Sometimes it’s possible to sum up something in a one-liner – see the post’s title.

My direct boss (team leader) was laid off recently. The company maintains he wasn’t laid off. What they did was offer him a non-management position at, and I quote the laid-off person, “insultingly low pay”. As a consequence our team had been lead-less for a while. My current boss, let’s call him Dave, tried to hire one of his buddies. But this buddy let us wait for a month, then declined the offer because he got something much, much better.

So far, so good. Except we didn’t have any usable candidates in the pipeline at all, except one very, very junior applicant.

“I’d like to give him a chance,” Dave told us. “But I’ll need a Lead in your team.”

My colleague, let’s call him Bob, said immediately: “I suggest Secretgeek. He has the most experience here, does a good job, I think he will be able to handle this and we work well with him!”

So Dave asked me if I’d do that, and I told him I would be very happy to give it my best, and that I’d be willing to put in the overtime needed.

“Very well,” Dave replied. “I’ll run this by my manager.”

Two weeks passed, and nothing happened. Finally Dave admitted he had more applicants, including a very senior employee. “He’d be a good Team Lead,” Dave said. “Sorry but I will have to go with that.”

“Alright, your decision,” I said and went on my merry way.

After the interviews were over, Dave called me into his office.

“None of them turned out to be Team Lead material,” he confessed. “Would you still be willing to do this?”

“Of course.”


A few days later he announced to the other team leads that he’d be making me “acting team leader”, and that he would announce it shortly.

Some more days passed. Nothing happened.

Then I passed Dave on the floor.

“Interview,” he said. “Your new boss.”

A week later this new boss started.

Gee. Thanks so much for the trust, Dave. The very least you could have done is tell me that another candidate had popped up.

Anyway, I won’t take this too personal. It was my closest scrape to actual real “people-handling” management yet, and it was a nice dream while it lasted. I am sure I will get another chance eventually.

I am equally sure it won’t be in this company.