October 20, 2006

A Short List and A Long Story

A Short List:

1. I can’t believe Christmas is only 2 months away. I really need to start thinking about what I’m buying people this year. As for me? My needs are pretty simple: gift certificates to the following stores: Home Depot, Lowes, B. Moss, Sephora, NY & Co, The Limited, and Best Buy. I also want a 30G iPod in the worst way.

2. Our anniversary is Monday. I can’t believe we’ve been married for two years! It literally just flew by. I told Hubby not to get me anything. We’re going on vacation in February, and I’d rather spend the money there (on something fun, like the Movado watch I’ve been dying over! It’s like, ½ the price in the Caribbean!). So a card will suffice quite nicely.

3. It’s Friday! It’s Friday! Hooray!

4. I just did something really stupid while in the McD’s drive-thru. I had an urge for a Filet-O-Fish sandwich. (No, I don’t know why. Honest. I just wanted one. ) So, I’m on the phone with my mom while I’m in line, and she asked if I was at lunch and I said yes and for some stupid reason, I wanted a filet-o-fish. She didn’t hear me correctly, and asked if I was at Chick-Fil-A. As soon as she asked me this, they asked for my order. So, without thinking, I ordered a Chick-Fil-A combo. At McDonald’s. Fortunately, they have one of those video screens, and got the order correct, but as I was pulling forward, I realized what I said. So I had to actually ask the girls working the window if I asked for something they don’t even sell. She said yes. I had to apologize and explain what I did, and that they actually got my order correct, despite my best efforts at being a total moron. Fortunately, they both had a fantastic sense of humor and found this hilarious. Only me.

And a long-drawn out story:

I didn’t realize that some of you didn’t fully know what went down at The Place I Do Not Speak Of a few months back. So, here it is, the story of What Really Happened At The Place I Do Not Speak Of, or Why I Took An Unannounced Blog Hiatus:

As you may know, I used to keep a now-defunct blog. In that blog, I chronicled my misadventures at The Place I Do Not Speak Of, and basically just how unhappy I was to be there. As it turns out, I ended up with the job I have now, and was able to give my notice. And life was going good…Then, two days before my last day at The Place I Do Not Speak Of, my blog was found. By my employers. To this day, I’m still not sure how, but I’m reasonably certain that it had something to do with the fact that I was stupid enough to blog about hating my job while I was at work. I don’t think that I need to really elaborate on the ways in which their displeasure was expressed to me, do I? In any case, here it is, the Wednesday of my last week, two days to go, and I was asked to leave. So I left.

Initially, I was thinking to myself “Sweet! Long weekend!” and then it turned into “how the hell did they find my blog?” and then…it started to really hit me. And I took a big step outside myself and put myself in their shoes for the first time, like, ever, and thought about how I would feel if I were a boss and found a blog written by one of my employees that was so negative. And I started to feel really bad. Like I was somehow a mean or disloyal person or a bad person, somehow. So, I deleted the blog. But, the internet being what it is, it continued to live on for a while (thank you, google cache!) and just like when you say something when you’re mad and you can’t unsay it, you can’t un-blog things either. And I did feel bad – so much so I didn’t really eat or sleep much for about a week after it happened. I didn’t really TOUCH a computer for about a month or so. I don’t know what I thought was going to happen if I did. It was weird.

Anyway, I did e-mail my former employers, apologizing for my unprofessionalism. I asked to come in and apologize in person. Amazingly enough, they let me. So I went. And I told them that I was sorry for using the internet on company time. I was sorry I didn’t speak up sooner (although deep down, I knew I couldn’t talk to them). I explained that my writing was my way of getting MY frustrations out of my system so that I could get my work done, done correctly, and done in a timely fashion (which they can’t argue, because it WAS). In any case, I told them I was sorry for my complete and utter lack of judgment and professionalism, and that I hoped they didn’t think that I was a bad person – I am, in fact, a good person who did a really, really stupid thing. I also told them that I didn’t expect forgiveness from them just because I apologized. I didn’t even expect them to accept my apology, but that didn’t change the fact that I thought that they deserved one anyway.

Well, basically, they told me to have a nice life. On the way out the door, my nemesis told me to go and f- myself. I smiled, waved goodbye to her, hopped in my car and left. But I was shaking when I did. MAN! Did that ever suck!

With that said, I’ve not really talked about the incident much. Hubby wasn’t overly thrilled with me, but all he said was “nice job. At least you’re out of there. It’s over.” And that was the end of that. And I haven’t discussed with ANYONE until this past week when I had lunch with my old boss (yes, the one I adore). He finally confronted me about it and said, “just tell me. It WILL be all right.”

So I told him. All of it. (he knew how unhappy I was, so that was no shock). But I learned something. Verbalizing your mistakes does two things: one, it makes them very, very real. Very tangible. But at the same time, it makes them smaller. Like, when I said it, I somehow lost a little of the weight I’ve been carrying around with me all this time.

I don’t know how to explain it. I regret being so stupid. Honestly, I do. I regret the way I handled the situation. My pride got the better of me, and I was somehow determined to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I should have just quit. Honestly, I should have just walked away long before I did. Instead, I tried to tough it out and ended up making a bad situation worse. Most of all, I regret how mean I sounded. I really do. And I think I will always sincerely regret it. I don’t think I’m a mean person. At least, I like to think I’m not.

But on the other hand, I was well within my rights to vent my frustration. I had to. I would have lost my mind if I hadn’t. I had every right to be unhappy and not like where I was, or how I was treated. I was written off before ANYONE there ever gave me a chance. It was like they had a meeting after my first week, and when they all got together, they decided as a group, “we’re not going to like her.” As a result, I had to work twice as hard as anyone else in order to “prove” I was worth my salt. I had to justify EVERY move I made – from how long I was gone for lunch (I’m sorry I was gone an hour and TWENTY minutes instead of the one hour, fifteen you’ve allotted. I had to go to four banks for you today, and it’s Friday and the lines were long, and there was traffic. I didn’t actually EAT anything on my *unpaid* lunch hour, though. Who actually eats on their lunch hour??), to why I called someone and said what I did, when I did, or WHY I was asking this person or that person a question. I had to watch my back constantly and pay extra careful attention to not only what I said, but how I said what I said, and who I said it to. It was a nightmare. It made me physically sick to go there. I went to the doctors seven times in 15 months for various illnesses. Prior to my first visit, I hadn’t been to the doctor’s in 5 years.

I also remembered exactly why it is I love my old boss as much as do. While he didn’t exactly praise my efforts, he at least validated that he understood the place I was coming from, and that people do, in fact, make mistakes. And he told me he doesn’t think any less of me for it. And that helped lessen a little of the load, too.

So there you have it: The official story of What Really Happened At The Place I No Longer Speak Of, or Why I Took An Unannounced Blog Hiatus.


SassyWife said...

Wow. I knew that it happened, but I didn't realize how traumatic it was. I am glad you were able to talk to your boss and get everything off your chest.

I have been thinking about privacy and my blog alot. My ex-coworkers stalk my blogs, everytime I move, I am found. But I remember, this is the internet. I am once again trying to find a new blog elsewhere. I'm still hooked on blogging though. And I'm glad you're back. I'll floow you to where ever you move!!

writer said...

yay i found you! i will update my links.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm glad I can bitch about my workplace as much as I want... Mainly because I'm the boss and my workers are yet in school... :0)
That is some story girlfriend!
island jen

Anonymous said...

Yahoo it let me comment!!

Lindy said...

My blood started boiling right about when your fashion-challenged nemises told you to ef yourself. You are a better person than I am. I'd have decked her. Seriously. I'm not sure I could have let it go. The only thing you did wrong was leave your internet history for them to find. Most company's have policy that personal usage of the internet is allowable on lunch, etc. And how you express yourself 'anonymously' is your choice. If you blogged while you were supposed to be working.. okay, they've got you on time wasting, but were you really a time waster at that job? Let's not split hairs. The bottom line is that what you said rankled because it was true. I can't believe you apologized or felt badly for your behavior. You've shown a strength that few could boast. Well, like your husband said, it's over. Thank you for dredging it up one more time for us.

Amy said...

I think Lindy made some good points. And, I'm going to be sure to try to purge as much as I can off this computer when I leave (which may be sooner than later...). I hope you feel a bit better having got all that off your chest. Thanks for ripping the band-aid off again, just for us.

sylvia said...

SW: It was surprisingly more traumatic than I thought it would be. It's amazing how much I still think about it. I realize it wasn't that long ago. but still...

And as for the move - back at ya. Tell me where you are, and I'm there!!

Writer: I'm glad you found me, too! :)

Jen: I have no idea why it won't let you comment. But I'm glad it (finally) did!

Lindy: I wanted to deck her. Seriously. But I'm glad I didn't. I felt bad enough that I *became* the drama I spent so much time btching about - if I would have decked her, I would have sunk to her level and become an even bigger hypocrite than I already felt like.

And I suppose you're right - my mistake was leaving history behind me. As for feeling bad, there's part of me that knows I probably shouldn't, but I do. I don't feel that I owe them an apology for hating where I worked, but I did owe them one for being mean. When I say I should have quit long before I did - I'm talking two months into it, I should have left, instead of toughing it out for 16 months.

And for the strength? Thank you. Coming from a strong woman herself, that's quite a compliment!

Actually, yes, again, talking about it has helped a bit with moving on. At least you all know what happened now. :)

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