Saturday, February 18, 2017

There Be Dragons

Dear Readers, you may know that I do not write for a living.  At least not all my living.  My style writing and other contributions, paid writing, etc. have never filled the coffers completely and so I must have a full-time job at all times.  That job is in the financial sector - a roly-poly mess of a world with changing regulations and ever-squeezing and strident edicts.  This isn't really a pretty post - I'm talking about work reviews - you know, when your boss rates you and determines your very worth as a human being and your right to exist on the planet.

If you have been visiting my blog for a long time then you might remember my sad post from two years ago when I left a job I held for 20 years.  It was an arm wrench and just as painful.  What drove me from that position were, for lack of better words, viperous women.  It is said that the art of the deal is the art of war and I would go so far as to say that work is a battleground.  And if all is fair in love and war then all is fair in the modern workplace too.  I had my annual review yesterday.

Despite my passion for my job, my boss snared me on some very petty things.  And in 12 months, this was the first I had heard about them.  Among some of the infractions, apparently I should have attended the company's Christmas party which I would have had to buy tickets for, accompanied my boss home from a meeting instead of driving home with lovely co-workers so we could have a rare dinner together, and provided a set of birthday cards each Monday for clients.  Initially I was told the required company cards were gauche and calls would be made instead.  Not so, I discovered in my review.  When did reading your boss' mind become a core value to be rated on?

So this weekend, this precious three day weekend, I am allowing myself to grieve a position I believed to be perfect as my final act.  My consolation is that I will wake to a kind friend waiting for me in "his" leather chair in the den I decorated after my daughter left home and married last year. I'm sure he will silently get up and trod downstairs to fetch my daily joy - a mug of creamy and delicious coffee.  Then he will then sit back with a Twinkie (a favorite weekend Breakfast of Champions) where he will stare at me kindly and blink until my tears flow and re-flow with yet another rendering of hurt and sting until I am spent and have no words left to say.

It will be then that we dress and drive to the beach where in only a few short months the sand will be warm and covered with summer umbrellas that will stretch as far as the eye beholds.  They will be as bright and colorful as massive children's beach balls magically suspended in air.

And not one dragon shall be near.


Somewhere in every heart there is a discerning voice. This voice distrusts the status quo. It sounds out the falsity in things and encourages dissent from the images things tend to assume. It underlines the secret crevices where the surface has become strained. It advises distance and opens up a new perspective through which the concealed meaning of a situation might emerge. The inner voice makes any complicity uneasy. Its intention is to keep the heart clean and clear. This voice is an inner whisper not obvious or known to others outside. It receives little attention and is not usually highlighted among a person's qualities. Yet so much depends on that small voice. The truth of its whisper marks the line between honor and egoism, kindness and chaos. In extreme situations, which have been emptied of all shelter and tenderness, that small voice whispers from somewhere beyond and encourages the heart to hold out for dignity, respect, beauty and love.
John O'Donohue


  1. Donna, I am sorry. I was fortunate never to have faced such dragons as that at work, but my heart grieves with you.

  2. So sorry ..... too bad that you can't review the performance of your boss. I have had a couple of these blindsided gems tossed in a review and left the room bewildered. There are times that I know I am in the world but not of it and that makes me very glad indeed! Please remember that there are many, many of us in your corner. Lisa

  3. I am so sorry, too. It is so unfair.
    I am self-employed; and have been for 46 years. I have had the luxury of firing 3 clients. (One, who professed to have changed, twice!) I realize how lucky I am. I was fair with firing my clients. You have not been treated fairly. Do you really have no recourse? I wish you would! If you can!

  4. Take heart. I love your blog and your inspiring attitude to life. The work place can be cruel but don't let it overcome your wonderful spirit. I returned to the workplace three years ago after a long gap. Its a sad new world and I too experience people like your boss. Please keep inspiring me from your beautiful posts..... Denise living in Ireland.

  5. I am so sorry you had to endure this. A friend of mine is going through the same thing, but since she is a teacher, it may very well become a public discussion. It is freaking 2017! Why, why, why are women still having to endure such petty behavior. If the Christmas party is not in your job description, there should be no expectation that you should attend. I would ask if your boss can read your mind...I expect not for he might be surprised about the, perhaps, blue words you are thinking. Ah, but you are too gentle a soul, a lady, for the words I am sending his way.

  6. another TWINKIE and walk TALL on TUESDAY!!XX

  7. Donna, I feel for you. I had a terrible boss a year ago. She gave me a horrible review. I went to her the next morning and told her that we would have to agree to disagree. The next day she threw my words in my face and let me go. It was one of the best days of my life. I love my current job and my boss!