Posted in Lancient History

Superiors


Since graduating college, I have worked for eight companies for six months or more. I was recruited back to three different companies, twice each. I was promoted at every one of those companies. I have also had three full-time positions that lasted only, or fewer than three months. I have had a lot of bosses.

With the exception of three (two managers and one indirect manager), I can honestly say that no matter how strange some of them were (the one who always wanted to show me her new underwear–while she was wearing them, the one who wanted me to find his wife a gynecologist, the one who was just blindingly stupid) I generally worked for decent-to-very-good people. So, if you happen to be reading this, unless you are one of the bosses who a) threw a book at my head b) suggested to me that I was “spiritually retarded” and told me that if I prayed more, God would point out other people’s errors to me so that I could correct them ahead of time (yes, really), or c) physically assaulted me with your crotch, I would probably buy you a cup of coffee.

If you are Charlcye or Melissa, I would definitely buy you coffee, and would insist on getting you a brownie to go with it–because you two are my favorite bosses of all time.

Which reminds me that I had one other boss whose presence I DNW at my coffee table, and that was a woman who displaced one of my favorite bosses of all time, and who had beast feet.

I have another new job. My ninth company since graduating college. This time, I am working for a dear, dear family friend, who is such a family friend, she is really family. The best part of the job (so far) has been the no-personal-learning-curve part. It was a surprising relief to walk into the office on the first day and realize I didn’t have to act a certain way. I could be my absolute self. No working out whether or not my sense of humor would be appreciated. No worrying about whether or not my look was going to be satisfactory. No wondering if my boss would like me. (I’m still in those throes with my suite-mates, but there is a big difference between worrying about a suite-mate liking you, and worrying about whether or not the boss is going to like you.)

I feel…good. Totally good.

I am generally over-cautiously optimistic, and am always waiting for the hammer to fall, the other shoe to drop, the bottom to fall out. I wait for the worst with a positive attitude, knowing I’ll survive and get on with life, but I am always a little afraid that as soon as someone gets to know me too well, they will gag on my me-ness and start gathering the villagers to burn the monster (or tell me I am spiritually retarded and obviously oppressed by a demonic spirit of rebellion, and not a good example of godlike nature. Or tell me that, like David’s brothers, I look perfect and am everything everyone could want in a leader, but that there must be something wrong on the inside, prompting my internal iPod to skip to Goody Two Shoes. Subtle innuendo follows and all that. Not that I let my last year at The Ministry That Shall Not Be Named affect my self-esteem at all. Vipers.)

That was a long sentence, so I’m starting a new paragraph.

I loved my last job. I loved my coworkers. I enjoyed the work. I enjoyed most of my clients. I loved the location, the building, the fact that I could get my favorite coffee across the street…I loved my boss. I even really liked my boss’s boss. If they could have paid me more, and promised me that the in-tact team would never change (and that I would never be robbed at gunpoint) I would have happily stayed in my chair until retirement. And if my current boss hadn’t opened up my current position, I would still be there. It took something really special for me to feel okay about leaving.

The short-term position I had before taking my Bank Job really stripped a lot out of me. The job prior, from which I had been laid off, had worn me down to nearly nothing. I had very little confidence left when that manager was finished with me–and don’t even get me started on what being laid off and having to take unemployment did for my self-esteem. Dang. I needed someone like Melissa, in a position where I could have little victories every day, to rebuild my professional health.

I am happy to say that I am really happy. And I hope I don’t have to change jobs again for a very, very, very long time.

And I want to shout out to Charlcye and Melissa because what they did as managers was inspire me to work smarter, actively appreciate me and recognize my contribution, and make me feel like I could be my best. Aside from them being really good people, they were/are really good leaders. I was fortunate to learn from them.

P.S. I’m back. 😉

Posted in Women Worth Knowing

Women Worth Knowing: Meet Jill


Charlcye invited me to lunch one day to meet and welcome one of our coworkers from the Field.  Her name was Jill, and she was flying into Headquarters for the first time.  Part of our job was to make sure our partners in the Field knew how valued they were, and that we were there to make life easier for them.  Some people made that job more challenging than others, and then there were the team members like Jill, who made it a pleasure.

That also happens to be the best word to describe her.  Jill is an absolute pleasure.  She is a smiling, delightful, candidly happy woman, who more than lights up a room.  She lightens a room.  That is, she lifts the weight of the world from it with the effervescence of her spirit.  She is champagne in human form.

Jill is a good leader because you want to follow her.  Who wouldn’t want to follow her?  She is realistically optimistic, trustworthy, and knows her business.  If you’re asking her about numbers, you can take her answer to the bank.  If you’re asking her about people, you know she’s thought it through.  She gets results because she drives for them, but also because she makes you feel so darned good about being in the car with her.

When she responded with the answers to her profile questions, she added a little note.  I share it because it is an example of every communication I have ever had with her, professional or personal.  She builds up her contacts with sincerity and sweetness, and that makes her utterly irresistible.  Jill said, “I do remember flying into Dallas for a wedding in 2002, and I wanted to see the big [corporate headquarters.]  So Charlcye and you, and someone else met me, took me to lunch, and I got the star treatment tour. I remember thinking wow… These beautiful women are so cool and so nice ….weird!!! No cattiness and I was in love at first sight!! Aside from you and Charlcye always always always picking up your phone and emailing right back whatever I needed, you two really helped me grow and want to do well!”  See what I mean?  How could we not want to do anything in the world for her?

Meet Jill.

Name:  Jill

Age range: 30s but say forever 29.99 plus tax

Preferred job title: leader and trainer

Industry: retail retail retail

Who am I? I am a high-spirited sometimes misunderstood person that is always thirsty for change. I thrive on high stress and new adventures and am an organized mess.  I believe there is a reason for everything and all will turn out just fine… If not better. My eyes continue to strain to see things clearly for what they really are and I can find good in everything. Maybe in denial??

I believe in karma and God and I have lived a truly blessed life that I admit I did not even appreciate until I went on a medical mission to Rwanda Africa. Beautiful people!!

My family: I have an awesome husband, Kevin, of 14 years on 7-27 at 7pm, who stands by me in every crazy idea I come up with. My parents just this weekend retired and are moving to Indiana where they grew up and met.  Heartache! I am so Daddy’s little girl! They are fabulous parents who taught me my strong work ethic, respect for myself and others, and [they] never judge me!

I have a great stepson who is almost 18 and just received a full ride academic scholarship to Kentucky! Very proud!
I have 2 kitties that I took in as strays and we just got a puppy Hank who is in k-9 academy for 2 more weeks! Wish me luck…

First hour of the day: Procrastination and snooze button a few times! I dislike mornings! Mom said I was born at noon and truly that is when I would like to start my day 😉  The last hour is making my next to do list that never ends but I get great satisfaction from crossed out lines and check marks.  Maybe take my makeup off… Maybe not…

What makes me feel successful: Going home at the end of the day knowing I helped others and gave my best to my team and my customers.  Seeing others around me grow spiritually and professionally. I live to make people smile and feel appreciated.

What brings me joy: Red licorice, diet Pepsi, new pjs, not getting up early, pink cherry blossom trees.  African children with their ginormous smiles.  Opening up a door for someone who needs it, randomly paying for the car behind me in a drive thru anonymously.  Music music music! I heart music! I must have music playing at all times possible. Sometimes the song in my head doesn’t quite match up 🙂

What women do I admire:
Famous: I admire Oprah for speaking her mind and not waffling, for accepting what shape she may be at that moment and for changing the way I look at things.
I also admire my mom for working so hard and doing without so many gets so we could have nice things!

What do you like best about your closest friend: That she can pick up wherever we left off no matter length of time and not make me feel guilty.  For telling me the truth: yes you do have food in your teeth or a bat in the cove boogie 😉

What do you like best about yourself: I like that I can keep falling and keep getting back up again. I like that I am meeting new people who bring good into my life. I do like having green eyes.

What advice would you give to boys about girls? Always edify your mom and partner in front of anyone.
Always wear clean underwear when traveling, and it will stop hurting when the pain goes away.  Girls are like sourpatch gummies. Sweet on the inside if you give them time to melt 🙂

How do I overcome adversity: I [do it by having] confidence and by loving all kinds of people, striped, polka-dotted. Plaid doesn’t matter to me and I can get along with almost everyone…the ones I can’t .. I still try and pray for peace in their lives and I believe there is a reason deeper than I can see or know as to why they act the way they do .

How would you like to be remembered? With a big smile making a difference in my world close to me and far from me and that I never quit and gave up trying and learning.  As a great daughter, wife, stepmom, sister and friend.

Posted in Women Worth Knowing

Women Worth Knowing: Meet Charlcye


Charlcye (CHARL-see) is one of those rare women who nearly defy description.  I would swear that the lyrics to Drops of Jupiter were written about her, given that she acts like summer and walks like rain, but I knew her when the song came out and am pretty sure she’s never met Train.  Then again, it’s Charlcye.  She may very well have met and charmed, and been muse for that song.  She keeps her mysteries.  Not secrets.  Secrets are mundane, and there is nothing mundane about this woman.

I met Charlcye when we worked in the same department, and a few years later ended up working for her.  It was a blissful year, and I was incredibly sorry when a merger upended our happy arrangement.  However, once we were no longer coworkers, or in a manager/employee relationship, I got to know Charlcye as a friend–you should always ask for that in a severance package.  Your HR department might look at you funny, but you should definitely always try to get “and a friendship with Charlcye” out of any deal.

To the eye, Charlcye would appear to be carefree and wild.  She would appear to listen like Spring and talk like June.  But look closer.  There is method to her motion.  She is like a hummingbird, appearing only to flit and zip, and dart toward color in a flicker of movement, but in those short strokes, she is solid and serious, and drinking deeply from whatever has caught her interest.  There is nothing shallow about her.  Every click of her high heel is measured.  Every toss of her hair is pre-considered.  Every question she asks you is meaningful to her.

She once told me that she loves meeting anyone because everyone is a wonderful story waiting to be told.  Let her tell you hers.

Meet Charlcye.

Name: Charlcye
Age Range: 30 FOREVER
Preferred Job Title:  Investor in Real Estate, Travel, and Relationships
Industry:  Real Estate

Who are you :  somewhere in the many labels placed upon me you get a true sense of who I am:  Christ-Follower, Free Spirit, Goddess of Travel, Wife, Step-Mummy, Lover, BFF, Soul Sister, Vegetarian, Business Owner, Libertarian, Writer, Poet, Wanderer, Activist, Executive, Sabbatical Supporter, Urban Nomad, God-Mummy, Philanthropist, Connector, Highly Directive (not bossy…lol), Dream Coach, Empath, Life Builder, Pet Rescuer, Creative Soul, Daughter, and Earth Explorer.

Describe your family: Husband Mike, 3 daughters, 2 dogs, 1 cat (package deal when I said “I do” in 2008 – from single/no pets to instant family).  Mum (Spiritual Mentor), dad (my BFF), and my dearest Aunt Sharon (offers encouragement, inspiration, and unconditional love).  I believe in creating my family by carefully selecting and adding people to my life – coining them “family” promises a commitment for Forever.

What does the first hour of your day look like?
Looking to see where I am (always hopeful I’m in a hotel in a far-away city); yoga stretches to wake up and to breath correctly; listen to Public Radio updates on the world (90.1 KERA); dress and paint The Canvas (my outer shell) for the day according to agenda, weather, and feelings; kiss Mi Amor good bye for the day; determine my Intentions for the day.

The last hour? Yoga stretches; remove makeup; change into attire for Dreamland; recap day in Gratitude Journal; review/update Prayer List; tell dogs and cat good night and to sleep well; kiss Mi Amor good night and wish him Bon Voyage into Dreamland.   Identify intentions for amazing dreams and waking up rested.

What makes you feel successful? I equate success with making a difference.  Success for me is realized when I see or hear from someone about a positive difference because of my direct involvement in his/her life.

What brings you joy? Times that I am completely in the moment with no distractions – these are the moments I cherish most.  Music that resonates with my soul, music or words that connects my spirit with God, sitting in cafes writing in my journal, and watching an independent film and feeling a shift in my focus that is changing my life.

What women do you admire? Tough question, so many amazing women with qualities and responses to life that I admire.  My Mum gives freely her time, energy, and finances without any expectations in return; her legacy will live on for generations.  Betsey Johnson created her life, her eccentric fashion line, while overcoming being a single mum, seasoned divorcee, and breast cancer survivor.  Mother Teresa for sacrificing for others and yet being awesomely aware of her soul’s cravings.

What do you like best about your closest friend? Both he and she know my heart, my soul (mind, will, and emotions), my darkness and are not afraid, they know and encourage the light in me that when allowed can shine forth.  Unconditional love.

What do you like best about yourself? I am fully integrated, self-reflective, awake and see.  I connect with people and can learn from anyone I meet; I strive to see the magic moments of life.   Adventurous, tenacious, deep thinker.  I take inventory, experience being truly sorry, and seek forgiveness when my actions or attitudes have been less the Best Possible Me.

What advice would you give boys about girls? 1. Every decision has a consequence – indecision is a consequence. Choose your consequences wisely.  2. “Crushes” can last up to a year and are only chemicals in the brain showing you similarities and “feel good” moments.  Love lasts and needs values and morals that are the same to build the foundation for a lasting love. You will “love” several but can only build a healthy life with a select few.   3. Never let anyone believe he/she is more special to you than they are – don’t break hearts and stop others from damaging other humans.   4. Don’t believe the lies society tells you:  high school -> college-> marriage-> suburbs-> children.  FIND YOUR PATH; only get married if you truly mean “forever”, don’t have children unless your decisions will be for their best interest, don’t have children to feel loved or to live out your plans through them, don’t live in the suburbs if you are a Urbanite or Downtowner.   5.  Watch for the Moments of Clarity.  Talk to strangers.  Travel by yourself.  Wander with no destination in mind.  Explore all possibilities.

How do you overcome adversity? With my faith in God and the support of my friends and family.

How do you want to be remembered? I hope that others would place on my epitaph:  “ Believer in possibilities, Embraced others Souls,  Aligned her Spirit with God’s plans, and Lived until her last breath.”