Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, January 17, 2013


I quit one of my jobs today.  Next week is my last time there.

This is a gig at a state agency, where I do pretty much the same thing I do at the other places, but in line with the exact process they have for doing this stuff.  It is still all employment related and I do not do much of the social service work there, but the way it works is significantly different from what I do elsewhere.  It just is.

And, I am happy to do whatever and however they want things done.  Frankly, it is that kind of other-side-of-the-brain stuff.  Like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand or taking a different way home from work or making yourself eat sausage right after someone tells you what it is made of.

Like that.

The person who is in charge is the person who had been practically begging me to come there and work with them.  We met at a whole bunch of city sponsored employment and youth events.  I liked her right off.  Every time we would see each other she would mention that she wanted me to come and work with her.  After I left home and started this new life it was possible, and so I did, about, what, six months ago, or something.  I learned their method and, and I can truthfully share that I am good at it. 

The only problem is that she is difficult to work with.  Like, really difficult. 

I spent a lot of time training to get with their program and, like I said, I am good at it.  She is snarly, and not in a good way.  She snarks at the people who work there, even though, to my mind, they are already doing a fabulous job.  I do not see her much when I am working, being off in my own section, so it is always surprising when she has something mean to say to me.

Seriously, I do whatever she wants, how she wants it and it is never enough. 

There have been several incidents when I wanted to quit.  I did not because I am not a quitter.  I stick with whatever is happening.  Not always to my benefit, but it is what I do.  So, I did not quit.  I stayed and tried to keep out of her way. 

Today, she berated me in front of a client about his choice of paper, how many copies I wanted for him (the usual amount that we give to everyone) and criticized one of the things he wanted on his document.

She and I have had conversation about this.  The bottom line is that if a client wants something a certain way, that we offer what we feel are better choices, but the client is the decider.  Even if we think something a little different might be in his/her best interest.  That is how they do it and I am happy to comply.  And, I am happy because the focus of the work is to do what the client wants as long it does not compromise her/his ability to find work. 

The client was embarrassed and probably wondering why I was so half-assed about defending the work we did.  Well, I was stunned.  Like totally stupefied.  Stupefied or not, I let him down.  After he left, she again told me that I should not have put what the client wanted on his documents.  I replied that that I offered him several options on form and how to write things in the way that he/she wants his/her information presented.  And, on and on and on.  Then, some more.  Then, as I walked away I remembered that I had found a toll-free telephone number for her and turned back, just in time to hear her make a really mean comment about me to another employee.  They did not see me seeing them.

You know, the truth is that there are a million different ways to craft these documents.  Put a few dozen professionals in a room, give them the same client with the same information and the result will be documents that are similar, but vastly different in particulars.

Perhaps the worst part of this is that she talks to me in a condescending voice, huge smile on her face the entire time.  I am accustomed to dealing with this.  I figure if the regular employees can handle it, so can I.  They are there all the time; me, just one day a week.

No, I am wrong, the worst part is that she did this in the presence of a client.

I walked back to my area and closed my computer and gathered my stuff and when I passed through the larger room, I went to her office.  She was not there, so I asked another supervisor to please tell her that next week would be my last week.  He said fine, that he would and I left.

It was completely impulsive and as I walked to my car I knew it was, finally, the right thing to do because I felt fine, you know, like it was the right thing to do. 

And, I felt relief that I had only one more day to be there.  If she calls and tells me that they will cancel next week's clients, well, that will be fine as well.  I hope that she does not call, as I do not feel like discussing any of this.  That is me avoiding.  Too bad.  But, I would like her to cancel the appointments.  Lordy.

So, I am cool and groovy and everything is cool and groovy and I am feeling sad at just one more failure.  I am taking this personally.  I did not have to quit.  I could have stuck it out somehow and just avoided her as much as possible.  That seems too stressful.  It is also not supportive of me making a decision that is in my own best interest.  I can do that for my clients, fight for them, support and help them discover what they need, how they want to achieve it and, maybe, if we are lucky, access their heart's desire.  That magical thing has happened more times than I can count in the three and a half years that I have been doing this. 

I then go grocery shopping (mood altering, truth be told) and I am wondering why I am not feeling sad or something.  Then, after shopping and not buying the cake I wanted, choosing turkey wings instead...yes, I know, stupid decision, but it is too late now...I start home and on the radio they are talking about sports movies.  Movies about sports, like, oh gosh, Field of Dreams and like that.

The guest mentions Kevin Costner and that he has made a lot of movies about sports, mostly baseball, I guess.  That Kevin is good in these movies because he is so likable and believable.  The guest quotes one of the lines from a golf movie and it is one of those crystalline moments.  Perfect synchronicity.  Perfect words that express exactly what I am feeling about this whole work thing.  Perfect.  Like really perfect.

I repeated the line several times, but I had forgotten it by the time I got home.  So, I had to browse until I found it.  Second link.  Yay.

The line is: 

"That’s what the golf swings all about…it’s about gaining control of your life and lett’in go at the same time."

Seriously.  How perfect is that!

I did that today.  Yay me!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! There are far too many bullies in this world. You know they are the problem eh? Not you, try and remember that. Not all things are worth fighting for or saving.
    A great quote about quitting for you....

    “Quitting is not giving up, it's choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it's realizing that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it's learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.”
    ― Osayi Osar-Emokpae, Impossible Is Stupid
    So there! :D