Cleaning house

Thursday, February 01, 2007

'S mise Morag. Co Sibhse?

Guess what I did tonight? Give up?

I went to Gaelic lessons! And had a blast! Scottish Gaelic, nonetheless. I bet you didn't even know that Scottish people had their very OWN Gaelic--I didn't until recently. But you, my internet friends, are much smarter and have the collected wisdom of the masses at your disposal so you likely already knew and just hadn't yet had a chance to tell ME.

So yeah. :)

I got home late from work tonight, and turned on the computer as usual. I got changed, and started supper. I was going to have pierogies. I had sliced up some bacon and set it frying when I went to check my email.

I had one from Bill, but it was from his work account which is usually an indication of a really good joke forward. It was a forward alright, but it was a forward of a forward from a friend advising him of Gaelic lessons starting up at a church hall in town.

It looked pretty cool, and since Joanne has pretty much permanently stood me up for Wednesday night swing, I was free. I gave it about 3 minutes of consideration, sent him an IM asking a couple of questions about it, then said "What the hell" and hopped in the car.

Just for the record, I have never before in my life had the foggiest desire or inclination to learn to speak Gaelic. I have always thought it sounded cool, and that it would be nice to be able to know how to actually enunciate the words in Allistair MacLeod books, but never given it even a passing thought that *I* should learn it. Heck, you can Google anything these days, can't you?

But boy am I glad I went! What a hoot!

And did you know that Sadie in Scottish Gaelic is Morag? Me neither. Except that now I do. :)

So my title today? "The name on me is Sadie. Who's yer father?"

What a hoot. I had a blast, I'd forgotten how exciting and fascinating language can be. And how much I miss learning. So I'm glad to be going. :) I have to pay next week though, so remind me how exciting it is when I'm coughing up the cash. :)

*************

So...I promised you a post about my shitty day on Monday.

Well I didn't write one on Monday. I actually felt a lot better by the time I went to bed, because I'd gabbled at Bill for a while and ate far too much bad for me food, and watched Prison Break. As a result, I was able to give my head a bit of a shake and move on. But I really DO need to let you know (and record for my own memory) exactly what it was that was going on with me.

As most of you know, I want to be a manager in my company. I want it BADLY. I've wanted it for a looooong time. And almost as much as I wanted to simply manage my own store, I've wanted to be the first female manager we had.

We acquired some new stores a couple of years ago, and acquired a female manager at that time, but still we'd never had one that was promoted up through the ranks. I wanted to be her.

I was told by our COO, once upon a time (note the fairy-tale beginnings of our story?), that our CEO wanted me to be the first. They knew the carrots to dangle, and I followed right along.

I have moved to remote locations. I have worked for bad, bad managers. I have done jobs I hated. I have done things that are, for lack of a better word, 'beneath' my position. I have moved to more remote locations. I have finally been in a place where I was happy, working for a great manager, learning more, and feeling like I'm contributing.

And waiting.

I've been waiting.

I've been biding my time. I've been trying to Do Good, yet at the same time keep my nose clean. We are a very political company. And I have been trying to get better at politics. But mostly? I've been waiting. Impatiently, but still waiting.

And Monday! Monday turned a new page in company history! :) We now have our first home-grown female manager. And her name is Lisa.

THUD!!!

Yep. That's the sound of me getting kicked in the stomach. It's the sound of the wind getting knocked out of my sails. And of my goals and hopes and wishes from the last 6 years being stomped on.

And how I found out? Yeah. THAT helped.

Julian, who I love dearly, had one of his normal freak outs on Monday about something that was fairly easy to solve, but would require some diplomacy on my part. So I was in Receiving, talking with Steve, being diplomatic. Solving Jule's problem. That's my job. It's what I do.

Julian then came up and crept up to the closed door and beckoned for me to come out of the office. I shrugged a 'what do you want NOW?' at him. He peeked inside the door, and said "I know you're busy but I need to talk to you for a minute. It's important."

"More important than what we're doing now? We're talking about YOU and trying to solve YOUR problem." I was a little blunt with him, because we were just about to make some progress when Julian came up. I also figured that he wanted to add some more fuel to the fire. Either that, or he'd seen reason and I was wasting favours trying to solve issues that were imaginary to start with.

He said it was REALLY important and it would take just a minute. So I excused myself and went out into the main receiving area. Where this took place:

"Have you read your email yet today? (No...why?) Well...You always wanted to be our first female manager right?"

"Yeah, Julian, where's this going?"

"Well, we have one now. They just made Lisa A___ manager in X-location! So now it'll be easier!"

"WHAT?!"

"Yeah, Old Manager got fired, and Lisa is the new manager!!! So things'll be easier for you now!"

"You interrupted me for THAT?!" It was all I could think of to say. "Thanks."

I went back into the office and slammed the door so hard behind me that a picture fell off the wall.

I went back and sat on the counter where I'd been before. I was so angry and hurt that I couldn't see straight. I apologized to Steve for slamming his door, and said "Where were we?"

He looked shocked. And honestly, i can't blame him. I don't lose my temper at work very often. And never to the point where I get aggressive with either people or things. But he's a wonderful man, and he started back where we'd left off.

But I was having a hard time seeing things, because my emotions were all over the place. I couldn't really focus. My face was all twitchy, and my eyes were watering, but I was keeping it together...mostly. "I'm sorry. I'm just having a minute here. I'm sorry."

He made comforting noises, still not knowing what was up, but was fine.

We started talking again, and then my phone rang. It was my manager, sounding chipper. He said "I have some news, and some good news. Well, *I* think you'll think it's good news!"

I said, "Is it about Lisa A___? I already know."

He said, "Yeah, isn't that great? You thought it'd never happen...."

"I can't talk about this right now. I have to go." And I hung up on him.

And I tried to focus. Except that it felt like I'd just gotten the follow-up kick with the other foot. I tried to focus, but suddenly my eyes were all wet. And I couldn't breathe right. So I grabbed some Kleenex, and started snivelling. Poor Steve. I apologized, and said "I really just need a minute. I'm really sorry. I just ... "

I said, "So...we have a new female store manager. And she isn't me."

Steve got it. He said, "Oh, I'm so sorry." And he meant it. And it was kind. And it was nice. And it made me feel so sad. Because I was sorry too.

I cried. And I cried some more. And we talked about it a little, and I told stupid stories about the only other time in my life that I cried at work. (let me tell you another time about nearly starving to death while going to University) And he made me feel better, because he just listened. Because he's an amazing listener, and a kind and generous man. Who inadvertently got sucked into my vortex of grief.

Because grief is what I was feeling. I went to my car for my supper, thankfully I got to leave the store for a while--even though I did NOT want to go back at all. I wanted to go home and feel sorry for myself and drink beer until I fell asleep.

I went out to my car, and the second I hit the parking lot, I started again. The second the car door closed? I was racked with big, heaving sobs. My heart was broken. I was devastated.

I sat for a while. Then I went to Zellers. I was sobbing the whole way. You know the kind? The loud, can't catch your breath, your chest hurts because you're crying so hard kind of body-racking sobs? That kind.

I went to Zellers because my face and my mittens were soggy, and I couldn't breathe through my nose because it was full of snot. And the snot was running down my face, and I didn't even CARE because I WAS SAD, GODDAMMIT! I managed to stop sobbing at the Zellers parking lot. But I was hyperventilating all the way to the tissue section. And I had just barely stopped by the time I got to the cashier.

The poor cashier, who kept looking at me as though I might break.

"Are you okay today?" she asked. This is my favourite cashier, she's a sweet girl who's hard of hearing, and when I have a choice, I always choose her. But today? I had no real choice. Because I would have gladly chosen an automaton over sincere concern. "Fine thanks. How are YOU doing?"

Fake it 'til you make it. It always works. Even if you're sad.

So I went and got some tea. And I went back to work. And I got yelled at by some arsehole customer (the same arsehole I nearly told to shove his countertop up his ass the night before) on the phone. And I didn't tell him to fuck himself. I was even polite. I was helpful. I solved his stupid problem.

And I went back to work. And I wasn't going to say anything to Scott about it...because I didn't know if I could manage to pull it off. But I wanted him to know how hurt I was that HE DIDN'T GET IT about why I was disappointed. And about how angry and hurt I felt. He's always on me about 'not sharing'...but I didn't know if I could explain to him about my sheer and utter emptiness.

So I said to him..."I can't believe that you thought I'd find ANYTHING positive in that email whatsoever. There is NOTHING in that email that makes me happy. NOTHING."

He figured that I'd be happy that there was a girl. He, too, figured I'd be pleased because now it would be 'easier'.

I didn't lose it on him and gouge his eye out with a dull pencil. I was just disappointed again that he didn't understand, and that no matter what I said or did, I couldn't MAKE him understand.

I don't want it to be easy. I don't want to feel that I've been working my ass off all this time so that NOW? Now it's easy. "Oh well, Boobs don't make that much difference after all. Sorry about the hoops, here's a store."

I wanted to be FIRST.

*I* wanted to be first. I wanted it to be ME.

I got over it, every time that I felt slighted or passed over because a man got promoted. I accepted that. I made my peace with that. I accepted it.

And I know that it's quite possible, even likely, that she's better qualified than me. She's probably VERY good at her job, and I would NEVER slight her skills or qualifications. I'm HAPPY for her...because somebody's got to be first, and if it can't be me? It might as well be somebody else. Because if it's not me? Who the fuck cares?

But I chased the carrots. I believed the hype. I listened for the undercurrents and felt for the directions of the winds as they changed throughout the company. And it got me nothing.

And I don't mind working hard, if I'm going to be rewarded. And I don't mind being passed over by men who are not nearly as well qualified as I am to do the same job, so long as I figure there's a bigger payoff at the end of the road. But that pot of gold is now gone. And all I'm left with is a really bitter taste in my mouth.

I have put my personal life on hold, and set my sights on one target. And there's no joy whatsoever in coming second.

Anyway. I was utterly defeated because my only goal for the last 6 years was suddenly just GONE. I instantly had nothing to work for. No reason to BE there. Nothing to accomplish. Nothing to contribute, even.

And then I was humiliated for crying at work. It's such a GIRL thing to do...and I hate myself for doing it. But if I had to do it? And I did....I can't deny that, even to myself..if it had to happen, I couldn't have picked a better place, or a better person to lose it with.

***

The rest of my night was okay, until I got home. I was desperate to come home from work and talk to Lynn about it. To sit and be sad, and have someone UNDERSTAND why I was upset. And to have them UNDERSTAND that i didn't feel 'passed over' or 'hard done by'....but just so completely and utterly disappointed, and so empty. So totally devoid of direction.

I walked into the house, and it was a bit off. No shoes. No biggie, they're at the house. And then I put my wallet on the table next to a post-it note. Telling me that they'd moved out, and that they'd be back tomorrow to clean and pick up the rest of their stuff.

THUUUUD. Two kicks and a sucker-punch, all in one day. Good times.

Anyway. I talked to Bill online for a bit...didn't really get into it, except to explain that it was probably the second worst day of my life. And that then I'd come home, hoping for a hug and a sympathetic ear, to find out that my roomies had moved on like Gypsies in the night.

I had a beer, and some ice cream, and made pierogies. And chatted some. And got some perspective. I gave my head a shake, and although I still felt shitty, I felt better.

So...perspective. I'd best explain so that you don't think I'm really this self-centered and egotistical that I think I'm the best thing since sliced bread. Because I don't. I'm better than some, and not as good as others. I know that. But. :)

I was just so disappointed, and left completely rudderless, that I couldn't see past my own selfish desires. I'm happy for her. And honestly? I do NOT have it that bad.

I have no reason to be as disappointed as I was/am. What is beyond one's own control should never be desired so much that your entire life focus is centred on it. I did that to myself.

I have my health. I have a good job. I have a great boss. I have a wonderful bunch of people that work both with and for me. My family is well, and healthy. I have a warm place to sleep, and no fears of impending poverty or starvation or even homelessness.

I have it pretty good, all things considered. If the only thing bad that happens to me this week is a few hurt feelings? I need to suck it the hell up and move on with my life. Because honestly? I AIN'T all that. She's probably fantastic at her job, and has been putting in time just as long as I have...longer even, as she's been with the company 2 years longer than me.

I DID manage to get some perspective...and while I'm still a little bit disappointed--because it would have been really nice to be first--I'm pretty much over it.

But my resolve to start looking for a new job has been strengthened considerably. I'd decided that March 1st was my deadline--that's 12 months after my chat where I was told "6 months to a year". More than ample opportunity to either speak to me, fill me in on some plans, give me some new targets, or teach me things they might want me to know. And since that hasn't happened? I need to make my OWN plans. I obviously can't wait for my life to happen anymore. :)

So yeah...that's been my last few days. :) But yesterday was good, and today was much, MUCH better...and tomorrow will be better again. :)

Tomorrow (maybe, it IS beer-night) I'll tell you about going for coffee with Crazee tonight after Gaelic class. It was interesting, that's for sure!

Oidhche mhath leibh!

7 Comments:

  • Slainthe!

    I think that's right, if I have accidently posted some dreadful Gaelic curse then please do forgive me.

    My aunt is called Morag, I didn't know that the Canadian for that was Sadie, how odd.

    By Blogger Yorkshire Soul, At Thu Feb 01, 04:20:00 am  

  • i say you quit, move back to ontario, and get a job doing something you love. hell, if you want to be continually passed over for worse people, you could have MY job, i think it is actually in the company's vision statement.

    *sigh*

    if i were there, we'd toilet paper SOMETHING for sure. *hugs*

    By Blogger Christine, At Thu Feb 01, 03:33:00 pm  

  • Oh wow. That is tough when you work and work with a goal in sight only to have it snatched up. I would take this opprotunity to really think about if staying in your company is really what you want to do or if its time to move on. Sometimes its things like this that are the extra push to really pursue your ultimate dream!
    On a happy note...YAY for learning!!! That is pretty exciting that you are venturing out to learn a new language. I'm sure there are fun, interesting people in your class.

    By Blogger Bookingirl, At Thu Feb 01, 05:29:00 pm  

  • You had a right to be upset after having all of those carrots, to borrow your metaphore, dangled in front of you. I agree with Christine. However, I'm glad you've put things in perspective even though things may never be the same for you at your workplace.

    And the room mates bailing on you on top of all that! Brutal.

    Here's an appropriate Gaelic phrase for you from a football cheer from my undergrad days at Queens:

    Cha-Gheill! (pronounced Kay-ya)

    It means "No Surrender" ;)

    By Blogger Sean, At Thu Feb 01, 08:47:00 pm  

  • All hail Lisa!
    As the song says, Sisters are doin' it for ... other sisters. Or something.

    That sucks, Sadie. Really sucks.

    By Blogger themikestand, At Fri Feb 02, 01:31:00 pm  

  • Well Crap. Crap Crap. I am so sorry.

    By Blogger -LGirl-, At Fri Feb 02, 01:48:00 pm  

  • Yeah that blows - I concur with Christine... back to Ontario...

    By Blogger The Bachelor, At Fri Feb 02, 07:42:00 pm  

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