And in case one awkward “Take down the sign” moment wasn’t enough, a few days ago I got an email that stopped me in my tracks.
At my last job, when I first started, back when there were four partners, the general manager’s mom was working there. She was very emotionally invested in the business, and had picked up a lot of slack when the companies were merging. She brought her own set of um… , she was rather disorganized, often did things the hard way (instead of finding new and efficient ways to do the same tasks) and she refused to change how she did anything. But she was very well meaning and when I started, she felt like she finally had an ally. We worked together on a lot of stuff and I took a lot off her plate. What can I say, clearly we were office BFFs. In the midst of that, of course, I got a lot more personal information than I was hoping for… all the details of her divorce. Her current relationship. Her kids (including one of my bosses). Her grandchildren. Her friends at the club. Everything. In excruciating and sometimes horrifying detail.
So we worked together probably 4 months before the bottom fell out. Her son, the general manager, stopped coming to work for a couple months. So all communication went through his mom, which made it even messier. And there was fighting among partners. And then the general manager had some sort of mental breakdown and was in the hospital. Next thing we know he’s suing the company with a rabid lawyer who is doing it all pro-bono as a family friend. He sent me an email saying it wasn’t personal and don’t take offense. And then threatening emails. It was messy. Not a little messy, but incredibly messy. And at this same time, his mom stopped working for us, for obvious reasons. And everything she had been doing dropped onto my already full lap. The whole thing was stressful and messy. The legal settlement nearly sank the company and the payments over the next year were maddening and damaging.
To make all of this worse, the general manager who sued the company lives on my street, 2 blocks down, but on my street. I get to drive by the truck he stole (through legal settlement) from the company. And it was a struggle for me to fight bitterness whenever I drove by. Thank God for the grace to see that this guy isn’t my job- God will deal with him in his own time and I was able to let go of the anger and move on with my life.
Anyway, that was all a year and a half ago. Ancient history. Today I get an email from this woman. She somehow heard through the grapevine that I am no longer working at the company. She’d love to get together with me for a glass of wine and to catch up. She really enjoyed my company when we worked together and was sorry we haven’t kept in touch….
TAKE DOWN THE SIGN REENIE