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Greenman
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I worked with an "A" character as an intern, total douchebag.

I read most of your posts, sounds like this person is well aware of the organizational changes going on at the company and is freaked the F out by it. The A that I had to work for did the same crap because I was hired by his boss. A was gunning for his boss' job and tried to use me to point out how bad his boss was at making good hires, total politics. This guy treated me like total shit, and at one point I did point out that I had 3 months there to gain experience and that I didn't see the point wasting my time doing his janitorial bullshit work. He responded exactly the way you would expect, he told me I was brought on to do whatever it was they needed done, and apparently this included him "hazing the intern" whenever he felt like it. The thing is, there were more mature people in the studio that knew what was going on, and they helped me out, and eventually I got moved into a different studio.

I bid my time there, just like you should. Grin and bear it, feel out who's got your back, and certainly have an amicable conversation with your boss.

Being an intern I went in really wanting to work there, hell it was 40k starting in 2001, not too shabby. By the time my 3 months were up I wanted nothing to do with the place. I had an exit interview with the boss who hired me on (great guy) and he asked me if I'd like to start there upon graduation. I told him thanks, but no thanks, explained my experiences working under "A", and made clear that I wasn't interested in working for an organization that would maintain the employment of someone like him. I sometimes wonder if that prick kept his job, hopefully not.

I spent the next 2 years after graduation working shit jobs, with no regrets.
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Waxy
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jesus MF christ.... I sent my boss an email requesting a chat and he said, sure, I'll have A schedule it for sometime this week. So I'm sure I'll be getting five minutes at 5:55 PM on Friday...
abel
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ssssssssssssss
abel
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Sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, that's how some people view freelancers, just barely a step above an intern so you do have to make sure your role and reason for being there is completely known to everyone that you have to interact with. And when it comes down to it, start talking costs. I'm sure your freelance rates are a lot more than what they're paying the intern.
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skinny
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abel wrote:Sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, that's how some people view freelancers, just barely a step above an intern so you do have to make sure your role and reason for being there is completely known to everyone that you have to interact with. And when it comes down to it, start talking costs. I'm sure your freelance rates are a lot more than what they're paying the intern.
Word for word what I posted on the previous page? The robots have infiltrated core!
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cdaisy
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Waxy wrote:I feel like I've learned more about the design world in the past five weeks than I did in four years of classes at school. Nuts!

This is why employers want at least 3-5 years of real experience. Unfortunately most colleges do not offer a class called "Dealing with Bullsh!t 101"
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cdaisy wrote:This is why employers want at least 3-5 years of real experience. Unfortunately most colleges do not offer a class called "Dealing with Bullsh!t 101"

Nice! That made my day.
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fatkid
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Waxy,

I clicked on your little "www" link on your post to your portfolio and noticed that you were female. I once worked for a person who, I believe, thought women were incapable of doing anything worthwhile. If wasn't uncommon for female staff members to be yelled at (he yelled at everyone, now that I think about it ) until they cried. You just may be dealing with a chauvinistic pig who sees you as more of a forced personal assistant than a designer. He may just be an ignorant jerk, I don't know. If you think your gender is at all contributing to your problem, go straight to HR.

For what it's worth, if you can afford to walk away from the job, state your peace and take your lumps. It feels good to say exactly what you have been thinking. This usually isn't very popular and isn't always recommended, but it sure feels great knowing you were able to say what you wanted to say with no regrets.

The other option is to schedule a meeting with his boss, and HR, to discuss your role with the company.

Good luck!
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Waxy
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cdaisy wrote:
Waxy wrote:I feel like I've learned more about the design world in the past five weeks than I did in four years of classes at school. Nuts!

This is why employers want at least 3-5 years of real experience. Unfortunately most colleges do not offer a class called "Dealing with Bullsh!t 101"
just to confirm- the real reason employers want 3-5 years of real experience is so that you've already become jaded and used to the bullshit that you (will) have to deal with?

I don't mean to say the 4 years was a waste- just that I can't imagine anyone would expect crap like this. Or maybe I just got super super lucky with my internships.
Waxy
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Greenman wrote:I worked with an "A" character as an intern, total douchebag.

I read most of your posts, sounds like this person is well aware of the organizational changes going on at the company and is freaked the F out by it. The A that I had to work for did the same crap because I was hired by his boss. A was gunning for his boss' job and tried to use me to point out how bad his boss was at making good hires, total politics. This guy treated me like total shit, and at one point I did point out that I had 3 months there to gain experience and that I didn't see the point wasting my time doing his janitorial bullshit work. He responded exactly the way you would expect, he told me I was brought on to do whatever it was they needed done, and apparently this included him "hazing the intern" whenever he felt like it. The thing is, there were more mature people in the studio that knew what was going on, and they helped me out, and eventually I got moved into a different studio.

I bid my time there, just like you should. Grin and bear it, feel out who's got your back, and certainly have an amicable conversation with your boss.

Being an intern I went in really wanting to work there, hell it was 40k starting in 2001, not too shabby. By the time my 3 months were up I wanted nothing to do with the place. I had an exit interview with the boss who hired me on (great guy) and he asked me if I'd like to start there upon graduation. I told him thanks, but no thanks, explained my experiences working under "A", and made clear that I wasn't interested in working for an organization that would maintain the employment of someone like him. I sometimes wonder if that prick kept his job, hopefully not.

I spent the next 2 years after graduation working shit jobs, with no regrets.
Interesting to hear, and thanks for sharing. I've definitely thought about ditching this BS and going the shit job route for a while but I'm afraid of it then being even harder to get back into things. Could you share how you did get back into things (my assumption is that you did after those 2 years).

At this point, if I had an exit interview tomorrow, it would be the first one-on-one time I've had with my Boss since I've gotten here.

How did you explain your experiences working under "your A"? (aka did your boss just sit there and listen?)
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Greenman
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Well, I never really got out of my search after that, but I did work those other jobs to pay the bills and get by so that I wouldn't have to live back at home with my parents, which, as a side note, take heed of the Gen Y Millennials that refuse to settle for anything less than their dream job out of school; it's a cover for laziness. You can walk into any mall or Big Box store and get work with a degree and employment experience is still experience, design related or not, and while it says something to potential employers about your work ethic and sense of responsibility it is still not as good as maintaining some kind of design position. So don't ditch out if you can help it, most of us have had days where we wanted to grab a box and walk out.

I never had a 1 on 1 with my hiring manager about this A character. After a couple weeks it became pretty clear to me that people thought he was a jerk and I was a much more timid, subservient person back then and was afraid to speak up, I thought it was par for the course. My first interview there was with the hiring manager, but then I had to have a second interview with this A character and one of the other studio managers. I was also treated like shit in the interview and I almost passed on the internship altogether, but later that day when the other studio manager was giving me a tour he actually apologized for A's behavior.

When I brought all this up in my exit interview I was pretty diplomatic about it, he didn't say much, but seemed to already understand. The other part of this is that it was a model making internship and I wanted to be a designer and he told me their employees don't change paths once hired, so that was also a deal-breaker.

If this job looked like a dream job on paper then maybe it will look good on a resume. If it has only been a month or so try to give it some more time or line up another design gig and bail if you think you have no future there. I think you have the right idea feeling out the designers in the office that you can relate to, try to work more and more with them. One other thing I can say is that you should find a mentor there, not just someone that can mentor on design, but on the inner workings and politics of the office. Never expect that your boss, or the person you report to will be your mentor.
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cdaisy
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Waxy wrote:
cdaisy wrote:
Waxy wrote:I feel like I've learned more about the design world in the past five weeks than I did in four years of classes at school. Nuts!

This is why employers want at least 3-5 years of real experience. Unfortunately most colleges do not offer a class called "Dealing with Bullsh!t 101"
just to confirm- the real reason employers want 3-5 years of real experience is so that you've already become jaded and used to the bullshit that you (will) have to deal with?

I don't mean to say the 4 years was a waste- just that I can't imagine anyone would expect crap like this. Or maybe I just got super super lucky with my internships.
Yes. :wink:
I'm being facetious but really there are lessons to be learned in the real world that don't always get covered in a classroom. If you can adapt and become skilled at turning negatives into positives you will do well in life.
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Here's my 2 cents:

This situation is not sustainable, but you must be strategic in thinking 2 moves ahead in how you exit.

1) If you have limited finacial resources, you need to start saving every dollor in case you need to get thru a dry period after you leave, and may need to ride this bad situation out a bit longer than otherwise.

2) You want to leave with your reputation intact. If you burn your bridges or the word on the street is that you are difficult, a quitter, or a prima donna it will hurt you in the long run.

3) You want to use this time to build trade skill, learn how the business works, have some good work for your portfolio, make valuable contacts with your peers and a good recommendation from your boss, which you can call in when you need it over the next couple years.

4) You may have to eat s--t for a short time to get this plan to unfold to your advantage. Welcome to the real world

5) When you talk to your boss, the whole conversation must be about how your presence can better benefit him.
It is not about you.

6) say, "I'm getting mixed messages on prioritization. I can deliver the most monetary value to your department if I do X and Y, but right know I being asked to do Z for 60% of the time. " I'm happy to do whatever best promotes the goals of the organization, and I'd like you to clarify it so I'm best aligned with your key priorties. And my greatest strength is..ABC. You'll get the best return on your investment in me I if can be put on tasks that need that.

7) Project calm confidence and positivity at all times. Good luck.
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Good advice.

any update on the situation?
Waxy
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Thanks Coyote, and yes there's a bit of an update:

Three weeks after approaching my boss about a meeting, I finally get A to put me on my Boss's calendar. He puts me in for a whopping ten minutes... I end up speaking with him for half an hour.

I started off by showing my boss a continuation of some work another designer had asked me to help him on. Then I showed him a ton of projects that I've been working on with one of the senior designers, on my own time at home. He L O V E D the work, and thanked me for being proactive. My pleasure, I told him, this is what I want to do. He then told me, great! let's put it up for the designers to be inspired. This is the way I want them to start thinking, blah blah.

I'm not sure if I've been more insulted, EVER. So I can do all your crap work when you know AND HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED that my skills range far beyond that, then do creative stuff on the side without getting paid, and I don't even get to develop it?

Then when we started talking about my role and responsibilities his tone of voice completely changed and pretty much said everything I needed to know... He said that while he can clearly see what I bring to the table, there's pretty much not going to be a position for me opening up, and that if I was to start looking elsewhere he wouldn't be insulted (like I thought you gave a sh*t?!) and that he would be happy to write me a recommendation.

I've pretty much moved on mentally, while keeping your points in mind, Coyote. I'm putting on more of a smile when I'm given the bullsh*t, but it really helps now that I'm *absolutely* clear on what a joke the management at this place is. I have made some really good contacts and am on the job hunt (once again, sigh).

I may have to be here longer than is probably healthy but it really really helps knowing there are people in the situation who are on my side and trying to help me out.
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