Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's not what happens to you

it's what you do about it that matters.

The layoff was unexpected and traumatic. I believe---and was told by my boss (the Risk Manager) and HIS boss (VP-HR) that I had done an exemplary job. Both of them offered to write me glowing letters of recommendation, and that they would be glad to act as references for me.

My boss told me privately, as he took me to drinks and dinner, then helped me clean out my office, that (a) he fought like a demon to try to keep me, (b) offered up another employee instead--who unfortunately made less than half my salary, (c) didn't know what he was going to do without me, as he freely admitted that he had no idea how to do my job. The VP-HR told the President and CFO of the company, while they were in the meeting deciding who got the axe, that I had cleaned up the mess and gotten the department turned around and headed in the right direction.

It was strictly a numbers game---they had to find salaries that fit their requirements, and mine was one. (They also fired our Director of Training and our RECEPTIONIST, one of the best I've ever personally seen and a single mother with two little kids, along with two regional management staffs and regional managers, as well as demoting a VP to "Manager").

So, I wasn't mad. I mean, what does that get you? I had several interesting moments. I was calmly cleaning out my desk, putting stuff in boxes, and my boss was standing there looking like he had been punched in the stomach. He was not addressing me, he looked at the floor and said, "I just hate this."

When we loaded the last box in the car, he said, "You have handled this with more class and dignity than anyone I've ever seen." I said, "Well, I've always believed that a Gentleman loses with the same grace with which he wins; gracious in victory, gracious in defeat." He replied, "Well, then you're more of a gentleman than I am, because I'd be mad as hell."

I repeat: I'm not mad. Mad does no good. Just gets the blood pressure going. Unhappy, certainly. Frightened out of my wits. Determined to land on my feet. I will find a job, even with the recession/depression.

I have to believe the hand of God is in all this. It is that belief that is keeping me going.

I was working in the same job I'd had for 15 years in Arkansas. This came along out of the blue, was a vastly bigger, better opportunity (and has enhanced my resume) and I took it.

Two weeks after I got here, our biggest client at my little company in Arkansas went belly-up. So I would have been on the street then, totally unprepared, weighing 60 lbs more than I weigh now, with no clothes, no resume, no nothing.

It got Mother, Dad and me out of a declining (to the point of criminality, crack houses, gunshots, etc) neighborhood and into a better area.

It got Mother and Dad to San Antonio, where they have better medical care and better access to it, and my sister and her family to look after them, with me 3 hours away in Houston.

It got Nathan out of a tough situation in Arkansas and launched him on what I believe will be a spectacular career. He can now hold his head up with every member of his graduating class when he tells them of his job, his company, and where he lives. All he has to do is keep working with the same diligence he is applying now; keep his education going; keep after it, and he's going to wind up very, very well off. He'll be able to buy one of my friend Kathy Beaumont's houses and write a check for it by the time he's 40.

I was able to buy this house, which just "fell out of the sky", on an incredible interest rate with a loan I could not now get. Since I hadn't sold my Malvern house, and wasn't going to get anything for it anyway, I got one of the very last -0- down 30 year fixed rate loans offered before the collapse.

I just don't think all of these things were coincidental; I see the hand of God in them. If you want to laugh at me for that, go ahead.

If God has brought me this far, why would he desert me at this point?

When God closes a door, he opens a window somewhere else. I've just got to find that window.

Keep Looking Up!

From Malvie's Musings


  1. Good post. How old will I be when Nathan's 40?

  2. "Age is a matter of mind: If you don't mind, it don't matter."