Pause, reset, trust

I had a meeting scheduled with my bosses yesterday to discuss our recruiting efforts. After what happened on Friday with two hand-picked candidates asked us to meet with (and turned out to be kind of awful people), I was bewildered and confused by the process. Their reaction when I tried to discuss it muddied the waters further as well as left me feeling completely disrespected and on the path to demoralized.

Sunday the scheduled meeting was moved into the afternoon and a management meeting scheduled instead – which is just me and the partners, versus the 5 of us, 2 supervisors, 3 seniors.

The situation was unfortunate, because it made me wonder who these men were and what had happened to the cooperative, creative bosses I had earlier in the week. While I am not a shareholder in this firm, I am typically included and consulted with regard to management of the firm. To be shut out and shut down so completely is awful; had they physically reached out and slapped me I would not have been more shocked and surprised.

And as if they had physically assaulted me, it gave me enough pause to stop and really consider my options and alternatives if this is the way things are going to be moving forward.

My ways of processing things is partly analysis of the situation, it’s possible reasonable (and unreasonable) explanations, and figure out what must happen to make restore peace in my fiefdom that is my day job. While I really love the staff and the role itself, if I wanted to work in a compartmentalized corporate conglomerate where I am a mere cog in the big giant wheel I would have chosen another type of firm. If it took 18 months for the partners’ Dr. Jeckyll to transform in Mr. Hyde, experience tells me the time span between future transformations will evolve into a briefer and briefer pattern.

After leaving my prior employee-based position, I swore not to put myself into another position where I am cleaning up the messes resulting from lack of communication and poor decision making. If I am in a role where I am supposed to be managing something to manage firm resources and personnel, I need to either be part of the solution or my job becomes a cancer that takes over my life.

This weekend, I decided we would resolve this issue or I would be turning in my notice. Sounds extreme, I know, but in truth I have a thriving part-time self-employment business and am routinely having to turn away referrals from existing clients because I don’t have time to take on a lot more new work. While making money is really nice – I am a capitalist at heart and do appreciate my opportunities to make lots of bucks – it is not worth sacrificing my self-respect or feeling undervalued and unappreciated. That said, I am not someone with an over-inflated ego; I so nor believe myself indispensable and beyond reproach for my skills and work habits. I am well aware that everyone is replaceable and there are literally dozens of equally to more qualified candidates out there. But whether those other candidates bring the same level of care and compassion to the work, I have no idea. I do think my empathy coupled with practicality, skill set, and willingness to be fair and balanced in dealing with people – maybe it’s less common.

M and I had discussed this extensively over the weekend, and I had a few in-depth conversations with other friends who are in similar lines of work. I needed a gut-check to ensure I was not massively overreacting. But at the end of the conversations, I would probably still be inclined to walk away if this was the new world order at my firm. Love the people, actually really like and respect the partners as well, but I cannot and will not work with my role and priorities being altered without any discussion or notice.

With this all settled for me, I went into the meeting with a clear head and an open mind. I had my hopes – an explanation at the very least – and was not completely disappointed by the outcome.

There was a genuine apology for their brush off. There was opportunity for me to vent my feelings – primarily anger, disappointment, and betrayal. I felt set-up, walking in blind with a couple of candidates they already knew or were at least familiar enough with to invite to meet with us. No debrief? No advance warning? Or was it the candidate set-up with extended hopes and expectations?

Uncomfortable silence around the table when I laid it out for them in black and white, and I was dimly reminded of reprimanding my kids in their youth. Unanimous agreement all around the process had been botched and that the candidates were unlikely to be a good fit with the type of firm they have created and the professional atmosphere they want to foster.

The why of it all still eludes me, other than the concern of adding more female professional staff looms large in their minds. I point out that yours truly is female and a manager, even if I am not an attorney and even if my male bosses dis me from time to time. However, I agree that another female hires would be beneficial. Alas, finding the most qualified female for the jobs we are seeking to fill has been a challenge as well. In addition to that, our willingness and ability to accommodate the time and schedule requests of the lady lawyers we have extended offers to have been rejected. Not our fault.

But before we dug too deeply into the actual recruiting part of our meeting, I wanted to wrap-up the communication aspect of our discussion.

Bosses agreed they botched this introduction and also agreed it might have been partly an unconscious and on purpose choice to test our mettle. Nope, I did not like that, at all, and we were very nearly back to square one.

Of the 4, all have been married and divorced at some point, although all are presently single right now. I am older by more than a decade and have been with M for more than a quarter century and know quite a bit about trust, betraying trust, and what it takes to rebuild once broken. Just in case you’re curious – it was not infidelity on either side, so much as my child victimization and M sharing it with our counselor without my permission or even telling me first. That lack of communication nearly ended our marriage, and it took a long time and therapy to recover and rebuild.

While their behavior is small-ball in comparison, it is serious enough that I did figure out my options and whether resignation was a viable one. I do not threaten ever, and I did not give them a “my way or the highway” ultimatum speech. What I did say – I am a professional in my own right and in my own field, and I am always straightforward and honest with them about my thoughts, ideas, opinions. This is their firm; they can run it however they see fit. However, if my role in it is as they have described and up to this incident acted like it was what they wanted, the game playing and mettle-testing must cease. Immediately. Tell me it is none of my business. Decide to alter my job description and explain to me that they are implementing changes to my duties and role. But do not treat me like an unknown quantity they cannot or will not trust enough to use her best judgement. Because despite what they thought they were doing or what they intended, this is the ultimate outcome of their misstep.

They are smart men; they got the message loud and clear. There is no double-secret probation, no hoops they must jump through to make it up to me. But my expectation of being treated like a professional was crystal clear.

After a rough day with all that yesterday, it was good to have some space from them and focus on my self-employment workload today.

Life is long and relationships of all stripes complicate everything. But we will sort it out, work it out. Our first big fight; time will tell how it shapes our future.

Communication follow-up and life imbalance

I had lunch today with my client who allowed his anger to overwhelm his common sense (posted here). Once the anger and frustration faded, he recognized the error of his ways and reached out to apologize. While I accepted it on the phone and in text, I did state we needed to have another conversation about it when he returned to town. Hence our lunch today.

Ours is typically a good and productive partnership, and I am actually quite fond of  him. However, he was both professionally insulting and personally rude and offensive. It is not something I can let go of easily, and without actually talking it out, I would likely have had to terminate the alliance completely.

I am no one’s whipping girl. If he had a problem with me or the work product I have produced, it was not the forum to express it and absolutely the wrong way to discuss it. While there is a childish side of me that wanted to have my own temper tantrum and lash out, I took the higher road and wrote it all down instead. It was my only hope of remaining calm and professional.

The conversation went well, the air is a bit chilly but clear and will warm back up with some time and settling of his current problem. At the end of our meal he presented me with a couple of restaurant gift cards, equivalent to about 5 hours of my time. He knows I probably lost more sleep over his behavior than that, and he is genuinely remorseful. Not exactly sure how I feel about it, but accepted the token at face value and with polite thanks. I will give one to G and K and the other to trainer J. While M loves sushi,  he is not eating it at the present time, and I eat there frequently enough for business that I regularly get plenty of teriyaki chicken. Better to give to those who will appreciate and enjoy it.

Anger is a challenging emotion for me, in that I do not know have to relearn every time how to express it in a healthy, non-destructive manner. If I try to suppress it for too long or allow it to build layer by layer, it leaks out in snark in unguarded moments and usually with my nearest and dearest. Poor M – some of our biggest fights have been because I’m an emotional time bomb from something completely unrelated. This time, I handled it pretty well for the most part. I was clear, direct, and did not try my level best use my words to beat him into a bloody pulp for offending me so fiercely. Lest you think too kindly toward me, I really wanted to use my words to beat him into a bloody pulp and then fire his ass. M has been coaching me about how not to do that every time I bled off some steam about it since it happened.

The silver lining in all this? It magnifies that there is some work to be done to help me cope better.

It’s February 12, and I made it almost 6 weeks longer than last year before reaching out to TM for our annual appointment. While we are in touch socially and talk books and about life in general, we have not had a Professional Consultation in more than 10 months.

I am perhaps overdue.

Last year, it was all about confidence. The better health quest had officially launched a few months earlier, close friends were dropping me like I had some unpleasant contagious disease that spread via social contact, and I was struggling to simultaneously manage negative girl and cling to the insecure, fear-based lifestyle that had been part of my life for most of my life. Growing up is hard, especially when it seems to really start at 54.

This year, it seems to be more about managing emotions and stress and expressing both in a healthier manner.

Everyone has problems, issues, negative baggage and shit in their life they wish would magically resolve itself and dissipate. Work, relationships, family, friends, lifestyle, or all of the above, I don’t know a single soul that is happy about the state of their lives all of the time. Or even much of the time.

A truly crippling side effect of keeping secrets much of my adult life has been managing my emotions. Being angry – I have LOTS of anger – but how to expel it from my system without using the nuclear option on every single bridge is an ongoing life lesson. In prior work TM has taught me a lot of ways to cope with negative emotions, but I know it has been impossible for me to absorb enough of those lessons to fit every possible scenario.

So back to his office I will go, to obtain the next chapter in adultier adulting. Hopefully it will be as productive as last year’s work.

Work, illness, irrational reactions and feelings, but still, a really good day

Busy, busy day today. It is an all-hands type of weekend, and I spent the majority of my Saturday transcribing. Honestly, it’s probably been 15 years since I have done this kind of straightforward word processing, and just like riding a bike, it comes back to you. I had to set an alarm to remind myself to get up and walk around every hour, and I am really glad to have gone to the yoga workshop this morning.

My gym closed at 9 tonight, and by the time I got home it seemed too late to go there and run through a List. Kind of a bummer, but then I realized that the cardio List we did on Thursday requires a single pair of 5 lb. dumbbells and a stool or chair or place to sit. Sometimes I feel too stupid to live – I have both items at home. So that’s what I did. I went through a couple of sets and feel better.

All good things.

Seems to me that as soon as I write and post about an issue, the emotional fog that shrouds me starts to clear. Negative girl is still bleating inside my head, but I can live with that. I have gotten this far and improving every single day.

M was out and about today as well, running with friends. He came home with all sorts of goodies and another pulled muscle. *sigh* The man is nearing 60. He should probably think about slowing down just a bit.

Then I open Facebook and do a quick scan and find trainer J has liked a comment from Scott Abel, a truly down-to-earth, plain-speaking, and direct kind of fitness expert and coach. Of late Coach Abel has been expressing his views about how a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition does catch up with you, typically in your 50s. I was an early adopter and started on the diabetes meds in my 40s. Even now I am suffering from a lack of discipline when it comes to food. It’s evolving, slowly, and I’m working at it. Trying. It’s damn hard.

In my back burner brain processing, I have been wondering and thinking about intuition and instinct, whether or not I believe in such things. Not really. When the kids were young I had a “mother’s ear” and could hear a sniffle or a cough in the deepest sleep in the middle of the night. When B fell ill there was no premonition or feelings about what was about to happen. Yet friend J has been ill for over a week and while I have not heard from him, I thought it was  him just lying low and recovering. But I’ve been mildly uneasy about it. He’s such a bad patient a quick text or email or phone call bemoaning how crappy he feels would not be surprising; it has happened before with a head cold or a sinus infection. His utter silence and not replying was kind of unnerving.

Today I found out he was far, far worse than he told me. Like hospitalized for a few weeks kind of ill. And I’m beyond upset about it. I’m furious. I’m terrified. I’m furious all over again. And I was at work when he called. Burst into tears, both angry and scared at the same time kind of tears. And now I’m just so mad!

The most important thing is that he is going to be fine. I know this. But I have an incredibly contradictory urge to kill him myself. For what, I’m not sure. Despite our lack of intersecting bloodlines, we’re family. Terrifying me by being half a world away and getting seriously sick. Then not telling me. Not planning to give me an opportunity to say goodbye if it came to that. Thinking about it coming to that. Then getting pissed at him for making those decisions without consulting me.

Vicious cycle, that rabbit hole.

At the end of this very good day, the best part is he is on the mend, will fully recover and be fine again really soon. Right now he’s weak but recuperating. He’s in a pissy mood and the whiney-ass bad patient I know and love is starting to rear his ugly head. But he’s going to be fine. He will regain his strength and he will come home.

Where I will not fuss over him or cater to him. I will not even bother to ask him how he managed during his period as an invalid. And at the rate we’re both going, I will crush his fucking ass in the gym and strongly suggest he hire trainer J for a few sessions to whip his ass back into shape.

And that makes me feel infinitely better and more upbeat about the situation. Balance in all things is so important.

Boundaries

I was minding my own business tonight and immersed in my book, relaxing. Just. Relaxing. This is what I need, what I deserve, and I should not have to explain myself to anyone. M has been busy the last several days getting a very loud air compressor dialed in for his next house project (replacing baseboard), shopping for materials, planning and getting ready. It’s wonderful. Anyway, he was occupied doing his thing, I was on the couch with my book …

and the phone rang.

I checked to see who was calling and chose not to answer it. Honestly, the last couple of weeks have been a compendium of other peoples stuff piling on with my own stuff. And if that stuff were truly critical and necessary, I would attend to it; I am not a completely insensitive friend. But this friend was calling me for the third night in a row to cry about her soon-to-be-former husband. He cheated, decided he wanted out of the marriage, and she’s destroyed by it. I do understand that, and while I feel a great deal of sympathy, I am actually rather tired of being her listening post. It’s been almost 8 months of at least weekly conversations about it, she’s been in therapy for it, and she calls her phone tree nightly to cry and be sad for as long as we will listen.

I hate to sound like this, but it feels more like a habit than anything else. I had to tell her last night when I got home from the gym (after 3 phone calls and 3 tearful voice mails while I was there) that I myself am having a very tough time and am probably not at my best right now. She took that as me tired of listening to her, and I was honest and said as gently as I could that she might want to explore more with her therapist or contemplate medication at this point because it has been this long and she does not seem to be making much progress after 8 months. I, not being a professional, do not know how to help her as she rehashes everything every time we speak or get together. It seems unhealthy.

Tonight was something new. Tonight she is desperate and feeling like harming herself she says in the voicemail. I am torn about what to do – what if I do nothing and it turns out to be something? I consult with M, he says call her back. I call another close mutual friend first, who got the same message and already called, could not reach her, and called a mental health agency to ask for advice.

Long story short, one of our other friends called 911 and reported a potential suicide attempt and actually went over to her home … to find her sitting on her couch eating ice cream and then very upset to find the police at her door doing a welfare check with our other friend waiting anxiously at the curb.

I talked it over with M and he feels some distance at this point is appropriate and I agree. But it’s hard. I really wish she should start a blog so she can vent all that stuff and get support from others who have actually been in the same type of situation.

I am so angry right now I am literally shaking. I want to write her an email and explain how I feel, how upset I am with her, and how her actions are impacting me. But I cannot. It comes off too harsh and too unkind and too influenced by my anger. So I am venting here before going back to my reading and soothing my brain that way.

Ugh. I so hate this kind of shit. Makes me want to crawl away and be a hermit.

 

Big and little

I feel like I have been doing little else but writing and yet not publishing anything of any substance. Weighty posts in my drafts folder right now, trying to figure out what I want to say and getting it written reminds me why I could not be a writer for a living. First, I’d likely suck at it – nothing stresses me out more than to have to produce something on demand – and second, writing would then lose all its curative mojo for me if it were my job.

M and I attended a young boy’s services tonight, and it was both uplifting and mournfully sad at the same time. Speaker after speaker got up and talked a little about who he was as a person, how he had impacted and touched their lives. It brought the house down; there literally was not a dry eye in the place.

His parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles came up to us afterwards, crying profusely and thanking me for coming to their aid in a critical hour of need. The parents and the grandparents told M all about how I had come to the hospital and spoken so openly and eloquently about our experiences, how obvious it was that I loved and still missed my girl, how our experiences with organ donation made a difference in our lives and our grief. It made me cry even harder. They are so kind.

It got me thinking about those who make and impact on your life, who we remember years after the fact.

There are people who are memorable because of the circumstances – strangers whose paths crossed with ours during sad or stressful periods. I remember a woman in the elevator on B’s final day, how in that awkward way people at hospitals and on the same floor for ill children want to be kind and supportive yet without feeling intrusive will ask about your loved one. When we told her why we were there – my daughter was not going to wake up and was in the process of being evaluated for organ donation – her eyes filled with tears and she turned away. I thought “great, now I have upset this poor woman with a cute little ill 2 year old” and she told me that her daughter had a kidney disease and was likely to someday need a transplant and that our selfless actions gave her so much hope. I did not ask her name, only that she had a little girl with a kidney disease and sold Longaberger baskets. To this day I think about her and her daughter and say a prayer that they are both enjoying rich and fulfilling lives.

Then there are those who stay memorable because they do harm to you somehow. This week I was in San Francisco at a former employer’s office, now on the other side of the conference room table with a client who is considering a proposal for engaging their services. I had been looking forward to the meeting, seeing and saying hello to a few former coworkers. A member of this firm treated me terribly in a cruelly unprofessional manner, yet his career is still thriving in the Sacramento office while I had no choice but to leave to save myself from unbridled, uncontrolled anger. It has been more than 10 years since I left, and I thought I was long over it. Until I got there and it all came rushing back. I get it – I was an office manager and he was recruited technical talent – but the unfairness and the terrible way he treated me apparently still rankles. Even not seeing him there in San Francisco set off a chain of dark and negative thoughts and feelings that stayed with me. It’s taken a couple of days but I am finally able to completely shrug off that lingering anger.

I remember my fifth grade teacher and at the time I thought he was the most horrible teacher on the planet. At 10 years old, what did I know? Then he is subbing for my daughter in her fifth grade class. We went to open house and were chatting with her regular teacher who was out on family leave and with other parents and I did not have an opportunity to meet the long-term sub, Mr. W. The next day Mr. W. asks C about my maiden name and tells her was my fifth grade teacher in 1971 and I was one of his favorite, most memorable students. Ummm … SERIOUSLY? He is now retired and substituting, and what was most memorable for me was that he made my school life hard, always calling on me in class and pushing me to try harder and do better. That he actually recognized me 26 years later was rather disconcerting and oddly flattering. I remembered him instantly the minute C brought it up, in a spine-stiffening, look around to ensure I am not doing anything wrong sort of way.But his surprising words were very kind, and I do not believe he was exaggerating to make points with a former or present student. C really enjoyed him as a sub for the last weeks of fifth grade, said he was “fun.”

In big and in little ways people impact our lives. I truly believe 20 years from now this family will remember me. Maybe not my name or my face, but how I made them feel.

Because in my writing and reflections the last several days, how I feel or remember feeling comes through most strongly. I want to describe the emotions and my thoughts as clearly and as accurately as possible, and sometimes it’s difficult to put it into precise words.

But still I try.

 

A messy, messy day

I’m not sure if this is a rant, a vent, a emotional crying fest, or some combination of all of the above. M is out with the boys tonight and got the highlight reel via phone call, and I specifically told him not to come home early as I would be fine on my own. Thus far the carton of ice cream in the freezer and the chocolate syrup in the cabinet remain unopened, but this is not a night where I am thinking about my overall health. With all that disclaimer, let me tell you what happened today ….

My boss is an idiot. I mean, REALLY an idiot. Does these amazingly stupid things and does not consider the consequences of his actions, even if the only consequence is my jaw hitting the desktop followed by an honest, white-hot angry outburst.

Right after my lunch he comes into my office, closes the door, and calmly proceeds to tell me to retroactively reinstate the 20% salary cut for one of my peers, because “he cannot afford to lose that much income.”

Seriously. I am not joking. And I completely, totally, unprofessionally lost it. I was so angry I had tears well up in my eyes and start streaming down my face and had to ask him to give me a few minutes to compose myself before continuing this conversation. When I finally did return to his office 20 minutes later, I so angry. SO ANGRY! However, I had pulled out my spreadsheets and charts previously shared when we were discussing cutting costs and pointed out the following facts:

  • This particular peer earns the highest level of compensation outside of the two owners (who did not have a 20% salary cut, nor did their 4 young adult, college graduate children who also earn $10,000 year each for being their kids).
  • This particular peer is on the board of directors and earns board pay when we convene.
  • This particular peer may supervise 3 technicians, but his salary is 26.3% more than the senior technician, and 93.2% and 95.1% more than the other 2 field technicians.
  • Our technicians have been with us for more than 10 years, have families and the same personal financial obligations as their their manager, only they make A LOT less money.
  • From a profitability standpoint, the lowest paid technicians are the most billable and profitable in the entire firm based on hours worked and billing rates. I could quote you boring statistics, but if we were laying off anyone my first choice would be their manager, followed by the senior technician, because the field techs earn more for the firm year after year.
  • Reinstating the pay cut for him would be extraordinarily unfair to everyone on staff, myself included, and I feel he (the owner) must be morally bankrupt not to see that. If the owner is going to reinstate salary cuts for anyone, it should be uniform and across the board.
  • If he proceeded on this course of action, I would be tendering my resignation, effective immediately. I would also be calling the other owner in the midwest and explaining in very succinct terms what he was doing and why I could no longer work for this firm.

I do not feel proud of myself. I feel like a horrible, unprofessional employee. I did not want to make this personal, I wanted to keep this in the realm of business and act professionally, and yet I did let my personal feelings leak into the conversation. While I am pretty honest and direct in my communications, telling your boss you think he is “morally bankrupt” is pretty extreme, even for me. In my defense, I finally reached my breaking point. That casual announcement was simply too much to take after all the other crap that has gone on with him and this firm.

As far as quitting, I have considered the implications in various scenarios. I had run the numbers for adding our health insurance premiums and was primed and ready to walk out the door, never to return. I was fully prepared for him to either fire me on the spot or accept my resignation. Unemployment in California is really weird, but with my side gigs I probably earn too much to be eligible. No matter. I was so enraged by his breezy heroics for long-time friend/manager (owner’s brother was the manager’s college roommate) that I could no longer contain my contempt.

I did not get fired or tender my resignation. My peer did not get his salary cut reinstated. Instead, local owner agreed to schedule a conference call with the midwest owner tomorrow to discuss the state of the firm since the cuts started July 1. It’s going to be an unpleasant conversation, and this time tomorrow I may indeed be unemployed. But honestly, I am so flabbergasted by his directive that I really will not be able to work there any further if he proceeds down this pathway.

Here in the California office no one is happy. The amount of work that can be done in 40 hour work weeks is getting done, but nothing beyond that. In the midwest they have more work than they know what to do with, yet the project managers there are sticking to their 40 hour work week and letting the owner sort out the rest. I warned them this was likely to happen. I cautioned them about instituting salary cuts before cutting other obvious fat in the budget. To say they did not believe me is an understatement.

The worst part of this is the realization that I am fearful of a normal business environment. Our firm is little, flexible, weird, and I worry that I have lost my ability to be professional and work in a typical business environment. First it was just about clothing and personal appearance, but I am now thinking about how one comports themselves in other firms run by genuine business people and not Napoleon complex afflicted tall men.

Ugh.

After I was done meeting with the owner, I was physically trembling from the stress of the conflict. I called my therapist for an ASAP appointment (tomorrow at 7 a.m.) and then sent out a mass email to all my friends asking if anyone could recommend a good business coach to help me prepare to transition to my next professional opportunity. I cannot afford to self-medicate with Hagen Daz and chocolate sauce, or at least I cannot afford to do that very much or very often, so I’m running back to the safety of my counselor’s office. The second is reassure me that I can be rehabbed into something more than small-ball workplaces and can be successful in larger and/or more traditional organizations.

Whew. It’s been quite a day, and I am really glad for this outlet to bleed off some of my insanity. Perhaps the ice cream and chocolate sauce will still be available for Thursday evening’s family dinner. I’m hoping my willpower will win out.

Tiger mom forever

My daughter just called – a rarity on a weekday and usually means something has happened. It could possibly be a good something, but more often than not I am braced for a not-so-good something.

Today it was an emotional something. C recently accepted a new job and started training last week. Things are going well, but when she gave notice at her prior job, they bent over backwards to retain her as a part-time employee, and in a moment of weakness she agreed. During her training she is working days, Monday through Friday, and when her regular 60% schedule begins, it will be overnights Saturday and Sunday, as in 7 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday, back Sunday at 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Monday. She has to pick up one other shift during the week – coverage for vacation or peak workloads or simply be the on-call RVT – and she is fine with that. Around those commitments, she would take a shift or two with her prior vet hospital.

Last weekend she was scheduled to be off at 4 p.m. She and A were having dinner with the parents and she wanted enough time to go  home, relax a bit, shower and get ready for the evening. Instead they ran late and wanted her to stay, which she declined to do because of this commitment, and was essentially written up and “talked to” about her attitude. It was infuriating to her.

My advice was to simply walk away. The problems, issues, low pay, and overall aggravating features of that job were not going to miraculously change now that she had another job and was only a part-time employee. In fact, when she originally told me about agreeing to stay on part-time I predicted it would actually be more aggravating than having it as her full-time job. Unfortunately I was right. I hate when I am right about the wrong things.

Anyway, it has been bothering her all week … to the point of not sleeping, grinding her teeth and making her teeth and jaws hurt. A’s grandfather passed away yesterday and his services are Saturday, when she was supposed to be at work, and she finally cracked and decided to let go of the part-time job. It’s not worth your health and peace of mind, C, we all told her; she finally heard us.

My daughter has my hyper-responsible gene, especially when it comes to her job. She takes it seriously, strives to act professionally, and the issue of going back on her commitments has been a genuine struggle. But today, with wanting to support A and be with him at his grandfather’s funeral, she realized that no matter how much (or how little) they were paying her at the part-time job, it was no longer worth it. C called her manager and let her know she would not be working this weekend and resigned her part-time status.

The manager was not pleased and spoke harshly to my daughter, called her unprofessional and ungrateful. Really? Was that necessary? C was in tears and on the verge of a panic attack when she called me, needing someone to calmly talk her down, and since A was not available (with his dad working on funeral arragements), mom is the next best resource. I listened. I reassured her. I applauded her decision as the right one for her, and despite the seemingly short notice of her departure, I also assured her that this has happened to her manager before and will happen again in the future in much less convenient circumstances. It may mean more work for the manager to schedule someone else, or she, the manager, may have to cover the shifts herself. It’s a PITA, but hey, that’s why we administrative bosses get paid what we get paid. From personal and professional experience, I know she lashed out and said what she did in frustration and anger at the personal inconvenience.

That does not mean I do not have steam coming out my ears for being such a bitch to my child. Yes, my child is turning 30 in December, but once a mom always a mom. And this mom has zero tolerance for abuses of power that make my kid cry and upset her to the verge of a panic attack. C has struggles with depression and anxiety, not things she shares with her employers, but it’s also not easy for her to accept less than full responsibility for that woman’s tantrum.

I cannot and will not call and complain or drive over there and slap her. But GAWD I want to! In this instance I have to accept the all I can do is talk C down from the ledge and remind her to eat some lunch before going back to work. And to call or text me when she’s off, so I know she is okay.

I really can’t go over to that hospital and slap that manager, right? It’s bad form? Let my daughter fight her own battles and all that good mom shit? Honest, I am not a violent person. But dang … she made my kid cry.