Nick's Journal
Ad 2:
2010-06-08 23:25:35 (UTC)

The Demotion

we all know of the promotion. that happy, magical event in
which you are finally acknolwedged for all of the hardwork
and effort you put in day in and day out with a new title
and maybe even (if you're lucky) a slight pay increase. but
what do we know of the demotion?

sure there's the firing. the firing is horrible. it's a
time of uncertainty, fear, worry about the future. but
there's a finality about the firing. although it may hurt
your feelings in the short term, in the long term, we
humanbs being so amazing at rationalization, we manage to
tell ourselves that it was "for the best."

but a demotion is an entirely different animal. this topic
happened upon me as i was called in to some 25th hour
negotiations. i came in dressed to the nines and marched to
the large conference room. on my way there i stopped by the
offices of some of the attorneys that i work with at this

they sit on what is known as the "exec" wall. a place with
huge windows, beautiful views, and lots of sunlight. in
contrast you have the cubicle area where all the minions
work. as i happened by there i noticed a new face next to
one of the "vice-president" titles on the door.

hmmm. that's odd, i thought that dan worked there. i wonder
if he got fired. but so it was in the business world and i
shrugged, made a slight wave to the new hire and moved on.

on my way back from the exec wall i happened by what used to
be the old broom closet. past tense because now i noticed
that there was in fact a window, somewhat haphazardly,
carved into the door. inside, i noticed a desk and a chair,
along with pictures...with dan in them. it took me a second
to realize that dan was now in the broom closet. and the
broom closet was fucking dark. at least in the cubicles you
get some of the natural sunlight and hall lights, but the
broom closet, being at an angle is far enough away from the
natural light and hallway light that the only light there
was a small, round, dingy lamp, dangling threateningly from
the ceiling.

then there was dan. and quickly i recalled an email a few
weeks back. that someone knew, bill or something had been
promotoed to vice president. how bill was an outside hire
and "a real asset to our company." then i realized that dan
should have been the logical choice.

it all congealed for me quite quickly when i spoke with our
legal secretary. apparently dan had been passed over, but
they didn't want to fire him because, of course, he knew
everything and the new guy didn't. so nobody was saying it
but it was quite obvious that htey decided to cram dan into
the broom closet for the amount of time it would take the
new guy to "gain experience..." then it was goodbye dan.

talk about taking someone's dignity. not only do you pass
him up on the promotion, not only do you ask him to train
the guy who was replacing him, but you stick him in a broom
closet in some odd way to save him some face (thereby not
completely demoting him to a cubicle). i don't know what
would be better, at least with a cubicle you get the natural
light, instead he is hidden like a vampire in a makeshift

dan is a weird guy, i'm not gonna lie. he's just the kind
of guy who doesn't have any social skills. i once happened
to see him at a self-checkout and i smiled and walked
towards him to do the usual stupid banter normal people do
and he quickly ducked his head and avoided me. in short,
nobody really liked dan, nobody could remember why anyone
liked him enough to hire him, but for the past 7 years he
knew the ins and outs of the business.

and as i was leaving my meeting i walked by the place one
mroe time, only this time dan was slumped in a chair,
sitting across from the desk that used to be his, staring
out at a view that used to be his, talking to a man who now
had the job that should have been his. to say that dan was
pissed and resentful doesnt even begin to cover it. the
conversation was way too painful to even relate here. i
kind of felt bad for the outside hire...i mean it's not like
he wanted this. and dan was being such an ass to him (as he
usually is with people anyhow). but the higherups don't
care, it made financial sense to go with the outside hire,
and shit...if we can string dan along to train him? why the
fuck not?

but a demotion is worse than firing because you are still
flogging the already sick and dying horse. course you may
disagree and point out that dan has it good because at least
he's making an income while (hopefully) looking for a new job.

but there's an element of dignity. and they took all of
that from dan. every shred of it. they took his view, his
office, his title, and are now forcing him to (as literally
as one can write it figuratively in this context) dig his
own grave by helping another "gain the experience" that he
is so indispensable for.

it's times like these that, even though i struggle here and
there i am so glad i am my own boss. i dont' think i could
do that, i tie my self-worth way too much (some may say
unhealthily) to my job and what i do. to be stuck in a
broom closet, with an awfully cut window in the door and a
dangling light fixture would make me the most depressed
person on earth.

but then again, i guess you have to pay the bills. i'm more
capitalistic than anyone i know, but sometimes i can't help
but feel saddened by how much capitalism and the corporation
demean a person's self-worth.