And These Are the Words We Say

We’re following the leader, the leader, the leader

we’re following the leader

wherever he may go

Why haven’t I written the one thing that I’ve been asking myself, lately? What’s next?

It’s incredible to look back and remember when just about any job posting looked good enough.

I have a secret at work. It has been an odd source of motivation to consider something new. Rapport can be a fragile thing. But nothing is as feeble as the lack of one. Ever spent your entire day hoping that you wouldn’t have any reason to interact with someone else?

Hundreds of days ago, while at the whim of all things new, Someone decided how they felt about me.  And I watched, unbeknownst to them, all the days that followed. I waded through uncomfortable conversation as I said something and they ignored me or replied curtly. I saw their uncaring gaze when they spoke and everyone around them turned in my direction.

Gossip. Questions Someone wants to ask but never does, among other things.

Our culture took a turn for the worst when the company responded to financial crisis with excessive training. Staffing and operations changed immediately. Although there are the many reasons why the new business strategy was for the best, it was the worst thing that could possibly be done to the employees – ironically, according to their own management training that still exists in the curriculum.

As I moved through two lateral positions, the noise grew quieter. Sometimes people I didn’t know took the time to say hello. Others decided to judge me by my work, which I took seriously, and they showed their support. But no matter how many times people moved around or my work life was restructured, my little secret was always there.

So many times after Someone seemed to frown harder if they walked by me while I was laughing, I had to wonder: the little things they said, the tone they used – was it a complete lack of awareness, done on purpose, or some miserable, unfortunate mix of both?

tee dum, tee dee, a tiddlydoe-tee day

we’re out for fun

and this is the game we play

come on, join in

and sing your troubles away

I learned that Someone had not had an easy life, dealt with physical pain and mental stress every single day… and once I made that connection to their demeanor, I refrained from any sort of challenge. If not liking me for their own reasons was what they wanted or needed to do, that would have to be fine by me. And whenever I looked at Someone’s unsmiling face, I remembered how much I had in my life and checked my own posture.

More days, more situations, more words, more responsibilities, more days leading to today and I observe the same sort of behaviors, now being practiced in bigger numbers. My little secret likes to share itself with those they work close to and the other day, someone else was caught saying – “I don’t know what to think about Autumn” out loud, to a group of coworkers, as if I, as a person, was up for discussion – and decision.

The one in that group who actually knew me – who I help, protect and value, answered the open-ended question.

“Autumn’s fucking awesome!”

It has been hard to look for a job somewhere else when I know how much more work there is to be done right where I am.


One response to “And These Are the Words We Say

  1. I have to agree. Of the the “jobs” or occupations I have had over the years none are as challenging as where we currently are. Even if I had left one job to pursue something more challenging it never has lived up to the expectations. I also have a hard time relating to some people at work. I guess it mainly because most people think I am not that old age wise so therefore I have not experienced much. Very few people actually take the time to learn a little about me, then they realize I have much more real world life experience than most people twice my age.
    Keep on rising above and beyond the challenges.

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