They Won

A friend of mine left her job the other day. She’d been employed at the establishment for less than a month. When she told me why, I was sympathetic, but when I examined it a little closer I had to admit to myself that she probably made the wrong decision – or at the very least – she quit for the wrong reasons.

I won’t burden you with those reasons. Suffice to say that if I told you what they were, you’d think that we were in grade school all over again. I’m not belittling her feelings and I realize that nobody wants to get up every morning to go to a place where they don’t want to be. And stay there for eight hours every day.

Because after a while it’s bound to get on your last nerve, and work just becomes an excuse to get money to do the things you need to do in life, like pay bills (necessary), eat (more necessary), and contribute to somebody else’s mortgage (is that really necessary?). And I know that sometimes external stresses can cause internal pain.

I’ve said before that there aren’t a lot of us who absolutely love what we do for a living and as a result can greet every day with the best attitudes (even if we are morning people), so the least a person can hope for is to work in a place where everybody can at least get along.

But what if that isn’t possible? What if some people that you work with do everything in their power to make you uncomfortable and make no bones about the fact that they don’t want you there? When I was a younger adult, I used to be upset when people weren’t drawn to my effervescent personality which I cleverly disguised.

A talk with my mother made me see that the loss was theirs and not mine. And I’ve learned that not everybody in life is going to like me, and that it’s okay if they don’t. And even though it may bother me – as it sometimes does, because we are all human – there isn’t a way in hell that I’m ever going to let that person know it.

Maya Angelou declared that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles a rainy day, lost luggage or tangled Christmas tree lights. Of course I had to see how I measured up on that score. More on that some other time.

But her words ring true, when in her book “Letter to my Daughter” she writes, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them”.

So while I know that my friend will surely find her happy place, I have to tell her that this time, unfortunately – she allowed them to win. But, I’ll also say, as my mother would, “Don’t let it happen again”.

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