Thursday, June 03, 2004

Sunday, February 29, 2004
It's so hard to know what to do. Decisions, big or small, change the direction of our lives. Leaving a position is no small decision and I felt in my heart, at the time, that it was the right one to make. But we talked it through and now I'm staying, at least through the year. I feel better and know that it wasn't the right time for me to move on.

I have to learn how to speak up for myself, and give someone the chance to change before I just walk away. It's so easy to just flip the switch and say "it's over." It's clean, it's quick and it takes less emotion. Just turn it off. Hanging in there, keeping the relationship going is so much harder.

posted by jill # 10:44 PM
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Sunday, February 22, 2004
Well, I'm doing it. I have searched my heart and I know it is the way to go.

Tomorrow, I plan to tell my director that I am applying for another position in a different department. I don't expect it to go well. But here's the truth: It's no longer fun. Inspirational leadership goes a long way with me. Being given times to slow down and rebuild are important. Not being yelled at is key. And feeling as though I'm part of a team, part of the big picture, and exposed to upper management is crucial.

Geez, I sound like a twenty-something twit who is just starting their career. But I don't care. It's all important to me and I don't like to be yelled at. Did I mention that already?

posted by jill # 8:48 PM
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Friday, February 20, 2004
I've been crying for two days, trying to decide what to do.

I made the decision this morning to leave my job. I'll either transfer to another division or find an external position. I plan to move into training and enjoy life again. No more stress over hitting the sales targets. No more having to manage people who continually try to steal from the company. No more working 12-13 hour days and collapsing on the weekends.

Sure, I'll earn less. A helluva lot less. But I don't care anymore. We've put the remodel on hold until I know where I'm going and how much I'll be earning, and this alone gave me a tremendous amount of relief.

I remember being in a similar situation several years ago. My boss didn't respect me or provide support. I was afraid to talk, to share ideas, and most certainly afraid to provide updates on what wasn't working. Just like now, I'd get slammed. But I hung in there too long in that other job - I should have left 2 years before I finally did. By then my spirit was broken, I was depressed, and I was angry. I have no intention of repeating that experience.

It's odd. My boss is incredibly smart and has been on the job for only about 4 months. But she's amped. Impatient and booked solid. In fact, she's been too busy to process my 2003 4th quarter bonus - the one that should have been paid to me over 6 weeks ago. She's also been too busy to give me my 1st quarter goals. So here I sit, 2 months into the first quarter with no goals. Yeah, I'm sure this is going to be fair.

So I'm done. Done. Done. Done. Finis. Completo. Done.

It's that old adage that really is true. People don't leave companies...They leave their managers.

posted by jill # 5:41 PM
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Thursday, February 19, 2004

2004 has been no great shakes. I'm ready for 2005. Bring it on....and hurry.


posted by jill # 3:40 PM
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I grew up with a mom who yelled. About everything.

She would chase me through the house, yelling, and would eventually swat me when she caught up with me. When I was very young, she used to drive an old Ford that would stall. So mom would attempt to start the car, and 9 times out of 10 she would flood it and we would be stranded. At the stop sign. In the middle of an intersection. Usually whenever we went grocery shopping. I was so embarrassed whenever it happened, I did what any horrified kid would do. I dropped. Right down to the floorboard and I'd curl up and hide. That usually made mom even madder, so in addition to being stuck on a road with people honking at us, my mom would yell. At me.

One would think this treatment would have dulled my senses, that I'd be immune to someone yelling at me now that I'm 41 years old. Not true. I'm hyper sensitive. I totally shut down and refuse to engage. Then I'm bummed because I feel victimized. Because I didn't stand up for myself.

I'm tired of working long hours. I'm tired of not having fun. I'm tired of being bummed and most especially, I'm fed up with being cut off mid-sentence and told precisely what to do. I am a hard worker, the top performer in this area and a female to-boot. So how is it that I am continually castrated?

posted by jill # 3:24 PM
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Saturday, February 14, 2004
I work with a bunch of Grifters. Not all, but several...and it leaves me unsettled.

I'll be the first to admit that I am naive. I like to believe the best in people and typically accept that when they tell me something, looking directly into my eyes, it is the Truth.

Geesh. I can't count the number of times my employees have lied to me. On Thursday, it was my new sales supervisor. He referred an acquaintance to me for one of my open AE positions. She is qualified and delightful. When I accepted her application I noticed the PO Box. I asked for her street address and got one that looked familiar. HR confirmed it's the same address listed by my sales supervisor.

Hiring girlfriends/boyfirends within the same department is a conflict of interest and against company policy. So I sat my supervisor down in front of me and said, "I'd like you to look me in the eye and tell me if she is your girlfriend." The response was, "No." Of course it was no! Same age, same ethnicity of his girlfriend. Same address. She must be a roommate. And that's the response I'd get from him if asked.

Truth be told, I was offended by this incident but not surprised by it. In the 8 weeks since he joined the company, there have been 2 major incidents that occurred because of his lack of integrity. In the first, he attempted to falsify an HR document. In the second, he attempted to bypass the HR termination process and expedite a termination because the non-performing rep wanted to collect unemployment.

The sad truth is that as a sales manager, I have to spend a significant amount of time monitoring and tracking. How are the reps cheating the system? Are they placing fake orders? Are they stealing someone else's sale?

And now, sadly, I have to be even more guarded about the integrity of my sales supervisor. Because he is as rascally as the sales reps and has the ability to put my company at risk for litigation. Going forward, I will now have Checkers checking the Checkers. It's the American way, eh?

posted by jill # 8:09 AM
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Monday, February 09, 2004
Do you ever wake up and realize that you've become your worst version of yourself?

It's like the way we can't smell our own breath in the morning. Only on a rare occasion do we get a whiff and smell it, recognize that it is even there.

Why can everything be fine, and then one day I look at myself in the mirror and scream? I am nothing like I was in my twenties, far from it. I am tired and bloated and worn down. I used to be carefree and loved to laugh. I rarely took myself seriously. I didn't stress over much - I was so thrilled to be out on my own and earning more money than I'd ever had, I thought I was in Utopia.

Funny thing, I am still in Utopia. I have everything I set my sights on. Good, stable job that I truly enjoy. We have a house that I love. I am married to a fabulous, sweet and generous man. I have 6 very close friends who I will know for the rest of my life. And I am able to purchase most things that I want.

So why don't I take better care of myself and my health? What is wrong with me? I have this odd disconnect - so I rarely realize just how far I've allowed myself to go to waste. I occasionally get a whiff of my state - and it isn't pretty. Just like my morning breath.

posted by jill # 7:57 PM
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Tuesday, February 03, 2004
I've been thinking about my place in history. It occurs to me that I will never truly know what my impact in this world has been. My mind isn't big enough to get it - I don't have the wisdom or the wherewithal to understand how I fit in this world, how my actions or presence have altered the course of people's lives.

How will I ever know what I did that was good? The things I already know about are so small and trivial. Donated supplies to local schools to promote art. Gave homeless people hot meals from restaurants or bags of groceries. Rescued a baby squirrel that fell out of its nest and injured itself. Gave an unknown child a gift certificate to Toys R Us for a shopping spree. Spent a considerable amount of time mentoring a colleague who I recommended against receiving a promotion. Defended a child being hit with a belt by his mother. Drove a drunk friend home after a party.

We don't get the benefit of seeing how we truly impact other people. A kind deed done and I'm on my merry way. What if that child who learned to do art in school because of my donation chose a career in art history later in life? What if that homeless person who got a hot meal from me later kept a child from darting into the street?

Chain reaction. Every action creates a reaction. Karma kickback happens upon ourselves but we don't get to see the more distant impact, the reaction that resounds through person after person.

I was dumbstruck years ago when someone I barely knew came up to me to say "Thank You." I apparently made a kind remark about them one day, and it held significant importance to them. They remembered it for years - enough for them to approach me with their thanks. I had forgotten the exchange and had no idea what I'd said.

How can we make such a significant impact in someone else's life and remain totally clueless? I want to know. I want to be aware of my place in history, how I impacted it and changed the world. Just like everyone else, yes, but in my own unique way.

posted by jill # 11:25 PM
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