Monday, May 30, 2005

The Lesson.

Occasionally, the rose-colored glasses do come off.

I realize that distraction will only dull the pain and not erase it entirely. Soon, I will have to go to the storage unit to clean out all of my mom's furniture. The clothing that she wore the day before she passed away. Her crumpled papers that she refused to discard. Napkins from every social event that she attended at the facility. The experience will be devastating...much like having to clean out my sister's condo and seeing her cane resting in the corner of the living room. Right where she left it on the night that she passed away.

I know that I am handling their deaths by running away and moving away. My spirit is broken and I don't want to work anymore. I've become jaded about the corporate machine and the toll it takes on a person's life.

I really do believe that things happen for a reason. In January, my HR Director informed me that the company had decided to stop giving sales managers an annual merit increase. No explanation why, no advance notice. This decision was made two weeks before I was to receive my review (which was excellent, I learned later) and salary increase.

I was spittin' mad to say the least. I worked harder and longer last year then ever before in my career - all while trying to take care of my mother. I rebuilt an entire team of 35 after a departmental re-org in February, and we continued to meet and exceed our numbers all year. We did it by working weekends and extended hours. I encouraged my team to defy the system and give White-Glove Service. We took a lot of heat for doing this, but ultimately, we scored higher than other departments on customer surveys, and my manager supported us all the way. I asked everyone to give 100% and to feel proud of our results. Because we were doing the Right Thing.

Which made this corporate decision feel really, really personal.

When I voiced my disdain for the decision and predicted staff turnover (they also included sales supervisors), I was admonished for not supporting the company. My response was that the company was not supporting the development and tenure of its employees. Oops, admonished again.

This incident severed my emotional loyalty to a company that I planned to stay with for years to come. If they had handled this differently, it would have been so much more tolerable. But they didn't and it's not.

Which brings me back to Things Happen for a Reason. I believe that Husband and I are meant to relocate and build a different kind of life. One that includes the adoption of 2 kids and possibly one, small dog. I believe that I gave the very best that I had to offer as a manager and an employee to this company. And I believe that I will forever hold my head high, knowing that I worked with integrity and goodwill.

Will I ever be so self-sacrificing for a corporate cause again? No way, Jose.

Life is too fragile and valuable to devote so much time and emotional energy to a company. And now, sadly, I have to deal with the consequences of my decisions: Wishing I had spent more quality time with my mom and sister while they were still alive.