Final word

February 27, 2010

I have finished.

I know that I promised you the Dumb Boss chronicles, and have woefully failed to deliver.  I’m so sorry.  Just before Christmas I signed a Deed as part of my departure that says I can’t say mean things about the Company, Dumb Boss included.  I kind of feel that new posts about his evil escapades might be in breach of that, even though I’ve remained anonymous this entire time. 

So, I thought I’d wrap this blog up, even if just for now, as I am free.  Free of him, free of the Company, free (for now at least) of Corporate Lunacy.  On Thursday, I fly out for 5 months’ travel.  I will still be blogging, but under my real name, and for me and friends only.  If you have been reading this blog, thank you.  If you’d like to stay in contact, please leave a comment and your email and I’ll be in touch.

It’s time to wrap this puppy up and let you know how things finished (which of course they never really do: this is Corporate Lunacy, after all).

With the change in ownership, and after I was told my role was redundant at the end of February, my reporting lines moved to a great group of people – both in our business, and our new holding company (ie 2 reporting lines).  All of these people were wonderful, supportive and ethical.  My local Business Unit line went to a man I have admired and been in awe of since he arrived nearly 2 years ago.  Suddenly, there was someone to follow; to learn from; to admire.  Someone who calls Dumb Boss “evil”.  I wish I could report to him for longer.  On Thursday he said to me: “if you had been reporting to me for the last year none of this would have happened.”  Leading me to conclude that Dumb Boss was absolutely behind my demise.

I told my new bosses at our new owner about the problems I had with DB.  I worked closely with them to hand over the team and wish them well.  They are already getting feedback like mine from elsewhere, and their Group General Counsel already hates him.

Yesterday was my farewell, and there were tears, and hugs.  I had turned that team around, and my job was done.  Not without its dramas though: someone had called the restaurant and tried to cancel my lunch.  This was most certainly the Manipulator, of 2 1/2 years ago, who had kept in touch with those lingering evil-doers who remained in the team.  You see, when she had been escorted from the premises for her evil deeds, which was done a couple of weeks before she was due to leave, I recalled she had a farewell planned and, in a panic, rang to cancel the restaurant as I thought the farewell was off.  Needless to say, it was still on, and this was her way of telling me she knew what I’d done.

Our Company Secretary, also free of Dumb Boss, had grown brave and told Dumb Boss’s new boss (who she admired and trusted) that he should speak with me.  Two days ago, I met with him and unfolded the evil.  I had been so worried that I needed to NOT sound like a lunatic; to NOT seem to be spraying on Dumb Boss on my way out; but to convince this man that he needed to at least watch out for DB’s evil ways.  As it turns out, I needn’t have worried.  He had already seen the evil, the bullying, the manipulation.  His own team had told him they would not work with DB, and he asked me the very question I had been wondering for the past 2 years: do I think DB is stealing from the Company?  You know my answer.  This honourable man, though, might be becoming a victim of Dumb Boss himself.  DB has already convinced this man’s boss that he is invaluable and must be looked after. 

I wished him well, and offered to help in future if I could.  It was like passing a mantle – the legacy lives on, but the good news is that a great many people at the new owner have worked Dumb Boss out.

My other focus has been on helping my team work out how they will do without a General Counsel.  Not any easy task for them, and they have already started to suffer.  I will miss them, and don’t want what has been built on my sweat and blood to crumble as I go.  Time will tell, though.

Of course, Dumb Boss struck one last time.  At the end of last year, I held a team building event that was a Treasure Hunt, with everyone receiving a prize.  We had money left in the budget after a year of cutting every corner, and morale was low.  Since Dumb Boss had also cut our budget for 2010 before he hived off our cost centre, mainly so he could fund more flying monkeys, I also bought a “pool” of gift vouchers for use in Reward and Recognition after I had left.

Dumb Boss saw this expense come through and went straight to the CEO, who agreed it was in breach of policy and I should pay it myself.  My new boss found out and he and the head of HR told the CEO that should not happen.  My new wonderful Boss broke the news to me.  “Don’t spend one ounce of negative energy on this.  I am going to sort it out.  Send me an email telling me what this was for and leave it to me.”  Naturally, I did and (after my new wonderful boss amended it to remove my ranting!) he sorted this out with the CEO and told him it was Dumb Boss’s over-reaction.  At my farewell, I thanked him, not only for the things I know he’d done to help me, but also for those I will never find out.

When I went around yesterday to say goodbye, I went by Dumb Boss’s office.  He said “This has worked out well for you.  If I could get a redundancy, I’d take it.  You are used to running your own show – the new owner would hav changed that.”  I quietly told him I thought it would have worked; they are good people.  At some point I think he kissed me on the cheek, but I may have blacked out for that bit.  I smiled, the pretense kept up till the very end.

Most importantly, I know that I achieved my goal.  I turned this team around, and am proud of it.  From the most dysfunctional legal team in the industry, one who no-one would join, and some recruiters refused even to place lawyers within, they are now strong, and unified, and talented.  Both from within and outside, this has been recognised.   Sure, there’s still some cleaning up to do; this ownership and structure change can give them the ability to remove the last remaining vestiges of the old cancer within the team.  So many individuals told me how I’d inspired them, touched their lives, changed them.  What could be more humbling, and more joyful, than hearing that?

In the end, even I enjoyed great leadership there, and Dumb Boss recedes.  A year off now stretches before me; I can barely comprehend it.  Free.  Free.  Free. 

At last.


Do no go Gentle

December 17, 2009

I was recently asked who my favourite poet is.

Even though I don’t know much more of his work, my response was Dylan Thomas for his deeply moving and challenging “Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night”.  A poem to his father, who had led a militant and active life, and who Thomas despairingly watched become weak and gentle on his final descent.

I read this out at my father’s funeral; a very small family-only affair.  My father had few friends.  For the most part, he wasn’t a good man, but he was ours.  He was already an old man by the time I arrived.  At 45, he had no practice loving or looking after anyone but himself, so I guess he had trouble showing that love to his wife and family.  He had so much potential, and achieved amazing things in his early life.  But somehow he let that die and allowed his anger, fuelled by way too much alcohol, to suffocate his good sense. 

I can’t remember many days that were not filled with either anger, or the overwhelming fear that it was almost upon us.  A childhood lived on egg-shells, his mood often divined by the speed at which he drove up our driveway returning from the jobs he always seemed to hate, and which he seemed to pack in with a walk-out or final angry moment.

When his power over us had begun to wane, I learned to stand up to him.  I suppose this is what made me determined to stand up to Dumb Boss every day – to stand up for my principles and not allow him to make me live in fear the way I had all those years.  Once someone asked me why I resisted him.  My ethics and my role as General Counsel was one reason; probably my childhood was the other.

I always thought of my father when I read the poem, wanting him to make more of a fighter for real life.  I always cry when I read this, especially when I reach the part about catching and singing the sun in flight; living in grief and not even realising it until too late.  Sucking the last out of moments when you are nearly out of them.  It speaks to me of thinking you achieve so much in your life, only to realise in the end that time has passed, the sun has nearly set; you wasted it. 

Corporate life is just like that.  You keep going, Christmas after Christmas races by and suddenly you realise how much time is behind you, and how even less is before you.  And, in the end, what have we achieved?  I suppose that Dumb Boss counts his money.  I try and count the things I made better; treating people with kindness and fairness; helping people to be better leaders; better outcomes for the organisation because I was there.

So in the words of Mr Thomas:


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.



Let the Dumb Boss Chronicles begin!

December 13, 2009

The countdown has begun.  Another week in the office before Christmas, and a month of leave and a trip to New York for New Year!

As of today, I have a mere 28 working days in the job before unemployment, a massive cheque and FREEDOM descend.  Ahhhhh.  I picture myself on that plane, readying myself to spend 5 months in the Mediterranean.  Eating grilled fish and salad.  Walking.  Wandering.  Sleeping in.  Swimming.  Thinking.

The lunacy of Dumb Boss continues but it skims off me.  Apart from finalising my severance (the big debate is whether they will be successful in getting me to sign a Deed to purge them of Dumb Boss’s many sins), my biggest dispute at the moment involves the date I start reporting to the COO (the BEST of all dudes I have come across in corporate life).  He says it’s on 1 Jan.  I say that the CEO’s announcement implies it’s now.  We banter.  I send him things to sign off; he sends them back with the message “I’ll sign this in January”.  I quack.

Yes, quack.  I’ve let the COO know that this little duckling has decided he is its momma…quack quack quack.  We laugh together.  LAUGH!!  So long since I did that with my boss.

The COO is a legend within the organisation.  A breath of fresh air.  He speaks the truth.  He calls Dumb Boss “evil”.  He LOVES it when I call Dumb Boss’s minions the Flying Monkeys.  Everyone respects him.  He even used to be a lawyer!  The biggest challenge is getting him to focus instead of skidding off into some sort of mad tangent when you meet with him.  How I wish we had more time together!  Maybe I’m not missing out after all, though.  I think the COO has been appointed Chief Executioner, tasked with raping and pillaging the shared services areas for the Evil Empire.  A crap job, but at least he’ll do it with humanity.

I may have told you that Dumb Boss, as part of his torture campaign,  refused to approved a replacement EA when mine went off on maternity leave.  Naturally, I use this as an excuse not to attend his meetings and not to deliver him reports – after all, my EA co-ordinated such things and I don’t have her.  The COO found out Dumb Boss had taken away my EA, and told our CEO.  The CEO, in an actual moment of support, told Dumb Boss to give me an EA.  Naturally, the evil trog never did…The COO asked me a couple of weeks ago whether Dumb Boss had reinstated my Executive Assistant.  Noooooo…and the COO was MAD.  He was going to speak to the CEO again.  Yayyyy!  I had supporters, albeit silent ones!!

Naturally, I ponder why Dumb Boss so overtly disregarded the CEO’s directive.  Was it him being an asshole?  Or was it because he thought he would never be caught?  Because he knew his white-anting of me had kicked in, and the Evil Empire would soon oust me?

Other supporters have started coming out of the woodwork on Dumb Boss.  Another of his peers- the head of Distribution – has noticed Dumb Boss deleting my name from emails…so the Distribution dude copies me back in!  I LOVE IT.  What FUN.

One thing I’m mindful of is that I will soon forget the evil that Dumb Boss has caused.  It will fade into my memory banks the way the pain of childbirth distances itself in time for a mother’s decision to go a second round.  So, I have decided I’ll take time chronicling it.  From the beginning: My JobInterview.  When, if I had reason to suspect, there should have been clues I to make me run a mile.

Coming Soon: Part 1…



December 5, 2009

Corporate.  Lunacy.


Corporate: Lunacy!

The Company changed hands last week, and now we are owned by the Evil Empire.  Must say that we are missing our old parent.  These new guys don’t seem to know what they are doing.  The worst part is that they are trudging all over our business and acting like they do.  Everyone is feeling it.  The juggernaut. 

When they announced the acquisition, they promised publicly that they would take the time to understand our business, they wouldn’t make any big changes, they would only make changes if they were thought through and made sense, blah blah blah.

So, naturally, a week before the acquisition completed, I was told I didn’t have a job.  That my team will report to the General Counsel for our country, and since I’m a General Counsel too, they don’t need me any more.  But, of they’d like me to stay until the end of February to help with transition.  At first, I was overjoyed.  I practically shimmied out of the meeting with the HR director and Dumb Boss, twirled into the lift and lambada’d into my office to drop the news on my management team.

But a couple of things bothered me.  First, legal wasn’t going to “point” to Dumb Boss any more: his reign of terror was over.  My team would point to someone too junior for me to work for, but I’d also have a dotted line to my favourite person in the whole leadership team.  Sigh. 

Then there’s the issue that they wanted me to work some of my notice period and I’d have to have a normal performance review.  WITH DUMB BOSS.  You gotta be kidding me.  Was anyone expecting this was fair????  I told them they better bring back the number we had agreed before or my head would explode.

Finally, it started grating on me that they didn’t even take half a minute to work out how we operated, what I did.  They made the decision ON THE BASIS OF AN ORG CHART.  What lunatics.  Pity it’s not a great surprise.  They must, by definition, assume I do nothing.  No doubt Dumb Boss thought all his Christmases had come at once when he heard the idea. 

Anyhow, I’m feeling OK about it especially since I get to have my year off in the end.

However, there is some good news.  Dumb Boss is losing power FAST (he has lost Legal, Risk, Compliance and Company Secretariat) and he is scrambling around desperately for power and to spray his ferretty opinion in everyone’s faces.  And, let’s not forget: since I am leaving, I can make his downfall my number 1 priority. 

After all,  now I have nothing left to lose.


New Twist and a midnight mistake

October 17, 2009

In a twist of weirdness that only my lunatic corporate life could throw up, everything seems as though it’s about to change (well, not everything, but you’ll see what I mean).

As I revealed in my last post, I have decided to leave and had blown the whistle on Dumb Boss’s bullying and madness and was set to head off into the sunset with a stack of cash and a plan to do nothing for a whole year.  I think I also told you our company was bought out, which I was thrilled beyond belief about – a fantastic smokescreen for my departure that could form the basis of an explanation for decades to come!

The two events however seem to be incompatible.  The head of HR called me and said our deal’s off.  No signed deed was in place because I didn’t trust Dumb Boss and wanted to stitch them up so he’d never as much as raise an eyebrow about me to anyone else.  So, now the new owners will “repoint” the support roles like mine (meaning freedom from Dumb Boss perhaps???) and seem to have called a freeze to any big staff changes.  DAMMMMMMMNNNNNNN!

So many factors now in this equation, where do I start?  I was OK about it at first (hell, at least I’d keep getting paid) and maybe I could wrangle a deal anyway if they took responsibility from me and made me report to someone less senior in the organisation.  But…HANG ON…I might now look like a lunatic in front of the CEO and head of HR and can’t ride into the sunset after spilling my guts on Dumb Boss…and what if I am stuck reporting to him after all, making no change and continued imprisonment in my dark musty hole?

OK, I decided the plan was to carry on as usual.  Pretend nothing was wrong.  Stay calm.  Until I went to a meeting of Dumb Boss’s direct reports, and he hands out the revised department budgets for 2010 and HE HAS CUT MINE BY 10%!  I have probably not told you yet about how DumBo [NEW NICKNAME -CHECK IT OUT] sets budgets.  Oh, please let me.  When I first arrived in my job (and remember my mandate was to bring change to a desperately under-performing and low morale team), I found out in my first week that he had cut my budget the week before I got there.  Yep, you read that right.  The week before I got there.  A pattern seemed to be forming – he had also cut part of my role out without telling me the week after I signed my contract, but that’s another story.

Then, a few weeks later, I was asked to cut it by another 5%.  Except no-one gave me my budget so I spent nights in my sad new office in pathetic tears not being able to work out how much money I had.  How was I to turn around this team, many of whom were dramatically underpaid, without money to do it??  Then, in the budgeting process, he cut my budget again by ANOTHER 5%.  When I rang him / emailed him asking to discuss the budget with him and tried to explain to him that we needed MORE money, not less, I got the Dumb Boss Brick Wall.  “The budget is the budget” was the reply.  “You are a senior person; you should be able to work out how to make the department work with the budget you have.”  And that was it. 

No meeting.  No engagement.  No discussion.  And this process has repeated itself again and again for the last 3 years.  My team is barely coping with our workload – my PA is non-existent as she’s on maternity leave and I wasn’t allowed to replace her.  I have people stretched to breaking point.  But, because we were all asked to save money, we went without.  Doing the right thing.  And now, because we have “coped” with the lower resourcing, DumBo has decided we can afford to lose more money.  “There’s no longer a GFC” he proclaims, “so we don’t need all these lawyers”.  He seems not to have noticed that we have had more lawyers than this for years, with diminishing numbers, the massive wave upon wave of post-GFC regulatory reform coming through, and the humungous legal workload that integrating the two companies will involve.  Or how tired my team and I are.

Plus, it seems we were the only team in his area being asked to work to a lower budget in 2010 than we had in 2009.  All his Flying Monkeys got MORE dough.  They of course claimed they didn’t through the use of dodgy accounting techniques like using provisions to pay for their areas.  But, on paper, it didn’t seem fair and my management team were furious as well.

OK, now it’s time for me to confess something bad: I have a midnight email compulsion.  As I felt the wave of stress return to my mind and body because I was trapped, I reverted to my wicked ways (it’s been well over a year since my last fierce email to DumBo I promise).  So I drafted him an email telling him how unfair this was, and could we discuss it, and practically accusing him of stacking the finance budgets and taking money from legal before we were cut loose and he could no longer dip into our cost centre to fund the Flying Monkeys who suck up to him.  I suggested that he remove MY role to save his money.  Naturally, although I drafted it just to make me feel better, I went just that leeeeeetle bit far.  And sent it.  To him and the head of HR. 

Yes: oh dear. 

Not quite sure of what I was thinking.  In my defence, it WAS 2.07am.  The guilt kicked in pretty quickly.  Part of me wanted them to turn around and give me the flick.  Part of me wanted the HR chick to see how desperately stressed I became again under his evil empire.  Then the part of me that wished it was still in my drafts folder started wondering if I should do something to avert disaster.  Apologise??  Heck no!  He’d sent me WAY worse emails than that.  Plus, I had to make the point…

One of the Flying Monkeys from Accounts fronts up 2 days later and declares that my budget was targeted because I had asked for 4 new resources…so they cut them out.  WHAT?  “in what universe do you think I would imagine I would have 4 new roles approved?” I shrieked.  He confessed he found it illogical.  And then when I worked through my budget with him, he realised he had it wrong.  I felt a little better and a little worse at the same time.  “I need to go back and see DumBo” he promises, “We’ll have to revise your budget target”. 

Not sure how this one will turn out.  However, the good news is that something nice happened as well.

One of my team connected with her counterpart at our new owners in their legal team.  Despite my whipping myself for months and my massive loss of confidence due to DumBo, the reaction of the legal team of our new owners (a monster-sized company) was somehwat unexpected.  Dumb Boss had told me I might have some reporting line into the General Counsel for our country…someone I had met, and who was WAY too junior to be my boss.  “It’s like you reporting to one of us!” declared my management team.

However, one of my old team works at our new owner in the legal team, and it seems she had been providing wonderful reports about me.  Their general reaction was  “Fantastic!  We hear such great things about [me].  She’s a really rigorous lawyer and charismatic leader.  It will be great to have her in our team.  Of course, she’s really senior so she’ll have to report straight to the Group General Counsel.” 

Pathetic old me cried – I really understood then the depth of what Dumb Boss had done.  I remembered again what it was to be respected and highly regarded.  One of my managers was with me – her reassurance was that our team gave me that praise, that they knew how good I was, and what I could do; that it was only Dumb Boss who had no idea.

The next day, I managed to speak with the leader of our integration stream, a very senior employee of our new owners, and a former lawyer herself.  She confirmed I would report to the Group GC, that he was a wonderful man.  I hinted that I would love the change to happen sooner rather than later.  “Message received” she purred.  “Dumb Boss has asked to be consulted about the new reporting lines for the legal, risk and secretariat areas but he’ll be pissed off.  We don’t do that around here.  We just make the decisions and get on with it.”

Is this a new future?  And have I screwed myself over with that damn email?  Has the CEO seen it and written me off? 

Is Dumb Boss finally losing power?


Decision Time

August 30, 2009

Oh, hasn’t it been a while? So sorry. Much has gone on.  Let me try to update you.

I’ve made an important decision.  I’m leaving at the end of the year.  No, Dumb Boss isn’t finally getting rid of me.  I’m not being fired because we lost that case.  Nothing like that.  I’m just done, that’s all.

If you don’t know, I joined the Company in 2007 to turn around the dysfunctional Legal team.  Thankfully, everyone acknowledges that I’ve achieved that.  So, what was next?  It’s fair to say that Dumb Boss isn’t helping to facilitate My Next Big Step.  Plus, the international opportunities that I joined the Company to access have shrivelled up since the GFC knee-capped the joint.   At the Company at least , I’ve meandered into my personal dead end.

For what seemed like a long time, I kept updating this blog with Dumb Boss’s considerable sins.  I tapered off as I slowly came to take his lunacy for granted in some kind of corporate Stockholm syndrome.  And to realise that he has them fooled.  Not all of them, of course.  Most of his peers know he’ll end up with his face on a wanted poster and think he’s evil.  But those above him buy his act, and I just came to realise that his staggering ability to manipulate the truth meant my concerns about him would never gain traction – he was too good at covering his tracks. 

I knew things had gone too far when one of my direct reports shut my office door, and sickly explained how Dumb Boss arranged for him to be approached to review some legal advice that I had given.  All because Dumb Boss didn’t like the answer.  Even though I told Dumb Boss that outside counsel agreed with the view I had expressed.  My direct report refused.  When others hear this story, they are horrified.  When it happened, although it registered as wrong in my head, I barely flinched.  I had finally come to accept his bad behaviour as normal: it was time to go.

But not before I took my issues to the head of  HR, unfolding 2 years of stories about the control freak.  They tried to have my reporting line changed.  Although the CEO was happy to do it, our Group requirements for GC reporting wouldn’t permit it.  Then, the choice: stay or go?  Exhausted from all of it (and possibly not in the best frame of mind to make the call) I decided to go.  I laid out the ground rules: I would stay until the end of the year, have them pay me a shitload of money for breaching my employment contract, and they couldn’t say crap about me. 

It’s been over 9 years that I’ve been a General Counsel and, as much as I’ve loved it, I’m done.   The advent of Corporate Risk Management roles means that the GC role has slowly receded in importance in many organisations – I am continually amazed at how many things legal is kept out of in place of the Chief Risk Officer.   I have no interest in becoming a CRO, so it feels like sunset time for this part of my career.

So, you’re wondering: what am I going to do?  Truth is: I don’t really know.  Not yet.  I need to breathe in deeply, over and over again, shut my eyes and actually listen to the world around me.  Then I’ll go see if there’s something left of the life I forgot about living while I was clambering up the corporate ladder.    

I am trying to develop my poverty plan: what if I never work again?  Can I afford just to sell up, move to another country, grow my own food and never let corporate life darken my doorstep again?  Of course, I’ve spent plenty of time changing my own mind on this.  Every time I think about it, I find a breath catches in my throat.  The reaction of others has reinforced the two-edged vibe of this decision.  Some have been caught, wide-eyed and fearful for me.  Those few in my team who I have told are upset but they’ll go on without me.  Most of my friends, though, have practically cheered. 

When I broke the plan to my brother, he said “Fantastic.  We have been so worried about you.  I know that, if you don’t leave that place, you’ll be dead before you’re 50”. 

So, I’ll take 9-10 months or so off (before I start begging others for work!).  Travel for half of it.  Perhaps I’ll come across me again somewhere on the Mediterranean.   I’ll walk the Camino de Frances across Spain, wile away weeks in the Greek and Croatian Islands.  Finally visit the Cinque Terre and Lake Como in Italy…straddle Europe and Asia in Istanbul.  Find me again.  Write a book. Work out a future.



April 13, 2009

So, we ran the case…the one to test whether what I had done was right or wrong…and lost.  Big time.  It could cost the organisation tens of millions…And now I feel it’s all my fault.  Trying to keep breathing.  Trying to forget, really…and not doing such a bad job of that.  I know there were plenty of others involved, that I need a balanced perspective or I WILL end up wearing the blame, and others who were there, pushing, making bad decisions will find me an easy target.

The Directors went ballistic, as did Dumb Boss.  I had a meaningful discussion with one of DB’s colleagues about being prepared to go – for a price.  Dreams of my year off were reinvigorated.  Budgets prepared for up to 2 years without a job.  A friend offered to buy my house.

Dumb Boss called me to a meeting – was this to be it?  Apparently not.  He was calm and understanding.  No sign of being got rid of yet, however much I might want it.  Why is he reasonable when I least want him to be?

Got word today that a couple of nasty individuals in the industry are spreading rumours that I should be fired…this is people who have barely met me!  But people who wanted my job.  Life is funny, eh?  Oddly, at the moment, I could care less.  Just get on with it.  Keep doing your job, I say to myself, and pray this doesn’t blow up to be any bigger than it is already. 

I can’t believe that doing my job is costing me my reputation…it seems so unfair, esp being judged by people who couldn’t cope even half as well in a crisis, whose integrity is questionable at the best of times.  For some reason, I am seeing my career as if an observer – this is the crossroads for me.  Will I stay, or will I go?

I could really do with the time off.  To renew myself and find my way.  I can’t stay much longer in this den of nastiness.