Sunday, October 23, 2011

An Exceptional Year

Gratitude is a wonderful and powerful thing.  I have a lot to be thankful for this past year.

Last year, four days after I returned from my summer vacation to DC, I was called into my former HR manager's office.  With a big smile on his face, he handed me my termination letter.  I can't say that I wasn't surprised or terribly upset.  I knew for quite some time that they were trying to find a way to get me to resign. I just didn't think that they would terminate me immediately when I returned from vacation but hey whatever. I was in a good mood and I did a big, "Woooo hoooooo" as I walked out his door...  I don't like "yes" men anyways.  Weak. 

(Oh dayam.... gratitude:  Yes, I'm grateful I was there for a few years, learned a LOT, did a lot of work, and and occassionally got paid on time.  I'm grateful I didn't whack anyone.  I'm grateful I'm not at all like some of the management there;  I'm grateful I'm a better person and can sleep at night knowing that I didn't harm people.  I'm grateful that I met a few quality people there like MC and CK. I'm grateful I had several excellent opportunities to travel and meet people in the defense industry.  I'm grateful that the experience enriched my life.)

So, let me set the record straight:  my new employer found me directly long before we ever met in person.  It is a great story of how Stella and I met:  we were waiting outside of an AUSA event (18 +/- months prior) for the valet to bring our cars and struck up a conversation/exchanged e-mails.  She later learned (through her friend- and now my friend - Ev, who I forgot to mention here yesterday when I wrote this; my bad, sorry) that I was looking for a job (shortly after being terminated). Ev suggested to Stella that she should interview me.  It was a great "interview":   4 hours of dinner and giggles.  I went to work for Stella a few weeks later.  (Everything went so smoothly that the HR people must have thought I was "challenged" because I sat there, staring, with my mouth open; waiting for something to drop on my head.)

I went from a big kushy office with a big comfy sofa to no office, no desk, no phone (no toilet seats...).  But it was all good.  We moved into a bigger space a few months later.

I have been mistaken in the past and I owe Stella an apology; I usually introduce her to people as "my boss." That is wrong.  I should just introduce her as, "my friend."  Yes, I work for her.  Yes, she is the one who holds the key to my way-cool lifestyle and means of living, but she is way more than that - she has been such an amazing friend. The word "boss" isn't sufficient nor is it the correct term.

She probably doesn't realize this but I have been working for her for an entire year now - as of October 17th.  It feels like just the other day that I started working at this job.  What a wonderful experience it has been.

I'm working with people who have decency and integrity:  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  It is a simple concept that always translates into good business.  Always.  After all, not all business is good and the bad kind usually comes back to bite you in the ass...

As someone who has had to sell, yet values integrity (transparency/honesty), it has been a double-edged sword at times.  There have been cases in the past when I've had to spout marketing about how great an employer-company is, yet know in my heart that it hasn't been true.  When you have that knowledge, and are yourself someone who CARES, I believe that it eats at your soul.  I state facts and I'm not deceitful.  When in doubt, I drop the '...We conduct due diligence.  I think you should too...'

I work with honest and sincere people, selling an honest service.  It is transparent.  There aren't hidden agendas and no one is out to deceive anyone - including employees.  The first month I came here (and every month thereafter), I received my salary on time.  I was in such a state that I sent the CFO and HR payroll people thank-you notes (they offered to pay me late if it would have made me feel more comfortable). 

I knew nothing of the new industry that I have gone into;  I have made no excuses.  I do know my job and I am so incredibly grateful that I have had a mentor who has taught me an tremendous amount in a short period of time. I'm also grateful that we have such a solid team of quality people.  I'm terrible with math (again, no excuses - I suck at math.  I'm a right-hemisphere girl.  I see the world in pictures.); we have an outstanding accountant who translates Stella's words and my visuals into numbers.  We have a great military Ops Manager who makes my job seemless.  My office mate, another Ops Manager in a different department, is a quiet and dependable friend who I can ask anything of (and who feeds me cookies when we are draggin at 11:30 am).   We have an excellent and responsive IT team.  Our HR Manager is amiable and respectful and always puts me at ease (em... cause I have a tendancy to kinda go OTT).  Oh, and I have a company mobile phone (in your FACE former employers who wrote it into my contract and then never gave it to me) and an underground parking space.  Little things mean a lot. 

I just wanted to publicly express my gratitude to Stella for this past 12 months.  I'm honored to work with you and I can't thank you enough for your friendship, kindness, and quirky intelligent perspective.  Thank you for taking a chance on me when I really needed to have my faith restored.  Thanks for a great year, my friend!


jenia17 said...

Very nice story.. Next time try to illustrate. Or make move in TV, or put in radio..!! ........ But it's over and this is best thing in this story.

Your Stella.

Anonymous said...

Very nice story.. Next time try to illustrate. Or make move in TV, or put in radio..!! ........ But it's over and this is best thing in this story.

Your Stella.

Expat and the City said...

You deserve an exceptional year because you're such a lovely person. I wish you many great years to come. <3 u!

Anonymous said...

I luv reading your blog!! You are an individual that appreciates the good in life and express your feelings openly! Not many people Around like you. Wish you the best in life!
I am looking for a job - any openings?? Lol

LWDLIK said...

Glad to hear things are going so well. They sound like a great bunch.

Anonymous said...

Where do you work? On Arifjan?How many hours a week are you required to work? Thank you!

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 9:12: No I don't work on Arifjan. I work for a contractor with offices on AJ and I work 48 hours per week - as per Kuwait Labor Law.