Wednesday, September 30, 2015


when i was informed nearly a year ago that my wonderful job was going away, i was given a couple of disingenuous excuses. they assured me that it was nothing i had done, i had performed at a high level, it was just a new course that was being charted because "LEGO isn't ready for co-creation." this despite countless articles by business journals and sites to the contrary (i link to just one of dozens). the other thing i was told is that my position was being converted to a marketing job and that i just didn't really fit with that because, "you're not commercial." i ran through my cv in my head, stumbling over decidedly commercially-minded companies like microsoft and maersk along the way and felt bewildered. i numbly accepted that news, because what else could i do. i was in a state of shock.

i had sensed that there was a reorg in the air in the weeks leading up to that fateful day, but i hadn't at all seen it coming that there would be no place for me in that reorg. it left me feeling not only sorrowful that my wonderful job had disappeared for reasons that seemed lame at best, but also that i had lost my ability to read people and situations and quickly understand them. and it has, i admit, knocked me off balance for nearly a year.

over the past year, on three occasions, i've been in the final pool for a new position with our favorite maker of plastic bricks and on every occasion, i came in first runner-up. it felt like i was beating my head against a (plastic) brick wall. the only feedback i've received on any of those losing propositions was that i was "too intimidating." a piece of information that is so far from how i feel on the inside, that i didn't know what to do with it, other than stir it up with the other oblique statements i had been given and try to make sense of it. that proved impossible, so what i did is that i gave up and started looking for jobs outside of LEGO.

one month ago, i applied for a very interesting-sounding marketing content position with one of the oldest shipowners in denmark. as you know, i'm a bit of a ship geek from previous jobs in the industry, and i'd long missed that world. just a few days after i sent my application, i was invited for an interview for a different position than the one i'd applied for - one which had been advertised earlier, but which i'd missed. i gratefully accepted and it went well and i was invited for the second round last week. and lo and behold, i was offered the job yesterday. and guess what? it's a marketing job. so i guess it turns out that i am commercial after all.

a delightful and quick process (getting hired into LEGO took more than six months from application to contract) goes a long way towards healing the wounds caused by those disingenuous excuses about my co-creation job. it makes me feel that i can once again trust my inner voice, read situations and that i am once again seen and valued for who i am and for my experience. it makes me sad to admit that the way i was treated by LEGO made me doubt all those things and feel strangely invisible. this was compounded by running into that duplicitous manager the other day and having him nearly refuse to shake my hand in greeting, even tho' he was shaking the hands of everyone else i was standing and talking to. i actually had a nightmare about that the night before last. but now, those nightmares can be put behind me.

i will still love the ingenuity and cleverness of the plastic brick and i am happy to have had the year i had as LEGO's co-creation manager and my immediate boss there was probably the best boss i've ever had, but i am also happy to be putting it all behind and returning to the world of shipping.

it helps a little bit that the new job is in copenhagen, so i'll get to return to the real world, at least during the week, a bit as well.


Ariadne said...

Congrats! Heads up! Remember!You are good at what you do!AriadnefromGreece!

Unknown said...

Julie, so glad about your new job. Congratulations! And even more glad that you are now surfacing again. I know it's been hard, and disappointing but you're now where you were meant to be! :) B xx

Elizabeth said...

congratulations with your new job ... enjoy it!

Sammi said...

So, I saw over on facebook that you were leaving LEGO and I had no idea this was why (I have been away from the blogosphere for a while)! I am so sorry! Also, do they know you? Intimidating? Seriously? That made me angry for you!

Anyway, it sounds like you've found a perfect new job, and I wish you all the luck in the world for it.

Tons of love X

celkalee said...

Great news for you and for them as well.

Delena said...

Your post brought up bad memories that I experienced in my job before I retired. I worked 27 years in a govt job and two years before I retired I had the misery of working for a new boss hired from Eastern Canada (I guess Alberta did not have qualified persons... or a person within who did the job in a temporary status for two years). Anyway, instead of working my last two years in harmony I was treated very poorly by this excuse of a boss. He would not speak my name and did not ever say good morning to me as he did his token walk about. I tried so hard to be respectful to him but there was just something about me that he did not care for. For my retirement send off I did not want a big send off. I actually had nightmares about that for years. In an office of only 20 and all of us being like a family I just wanted a small lunch in the board room. I didn't even want to sit at the head of the table. All that know me, know that is exactly how I roll. Anyway good ole Boss Dave didn't even attend (he told my immediate supervisor that he had business elsewhere to attend to. Being at noon hour I thought to myself "wow you are a dedicated worker... NOT). I was however, so happy he didn't come. Always the jerk he popped his head in 20 minutes into the luncheon and gave me my Retirement plaque with my years of service engraved into it. He said,
"Delena thank you for your service of 25 years". I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Dave it's actually been 27 years as the plaque says"!
The red faced man apologized and left the room. For my position they hired a girl who was so qualified that she couldn't spell "occurrence" and she only lasted a couple of months before she quit. I call it karma.....