So, I’m going to write about something from my past… almost a year ago – and then from the present…
For close to three years, I worked for a local privately owned garbage and recycling company, whose name I cannot say, but whose initials are ACI. Now this is not to sound pompous or conceited or ostentatious, but I did a lot for the public image of the company, including but not limited to strengthening relationships with city officials and employees, creating a positive face in the community through education, community events, and becoming involved with the Alameda and San Leandro Chamber’s of Commerce (hmmmm, now you know what communities the company services).
After three of years of hard work and being recognized for it by the Chambers (Board member, committee member) – never the employer – I was ‘let go’ from my job. I was not given a reason for my being ‘let go’ but I had a darn good inkling.
About two months prior to my ‘loss of employment’, one of the owner’s daughter’s started working for the company and started asking me lots of questions about my position. A few weeks before my ‘loss’ (which was actually a gain that I just couldn’t see and is now actually one of the best things that ever happened to me) she gave me one of her new business cards. Under her name was my title. Hmmm, curious… or not really. I was ‘let go’ soon after that.
Most of my close friends and associates knew the reason for my separation, which was a relief since my employer made me sign an agreement not to discuss my employment with the company — not necessarily my ‘unemployment with the company’ — and asked me to remain professional because I had formed quite a few close friendships with prominent people in the community and I think he wanted me to save his face. Let’s put it this way, I was as diplomatic about it as any shattered, self-esteem devastated, unemployed gal could be. I mean look, it’s taken me almost a year to even write it for the world to see.
Needless to say, whenever I was in the same room as my former employer, which was many times due to my connections in the community and going to events, there was definite a big pink elephant in the room.
I was bitter for a few months about the treatment I received, but almost 6 months later and once again employed, and the realization that my life was so much better (even sans owning a home), a fateful evening occured.
T and I attended an awards banquet for the Alameda Chamber. T performed for the reception before dinner, which was recognized numerous times by the event’s MC, a certain gentleman wiht the initials TG. And the person presenting the award for community service, the very award I presented the previous year, was presented by the girl who had replaced me.
Sidebar: I’m a firm believer in karma
As she finished giving the award and was leaving the stage, the MC said, “Let’s thank *Corrie Dogbert for presenting that award, thank you Corrie. Now, Corrie, how is that you got that job? Oh, that’s right, your dad is *Will Dogbert”.
My head spun around so fast to look at Terrence, with what I’m sure was a dropped jaw and a mouth wide open, which quickly turned into the biggest grin. I asked, “Did he really just say that? Did he really just call it out and say it like it is?” Terrence assured me I was not just hearing things, that, yes, in deed, TG said what he said. He said only what everyone knew but never voiced in public.
Although up for one nomination that evening, Ambassador of the year, which I didn’t win, I won something far better – my dignity, pride, the ability to not feel awkward anymore when I am in the same room as ‘her’, and a sense that karma (or maybe it was just TG) really was in action that evening!
I turned around to Tom with the biggest smile possible and said, “I didn’t even have to slip you a $20 for that!” He just grinned at me.
Fast forward 4 months to the present:
I saw TG tonight and I thanked him for that evening. He actually didn’t even remember it (but I’ll never forget it!). He said that he sees *Corrie all the time and she’s still really nice to him. I said she probably didn’t get it and that it went over her head. We laughed together along with my gal pal KB and I relished in the memory of that night.
Is is so wrong that I receive so much pleasure from that memory? Nah! It was one small victory in removing the elephant and putting it back in its place – no where in my psyche.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent 😉