June 04, 2004

The Other Side of the Road

My life is weird.

Really weird.

Sometimes, I can't even believe it's mine.

I had a meeting this morning with other rodent component companies, and there, in my meeting, is Company X. Again. Since I work with them rather a lot, I find that the English variety of Company X is very kind, easy-going, and since they had nothing to do with my being let go, I therefore am the kind of sweet and benevolent customer that one would always dream of having. You know-the ones that you enjoy working with.

So I get a big grin on my face when they present to me, as I know if they are full of shit or are telling the truth. But imagine my enormous surprise when, sitting in the meeting, the presentation of Company X pops up on the slide, and there it is.

One of my slides, that I had produced, and that I had previously shown to other rodent participants.

And they one bit of info from the slide wrong.


Maybe it's a sign that I survived. I have my Dream Job and I fucking love it. Regarding the consultants and the Seagull, I have taken a stand. I have continued about my work, ignoring the circling of the vultures, and my manager and my manager's manager tell me that I am doing a good job, and that people are noticing. I have no idea if this is true or not, but it sure feels damn good to hear.

So imagine my surprise when I find out more: Dream Job may want to buy hamsters from Company X. Hamsters (again, remember I am in telecoms, but it's pretty boring and so I think it should be livened up). I work with gerbils here, but hamsters used to be my life. And even better-since I used to be in charge of the hamters product development for certain phases of hamster, Dream Job has appointed me to be the interface to Company X to find out if we should buy from them.

It's like a fucking present from karma landed on my lap, complete with a pretty ribbon on the top.

Now I am the Big Customer. I get mails of things I had requested at 7:00 pm on a Friday. I get catered to. When I call them, they pop out of meetings to take my call. I am not milking this in any way, but instead it still makes my head spin at how fast the role of my life has changed. I won't be mean, I won't be terrible, but at the same time, I won't be an ally. I have also made it clear that I want all the issues handled on the local level-bring someone from my old department in Sweden to present to me, and I will not be a hapy hamster buyer. I have been screwed up the ass by Company X, and they did so without lube, so I am still not comfortable sitting with them, as I really haven't healed completely.

But it's getting better, anyway. Although I am still very bitter, the edge is fading a bit, as I ease into my new life and start handing off the badness baton to the former one.

Now Company X have invited me to be their guest at the Royal Ascot, which are those posh horse races they showed in "My Fair Lady". I have to get a hat and wear a nice outfit. I can't believe it-it seems to me to be the epitome of a posh English event, and I am being invited as a guest.



Yesterday afternoon I walked around our village and looked at the shops. I bought some lilies and some wine. People standing in doorways and on porches all say hello, and at first I turn to look behind me to see who they are talking to. When I realize they are talking to me, I smile a bit and say hello back. There are posters everywhere about a village festival coming, a festival that Mr. Y and I will attend, the first of its kind for me.

In the evening, Mr. Y and I sit on the couch and watch the plasma tv. The doors are open to the breeze and in walks the neighbor's cat, my buddy, and he jumps up on the couch and sits on my lap. He kept me company all day yesterday as I did odds and ends outside, his bell jangling when he came close, his tail and ears going up when I spoke to him. He and his family are moving away this weekend, so I will truly miss my first friend since moving to England.

A man comes by and sells us a brochure for one pound for the village festival next weekend, all proceeds to charity. Before, I would've shooed him off, closed off and private, but I now realize with a start that life doesn't have to be that way. Life can be about getting to know people around you, and holding them in your life instead of running in fear.

I miss my cats so much it makes me want to cry, and I want nothing more than some four-legged furry company. But I look at my life and think about one year ago. One year ago my marriage was failing. One year ago more redundancies were coming at Company X. One year ago I wasn't sure who I was or where I was going (yeah, that one's still on the table). One year ago, I lost my mind.

One year on, my life is looking much better, families and grief aside.

With my buddy the cat on the couch purring, Mr. Y's warm and sweet lovliness next to me on the couch, I settle into the pillows and think....I'm not content yet, but I could see maybe, for the first time in my life, that I could be getting there someday.


PS-I have to use dial-up access until my broadband is back up, so if I haven't been to your site, don't be angry. I simply can't get most pages to load!

Posted by Everydaystranger at June 4, 2004 01:09 PM | TrackBack

It never amazes me the power plays so common within day jobs. Fulfilling the standard obligation of acquiring a B.S. (yes BullShit) degree and solid day job, I often wonder why the so-called goal is so over-rated.

Nevertheless, NINjoy the success bud.


Posted by: Curator at June 6, 2004 08:00 AM

now that you're on the way to content, time will fly. won't be long til your kitties are home :)
(can I have your new address please? :) )

Posted by: melanie at June 6, 2004 07:01 AM

Corporations ARE weird. Cats are not. With a cat and Mr. Y next to you on the couch, how can you not be content?

Posted by: Denny at June 6, 2004 05:39 AM

My question is: Did you correct Company X in their mistake????

Posted by: mitzi at June 5, 2004 11:20 PM

This one just about brought tears to my eyes.

Posted by: Terry at June 5, 2004 10:29 PM

oh, you poor thing! i'd be helpless without my broadband. if i were there i'd put a wireless nic in your laptop and sniff out the nearest wap then id watch all those pages load with no expectations (what kitties are best at.) ;-)

Posted by: ddc at June 5, 2004 02:35 PM

oh, you poor thing! i'd be helpless without my kitties. if i were there i'd put on kitty ears and purr in your lap with no expectations (what kitties are best at.) ;-)

Posted by: kat at June 5, 2004 04:26 AM

I love it when you write like this. When things are going well you've got this amazing youthful freshness that bounces around the page. Or maybe that should be fresh youthful amazement. Either way this is awesome stuff. I love the way you're handling Company X too. I think I'd have a hard time being that mature about it. I'm at least two or three degrees more evil than you are.

Posted by: Jim at June 4, 2004 06:42 PM

Yay, happy!

Posted by: Jennifer at June 4, 2004 05:21 PM

Before reading your writing it never would have occurred to me that yelling at a horse may require strappy shoes:-) Have fun!

Posted by: Roger at June 4, 2004 05:19 PM

Doctor, she REALLY is stabilizing...for now...

Posted by: Kyle at June 4, 2004 05:08 PM

I'm so happy for you, Helen.

Posted by: Sue at June 4, 2004 04:30 PM

Ennjoy the horse races, Helen...and the opportunity to get a nice outfit. Piccies are expected ;)

As for cats I know exactly how that feels...I miss "my" cats like crazy and we're talking about moving out to the country side so I can have cats again...and maybe a few hens :pp
It's difficult to live without your furry friends if you're use to them though...life becomes very sterile and boring.
They are needed for the sake of harmony and for the unconditional love they tend to give once they made up their mind that they like you :)

Posted by: croxie at June 4, 2004 04:17 PM

Good for you, Helen! Nice to hear you sounding so very happy! All best wishes : )

Posted by: Annette at June 4, 2004 03:58 PM

I've always told my girls that in the Karma of Life, what goes round will always come back around. Sometimes you get to see (with glee) it come 'round, and sometimes you don't. But it always will. It sounds as if you are getting to see some of that Karma come 'round ;-)

Posted by: Marie Freeman at June 4, 2004 02:52 PM

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present from you than your post today!

I can't begin to tell you how happy it makes me to read that Life v6.0 is definitely headed in the right direction. Whatever you're doing is working marvelously!

Keep it up, little flame!

Posted by: Paul at June 4, 2004 02:17 PM

Sadly, Kat, my two girls can get here the soonest of the first week of December. It was a bit of a screw-up with the dates, turns out it's not the rabies shots that are time-sensitive, it's the bloodtest that proves they have the rabies antibodies in their systems, so I am going to have a long wait.

Desperate for a cat (or a kat!). Just desperate.

Posted by: Helen at June 4, 2004 02:15 PM

life is weird and it sure can be sweet. i'm super happy for you helen. and your kitties are coming soon yes?

Posted by: kat at June 4, 2004 01:59 PM

Karma rocks!! I'm so happy you've been dished a serving of justice in the workplace. Good timing, too. I love watching you discover that the world can be a good place and there are real, live, good people out there and taking a chance on them. Taking a chance on you. Welcome to the ever-evolving phenomenon called life. I'm just now learning that there's not a place called "there". It's always "here" and I'm learning to build the puzzle out of the pieces I'm given. I still find myself looking for other pieces somewhere though. I see a lot of myself in you sometimes. (Although the stuck-in-the-States part of me is insanely jealous of your attending Ascot. It's exactly as you said - the epitome of a posh sporting event. Please please please, at least once, holler in a non-ladylike tone of voice, "Move yer bloomin' arse!" at the horses for me and fulfill a lifetime fantasy.) (OK, maybe "lifetime fantasy" is a bit of an exaggeration, but playing it in my mind is still funny.) Enjoy yourself - how far in the future will it take place?

Posted by: Lisa at June 4, 2004 01:51 PM

Perhaps Dream Job knew they were going to be interested in Company X's hamsters before they hired you... Perhaps the gerbil business was just a trial by fire... Perhaps the way they handled the Seagull was a test of your allegiances... If there is a shred of truth to any of that speculation, then Dream Job may just know what they're doing which is a good sign.

And your new village sounds like just what you needed.

GF and I were out celebrating the appraisal on our train-wreck (we scored huge!) last night and we were remarking on how much has changed in our lives in the last year. What a difference a year makes. It's important to remember these things in the down times.

Posted by: Clancy at June 4, 2004 01:49 PM

Yay Karma! And Yay Hamsters... oh and yay getting to yell "move your bloddy arse" at a horse whilst in the company of wealthy ascot goers. Who knows - you may even be on TV!

Posted by: Rob at June 4, 2004 01:35 PM

What excellent karmic justice! I seriously doubt I could have ever imagined such an outstanding turn about. They canned you and now you get to evaluate their business. I am in awe. You are my hero!

Posted by: Random Penseur at June 4, 2004 01:12 PM
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