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 24, 2013


Today was my last day at my state gig.  Last week I gave notice.  It probably should have been two weeks, but another week seemed like just about as much as I could take and not keep feeling terrible about myself and my failure there.

I thought that she would call and cancel my clients for today, but that did not happen, although when my phone rang in the car on the way over there, it was a number I did not recognize, thought it might be her and did not pull over to answer.

Turns out that she never got the message I left for her.  When I told her that today was my last day working for her she asked if I was O.K., in reference, I guess, to how ill I have been and it really touched my saggy little heart.  I said that I was fine and was going to ask if we could talk in her office, she went right back into the stuff she chided me for last week.  Even then it was funny.  My last day was a complete surprise to her.  She took it well, though.  I mean, it is not like I am leaving them in a lurch or anything.  They take/make appointments for me only a week ahead.

So, as she stood there, patiently waiting for my to reply, I again went through all of the process and that my ultimate goal (should I have such a thing in the first place, said safely in my head, by the way) was to allow my clients the opportunity to have their documents exactly as they wish, as long as what they want will not be of any detriment to them.

She then shared that she agreed with me, but that her preference was that her clients do things her way because employers like her way, and something (I lost the narrative for a moment there) about how she is accountable to them, the employers.  All the employers?  Everywhere?  Anyone specific? 

You know, in a way, from her perspective, as a state agency, she is most likely and absolutely correct.  She does have what is likely a whole mess of dunderheads in the capital somewhere who have nothing better to do with their time than mess with the good-to-excellent work being done by the minions in the towns, cities and villages.  At the bookstore we used to say that the weekly and totally wonkified changes that came down with insane regularity were created by a room full of chimps.  That always made me feel guilty about the comparison because chimps would never do anything that ridiculous. 

Even though it is much belated, chimps, please accept my apologies.

Back to the day.  I do, finally, get what she is about.  We talked more, I did not mention any of the times when she yelled at me or anything.  She believes that she is doing the best job she can under constraints that I can only imagine.  Actually, having worked for government agencies, I have an excellent idea of what she has to go through on a regular basis.  So, I just let it go, knowing that quitting was the best thing I could have done and if I cannot manage to do things...or not do things...that are in my own best interest, then I am doomed.  Stuck.  Somewhere.  Caught in the thrall of the past.  I will not have it.  So, there.

Two more interesting things.

There was a new volunteer in the department.  She comes from the senior training program and today was her first day.  She is really nice, interesting and interested in what she will be doing there, which will be to answer phones and add people to the lists for the computers.  She was doing a nice job, very competent and busy, and still she was instructed on how things are done and the standards and how "I do not allow games," which I guess is a reference to her rules.  Truly, I am just guessing about this, but it must be what she meant.  Yes?

The other, significantly more weird thing is that she was upset that I was leaving.  And, I get that as well.  She is doing what she believes she needs to do and has no problem with any of it.  Factor in that it is probably also personality driven.  If it works, then it works.  Since it does not work for me, my time is better spent elsewhere. 

Anyway, she was not happy.  She kept asking me why I was leaving and telling me that I was welcome back whenever I liked.  How much she was going to miss me and that she wished she had known that it was my last day as she would have had a present for me.  She told me that she was looking forward to having me back for the summer youth programs.  Like that.  And, she wanted me to make certain that I talked to her before I left.

I did.  One more weird thing is that we are as good and tight as friends as we ever were, something we could not have had is I had staying in that job.

I think that it went as well as it did because I was prepared.  I told my director at my other gov gig yesterday that I was quitting the state one.  Her advice was that I share why I was leaving.  I do not do confrontation and said so.  She told me that there was a chance that my supervisor at the state gig might not know how she comes across, and even if she did know, at least I would have shared that.  I said that I would think about what I wanted to say, and she told me that I should let her know if I wanted to practice, role play.

I think it was that conversation yesterday morning that helped me define this for me.  I helped me to think about why I am doing this and how I was going to handle that last day.  Today.

This is huge.  I mean, like really huge, significant and important to making it possible for me to keep making progress in my life.  This whole thing, the quitting, the waiting for today, my conversations with my supervisor and how successful today was. 

1 comment: