Looking Back…The Grass was Greener

Here I am, sitting at my tiny little desk, in a tiny little corner…sitting completely alone in a boring, cold, and somewhat sterile feeling office. I’ve been sitting here alone for what seems like hours now, literally staring at the clock…my only purpose being here is “in case the phone rings” and it’s not, it hasn’t all day. Even if the phone did ring, it wouldn’t be for me, no one needs to talk to me…I simply answer the phone and repeat the same lines “I’m sorry, he/she isn’t available, would you like to go to voicemail?” It’s like this every Thursday and Friday….See, I’m the lowest on the totem pole, mainly because I just started with the company only a few months back. My skills are underestimated, and I am being completely unacknowledged by everyone.

It wasn’t like this a few months back. A few months back I was the top dog. I worked for a LARGE franchisee, with well over 50 stores in the US and in Canada. I handled ALL accounts payable, vendor management, phone, internet, TV, security, the list goes on….I dabbled in Payroll, helped plan events, attended charity fundraisers, and aided HR. I was the “Go To Girl” for all things. The owner of this ever growing business was sure to show his appreciation for my strong work ethic. He never had a doubt I could do my job, and he already knew I would over exceed any expectation he had for EVERY project I was assigned. He let me take reins on some of the largest most imperative projects, and I loved every minute of it. I grew with the company, I learned with the company, I was a part of a TEAM.

Unfortunately I am human….all humans absolutely LOVE to complain about how they have it, even if “it” is actually pretty amazing. I complained that I worked far too much, but neglected the fact I got as much overtime pay as I needed to get the job done. I complained that others weren’t doing their jobs, even though in the end I got the praise for stepping up and completing the work. I complained about not being paid enough for what I was doing, although I received three $1.00 raises in one year (I guess that’s unheard of in Michigan). I complained the drive was WAY too far, forgetting that when I started the job, I lived 20 minutes from work… then by my choice moved an hour away. All of these things I was “complaining” about lead to a drastic decision to look for employment elsewhere. Admittedly it was mostly the drive…but if we are being honest, I thought I had other opportunities that would better suit me (now looking back, I was basing my “other opportunities” on a fairy tale job).

When I went in to interview for the mundane job I have now, I had a LOT of mixed feelings. I instantly felt guilty, for betraying my loyalty to the company that had done so much for me…but then the little voice in my head brought up all the times I had been complaining about, and how I “deserved more” and how “the drive is just too far”. With all of this back and forth I ended up being 15 minutes late for my interview (I’m still not sure whether that was subconsciously on purpose or not). It was the fastest interview I had ever done in my life. I expected the usual questions…asking what my qualifications were, what programs I’m familiar with, the usual “If you were in this/or that situation, what would you do?” questions..but none were asked. The woman interviewing me had my resume, asked a total of maybe 3 questions that were simple and vague, and I answered just as vaguely. I figured being late didn’t get me the job and admittedly I felt relieved. Until she asked me to meet the owner.

He was an older man, he looked tired, he looked like he would rather be home….and he was just as vague and short with his questions. He explained the other woman working in the Accounts Payable position had left with no notice, to stay at home with her children. I thought that was odd, but decided to brush that thought away. He asked if I could start right away…I explained I would ABSOLUTELY need to put my 2 weeks notice in with my current (amazing) employer. We all shook hands, said our stiff goodbyes, and I left immediately. I didn’t think anything of that job, it was off the plate…I knew I wouldn’t get a call back…I was skeptical of the place, and really didn’t feel right about it.

Well, again being human….I was wrong. I received a job offer from that company the next day. The offer was $6.00 an hour LESS than what I was making now. I “politely” declined the offer. They came back with a raised offer, now $4.00 an hour less than my current wage, but I still couldn’t take the leap, so I declined. After a few phone calls, and explaining that the offer just wouldn’t work for me…they came back with another, the same amount I was making now, plus better benefits. Wow….they really wanted me…they must have seen all I can do, just by looking on my resume…I must have answered the questions right in the interview….I accepted, and I instantly felt sick, I felt sad, I felt lost, I felt so utterly heartbroken, but I didn’t have a clue why…I just landed a new job that was going to be everything I’ve ever wanted and hoped for, right?

After putting my 2 weeks in, literally crying as I broke the news, I felt a little relief. It was still an emotional 2 weeks, everyone cared so much for me in that little office of 6 people. We knew so much about each other. Having lunches, small holiday parties, eating out in the yard while the dogs played (yes, we even had pets in the office, many happy loving pets). We attended charity events together, we laughed, we solved problems, and we covered each others backs…they were my closest friends. I never took any of that into account when I was leaving. I can only explain the day I left as SAD, I could tell the owner was tearing up as we all shook hands and made well wishes. If felt like a kid leaving for college, as my parents said their goodbyes. My immediate supervisor was happy for me, but low spirited that I was leaving…and the pets knew something was astir because when I hugged them all goodbye I was crying. A part of me was left there that day, and after the tears cleared…and after my hour drive home, I was hopeful for the new job.

I couldn’t see it until now, that I had it good where I was. I had what was probably the closest thing to a “fairy tale” job I could have ever had. The Lord is always teaching us HUMANS lessons, he taught me to look at everything as a blessing. If I would have looked at things in that light, I would’ve never had “complaints” about the company that was ever so generous to me, who treated me like family, like I had deep stakes in the business.

So here I am, with my skills being shoved under a rug….not being noticed for what I can accomplish, and instead making copies and answering phones (when I interviewed I was told it was an “Accounts Payable” position, it’s not…I’m the receptionist)…working for a place where I am not considered valuable. It’s the worst feeling in the world, it’s constant misery. The Lord still continues to work on me, whispering in my ear, telling me I need to find the blessings in my current job. This is just another stepping stone on the path he is leading me down, and I NEED to look at it with optimistic eyes. Maybe next time I’ll notice how green and luscious my grass is, before even thinking about the grass on the other side.



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