I moved into the office, but not before someone sitting near to my cubicle sent an email to Kyle complaining about how I identified the company and myself on the phone.
Have I already talked about this?
Let's say my company is called Apple. We have that degree of brand recognition in our market.
But Sergio decided that with the growth of the company via acquisition that we needed a new identity. So we changed the company name from Apple to The Sunshine Company.
1. Nobody has ever heard of The Sunshine Company
2. Nobody has ever heard of me.
So when I called customers to introduce myself I said, "This is Goldie at Apple" so they would take my darn call. Then, during the call, the customer would say, "Haven't you guys changed your name to The Sunshine Company? Why would you do that? That is so, so stupid. We hate it."
And I just had to smile and toe the company line, because badmouthing the CEO is poor form in most places.
Someone sent Kyle an email complaining that I was saying I was from Apple and not from The Sunshine Company.
Kyle sent it to my boss because why should Kyle deal with this crap? My boss emailed it back to me and said what's up with this?
I went to my boss and said, "Is this a kindergarten? What is this tattling crap? If someone had a problem, why didn't she just say something to me? And HOW IS IT HER BUSINESS ANYHOW?"
I was cranky.
My boss is in a big corner office with windows and a door. He is insulated from all of this so he doesn't care.
Then Bridget pulled me aside.
"Trust no one," she said.
Well. That's not something I am used to hearing from a co-worker. But it was valuable advice and certainly fit with what I had figured out so far.
Fast forward a few weeks. I am in the office. I have a door. I close it. When I close the door, it is blissfully quiet. So I no longer need to comment on the radio. I no longer have a dog in this fight. My problem has been solved. I am happy.
I work at home one day because I have a doctor's appointment in the middle of the day. I check my email when I get back from the doctor. There is an all-office note from Kyle: Effective immediately, there will be no radio in the office.
Except - wait. Crap. Somehow, this will be blamed on me.
The next morning, I go straight to Kyle's office. "What's the deal with the radio?" I ask.
"Close the door," he says.
"I was just up in HR, minding my own business, taking care of an insurance thing," he said, "when the HR director, Bill, asked me to talk to him. I went into Bill's office, wondering what I had done wrong. Turns out that someone had complained to HR about Tanya."
Well. Now I was interested.
"Tanya came into the office late on Tuesday. The radio was off. The radio was off because there was a problem with the reception and they couldn't get a good signal from any station, so everyone who was there agreed just to turn it off for the day."
"She walked in and without even asking for information, went straight to the radio, turned it back on, and said loudly enough that everyone in the office could hear her, 'I am TIRED of this petty shit!'"
My jaw dropped. Whoa! This was even better than the Hand of Stop Talking!
But why hadn't I heard this?
"When was this again?" I asked.
"About 10 on Tuesday," he answered.
Ah. Right when I was across the street at the public library in one of their tiny conference rooms, having a phone interview with Big Company. No wonder I hadn't heard anything.
Kyle continued. "So someone complained to HR about her. And you know Bill - they think they need to deal with everything. I don't know why someone didn't just come to me if they were unhappy about Tanya. I'm Tanya's boss."
He sighed. "So Sergio got a phone call and so did Sofia and everyone had to get involved and I'm going, 'This is all about a darn radio?' and I cannot believe this is how this organization is run - that the CEO has to be involved in this kind of decision, but the new rule is no radio."
If Tanya had just kept her mouth shut, she would still have her tunes. She has nobody to blame but herself.