Thursday, February 27, 2014

You May be Holding the Key

Have you ever wanted to know what was in store ahead of you, where you would be, what you would be doing?  Have you ever thought to yourself, "I just want this situation to be over?" or "I don't know how much more of this I can take?"  Looking back over the last three months there is no way I could have expected things to turn out the way they did.

As often happens, Rick leaves and I find myself alone with some time to think and process things and the opportunity to sort them out enough to write about them, this was the case tonight.  I though perhaps I would go see what I lasted blogged about, because I couldn't remember when the last time I blogged had been.  To my surprise the last blog was written the week of Thanksgiving 2013, which unbeknownst to me was also the middle of a huge change that was about to take place in my life.  Ironically, the blog below is a blog where I wrote about coming to the place where I was going to appreciate me, right where I was.  Regardless, of what others thought about me and how I was treated I committed to myself that the opinions of others who did not have my best interest at heart would not control my happiness.

What am I talking about?  Well, as I alluded to in the post below I was struggling in my professional life.  I was working for someone with no ethics, no leadership skills, and who was so insecure with herself that she sought to make everyone around her question their own abilities.  Never in all my years as a federal employee had I ever seen such poor treatment of employees go unchecked and uncorrected.  I struggled with a year of, "How much longer can I put up with this?" I considered moving back to Hawaii with the kids to find fulfillment in my career, but in the end did not think it was fair to my husband to take the last years our youngest son was to live at home away from him.  I looked for other positions within the organization, only to have my boss make sure those doors got slammed shut with her slanderous words.  I thought about quitting, but in the end refused to give up my career and my time in federal service all because of someone else, I didn't want her to have that power over me. 

The week prior to Thanksgiving was an especially hard week, where the entire management team was accused of things, battered, abused, and treated poorly.  After seeing my boss in the Exchange the weekend before Thanksgiving and had to deal with more of her negative energy and nastiness something in me broke. I made the decision that day that I was no longer going to be treated that way and I was going to use the proper channels to file an official complaint and let the chips fall where they may.  I realized my own self worth and decided for myself enough was enough.  So I made some calls that weekend, and began to pursue the path of standing up for myself.  What I did not know was that the other managers ALL reached that breaking point that weekend, and as of Monday morning all of started to file formal complaints. What we all did not know was that our boss for all intents and purposes had quit that week, without knowing we all had reached our breaking points, she reached hers and quit.  

What I find so powerful in all of this is that it was not until all the managers, these talented professional women who had struggled with being beat down verbally and emotionally for a year all reached their breaking point that the struggle was broken in the work place.  It wasn't until we all decided that we were valuable and worth more than we were getting, until we decided that enough was enough that things changed.

It wasn't until I decided in my mind, heart, and soul that I would not allow myself to be treated this way that my breakthrough came.

Since, that moment I have worked some of the longest hours of my career as the remaining three managers struggled to keep the programs running in the absence of three managers.  However, even on the longest days, we were happier than we had been in a year.  Things have shifted for not just those who reached their breaking point and decided enough is enough, but the organization as a whole is benefitting from being free to enjoy their work environment as professionals.  We all have new positions, and have found that we really like each other and we are an awesome team.

In closing I would like to say, that often times we are the ones to hold the key to change in our lives.  Certain situations are going to remain in your life until you decide that they are unacceptable and do something about it.  

Ask yourself, what situation are you holding the key to in your life?