Thursday, October 8, 2009

Walking Away: A Journey Begins with a Step

Following my post concerning The Sister Dorothea Epiphany, I received an e-mail from my sister-in-law entitled "Hey" which gingerly indicated that I had struck a nerve with something I said. I looked at it again and thought to myself, "Wow, I would have entitled that e-mail, 'Hey you Mother[bleep]er'". So, I modified it a bit and added a clarifying comment, then went to bed. This morning I looked at it again and thought, "Yeah, that's still a little harsh." I sincerely do not think the two siblings did a poor job running the company, and what I meant to convey was that my own controlling nature made whatever they did suspect to me, irrespective of the reality. But, for some reason, I just couldn't make it come off my fingers that way. I thought about that during the day, thinking about the poor sap who has the job I turned down this past spring. Same thing. He can't walk down the hall without me looking him over with a critical eye, and I think he knows it. Why, however, am I that way when I left it all behind willingly? As a matter of fact, while I was talking to my friend and now boss, who sits outside that man's door, we overheard another staff member relating a rather whiny tale about something or other to him, and we both agreed that I would not want to be in his chair, at that moment or any other. But I still have a hard time watching someone else do a job I believe I'm capable of. I have continued to be wired that way. Nonetheless, I walked out on it. I marched into the office after Sister Dorothea was done with me and delivered a verbal notice to the first person I found, which happened to be the HR Director. That did not make me popular with anyone and with good reason. If I could have found a worse moment to walk away, I can't imagine what it would have been. We had cut over to the new software a few weeks before and, as with any brand new system, there were major glitches. The clients were nervous, the employees more so. But, I had to do it. I had a higher obligation. Unfortunately, did I make that bold move too late? I think, years later, we know the answer to that one.

Of course, the irony of walking out on a career path is that one also walks away from that income. And, try as you might not to set any fires close to any bridges, they seem to set themselves in a case like that. I mean, look at me now; I'm looking head on at the half century mark with an odd looking resume full of funky gaps, a mother who called me three times yesterday to argue that I needed to bring her a check so she could buy pecans. What does a woman in a nursing home need with pecans anyway? I'm just over three months out from putting my daughter up on the ledge over my stairs in a black and gold jar. Truly, who in their right mind would turn anything critical over to me? I not only set fire to my bridges, I blew them up with TNT. Would I do it again? In a heart beat.

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