Professional Journey · Uncategorized

The Squeaky Wheel…

We’ve all heard the saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease…” We understand it’s meaning as “the person who complains the loudest gets their way.” What we fail to see, is the wheel is incapable of getting it’s own grease. The wheel is incapable of getting up a little earlier, filling out a job application, researching it’s rights, interpreting it’s rights, fighting for it’s rights, or becoming more than just a wheel. The wheel is not an acceptable comparison to a human, it’s an inanimate object with no feelings, no ability to evolve, no ability to be anything more than just a wheel. So why do we justify our human complaints with this phrase?

I consistently hear people say, “I hate my job.” My question is “why are you still doing that job?” Why do we not believe we have a choice? How did we get that job? We applied for it, right? We went to an interview, right? If we did it once, couldn’t we do it again? McDonalds is always hiring, and based on the service I’ve received lately, they could use some good help. If we hate our┬ájob, the only thing keeping us in it is our choice. People say, “I hate this country,” but just as others have gained citizenship here, we can gain citizenship elsewhere. Even better than just leaving, we could think of solutions to the problems and vote for people who want to create the change we think we need. We could even go a step further than that, and become one of those people who create change. Educate ourselves and stand up for our beliefs. If we want change, it’s all about our choices.

Funny thing, the choice word. We don’t realize every action we’re making is a choice. We wake up late, it was a choice. We feel like crap, it’s a choice. Believe it or not, every choice we make has a consequence. Whether or not it will be positive starts with the choice we make.

The funny thing about ┬ápeople and choices is that sometimes we have to choose between two things we don’t ‘want.’ This seems to be the most common problem and the more realistic conflict. We hate our job, but we don’t want to go back to college and learn a new skill, so we stay in the job we hate. We don’t like our car, but we don’t want to put aside other things we like to spend money on to buy another one. At what point will what we don’t like become more important than what we want? Why is our ‘happiness’ less important than our ‘wants?’ Isn’t the most important thing we can want to be happy, healthy, and empowered by our lives?

Here’s my proposal. Look at your life, all the things you hate about it. Not just the minor inconveniences, but the things you dread. What is the worst thing that could happen if you chose to change one of them? If you hate your job, start putting out applications for another job. If you hate your car, start a savings account for a new one. If you hate a business you deal with, stop dealing with them. If you hate our weight, start working out. Just pick one thing and change your choices. If you can’t change your choices, change your perspective. Focus on your ‘why.’ Why did you apply for our job to begin with? Is it serving its purpose? Can we change our perceptions so we are perpetuating a positive change and not adding to the discontentment? Can we see past our own thoughts and feelings to realize that 100 other people are doing the same job, the best they possibly can, and our negativity is making their job harder? I’m not saying put on rose colored glasses and convince ourselves everything is sunshine and rainbows, but find one piece of our day we would normally dread and put a positive spin on it until we can change our choice. Are we capable of more, or are we too selfish to see past our own feelings and thoughts?

Think about this…

If we hate our job, at least we have one.

If we hate family get-together’s, at least we have family caring if we show up or not.

If we hate our car, at least we have a car to drive.

If we hate our body, at least we are alive.

If we hate our insurance, at least we have coverage.

If we hate our government, at least we have a say in it.

Are we capable of seeing these pieces of life with even a small level of gratitude? Or will we choose to remain incapable of changing and advancing, like the squeaky wheel?

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Professional Journey

It’s All Your Fault, Literally, All of It.

I blame you. I blame you for a fear of intimacy I have carried with me since you did what you did to me. I blame you for hurt and mistrust. I blame you for the anxiety I feel every time I see my son with an adult, male or female. I blame you for the thought of someone hurting him like you hurt me every time there is a dramatic change in his behavior. I also blame you for my strength and ability to love with all I have. I blame you for my ability to trust my intuition and be aware of my surroundings and the people interacting with my son. I blame you for the incredible intimate relationship I have with my husband because before I shared that part of myself again, I made sure I fully trusted the man I gave it to. I blame you for my ability to forgive and show compassion, even to those who hurt me deeper than any other. You hurt me, but you also taught me some of the most important life lessons I could have ever learned, you taught me to rise above. You taught me the type of person I didn’t want to be. I’m a strong, beautiful, confident, loving, compassionate, and forgiving woman, and it’s all your fault. Literally, all of it.

I blame you. I blame you for abandoning me and creating this fear of losing those I love. I blame you for giving up on me because I was hard to handle. I blame you for not taking the time to get to know me better and love me through those hard days. I blame you for separating me from the loves of my life and creating voids in my childhood. I also blame you for my ability to believe in myself. I blame you for the deep rooted belief that nothing is impossible. I blame you for wanting to be better with my money so I am never in an inconsistent financial situation. I blame you for my ability to say ‘enough is enough’ when I’ve hit my breaking point and discover other options to accomplish what needs to be done. I blame you for showing me the value of family and teaching me what it’s like without them so I would appreciate when I have them. I blame you for my ability to love myself and see every could-be failure as a lesson on how not to do it next time, and the strength to create a next time. I am an incredible mom, sister, wife, and woman, and it’s all your fault. Literally, all of it.

I blame you for convincing me I was ready to be an adult too fast. I blame you for using me to manipulate your parents. I blame you for not letting me go to college when I wanted to. I blame you for my weight problems, my depression, and my anxiety about my marriage. I blame you for creating uncertainty in my ability to be loved. I blame you for lost friendships and making me miss my last few years as a ‘kid.’ I also blame you for the confidence to stand up for what is important to me. I blame you for my ability to recognize a manipulator so that I am not manipulated again. I blame you for the strength it took to go back to college and graduate with honors with an 18 month old baby. I blame you for my willpower to gain control over my weight and seek guidance to handle my depression and anxiety. I blame you for being able to identify what I’m feeling when I feel it so I can effectively process it. I blame you for my ability to value genuine friendships and choose who I share myself with carefully. I blame you for the wife I have become and the beautiful marriage I have today. I am a strong, beautiful woman, an amazing wife, an incredible mom, a college graduate, and a soldier, and it’s all your fault. Literally, all of it.

If you’re going to blame someone for the bad things in your life, you must also blame them for the good. Every experience you encounter is an opportunity to grow. Thomas Edison worked for years to refine the light bulb, trying more than 1,000 different approaches before finally succeeding. Some of his ‘failures’ taught him ways to accomplish other outcomes, but his consistent will to ‘try’ proves you haven’t ‘failed’ until you’ve stopped trying. If what you tried didn’t work, it doesn’t mean give up, it means you’ve eliminated one more idea that doesn’t work and are one idea closer to the idea that will work. If something is truly important to you, the way to accomplish the goal, is to speak it into existence, believe it with every part of your mind, body, and soul, and keep going until you get what you want. If you don’t, it’s all your fault. Literally, all of it.

Professional Journey

The Journey Begins

It’s been almost two years since everything really started. I work for a call center, and at the time, I had been promoted to the Senior team and assigned to the Executive Recovery branch of the team. In my business, the senior team members are the problem solvers of the business. Callers who demand a supervisor are transferred to their team so that they can identify and resolve the problem. Seniors work in an incredibly stressful environment, as many of their callers are angry and abusive. In addition to working with customers, Seniors also answer questions for colleagues who aren’t sure how to solve a caller’s inquiry. Agents from all over the business will call for clarification on instructions and guidance on how to resolve issues. As an Executive Recovery agent, I helped Seniors find answers and took hostile escalations that went above them. My job challenged me, emotionally and mentally. The title gave me a sense of strength and purpose. I believed I had finally ‘arrived.’ For the first time in my professional career, the people who I had gone to for help were coming to me for help, I was the subject matter expert, I was the leader, and it felt good.

In the summer of 2015, upon coming back from a weeks vacation with my family, I found out that due to a series of events, I was being removed from the Executive Recovery team and placed back on the Senior Team. In hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened to me, but during the transition, it nearly broke my spirit. I became bitter and angry, and while those emotions didn’t last for very long, the trust that I lost for my leadership and our organization lasted for a very long time. I requested a transfer to our work from home program and isolated myself for several weeks. I had an incredible supervisor during that time who refused to let me give up on my goals. She had a way of pushing me without ‘pushing me.’ The love of my job never went away, but being bitter causes us to lose sight of the big picture. Her patience and encouragement eventually lead me back to the site and is ultimately what gave me the ability to become a supervisor.

Now, I go back to this time, because I believe this was the catalyst of my depression. The primary reason I was ‘demoted’ was because I had gained the perception of someone no one wanted to work with. I was repeatedly told by a member of our management that people didn’t ‘like’ to work with me, people didn’t ‘like’ me, my personality was ‘too strong,’ and if I didn’t find a way to change, I would never advance. When I went to work from home, I didn’t have to face those allegations because I wasn’t socially interacting with my peers. My work was able to speak for itself so I wasn’t self conscious. I didn’t have that voice in the back of my head. However, when I went back on site last fall to interim as a supervisor, I had to face those allegations and for a very long time, I’ve walked on egg shells out of fear of not being ‘good enough.’ Denying who you are is exhausting, and I started sleeping all the time. I lost interest in things that I would normally be excited about. I tried to keep a stone face and never show vulnerability. My husband finally said I needed to see a counselor, and that is where this side of the journey begins.

I am discovering myself. I am revisiting moments like the one above, where I had an opportunity to make a decision, and the decision I made was wrong. I am identifying my ‘why,’ developing an action plan, and working towards achieving my goal.

When my manager made the statements he made, I had the opportunity to make a decision. I could allow his words to discourage me and hold me down, or I could use his words to learn to develop relationships with others. I chose then, to build relationships and learn to let my work speak for itself, but when I came back to the office, I allowed those words to cause me to question myself, which damaged my confidence and ability to lead. My opportunity here, is to trust that this is no longer a concern. I shouldn’t just ‘let it go,’ because it happened, it created an emotional response of fear, and I learned from it, but I should recognize that fear and implement a plan to overcome it. The truth is that I wouldn’t have the position that I have if my leadership team didn’t think I could effectively lead. So from now on, when I begin to seek approval or validation because I am afraid I am wrong, I am going to evaluate the situation, make a decision, and stand by it. If I make the wrong decision, then I have an opportunity to learn and grow.

The willingness to learn and grow is where we all begin. You start with a desire to accomplish something. For me, I want to make a difference in the lives of others, it’s a passion and obsession that is deeply ingrained in my being. Realizing this helped me identify another habit that I had to change… and we will talk about that next time.