Archive for category career
I’m not sure if this requires an explanation but…I’ve said all along that the one thing Olivia has given me that will not be taken away is the desire to make things better. She’s given me the will and the heart to take control of my life and turn it into what I’ve always dreamed of. For myself…for my daughter…for my husband…for my future children…
So, I’ve written a mission statement, posted it on my wall and saved it in my phone so I can read it anytime I need focus.
I will be the type of wife and mother who supports without attempting to control. I will treat my husband as my equal and my daughter as her own person, not an extension of myself. I will serve my family by cooking for them, planning fulfilling activities with them on a regular basis and organizing our home in a way that allows everyone in our family to focus on obtaining happiness with clear minds. I will teach Lily how to think for herself and develop her own set of principles; I will help her develop her own script and to avoid relying on whatever default she is given by us or her environment.
I will work with the following characteristics in every situation: integrity, honesty, reliability, creativity, enthusiasm. I will make sure my work does not interfere with my personal life.
When it comes to our possessions, I will buy quality items we can afford and that are worth taking care of for years to come. I won’t forget that all things can be replaced; lives cannot.
I will strive to find joy in every situation – or at least look for the silver lining. And I won’t forget about the importance of physical closeness with my husband.
I will be open to friendships outside of my relationship with David by returning phone calls as well as kindness. I will look into people’s hearts for their sincerity and reflect that in my own heart. I will seek to understand differing opinions without judgment.
I will look for and be open to opportunities to provide service and contribute to my community; to show Lily that community service is an obligation, not just a nice thing to do.
Above all, I will remember that I deserve no more or no less than anyone else. Working with others is the best way to achieve common goals.
I will live my life according to these principles which are solid, do not fluctuate and cannot be violated. I will strive to live by them in all I do.
It’s actually quite a process coming up with a comprehensive list of everything meaningful in your life and then simmering it down until there’s no more liquid and you’re left with a rich, shimmering pan of thick, yummy goodness. I’m sharing because I believe when you say something out loud, it has more chance of coming true. Sort of like the stories we tell, or the ones we’ve been telling for so long we can’t remember if they’re actual memories or just pictures we’ve turned into stories, or stories we’ve heard that we think we remember. It’s all a blur the older I get.
What would you put in your mission statement?
I’m going to start recapping my discussions with my therapist (also known as NJ) here so I can refer back when I’m having trouble with my focus.
This week started with immediate issues first…by immediate I mean issues that were presented within 20 minutes of our session. One of my sweet, misunderstood (by me) coworkers has this ability to push me over the edge over and over again. She’s a very sweet woman with no boundaries and a sense of urgency that could run over a train. I’m not kidding. She’s been in Sales her entire working career and raised 2 beautiful daughters who no longer live at home and now has a position behind a desk (though you will never find her there) on a computer, something with which she is intensely incompatable. Because I know how to compose a Word document with pictures and everything, she thinks I’m a computer genius and relies on me a LOT. While this is very flattering, it is equally, and moreso, frustrating. Pile that on top of the boundary issues and suffice to say, we butt heads. I can’t jump every time she needs me and she’s not able to look past her need to see what she’s doing to me (I’m not the only one, either, but what everyone else does is their business). After discussing her boundary issues with NJ and the fact that she probably realizes how annoying she can be to others, I do believe she means well so my goal will be to focus on that fact more in the future. In addition to finding my compassion, I’ll also have to do better at setting my own limitations in her eyes and I’ll carefully walk her through whatever she’s trying to do every time she interrupts me in the hopes that some day she will consider if I really need to be interrupted or not.
Second issue: Olivia’s autopsy results. Believe it or not, I surprised myself by losing my composure and choking over my words until the tears took over and I couldn’t speak. I took the news very well, initially, all matter of fact and quite cool about the whole thing. For probably obvious reasons, I find this a bit unsettling. Again, NJ aptly noted that I’m very good at shutting the door to my emotions while I’m at work in order to speak without breaking down. I do this very well.
What I do not do well is open the door back up when I’m safe at home so my sadness has no choice but to come creeping out the side window into another, sometimes completely unrelated scenario so I wind up looking like a crazy person sobbing about a silly misunderstandings my husband is forced to apologize for. Oh my.
3. This is a funny one. My job is supposed to require travel, sometimes lots of it. I had to go out of town for 3 months (home on the weekends) almost immediately after I went back to work from maternity leave with Lily. My husband was forced (yet, again) to stay home with her, eating whatever he could get his hands on while I ate out at fancy restaurants across the country. That’s how he saw it anyway, as would many men in his shoes, I think. It wasn’t that simple for me. Regardless, travel has since been quite the hot button issue in our house. While it’s a requirement of my job, it’s a HUGE strain on our marriage. As a result of that first terrible experience, I’ve been pretty successful at making a case for me staying in the office while the rest of my team goes on the road. Sometimes it’s not so easy.
To my point. There’s a big trip coming up where most of my team is going to be on the road for about 3 months, again only home on the weekends. I heard my boss was concerned about asking me to travel, considering the circumstances, so I had a preemptive conversation with David and we decided together that it was not the same as it was in the beginning and he wouldn’t have a problem if I had to go. I was relieved and looked forward to passing the good news on to my boss. I’m there if you need me, boss. You can count on me. Thanks for your concern but I think I’m okay. Do you know what my boss said in return? Essentially: Thanks but no thanks. Oh, the irony. Turns out my skillset is quite the opposite of what’s needed for this particular education, seeing as I’m a creative writing major and we’re supposed to be teaching advanced financial selling concepts. If my boss knew how many insufficient funds fees I’ve gotten in my life, she would’ve laughed me out of her office. But again, maybe she has her suspicions, hense the gentle decline of my offer to help.
Also, what a relief.
4. Finally, we talked about the homefront. We’re doing very well. My husband deserves a medal for the support he’s given me and the patience. Not to mention that he’s just as interested as I am in improving everything that was wrong with us before so life only gets better as a result of Olivia passing through our lives. It’s really the only way. Because, if there’s one constant in this whole mess, it’s that life will go on whether you like it or not. And the path of least resistence has always made sense to me. I’d rather be happy than miserable and I do believe that’s a choice.
I lost 3 friends today to “right-sizing.” One friend was closer to me than the others but it hurts the same for them all nonetheless. I’m having a hard time thinking about them without crying. Imagining being escorted out of the building if it had been me – which it very well could have been – is hard to bear.
She was gone so quickly. The one I loved the most. We’d had our moments; our ups and downs. But isn’t that the way it is with family? I’d seen her every day for the past 3 years of my life and suddenly she’s been strategically plucked by some higher power. I may see her again some day. There’s a baby shower or two coming up she may attend. But how can I go to work on Monday without seeing her smiling face to greet me when I finally roll in around 8:30? Not a shred of judgement did she have for me. Ever. She was always on my side, always my ally. Allies are important in the corporate world and she led me in the right direction many a time. She used to assure me that whatever I had on that I was concerned about looked just perfect on me. She would assure me that the boss did trust me, in spite of my childish ways. I was always the first person she’d go to when some drama popped up around us. Who’s going to tell me what’s going on around the office?
I’m just wallowing in my own guilt right now, I know. But it’s just too close, just too complicated, just too unjust.
It’s different when you know someone who’s been fired from a job. In that case there’s someone at fault and they’re paying the consequence. In this case, the company is losing money like blood seeping from an open wound. The company can’t be to blame and certainly not the one being let go. It just sucks.
I was the only one crying today when the announcement was made. Probably just because the feelings had been building since she told me she knew it was going to be her. She didn’t know about the others, but she’d told me a friend of hers in HR had called her the night before. I didn’t totally believe her. Either I didn’t want to believe her or I had become accustomed to the fact that she enjoys being the center of attention. I thought hoped this was another of her games to deposit herself in the center of the attention. I was wrong. I wish I wasn’t.
When I came in this morning, I went over to her to tell her I’d been thinking of her all night. What if it was true? What if she really was about to be let go? What would she do with a disabled husband and no income?
She looked beautiful – full makeup and a dress. She said she wanted to go out with grace. She was planning on hugging each and every one of us, giving us each a special goodbye. I know I’m being dramatic but so was she. What else did she have? She wanted to say a proper goodbye to each and every one of us and you know what? She wanted to make us feel okay. That was her goal. But she didn’t get the opportunity to do that.
About an hour after she dropped a sticky note with her address and contact information on my desk, she was called into the conference room for a discussion. Our boss delivered her scripted, pre-packaged speech and Vicki was let go. She was given options, sure. Did she want to take the severence package? Did she want to wait and try for another job in the company…no guarantee, by the way. Everything was scripted, down to the walk to her car. I never heard a thing. I didn’t even realize it had happened. How could I be so dense? “Didn’t you hear them?” she asked me tonight on the phone. “No,” I admitted. I didn’t hear a thing. It was so discreet. So quick. So seamless.
Vicki drove to Little Rock to see her family when she left. After she complimented the boss on her delivery of the message. Apparently there was no consideration of performance or status in the company. It was all based on position. If you were the unlucky fool to hold a position no longer needed within the company, you were out of luck.
One of the other unlucky bastards was a young dad of a baby girl less than 2 years old, Stella. He might have been the nicest person I’ve ever met. Our last conversation he told me about his trip with his wife to Disney World, without the baby. He went to Disney World because it was a dream of his wife’s. That’s the kind of guy he was. I’d never heard a negative word come from his mouth and he was always willing to do whatever was asked of him.
That’s the frustrating part about this whole decision. It wasn’t the person, or the performance or the person’s status. It was strictly the position they happened to have at the moment. It could’ve been anyone. Why them? Fate. That’s all I can think of.
I haven’t come to terms with any of this as of yet. I don’t know that I will. I’m just terribly affected…even if I’m not one of the affected ones. I’m just sorry, you know? I’m sorry it had to be this way.
Going through some older things I wrote back when we lived in Phoenix sans child (i.e., sans responsibilities) I found this funny entry.
I thought it was funny, anyway.
It was 2004 or 2005, so not like a century ago or anything but a lifetime mentally. I’m including it here, uncensored…unedited. Just remember, I thought I was hardcore back then so I laced the F-word through the threads of my language as if I had something to prove; as if words were the meaning of that something. Okay, I still do, but not in writing…for the most part. Excuse moi.
christmas at the office
so i work for a shipping company and we are so busy right now. not that anyone would want to hear about my crappy job, it’s pretty dull if you’re not in it, but i’m so fucking in it that i can hardly stand it and you’re totally about to hear about it (enough inappropriate prepostions for you?). this is the busiest time of year, by far, and i’m tired. only one more day until it’s all over and i can finally relax and have a lovely holiday w/my lovely asshole, i mean, husband (this isn’t the standard sentiment, i swear).
we shipped our family’s gifts today, which should deliver tomorrow. yes, we waited until the l a s t possible minute and i have every confidence our things will deliver. maybe not by 10:30, but certainly tomorrow, despite all the calls i take all day declaring we didn’t do just that for them. i’m like a professional doormat.
outside of the customers, though, there’s an interesting dynamic in my office worthy of discussion. today, for instance, our managers were randomly giving out gifts. i won this brass picture frame shaped like a school house that had 12 slots for pictures from each grade. my first thought was that i’d never be able to gather together that many pictures of myself, and surely, hopefully, i’d permenantly destroyed my 7th grade picture – the one w/flybacks when they were so not cool and old lady glasses my mother helped me pick out w/the pink tint in the lense. the frame wasn’t for pictures of myself, though, i was told it was for my “first born” and i should put it in my hope chest because it was so me. how it was me, i have no idea, since i thought it was hideous, but whatever. that’s not the point. i convinced this dude who just had a kid to trade me for the insense he got. he was like, “my wife’s allergic to all kinds of smells, anyway.” and i was all, “whatever that means”. are folks allergic to smells? she probably got nauseous easily while she was pregnant not long ago and he’s still confused. one of my other co-workers got a flashlight; she tried to trade w/me but i wasn’t having it, knowing i could do better.
we’re so busy that everyone’s all stressed out so “management” is working really hard to keep the morale up way sky high. it’s working, i guess, because no one’s killed anyone else yet and the gossip is at a strange low. we’re obviously just the right amount of busy because we’re what they call banding together and internal issues are not an issue. every day there’s a little something to look forward to, on top of the thrill of seeing what everyone else wears for “vest day” or “crazy sock day” so we can wear jeans instead of stuffy old slacks and skirts. the santa hats were out of hand on “hat day” and i swear to fucking christ if there’s another “christmas attire” day, i’m going to have to call someone a tool straight to their face. i’ll do it. okay, no i won’t, but i’ll think it.
david’s trying to get weed as we speak, so i’m sure it’ll all be forgotten in no time. in time for tomorrow, hopefully. absofuckinglutely.
[Get it? Absolutely positively…get it? Oh, nevermind.]
I’m feeling flustered and frustrated with my job as of late. Leadership here tends to cater to the old ways of thinking and doing rather than embracing the more progressive ways of being. I feel held back and stifled.
So I’ve submitted my resume to a different company with a more progressive reputation, although it is still a corporation with a priority of making money. While I appreciate the importance of good business sense, I have a hard time reconciling my feelings when it comes to making good personal decisions.
For example, this new career would require my family moving from TN to MN. That’s quite a jump. I feel confident that we would be happy there, culturally, but what about how much we would miss the comfort and security of home? I do have family in MN, but D does not and Lily would not be near her grandparents.
Is it worth it?
How can I know for sure?
My current job is not helping matters. Or maybe it is. I’m getting tired and bored and impatient and it’s going to begin affecting my quality of work if I don’t do something soon.
Or maybe it’s just the rain…