Meet the New Art Director…
After graduating from college in 2001 with my degree in Graphic Design, I landed a great job with a clothing catalog company. This company hadn’t been around very long, and they needed a graphic designer to help build their catalog up. Of course I was thrilled with the challenge!
I had an amazing boss…the best boss I have ever had. She valued me, and I valued her…it was a wonderful relationship. She wasn’t an Art Director, but the Marketing VP, and we would bounce ideas off each other. She gave me total creativity…it was great!
Through the years, the department grew, and I became the Senior Graphic Designer…I even had an assistant. We worked really well together.
End of Year 7 – my boss and the owner had a falling out. It was quite unfortunate because they were really good friends, and I was surprised that this happened. My boss was so distressed that she quit her job, but then reconsidered and asked for it back, but by then it was too late.
The owner ensured everyone in Marketing that their job was safe as long as we were loyal to him. Of course at that time, the economy was in turmoil and there was no way I was going to leave the job even if I wanted to!
After my boss left, I proved to the owner that I could still complete the catalog with the help of the Marketing Assistant Graphic Design Assistant…we worked out tails off…and it looked great! I felt confident that my job would remain intact.
A few weeks later, the owner called us in and told us that they hired a new Art Director. Usually they would notify me if they were thinking of adding someone to the team…not this time! I was shocked and confused because as Sr. Graphic Designer, I felt I did an amazing job, but the owner wanted Marketing and the catalog to go in a new direction, so he hired an Art Director…we’ll call her “Witch.”
Witch told me that we would be completely changing software for the catalog layout. I had worked with same software for 8 years, and now they were changing it…and I was not notified until Witch came on board.
I requested that I be sent to class to learn this software ASAP so I can help out with the catalog right away, but Witch said, “Oh I can teach you” and “Let me know if you have any questions – I’d be happy to help!” Hmmm…so through the weeks, Witch did no such thing even after I requested her help. At times after asking her a question, she would bitterly reply, “I have no time to babysit you!” Wow…her true self was coming out.
I decided to pay for an online course in order for me to learn this software on my own.
The owner wanted to see some new mock-ups for the catalog, and so as I learned the software, I came up with some awesome layouts. When I told Witch about them, she said, “No, I will present MY ideas to the owner first. If he wants to see something different, then we can show yours.” I was in shock.
I had a very bad feeling in the pit of my stomach especially since my responsibilities as Senior Graphic Designer were slowly becoming hers. In the end, my task was reduced to renaming all of the hundreds of files in the file catalog…I knew something wasn’t right.
Last spring, HR called me into their office. I was never called into their office – I was a great employee! I figured it had something to do with my 401K. When I saw the CFO sitting in the office too, I knew something was wrong.
“Well, we have some bad news. We have to let you go.” JUST LIKE THAT! I was in complete shock! I demanded to know who did this to me. They said that “Witch” told the owner that she could handle my job and hers by herself and I am not needed. So 8 years gets crushed by a person who did not even have their first review yet. I asked to see the owner, but they said he left for the day…”figures” – and that’s what I said. I was escorted by HR down the long hallway, & as I passed by Witch’s office I shouted “Thanks lot!” I wanted to add one more word starting with the letter “B” at the end of the sentence, but unfortunately it didn’t come out. Witch couldn’t even look at me…
As I packed up my things, my Marketing friends came to see me. I warned them that Witch was not who she seemed…that she had a mean streak to her…and that she would have a hard time by herself.
The weeks went on and I got some news through the grapevine. One day Witch through a major hissyfit because she couldn’t find some files…well duh…I hadn’t finished renaming the hundreds of images…LOL!
About a month later, justice was served! I was notified by my former boss (the one that was awesome!) who was notified by the photographer of the company that Witch was FIRED!!! Wicked had confronted the Marketing Assistant (who was promoted to my former boss’s position) and majorly yelled at her in the parking lot. I’m not sure what the reasoning was behind it, but the next day, Witch was given her walking papers…and she flew away on her broomstick!
I felt closure, and for the first time since I was laid off, happiness!
Today I am working as a freelancer and am doing well. Of course I took a big pay cut, but I’m content with my life.
This post was submitted by Genvieve.