Scott had been mentioning his boss a lot – our VP of Sales and Operations – a guy named Mike. During the expansion, Mike has been working out of New York City (apparently his office was getting a major upgrade). Scott was always saying things like, “If my boss knew we were doing this, all of us would be out of a job,” and “This is one of Mike’s biggest pet peeves, we have to fix this before he gets back,” and “Mike hates when people spend too much time planning and spend no time doing.” He sounded terrifying.
One day my coworker, Monica, asked me if I thought Mike was good looking.
“I’ve never met him,” I answered. “He’s been in New York since I started.”
“Really?” Monica asked, sounding surprised. “Why didn’t you have to interview with him? He interviews anyone we ever hire. Even the janitors.”
I shrugged. “It all happened pretty fast.”
Since I’d never met him and Monica wanted to discuss his good looks with me, she pulled up his LinkedIn profile.
“Isn’t he handsome?” she asked, once his picture was up on the screen.
“He is,” I admitted. He was probably around Scott age (mid to late 30’s) with close cropped hair, squinty eyes, incredible jaw and a half smile. He looked like a former football player with his big shoulders and no nonsense haircut.
“He’s a pompous dick. I think it’s the power that makes him sexy,” Monica said.
The next day we were all scheduled a Skype call with Mike. Beforehand I asked Scott what kind of leader Mike was.
“I mean,” Scott began. “He might yell a little bit, but he knows what he’s talking about. If he yells he has a reason to so the goal is to make sure he doesn’t.”
So again, he sounded really pleasant. We gathered in the conference room where a projector was set up. Scott gave us all a quick brief about what to do and say during the meeting and most importantly, who was allowed to speak at all (I wasn’t, but Monica was which I didn’t like).
When we called up Mike on Skype, he appeared at this weird angle like his phone or iPad was sitting in his lap. We waited a few moments for him to get situated, but that’s how we stayed. Monica texted me, “I’m where I’ve always wanted to be: in Mike’s lap.”
The meeting lasted just over two hours. It was mostly Mike bringing up reports and demanding to know why things weren’t going the way he wanted them to. No one really wanted to answer him so he started calling people out. And he had a New York accent so everything he said sounded really rude and aggressive. Monica was right about him being a douche and I wished I could have told him that things weren’t going his way because he was all the way in New York, but obviously I couldn’t. At the end of the meeting, Mike said goodbye and that he’d see everyone tomorrow.
After the meeting, Scott was visibly sweating and let everyone go to lunch except me. He wanted to have a talk so after everyone left we sat down.
“So Mike is going to be here tomorrow,” Scott told me, confirming the comment Mike made at the end of the meeting.
“Okay…” I replied.
“He will probably request a meeting with you since you’ve never met, but I’ll make sure I’m there with you. Let’s get a game plan in motion because he’s going to ask.”
So we were in the office until literally 10:30 PM coming up with plans to show Mike (even though Scott told me Mike doesn’t like plans, he likes actions). I was just really annoyed because I’d spent the past few weeks doing nothing when I could have been preparing for Mike’s arrival.
The next morning, I got to work at my normal time (a little after 8) and everyone was already running around. I walked to my office and spotted Mike walking toward me. A little brunette carrying an open laptop was trailing him, his assistant I gathered.
I assumed he was walking toward me to introduce himself so I stopped outside my door and waited.
“Can I help you with something?” Mike asked.
That’s when I realized that he was literally just walking past and had no interest in meeting me.
“Nope,” I said and went into my office.
I tried to avoid him and his entourage the rest of the day, but he sent out a mass email inviting us to a meeting that afternoon. Scott immediately called me and told me that Mike wasn’t happy about the way things were going, hence the emergency meeting. I was feeling like since I was so new that it wasn’t my fault that things weren’t going well, but Scott assured me that it was all of our faults.
Mike started the meeting by telling us he was disappointed with the way things were being run without him and gave a list of five things he wants us to focus on in the next few weeks.
“The way things are going right now, we won’t make any money. We will go out of business. Does everyone realize that?” Mike said.
We all nodded. We went through his list (things like “follow up and follow through” and “all hands on deck”) then he told us that he couldn’t possibly go back to New York with the way things were going so he was going to leave his family there and stay in Chicago with us. Great.
Later on in the day, Scott called me to his office. When I arrived, Scott was sitting at his desk, Mike’s assistant, Kelsey, was sitting in a chair and Mike was leaning against the desk.
“Reese, come in. Grab a seat,” Scott said, sounding overly cheerful.
“So Mike, this is Reese. We’re very excited to have her,” Scott went on.
Mike and I obviously already knew each other even without the formal introduction, but I still said, “It’s nice to meet you.”
He stared at me with his beady little eyes and intimidating eyebrows. He placed a hand on his chin like he was thinking and then Mike said, “I’m not going to settle for less than ten percent over plan this quarter.”
I nodded. “Me neither.”
“Do you know where we are now?” Mike challenged.
Before I could even prove that I did know, Scott cut in, “Reese and I have had many conversations about our sales being down. With your goal of being up ten percent, we do have some ground to cover.”
Mike didn’t even look at Scott and continued talking to me. “Our P&L is a direct reflection of you. If your team sucks, you suck and ultimately we all suck.”
“Kelsey, pull up the financial statement for last quarter,” Mike said.
Kelsey nodded and began looking on her laptop for it.
“I need a Redbull, Scott,” Mike said.
Scott jumped and announced he would go find one. Poor Scott. That’s totally something Kelsey should have been doing, but with her being tied up, someone had to do it.
When Kelsey pulled up the document on the laptop, she sat it on the edge of the desk and Mike motioned for me to come look.
“How much did we bring in last quarter?” he asked me.
The pressure of them both watching me made me nervous and I scanned the document for the answer even though I’d seen similar ones tons of time at my old job.
“Um,” I began, buying myself some time.
Mike’s huge arm came down in front of me, almost grazing the side of my face, and pointed at a place on the screen.
“It’s right here. Have you seen this document before?” He sounded annoyed.
“You need to get better acquainted with it because this is your job.”
“Kelsey, send last year’s P&L to Reese. I know she hasn’t seen it,” Mike said.
For the next few minutes none of us said anything and it was uncomfortable. Finally, I said, “Do you need anything else?”
“No,” Mike said like it was the most ridiculous thing I could have asked.
When I got back to my office, I texted Monica, “He’s so nice and personable! I can’t believe you said he was a dick.”
She replied, “Really? He must like you then.”
I never got a chance to tell her that I was kidding. The following day was Friday and Mike was working from home, thank goodness. Scott called a meeting with me and my team so we could discuss the game plan we’d come up with. Scott assured me that when Mike came in on Monday, he would want to know exactly what I’d done since joining to company.
Needless to say, I was ready for the weekend. On Friday night, Brady and I got dinner with his friend, Jacob, and Jacob’s girlfriend, Stacey. Apparently Stacey had been bugging Jacob about hanging out with us, which is cute, so we got pizza and beer. Afterwards, they went home and Brady and I went to a bar to continue drinking. I’m not sure why, but the bar was super dead for a Friday night. It was fine though because we didn’t have to fight for the bartender’s attention. While we stood there drinking, I planned out our Saturday: shopping, grocery shopping, then doing some projects around the house. We are officially an old couple.
Brady pulled out his phone because he had a text and I couldn’t help leaning over to see who it was. Hailey!
I rolled my eyes. “What does she want?”
“She was asking the name of a bar I was telling her about-” Brady began and I cut him off.
“Is she even old enough to drink?”
He put his phone back in his pocket and changed the subject. I don’t even feel threatened by her or care about her anymore, I just think she’s annoying.
Anyway, I spent all day dreading going back to work and seeing Mike. He’s already invited everyone to a sales meeting tomorrow first thing in the morning and I don’t know what to expect. Luckily though, I pulled together a list of some of the things I’ve done like reevaluate sales goals and stuff, even though I know none of it is going to be what Mike wants to hear.I texted Scott asking what I should expect and he hasn’t responded so I guess we will see.