meeting:

1. Make them concerned I was going to quit and have to worry about explaining why a high performer just was quitting while having no other job.

2. I wanted to see their reaction when I told them I was running my own business the way I wanted to. That I was spending company time working out, swimming, and eating lunch with my girlfriend. If they fired me, so be it. I was quitting anyway.

3. I wanted them to think they had talked me out of it for when I did quit on December 20, just to make the shock a little bit more severe. I also wanted to basically test the waters and didn't want to deal with them trying to talk me out of it once I did quit. Basically, since my VP/mentor/coach were all salesmen I wanted them to think they had sold me and used all of their ammo on why I shouldn't quit on December 1. I was interested to hear the bullshit, if I'm being honest. I would get all of their objections out of the way AND get amused at the same time.

I'm an asshole. I was tired of being used over long hours and treated like a moron (I am leaving out quite a few stories just for the sake of your eyes. You get the point. It sucked to work here), so I was going to get back at them in my own way. I like to fuck with people's heads and expectations, so I was going to pre-quit a few weeks before I really quit. I'm manipulative when I want to be and I really, really liked fucking with people.

Here's an example: I told my 8th grade history teacher I had an Uncle Shanks who was a Lumbee Indian. I went on and on about him when I had the chance to and my friends would assist me in pretending. This went on for a month or so until my history teacher invited him in to speak with the class. At that point, I had to admit I didn't have an Uncle Shanks who is a Lumbee Indian. She was too embarrassed to really tell anyone she had been long conned by a 13 year old. It was lying, but mostly I didn't like her and wanted to mess with her. My parents weren't really upset when I told them what I did. It was sort of a "Pooped in the fridge and ate an entire wheel of cheese" moment. I got a short lecture about not lying, but overall I think they were slightly impressed.

So moving up to December 1, I went into my mentor's office and said I was quitting. She called in the VP and that's when the fireworks started. He initially called me a "pussy" and said I was giving up. I told him I hated it there and would prefer to be unemployed then work 60-65 hours at a job. I then told him I was actually only working 40 hours and semi-explained what I was doing instead of doing lunches. He told me that they could dock my pay for not working the full hours. I pointed out to him under North Carolina law because I am not an hourly employee then I am not required to work a certain amount of hours. I'm salaried, so there's no pay to dock for not working a set amount of hours. He called me a "pussy" again and said that if he weren't my supervisor he would physically assault someone (like me, obviously) who did this for "using their privilege of independence" like this. I have a privilege of independence in his opinion. I always assumed I had a right to independence, but apparently within the confines of this job during the 60 hours I was there I did not.

(On a side note, I don't love my behavior here. I was tired, even working only 40-ish hours a week, and mentally beaten down. I felt like a prisoner and would never behave this way again. I would never act this way at my current job, mostly because I'm respected and treated like a human rather than a piece of meat who is only good for calling family and friends and begging for money from them...or at least begging for them to open an account with me for $500. I wouldn't call my behavior reprehensible, but again, there is more than just what I'm saying here that occurred during my year-long employment with this company. I wasn't a model employee at this stage, that I will admit)

This meeting lasted for a while and I explained to them why I was quitting and had stopped following "the plan," mostly because it was a waste of my time and they had no ideas to help me improve at the job, so I did what I thought I needed to and improved. I think the fact I improved without following "the plan" probably made my VP angrier than anything else. The job wasn't just about getting accounts, but not questioning "the plan" and being fully committed to what bullshit the company was peddling. I have a low threshold for bullshit, so I didn't buy into it completely. I also yearn to try something new when I'm told "This is the only way this can get done." I want to prove there is another way. The meeting started winding down and I again got called a pussy by my VP and I told him I wasn't being a pussy by creating my own hours, in fact that was pretty fucking ballsy.

So we went back and forth and I got called a few names and was accused of quitting (yep, they were pretty perceptive weren't they?) before I got a chance to get good at what I was doing. I told them I didn't think I could get good when I had leadership who believed my only chance of success was calling my natural market and trying to get them to spend $500 on an account. Finally, I had gotten what I wanted and said I would give it some more time while following "the plan," which was a complete lie. They clapped me on the shoulder and then my VP met with my mentor a few minutes and I could tell he was urging her to give me special attention for a while. So my little stunt ended up with my mentor following me around for an entire week, which really ruined the whole "I'm only working 40 hours per week" thing. Fortunately, my mentor was useless and couldn't take a piss without permission from the VP, so I simply had a shadow and didn't have someone wasting my time by trying to improve my business.

Regardless, on December 19 I brought a box into work and packed up all of my shit and left the office at my usual 8pm. I got home and my roommate and I laughed for quite a while about how I carried a box of my possessions out of the office, had an empty desk and no one even asked me what was going on. My plan for the next day was coming in and while the office was having "a class" from 8am to 9am that the VP was teaching, leaving my resignation note and then leaving. So I walked in on December 20, got a cup of coffee, walked into my mentor's office and told her this was my official resignation and to have a good life. She said, "No, wait until Mike (that was the VP) gets out of the class and then we can all talk this through." I told her we had talked previously and there was nothing left to talk about at this point. She again urged me to wait for Mike (mostly because she was a useless drone who couldn't speak unless our VP put words in her mouth for her) and I declined, then walked out of the building. I was done, thank God.

I went home and immediately started looking for a new job. I feel sympathy for my wife's parents. We had just started dating less than six months before and now she has to tell them I just quit my job and am going to be looking for another job. I'm sure they thought she was dating a real winner. To their credit, they held their tongue around me. It's just so happens I met my wife at a very transitional point in my career. But man, I can imagine the conversations her parents had about me just walking out on a job. It took me a couple of months to find a job. I looked everyday and interviewed at probably every financial firm in Greensboro/Winston-Salem and at every bank in Greensboro/Winston-Salem. I was attractive to banks because I had my licensing for the Series 7 and Series 66, as well as my long-term care and insurance license. I could peddle all sorts of products, and that's all they wanted me to do, peddle products. I wanted a non-sales job in a bank or with a financial company and those did not exist for me. My background pushed them towards wanting to push me towards the sales part of their company.

It wasn't until I interviewed with a State Farm representative who wanted me to run the insurance portion of the company that I realized I needed to stop interviewing for jobs I didn't want. Seems easy, right? Interview for jobs you want, not jobs you don't want. The problem is there is a certain comfort in interviewing for a job and a certain discomfort in not getting any interviews. I could get interviews with financial services companies and had trouble getting interviews outside of that industry. It's natural to keep getting interviews and praying this company will be different. So I quit my job on December 20 and I didn't find a job I wanted to take until the middle of March. It felt like years. What I did was start over. Just start completely over. I had a Master's Degree, but really had no idea what I wanted to do. So I signed up with the best temp agency I could find at a job fair here in Greensboro and told them to just work my ass off. Give me jobs and I will do them. I figured somewhere in there I would find a permanent job or something I like. For the first time in my professional career, I was right.

I spent a couple of days in my first temp gig working with a British consultant for a local company combing through thousands of documents that I'm still not exactly sure what I was looking for. He seemed pleased with my work, but it was mind-numbing. In fact, worse than mind-numbing. It was reading multi-colored Excel spreadsheets line-by-line looking for discrepancies. The good news is I got paid. The bad news is I think I went blind for a few days. Then I got fortunate. A hiring manager at RFMD who hired temps through the temp agency I worked with saw I went to Appalachian State and as a graduate from Appalachian State wanted to know why I was unemployed and looking for work. We had a phone conversation and he agreed I could be a "Supply Chain assistant" or something to that effect. Either way, it was a temp job that had no ending while also having no promise of permanent employment, but it did provide me with better pay than I was receiving (which was a yearly salary of $0 or $0/hour if you prefer to look at it that way) and I worked 8:00-5:00pm everyday. That's exactly what I wanted. I wanted a normal job. I wanted to be an office drone.

RFMD made chips that were used in wireless communicators and other electronic devices. As I was told repeatedly during my time there, they were growing and had never laid anyone off. Being the jaded person I am, I pretty much assumed layoffs would be in the future (spoiler alert: They were). So I really had no idea what job I was doing upon walking in, but I got to wear shorts and a knit shirt (that's what I call what most people call "Polo" shirts) to work. Basically, what I ended up doing wasn't hard at all. There were engineers who needed parts sent out to their clients of RFMD for testing and other varied reasons that I wasn't privy to. It was my job to get these parts together and get them to engineers spread out over quite a few buildings. Some of the parts went into an oven (yes, an oven), other parts did not. It involved a lot of walking and taking direction, both of which I didn't mind doing.

So in March 2006 I started this job and it was a complete 180 difference from where I previously was. Lunches took two hours sometimes (not mine, because while the engineers were out at lunch they would call in with things that needed to be done RIGHT FUCKING NOW) and generally it was a very laid back atmosphere. In all frankness, the company seemed bloated to me. There were a lot of people who worked there and it didn't seem people were very stressed at the job with a lot of downtime to talk. But I loved it. I got a cell phone and I got to work with a guy who was the most anal-retentive person I have met in my life, which helped me deal with demanding people. This guy, named Jeff, had a system he used and if I didn't use that system then I was doing it all wrong. Having just gotten done with a job that had a specific system I was required to use, I had familiarity with this idea. The difference is Jeff's system actually worked. He dared me to try something different for a week. I did and it did not work. Jeff also had a thing for older women that I repeatedly tried to talk him out of to no avail. So it was a pretty good temp job. Low stress and it didn't require a ton of thought. I had time to look for other jobs and enjoyed it there. Still, I'm being honest in saying it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I tried to leave once for a different job and they gave me a raise (I kid you not when I say they were bloated...they gave me, a fucking temp, a raise when I threatened to leave to take another job...who does that?), which of course pleased the temp agency because they got a percentage of what I was making (not from me, but from RFMD). Other than the fact I didn't have money and my girlfriend was making well over twice what I was making, it wasn't a bad deal.

But then I got a little restless. See I was a temp. That's how the engineers saw me. That's fine, but I had a Master's Degree and didn't like being talked to like I wasn't a smart person or talked to as if I wasn't on their level. It happened...frequently. I got asked a few times which high school I graduated from, in the tone of that being my highest education. My uncle never graduated high school and he's a millionaire, so no offense to those who didn't go to college, but I didn't take out all the student loans I did and work for six years in undergraduate and graduate school to be treated like I didn't go to college. So I decided rather than be comfortable in a job not making a ton of money I needed to REALLY look for a job. I was looking, but not really looking, if you know what I mean. So I started looking and after a month or so I got another job offer that was a permanent job and I was paid a sufficient amount more than I made as a temp (though, to be honest, not that much more for a permanent job) and took it. When I went to my temp agency to quit I was reminded by them they liked me at RFMD and a permanent job could be on the future because they have never laid anyone off. They also offered me another slight raise (I mean, stop offering a temp raises, even small ones...I'm a temp) as well. I explained that while I was a temp, I had seen the internal structure and work force of that company and had enough of an education background to understand if there was a dip in the economy or if they lost a few accounts then their success was in no way sustainable. There were too many well-paid people doing a similar job. So I took the new job and two months later RFMD had their first layoffs. I went to this new job, got treated in cheap fashion for the job I was doing (I was given a 0.8% raise one year when I know for a fact other departments got a 10% raise...I didn't like that) and used my experience there to get the job I have now. All has worked out.

I've gotten off track about my worst job ever, but it has a point. My point is that all has worked out. I feel like some people are stuck in jobs they hate and I was too. I was fortunate that I could afford to quit my job and go searching, but it was nerve-wracking. Very nerve-wracking. I was also fortunate my girlfriend understood I hated my job and allowed me the freedom to not nag me about finding another one. She understood the process. Of course, she quit a job she hated a few years later, so we are sort of even in that regard. You can see why we got married. We both make potentially bad job-related decisions because we can't stand doing something we don't like. Things turned out okay, it just took some time and for me to have patience, which is the hardest part for me.

Back to my worst job ever. This financial company ended up getting the last laugh on me, though not entirely intentionally. When I first started there in March 2006 my mother wanted to support my new endeavor and so she became one of my clients. She put her money into a fund and specifically asked my mentor if she was going to have to pay taxes on the money she had moved over to me. My mentor told her "No" and then gave a reason that I don't recall. It sounded weird to me at the time that there were no taxes to be paid on this money moved over, but I was in the process of learning the job and didn't speak up. This isn't the only one of my clients who this absolutely false information was handed out to, which makes me feel incredibly guilty. It turns out my mom did have to pay capital gains tax on what she moved over to me from the account she had with her current financial advisor...a lot of taxes. Needless to say, when we found this out in early 2007 I was pretty fucking pissed. Unfortunately, the financial company had worked for had covered their ass and guess whose name was the only name on those documents transferring the money over? That's right. Me. So whereas my mother could have chosen to sue her advisor for providing poor advice or at least threatened to do so based on the faulty information she was given, she wasn't going to sue her son.

I had retained an attorney for a different reason around this time and asked him whether there was a case that could be made and he basically told me it wasn't going to be worth the fight. My mom didn't want to pursue it anyway. I was the only one absolutely inflamed about how my name were on the forms that I wasn't even aware how to fill out appropriately at that point in my young career. Live and learn, right? I learned a lot from my worst job ever. Even now when I'm having a bad day, I calm myself by reminding myself it could always be a lot worse for me and has been a lot worse for me in the past. I would never advise anyone work for this company if they are even close to being the same kind of company they were when I was there. They treated their employees as tools to gain the financial accounts of that employee's family and friends and the pretty picture their commercials paint of advisors caring about their clients is patently least when it comes from upper management. To this day, I think about my clients I had there and feel bad I simply left them without notifying them I was leaving. It's not how I like to do things in my life and (as you can tell) this whole experience left me with a very sour taste in my mouth. All I can advise anyone now is that if you see Tommy Lee Jones in a commercial, don't believe what he's saying. He's full of shit and doesn't even know it.