Oct 6, 2010

Matt at Work: The Pee Pledge

Day 340

I debated whether or not I should blog about my final day at WestHost. Every time I write it, I come off a bit bitter and I don't want everyone to think that I am angry for how my tenure at WestHost ended.

It ended as abruptly as it began. I didn't think that I landed the job since it took so long for them to get back to me and I didn't go in that morning with the mindset that was going to be my last day. But it is what it is.

I do admit that I was extremely unhappy at my job. My new boss Clint didn't know what to do with me. There were days were we never spoke. And I realized that I was alone in my job. I sat alone separated from my old friends in my old department. But I still did my job and I pride myself that I did it well. But I didn't think I was doing a good job since I was barely covering every thing. They did try to help by having the girls in the Accounts Department help me when I was busy but I hated that. They were already busy and I know deep inside they hated doing sales. So this made me more of an outcast. About two months before I quit I hit rock bottom. I decided to slack off as a call for help but that didn't work either.

I drew this on a Post-It Note and would add a nail each time something happened that made my job unhappy.

I still liked the job and I liked what I was doing but I was just overwhelmed. And I was being micromanaged to the Nth degree. I would miss ONE call (either because I was away from my desk or on the horn already) and I would be asked by both my boss Clint and Smalls. The reason the call was dropped was an easy one to figure out. I was either away from my desk (which I had to do a lot with sales testing and training and dedicated server orders) or I was on the phone and no one was around to help me. Or I was assisting Tech Support in taking their phone calls which left the Sales Department vulnerable. It was an ugly, endless cycle.

I hated it so much there that I finally cleaned out my desk and took all my crap home. I was ready for a change, I just didn't expect it to happen so quickly.

It was a morning like any other morning. The day before had been a bit busy and some calls were dropped. So I was interrogated by Smalls and then I had to explain it again to my boss Clint. All while trying to get a head start on the day. They would ask me why I didn't get those calls that dropped. I don't know and I don't remember why those calls dropped. It was the same explanation, I was either away from my desk or already on the phone. It could only be those two reasons! It was harassment.

A few minutes later, I get this fun IM (instant messaging) telling me that I need to make sure that someone is covering the phone ALL the time. So what do they expect me to do? Go and log the Accounts girls into the Sales phone whenever I have to leave my desk. I replied and said I would but it would be difficult since I have other responsibilities and I cannot wait for others to help. Clint replied and said he understood (yeah right) and then told me that I have to ask someone to cover the phones whenever I am away from my desk. I get it Clint. You don't need to spell it out for me. I have this conversation every stinking day. I was promised that they would hire a Sales assistant MONTHS ago but they have not done a thing to help me.

"So I need to get permission to pee and use the bathroom."

And that is what started the ball rolling. I guess in hindsight I shouldn't have said that but that was what I honestly felt and thought. I think that pissed Clint off because he knew essentially I was right. This is what bugged me about Clint. He was a company guy to company people but to his "friends" he could bag on WestHost all he wants. He did it all the time before I was put in his department. But when he became my boss he had to toe the company line. He was hypocritical.

I left to go home and take Logan to his first day in Kindergarten (I had previously arranged it) and when I got back to WestHost I had to meet with Clint again. Instead of handling the situation himself he went to Smalls like a kiss up. And they came to this answer. In order for me to keep my job, I had to write a paper detailing why I want to keep my job and what I would do in order to keep it.

Thus the "Pee Pledge" was born.

Then they told me to take the afternoon off and go home and think about what I would write to WestHost. It only took me an hour to come to the decision to leave WestHost. And I felt good about it. I went in early the next morning and wrote an e-mail to the staff informing them of my decision to leave. I could have really thrown WestHost under the bus but I wanted to leave with my dignity intact. I didn't want to ruffle any feathers, I just wanted out on my own terms. And they didn't see it coming. I am sure that while they saw me typing they thought I was signing the Pee Pledge.
I would have loved to send this pledge out!

I went in to Clint's office and told him I appreciate what he has done for me (bold face lie) and wished him the best but it would be best if WestHost and I parted ways. I felt a little bad for Clint. I liked him before he was my boss and I think he is a decent guy but he was also a Convergys manager. And therefore put himself over every thing else, even if it meant stepping on someone else. Another manager at WestHost, someone whom I thought was a friend, had the Convergys mentality and stabbed many other workers in the back. I know that he was the one whispering to Clint to get rid of me. He was just as hypocritical, he would bag on WestHost and when I would bag on them too he would run and tell.

I then grabbed my stuff to go up and visit with Brian to tell him that I was quitting. I stopped by my desk and sent the staff that e-mail (to everyone but Smalls) and I made the long walk up the stairs. I entered his office and gave him my binder and said I wanted to leave. Brian was shocked, I really don't think they thought I was going to quit. He had to quickly run and print some paperwork (and knowing how anal he is, he really should have had that done so I knew I caught them with their pants down) and conducted an exit interview. He said that he really tried to help and I just shook my head in disagreement. But I signed the papers and I was a free man. I did have one condition and that was to have two weeks to get my websites off of my free account and into a paid hosting account with WestHost. Brian agreed and said he would tell Chris and they would give me a week to move my stuff.

Yeah, that lasted a few days. It was a good thing that I started to download my stuff that night. They deleted my account three days after I quit.

Right after I walked out, I went and visited my friend Zack who was at his new job. As soon as I walked in, Zack and Chris (another WestHost casualty) stood up and gave me a standing ovation. Someone had already texted Zack that I quit. Good news travels fast.

I hope that didn't sound bitter. Quitting WestHost was the best thing for me. Now I work with my dad, now I have more time to spend with my family, I have lost about twenty pounds. I feel healthier, I feel happier.


  1. Nice e-mail of resignation! I have often had those thoughts about other places I have worked and to some very small degree about some Managers I have worked with at my current job. But I've been here for almost 13 years because it is a great place to work, despite the fact that there are still some relatively stupid people with too much authority ... but I'll outlive them and fix things after they're gone. :)

  2. Boy, that must have felt so good to give WestHost the old "heave-ho" like that!! I would have given you a standing ovation! Loved the "Pee Pledge"!

  3. Hi Matt, its been fun for many of us 'old timers' to read your blog posts about your time at WestHost! Some of us have Google Alerts that we use for marketing and client communication purposes with our different brands, so we've enjoyed memory lane.

    Sounds like things are going well for you and your family, which I'm happy to hear. Whenever I watch a Jets game, or see highlights, I often think about the worlds biggest Jets fan who live right here in Logan!

    All the best!

    Brian aka Smalls :)

  4. ...ZING...

    ...Krystal, Heidi and Sheree

  5. Matt, why have you not mentioned the "pee pledge" until now? Or perhaps you did, and I simply forgot it. Regardless, now that I read this, I realize that there were more than a few rules regarding urination practices at Westhost... everything from how to pee 'everyone must now sit when peeing', to when you can pee.

    Still, your post reminds of good times in what was a bad situation.

    I commented on your other WH thread as well.