November 2nd prompt…You, the Personal, & the Professional
Well, here I sit, on day 2, thinking about prompt 2, and, once again, wondering what I could possibly write about adoption and my professional life. I spent my entire professional life working for the same company. Just a couple of weeks short of my 26 year anniversary, I found myself reorganized, and restructured, right out of a job, and into early retirement. After all those years working, it’s kind of funny. I don’t think that I thought of it as my profession. For me, it was just a job. Oh, my, where, oh where am I going to go with this, and what could it possibly have to do with me and adoption? Where’s that emotional trigger when I need it?
As they say, when God closes one door, He will open another. I had known for a couple of years that the day was coming when my job would be terminated, so it wasn’t a surprise when the word came. I had been preparing for it for quite some time. I had learned years earlier, when my sight had begun to really deteriorate, that if I wanted to survive, I had to fight for myself, protect myself, my rights, and be ready for whatever happened. When I think back on that time, I have to ask myself why I did it. Why did I fight so hard to continuously try to prove my worth and that being blind – did not make me any less valuable as an employee? Why did I spend all those years in a job I hated just for the security of a paycheck, my principles, and my pride? I just sit here and shake my head now. I don’t regret it. I’m proud that I didn’t let the corporate powers that be, defeat me. I do wonder, as I realize just how much stress I had put on myself, not because of the job, but the being blind, and needing to prove my worth as a blind person, among other stressful issues being blind in a sighted world brings, if it was really worth it?
When it was all said and done, the company had offered the 6 people in our department the opportunity to apply for 3 positions that would be opening. We were all encouraged to apply for, what turned out was our current job, renamed, and redescribed, at one of the divisional levels. The powers that be would prevail this time. I chose not to apply. I knew, of all my coworkers, losing my job would not be for me, the devastating financial blow that it would be for the others. I had prepared and even in a failing economy, I knew I would be fine, while the others, all of us over 45, would have a much more difficult time.
I also knew I would never be considered for the position, not really. The powers that be had finally crossed all their T’s and dotted all their I’s. My coworkers were so worried about what would happen to me. What would I do? I knew I would be fine, and, frankly I was relieved. My pride would have never let me quit. That would mean defeat. It makes me smile when I think about it now. I had fought a good fight, but it was time to end that war. It was time to move on. In the end, I’ll admit, I was a little hurt to realize, after all I had done, that it hadn’t really mattered how good a job I had done, how valuable an employee, how loyal, hardworking, and dependable I was. No matter how many times I had proven my worth, and value, after working with some of these people for years, when they looked at me, first and foremost, all they saw was a blind person.
I learned to play the game of survival in corporate America, but I was not cut out for climbing the corporate ladder. It just isn’t in my nature to play the games that get played. I was always more of a “work to live” kind of person, and was never a “live to work” person. As I said earlier, when one door closes, another opens. My involuntary retirement has given me the opportunity to really discover who I am, be who I was really meant to be, and the time to do it. I suppose, in a way, all those years I spent trying to prove my worth may have been a sort of waste of time, because, really, isn’t the proof in the pudding?
Now, that I’ve, somehow, gotten through another post, what does this have to do with the price of tea in China, and adoption? Use your imagination, and see what you can come up with.
See TAO’s thoughts on this November 2nd prompt