Tag Archive | respect

What am I Worth..to an Employer?

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Finding a job is pretty darn high up there on the life stressors chart for anyone. So many decisions, so much time, effort. Penetrating questions. Potential adjustments. Fears. Hopes. Disappointments. The waiting. The unknown. What am I worth?

My heart rate is up just typing that.

So think about my situation for a moment. I had a certain skill set, loads of high tech and higher math knowledge, computer software, great vocabulary, fast typing, persuasive speaking and writing, super confident.

And now…I look at my resume and it feels like someone else. I have so many holes in my memory, no one would believe I used to code webpages or teach calculus or write poetry. My typing has gone from about 80 wpm to 35 wpm with so many errors, the screen is all red underlines. Words that used to flow freely get stuck and I sit and stare, waiting for a thought to form. I am relearning math, but I doubt I will have time to get back to a calculus level in my lifetime as I’m relearning basic facts. Here and there I remember things, like how a tangent works, or what an exponent does, but then I start to work it out and it goes blank again. My daughter is in  high school algebra right now, I had been looking forward to coaching her, and it all looks so familiar, but I have no idea how to solve any of it. I tell her, you have to do something with regrouping….and I get excited thinking I might recall, but no, I can’t get any further.

So. How do you get back to work, when you can’t do what you used to do? How do you explain that you can’t do what you used to do and not sound incompetent or insane?

This process has not been going well. I’ve been applying for low level part time jobs that have nothing to do with my work history. I either don’t get called at all, or when they talk to me, they say I am overqualified, they are afraid I will get bored, or just give me that certain doubtful look, or have that tone in their voice and I know it is over.

My doctor recommended I contact my state workers with disabilities board. I guess I knew there was one, because they helped my brother, but I never considered myself disabled…just never thought of it. So after the shock wore off, I looked online, and saw they had exactly the services I need. I applied online, they called me the next day, set up an intake appointment that same week. Wow!

So I met with them last week. I was so incredibly nervous. I had to gather up my medical records to prove my eligibility, that is phase one. I worked through shame, fear, felt like I was whining, complaining, oh poor me-ing. Until I got there. It was literally a life changing day.

I’m sitting in the waiting room and my assigned case worker calls my name – she is completely blind. She has a service dog leading her, and me, to a small conference room. We sit down, and I’m instantly much more fascinated by her than I care about me anymore. She is confident and professional. She has a stack of folders labeled with braille, and braille typewriter thingy I’ve never seen before to take notes as I talk. She hands me papers that she can’t see but describes them to me in detail. It blows my mind as she helps me to fill them out.

She asks about the forms and records I brought, and asked if I would give her a summary, since she could not scan through them. As I start describing my lengthy and complicated neurological issues, I could sense compassion in her, as I have for her. Mutual respect was huge in this room – like we were both thinking “Damn, I don’t want to be her…” I could tell she wanted to see me when I talked about my scoliosis, because you might think I am visibly deformed, but luckily my curves are balanced and my surgeons are talented so no one would ever know by simply looking at me. You can see my limp when I walk though. So I’m thinking she was not always blind, the way she looked directly towards things and me.

We had a few of these surreal shared moments. I liked her very much. She explained the program and seemed excited to have me there, that she can actually help me. She said so many come through and disappear, don’t show up again, aren’t willing to work hard, don’t answer phone calls. She said she can tell that I work hard from my past jobs, and that I keep my doctor appointments in the city. I never thought of that as a major accomplishment…but I see her point. That takes planning and commitment, shows responsibility to drive 2 hours away for my neurologists and surgeons.

So, the next step is I wait for them to confirm my medical eligibility, then they will set up vocational skill assessment. I’m guessing typing, reading, math, but I’m not sure what all is involved there. Then they use that to see if I nee training, find some job leads, help me re-write a resume, practice mock interviews so I don’t stumble with those tough questions. They can advocate for me, or work entirely behind the scenes, meaning my employer can know I’m using disabled services or not, we will decide which way is best in the career plan we develop. They will stay with me once I’m hired, make sure the transition is smooth. Then I get to use them again, say if I want progress in my career or my health improves, I’m not stuck. They want me to be challenged and working meaningfully. Wow.

So my nerves are gone and I’m only excited now. Someone on my side to help me navigate these tricky steps to getting back on my feet. I am so grateful.

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Looking at Women, A Father’s Advice to his Son

I want to hug this man. He is truly a man. Not a sheep, not a coward, not a fool, not a lustful a$$hat like so many other men in this world. He will not allow society to skew his values, make his decisions,  and he will not be a a part of the endless objectification of women. And bless him, he won’t raise his son that way either. He will teach his young man that we are all people, and we are all in control of ourselves. I know this. And I think men know it too, but have ridden on this theory for far too long that their hormones somehow overpower their judgement. Everyone enjoys seeing someone attractive. Everyone. But we all have control of our thoughts and actions.  (I wrote something previously Men can control themselves)

http://natepyle.com/seeing-a-woman/

I think the whole notion that men and women are so different is stupid. There I said it. Stupid. All that kind of thinking does is justify bad behavior and miscommunication (why did wordpress underline this? Why are so many of the words I use not in the wordpress spellchecker? haha, wordpress is underlined too!).

When I get Hubby to talk, guess what? He has all the same emotions, fears, guilts, worries, dreams, and hopes that I do. He is used to stuffing them down pretty deeply, but they are in there. And when we connect, it is a truly beautiful thing. Our souls speak the same language.

When I see a firm, shirtless man walking by, my eyes are drawn there for a second. But then I choose to look away. He is not mine, and his choice to be shirtless does not give me the right to ogle. Not for long, anyway.   🙂   (see women struggle with this too!) And it definitely does not give me the right to make comments, whistle, wink, leer, or touch him. I still encounter men, on a fairly regular basis, that think it is OK to stare, comment, and grab girls when they are dressed cutely.  Harassment is one step away from abuse, and I think it could be a small step for some.  That may be a blurry line somehow.  I have heard so many abusers say “they couldn’t help themselves” and that the victim “made them do it”. Disgusting. Stupid. Wrong. And it needs to stop.

I hope Hubby will have a similar talk with our boys when they are a bit older. I’ll do it too, but it will mean so much more coming from the most important man in their life. I want my boys to grow up and respect women, respect all people. And to know that they are always in control, every action they take was a choice they made. We are all accountable for our own choices, and no more excuses.

 

Can you imagine a world like that? All honesty and no more excuses? Wow. It is so much a part of our culture, so accepted, that it is actually difficult to imagine. Here’s some examples.

Driver- “I’m sorry officer, I was speeding because it was fun. My fault, I’ll pay the fine”

Doctor – “I chose to go golfing this morning and made you wait for an entire hour past our scheduled time, I will not charge you for the appointment today”

Husband – “I chose to disrespect you and ogled that woman’s ass over there for the past 5 minutes and did not hear what you just said.”

Wife – “I chose to disrespect you and trash talked about you to my girlfriends yesterday”

College Student – “I chose to go to a frat party last night and was way too drunk to complete the assignment”

Professor – “My ego is way too fragile to admit a mistake so I have marked all of your tests as incorrect”

 

I think the world needs a serious reality check. Can you think of any others?

Obituary of a Child Abuser

No, not anyone I know, just something I saw in the news, all over the news actually, that started up some interesting thoughts in my mangled mind.

One day my abusive father will die, and I assume someone will write an obit for him. I wonder what they will write? I wonder who will write it? Not me. Perhaps his sister will. His passing will mean nothing to me. Perhaps a bit of relief will come my way, knowing he can no longer hurt anyone and is finally out of my nephew’s home. But do abusers deserve a respectful obit and funeral, respectful that they were a living human and that life is now gone, or do the abused deserve the truth to be told again? Should the funeral be full of the good they did in life, or a reminder of all the pain? I do know I have no intention of attending my father’s funeral, if someone has one for him. But I also think I would not disrupt the services someone else planned. We all need closure in our own way. His siblings knew him before he was a child molester and may be entitled to grieve for the boy they grew up with. Just like a couple years ago, when my father’s sis-in-law tried to keep him away from his brother’s funeral. I thought he should be allowed to quietly attend and say good bye if he wished, though I do wonder if it was only to keep up appearances that he is in fact human and capable of loving his brother in the first place. I’m not so sure that is true.

I’m still not sure what I think about the following obit that abuse survivors wrote for their own mother’s passing. It is a powerful message. I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts about this.

 

 

“Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Aug. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.

On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.

Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgiveable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a “humane society”. Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.”

Men CAN actually control themselves, if we expect them to

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/19/living/women-bodies-public-perception/index.html

This article was going around facebook, and I thought it would be good to share here. Apparently many women are getting tired with being viewed as a sex object, and not owning our bodies.

Women’s rights have come a long way, but we’re not there yet, not at all. I grew up in a house where women were inferior, where our ideas did not matter, and our only purpose was to be pretty and fulfill sexual urges of men at will. My Dad never thought he was wrong, still does not think he was wrong for “enjoying” my body since he was never violent and never hurt me. He always said I was so beautiful he could not control himself.

Every day I am bombarded by sexual images, and some very explicit images when doing innocent google searches. It is actually impossible to completely avoid.

I have come a long way in healing from childhood sexual abuse, and coming to my own understanding of healthy sexuality. The only thing that makes sense to me, is sharing your nakedness with your spouse. Naked should be sacred, and for only one person. I really believe this now very strongly.

And I’m tired of the “Men will be men” attitude that they HAVE to look at porn. Like it is their right, and they can not control themselves. I’m tired of the “Men are wired differently” argument. Guess what? If I look at naked photos, I also get excited, and aroused. News Flash – Women enjoy looking at men! But I now choose to look away, because that is not meant for me, and is disrespectful to my husband. Just because some people choose to give the world permission to watch them online or in videos or magazines, does not make it right for anyone to choose to view it.

I think it is time we hold men (women too of course, though more women already control this) up to a higher standard, and force them to control themselves, and be accountable for their actions.

If someone sat in my living room and offered me free cocaine, I would refuse and ask them to leave. If someone sat in my living room and suddenly starting undressing and touching themselves, I would ask them to stop – and leave. (Unless it is hubby and the kids are asleep, but that’s a different story) But somehow so many people think it is ok to watch porn in their living room. Those are real people, really having sex. Right in front of you. The more I thought about that, the weirder it felt, and easier to see it just isn’t right.

I already posted how I feel about those bars with scantily clad waitresses. And then actual strip clubs make me furious, especially the ones called “gentleman’s club” because to me, a gentleman would protect a woman’s modesty and shield his eyes. And for ages this has been ok, excused behavior for men, to fill some need they have and women don’t. Bulls**t is what I say!! Lusting after anyone except your spouse, even if you were “just looking”, just should not be acceptable.

So I guess we can’t stop the porn industry, and I don’t think we need to all dress in head-to-toe tents, but we can demand our good men to behave like good men. We can demand our men to respect us and all women. We can expect men to control themselves. We can help take the pride and coolness away from objectifying women. As a teenage girl, I would have never been allowed to hang a playgirl poster in my room. But my brothers were encouraged to have swimsuit models in theirs.

I am doing my part by raising respectful boys. I have the same rules for my sons as my I do for my daughter. I don’t allow my boys to be rough and rude and vulgar, because “boys will be boys”. I demand respect for everyone and from everyone in my house. I will teach my boys as they mature that porn is just another temptation in our world, and can be just as dangerous and devastating as drugs or other reckless actions. Yes –  you may enjoy it, it may be free, and it may seem like it is only affecting you. But we must all make the tough choices to be strong and resist all temptation for quick reward to have the most satisfying life, and satisfying world for everyone in it.

This is completely different than how I felt a few years ago. But a few years ago I was still a helpless victim, an abused woman living in a man’s world. Now I see I have to expect respect. We all do. I am no longer afraid, and no one’s victim. I am a woman, and although I am pretty and curvy, I would like the world to see what else I can offer. Pretty and curvy is just a bonus!

Too Sexy for Myself?

I had planned to write a sequential history of my perceptions and feelings about sex. I published part 1 and made it to fifth grade. It is unbelievably difficult to put those middle and high school years down on paper. Too much trauma and confusion to sort through right now.

So I am skipping ahead to a current dilemma of mine. I place very strong judgments on the women I see daily and get very angry at times at what they choose to wear. I get crazy angry at the mothers of young girls who let them wear skimpy clothing. I get super angry at those restaurants that feature busty waitresses in tiny tops. I am nauseated that an “exotic dancing” club is in the mall lot, right next to Target and Kohl’s.

I didn’t realize how deep and strong this anger was until a few days ago. I’m still trying to sort it out. I drive past a billboard for “Tilted Kilts” that advertises itself as the best looking sports pub around. Another has this busty chick holding a tray of beer “Beer has never looked so good”. I want to scream. I hate it.

OK, so no one forced those girls to work there. But it makes me so angry that they do it. It just seems so cheap. Would you like anything else, or just another look at my cleavage? I don’t understand. Anyone I know would be so uncomfortable to eat there.

And yet, I have no problem with girls wearing even less at the beach. And the girls on So You Think You can Dance sure don’t wear much, and no anger there. So I know it isn’t exactly the outfit that bothers me, I guess it is the selling point. The lack of art. They are not dancing, they are selling beer. The difference in cheap thrills, porn and fine art. I don’t know.

I discovered about a year ago, that I had lost all my own femininity. I was hiding all my curves under baggy sweats, XL tshirts, and even often wore hubby’s clothes. Nothing cute, nothing frilly, and certainly nothing flirty. I did not actively choose that, I think it just sort of happened in my efforts to be invisible. I did not want anyone looking at me. I felt like nothing, and wanted to look like nothing.

I have some prettier clothes now that I adore wearing. I pay more attention to my hair and nails. I even have more than 1 pair of shoes now, though I still wear athletic sandals most days, as comfort always comes first. I bought lipstick for the first time since college. But I noticed it is so much easier to flirt with hubby when I think I look pretty. He never said he minded the boyish cover everything clothes, but I can sure tell he enjoys the curve-flattering styles much more! Now, I still dress quite modestly, especially compared to some of my friends. I just don’t feel right showing cleavage to the whole world, that’s just for hubby. I have some tops that hint at cleavage, which to me, is much sexier than letting it all hang out.

Now here’s where it gets difficult. If I wear something sexy or naughty at home, for hubby only, that I equate with those cheap waitress outfits, or worse, with strip clubs, can I respect myself? Does hubby really respect me? I think I do. I think he does.

And I think I answered my initial question then of where this anger comes from. I have no problem with the outfits, but with the girls sharing their goodies with the general public. And for tempting good men to think less of them. To then think less of all women. I guess I think until we no longer have women willing to sell their bodies, we will always have men ready to see them as objects and vice versa.

I grew up as an object, but it was not my choice. I just wonder how those girls convince themselves it is ok. And I fear that whatever monetary gain those waitresses have, will never make up for the loss of self-respect, even if they don’t know it yet.

I wonder how much my past will guide my future. I have not yet let my daughter wear a bikini, short shorts or skirts. Now we’re not extreme, but I dress her like a little girl, not like the current trends. I would also be uncomfortable letting her be a cheerleader. Our high school has extremely short skirts, with a side slit. No idea why they do this to our girls. And Dallas cheerleaders disgust me.

So there. That’s how I feel. Not right or wrong, but personally how I feel. I hate that I think less of those girls, but I do. And if I were trying to run really fast or catch a ball, I certainly would not want a bunch of buff shirtless men strutting around screaming. How are cheerleaders exactly helpful? Oh well, enough, I just don’t understand this world and why some women put themselves in lesser roles. Or what I perceive as lesser roles – maybe I’m too judgy here.  Should I just lighten up? Am I the strange one that I feel embarrassed for these girls?

I feel like the baby they took the candy from

I am in tears again.

My company is going through a “restructuring” phase.

Step 1 was to terminate nearly 800 people

Step 2 was to make each remaining employee scramble about to complete tasks that used to belong to 10 people

Step 3 was to motivate us to work even harder to make the company more money with vague empty promises

Step 4 was to mistreat the remaining workers and cause several more to resign

Step 5 was to ask the remaining workers to do the jobs of 20 people with no pay increase and even more vague promises

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I have never experienced mismanagement at this grand scale before. They have eliminated the core of our company and reduced our ability to deliver a quality product, but they don’t seem to know it, since they have no idea what any of us actually did. Some of the people that were terminated had years of specialized expertise.

At our annual leadership conference this week, we created a new vision statement, worked on team building and planning both short and long term goals to get us through this tough time. I was OK with not being chosen for the supervisor position I interviewed for last week. I was really OK with that and was ready to get a new focus and back to work. And then when I got to the conference, they announced that my current supervisor was moving up to general manager, and then they offered me her job. A lateral supervisor position to the one I interviewed for, and told me it was a better fit. I agreed, and I was ecstatic. The new roles were announced to my team, and we spent the new few days with some of us in the office, and some calling in from home, planning our new direction.

And then yesterday, 2 days after assigning my new role, as my team was working together in our new roles, our director emails us, from the office down the hall, that our new titles have been revoked, and they expect the current supervisor to take on the additional duties of the general manager while remaining our supervisor. Without a pay increase. And I am to remain a senior lead, on part time with no benefits. They took it all away before I ever really had it.  And I cried, like a baby. It hurt so much. I did not realize how much I wanted that promotion until they took it back away from me.

So now what? I am hurt and insulted. But my budget is already tight, and I care about my company and the remaining coworkers too much to just up and quit. But I am putting out feelers as I have no job security at all. And I’m not sure how long I can continue to give them the expected 29 hours a week, while not completing everything assigned to me with my team so small now, and with no benefits, no sick days, etc. This sucks.

So, I try to be grateful I was not fired, that I still have this flexible work from home job. I try to go back to how I felt before all the empty and broken promises. I am trying not to think of how they are using me and not sharing any profits with me. That is especially hard when the execs are brought to our meetings in company cars with chauffeurs, from their stay at the Four Seasons, and they discuss “dropping 20 grand” last week at a furniture store down the street.

So I only have 3 more hours to work this week to stay under 29. I wonder which tasks can wait until Sunday? We’re going to have so many angry clients. I have always responded to their requests within 24 hours, usually within a few hours. Now they will wait days. I hope our company’s reputation will not be ruined by this ‘restructuring’. God I hate that word.

I was feeling ok, and then I got an email from a team member that still thinks I am now her supervisor. She sent me her timesheet. Ouch that hurt. My supervisor/Manager is meeting with the director and trying to fight for us, so we have not announced anything to our team. We are hopeful they will reconsider. And we don’t want to confuse our team any more than necessary. What a mess.

Just give me back my candy.