Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If you ask, you shall receive!

The good news!
So, I had an attorney draft up a letter to outline my legal claims that I could sue on, and requested that they double my severance pay in order for me to waive my rights to sue.  They sure responded quickly!  My husband thinks we should sue, but I'd just like to move on.  I don't want to do anything that looks or feels vindictive, but I want to speak up for myself and "call 'no fair!'"  I think this is the best possible solution.  Perhaps I could have asked for more... but I feel good about this.  Like I can still hold my head high knowing I had good intentions, knowing that people I respect won't (likely) loose respect for me, and knowing that I have a backbone.

Life at the company wasn't all horrible.  There were some fantastic people that I hope to maintain relationships with.  It's just unfortunate that at the executive level and on down a level or two, there IS a machine.  It's not in my head.  Even though I know I didn't defeat the machine, I also denied it my energy.  I hope I loosened a few screws, at any rate.

So I took my youngest to Starbucks to celebrate.  He's really a gift.  He found a couple dollars in the clothes dryer, and I told him he could buy a treat; he enjoyed a cinnamon roll.

Coffee: a uniter of the people
While there, I observed the people a bit.  Coffee is a gift from God.  Not just because it's tasty and can provide a bit of an energy boost, but also because it unites humanity.  I'm fond of Starbucks.  I'm a Northwest sort of girl, and I'm pleased to see a NW company doing well.  And I enjoy their product.  I like their coffee better than most.  There are naysayers.  Some people genuinely do not prefer the Starbucks coffee, but many of them just don't like the large company-ness of the brand.  I suppose it's all good.  The world would be a boring place if we all agreed on everything.  But don't say Starbucks is for snobs.

While there today, I saw people from every walk of life.  People coming into a building to procure a beverage.  A tasty, energy boosting beverage.  People in coveralls or overalls, people with ties and sport coats, women in heels, women in long skirts and headcoverings, smartly dressed, people dressed for comfort.  All these people in a half an hour.  Coffee unites us in our diversity.  So when I say it's a gift from God, I'm partially speaking tongue in cheek, but it's really true.  While Starbucks (or ) isn't a church, per se, it IS a uniter of people. United we stand.  United with a warm beverage (I am exstatic that the pumpkin spice latte has returned!).

Kindness is weakness?
I've been thinking a lot about what the factors are in my recent  unemployment.  Sure, there's the machine I've talked about, and there's the "someone had to go" element... but what made them select me as a skill set they could live without? 

I've written before about how one of my persuasion techniques is to get people to think that my idea is actually THEIR idea.  This is a necessary skill to have in order to work with the machine.  However, it also makes one appear weak. 

Women are nurturing by nature.  Generally speaking, of course.  But we are wired differently.  This nurturing/kindness/gentle pursuasion... I think it's viewed as a weekness.  Certainly by the man types.  Generally speaking, of course.  So now, the question is... is it something I really want to change?  I think the answer is "yes, in part."  I don't want to become someone entirely different than who I currently am, but I DO want to have a voice.

The voice and the cough
Speaking of having a voice... I had a cough for nearly two years.  When conventional medicine wasn't giving me answers, I went to a naturopath (affectionately referred to as "the hippie doctor"... thanks to a friend).  One of the first questions he asked me is if I felt like I couldn't talk, or was being silenced.  I laughed at that.  He agreed that I didn't seem like one who had trouble offering her thoughts.  Though looking back, I DID feel like I was talking into a vacuum.  That I wasn't heard.  I have to wonder if that was a factor?  If (when) I go back, I'm going to have to ask him about that.  If you are curious, the hippie doctor put me on a grain-free dairy-free diet.  The pulmonologist put me on prednisone for a couple months, and together, that seemed to do most of the trick.  Though separately, neither was terribly effective.

At any rate, I'm feeling pretty good today.  A lot of good reflection, a new red coffee cup (so I can toss or donate my former favorite red cup with the company logo on it), a pumkin spice latte, good news, good day.

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