Monday, July 19, 2010
Going back to go forward
My weekend was so fantastic, that I think I can make a week's worth of posts about it. But. I have to start with my Friday afternoon. SO I had a summer day Friday, which is supposed to mean NO work. Out of the goodness of my little heart, I logged on mid-morning to get some things done for LB1 (Chicago boss) and LB2 (LA Boss). LB2 was on vacation, and she had something big going on, so I wanted to help out with that. Well, one thing led to another, and I started doing all kinds of things. I got annoyed with both myself and my co-workers. So, not only did I log out, but I left the house to get work out of my mind. After running some errands, I decided to stop by my last place of employment. Um What a hovel. They have moved three doors down from the last location that I worked in. The new space was tiny, with only one office, a closet of a lunch room, a small "conference room" and one bathroom. Ick. The conference room had my old desk in it, but now it was covered with ashes and loaded down with crap, and ashtrays (I mean, is it 1976? that people can smoke in the workplace?), and more crap. I walked around they very small warehouse, and noticed how bare the shelves were. Part numbers started getting my attention. It's been just over three years, but I can see what problems the have, and the dark hole they seem to be headed into. I went into the office to visit my old co-worker J. There was a memorial poem and mass card on the wall for our co-worker who had been murdered by her husband in the last year that I was with the company. I had (almost) forgotten about her, and her sad fate. There were also cards that J had kept after the death of her boyfriend, who was another co-worker and friend who had died suddenly while in traveling for work. This also happened in my last year at that job. I was reminded how sad we all were, losing two co-workers and friends within six months of each other. I was reminded how I myself used to smoke like a chimney - yes, sometimes at my desk - at that job. Especially when I worked 12 hour days in the summer and the winter. I was reminded that I was miserable and feeling trapped and knowing I was in no way living up to my best potential there. I stayed for about 45 minutes, in which a few people let me know that even now, my old boss P would love to have me back, and in fact says that every now and then. I let J know that by no means could that company afford me. Sure, that job let me wear shorts in the summer and sweatpants in the winter. True, it was a seven minute drive from my house. I do, though, miss the people there. When you work somewhere for 10 years with pretty much the same core people, you come to care about them. We weathered tragedies, our company being sold, then bought, then sold and bought again, successes, failures, crazy people, great people........I do miss them. These are the only good things I think of that place. I said my good byes and got in my car. I looked around the nasty dirty little industrial park that I called second home for 10 years, 4 months and a few days. I wondered how we ever ate out lunch, where did we go? Did we just order in? There's nothing over there! As I drove away, I called LB1, who was at home. "Hello?" "LB1?" "Yeah?" "I just have to thank you for hiring me away from that shit hole three years ago. Like really. Like thank you thank you thank you." "?" "I mean, I'm so much better than that place!" "?" Sometimes to know how much we've changed, we need to revisit where we had been.