Sunday, July 10, 2016

Traitorous Treachery

I've been listening to the soundtrack of the Broadway play "Hamilton" for the last several weeks. I LOVE IT. One of the songs keeps playing on a loop in my brain this weekend, as shame and guilt floods me knowing that tomorrow afternoon, one of my staff is going to be laid off.

I've mentored this girl (inherited by me in a bad situation with another manager) carefully and I feel 100% better that she'll be better poised to go forward from here after the last 8/9 months under me. I took a skittish, quiet girl afraid of her own shadow and slowly gave her the tools to rebuild her own confidence.

I'm feeling a lot of things tonight--guilty about all of it, guilty about not being able to stop the corporate wheel from turning, accepting that I may well be next.

History Has Its Eyes On You (Hamilton)

I was younger than you are now when I was given my first command
I led my men straight into a massacre
I witnessed their deaths firsthand
I made every mistake
And felt the shame rise in me and even now I lie awake
Knowing history has its eyes on me.

I don't have the eyes of the nation on me, a mid-level manager mid-level through life. Nor the state, nor the city.

Just the big eyes of young woman, who laughs easily now and has picked up my quick wit. "You make me want to think big," she said to me once.

Let me tell you what I wish I’d known
When I was young and dreamed of glory
You have no control who lives, who dies, who tells your story."

She has a trusting look on her face every time she looks at me.


Ms. Moon said...

Oh honey. That is hard. But yes, she'll move on and will be the better for it and she will never forget you and the difference you have made in her life.

liv said...

Oh, oh, Steph! How difficult it is to see someone fired - anyone! But someone that you have trained and you know she is good, that's really tough. You don't say if you are the one that has to do this, I hope not.
But I think the important thing here is that you filled her bag with good, good tools.
She IS going out there different than she came in and it would have taken her years! to do that without your help. There's the focus.
But yes, girlfriend, it is hard.
And the eyes may be upon you, but you shouldn't fear what they see xx

SJ said...

MM - I so hope so. I'm going to do everything I can.

Liv - Woman! No, luckily I don't have to do it alone but I know I'll be peppered with a million questions over the next few weeks. I've done the best I can - I guess we can always do better and more, but I really do feel like I've done everything I could. Becoming an adult...whose idea was this?? :)

Maggie May said...

Well this is beautiful to read. I can guarantee you that you've changed her life for the better, changed her for the better, and that's HUGE.

Mel said...

First, thank you for the email a while ago, it meant more than you know. I am a shit for not answering, but I was in a fallow phase. I am so glad you are on facebook, and I can see you smiling in your pictures.

This post really spoke to me, because I once mentored a quiet, young woman who was raised to think her place was in the church and the kitchen, not in college, who was smarter than all of us put together. When we interviewed her and offered her a job on the spot, she said I have to ask my husband first. Uh Oh, I thought. But thank goodness he let her switch from her hotel reservation job to our laboratory data entry position. There was nothing she couldn't do or remember, and she is, 20 some years later among my favorite people and one of my heroes. She did go to school, get a Chem degree, while being a single mom and working circles around everyone. She's now a lawyer and a corporate VP and I know she would have excelled somewhere, anywhere, but so glad we found her first and got to witness her transformation into the amazing person she is today.

Keep spreading your light out there. You're not a mid anything, you are amazing.

And I am late to the Hamilton party, but am going to get with the program. The show is in Chicago for a while and once the frenzy dies down I am going to get to a performance!