June 10, 2014
Why I believe again, part 1.
I know that last time I said that next I would write about how I stopped singing for a long time, but since then I had a wonderful experience that I would like to share with you all.
You may have seen in my Facebook and Instagram feeds how I recently left my corporate job:
I feel the need to share the experiences leading up to this post, as I feel inspired and humbled, and feel the need to publicly express my gratitude.
There are still very many people I care about that work at the big corporation I used to work at, and to respect their privacy I will only refer to it as The Company whenever mentioned.
Please note that The Company could very well refer to any gigantic conglomerate corporate entity. I’ll just say it’s one of the Big Companies, generally rated as one of the top employers, excellent pay and benefits when you can get them, after working the legal maximum contractor time. Profits in the billions, yet laying people off whenever profits didn’t grow at a high enough rate from last year. It’s just business, and people are only as valuable as their numbers are, and shareholder profits are the first priority.
The Mercury retrograde of this past February hit my work laptop HARD, starting in the shadow period. My productivity declined, but I thought it was a system-wide issue, because the web-hosted applications they used were also having intermittent issues… So I didn’t communicate the issues I was having properly with my manager. That darn Mercury.
After 6 weeks of feeling extremely frustrated because my tools weren’t working like they should, my manager takes me aside and gives me a scolding like I couldn’t believe, even going as far as saying that my routinely being 5 minutes late (even though I always more than made-up for the time later) made me the most unreliable member of the team, even though I was one of the go-to people whenever there was a procedural question from any other team member, and a couple of account managers always specifically asked that I complete their large complicated requests (I was working in sales support, creating legal documents), because they felt very confident in my conscientiousness.
The local tech support took a look at my laptop, and replaced the hard disk because he couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong; that seemed to fix the computer issue for a little while. I started coming in a bit earlier, but there was a lot of tension, and a week after our first meeting, when I had a lot of emails in my inbox right when I came in, I forgot to log in to the Instant Messenger app that The Company uses until 15 minutes after my starting time.
I logged on, and immediately got a message from my boss, chewing me out because I was late, when in reality I had been at my desk and working 5 minutes before my starting time. That was the last straw. I cried as silently as I could at my desk as I continued working.
I sent a text to an old friend from the optical world. He used to be my manager back when I worked as an optician at the Big Multinational Optical Store during my undergraduate college years. He now works at a small, locally owned optical chain. I asked him if they were hiring, and he said “Actually, we could really use some help from someone with your level of experience. I’ll put in a good word with my boss”, my friend is a store manager now, “You’ll be hired on the spot”.
Wow. That felt like such a relief, but also such a scary prospect. Going back to the job I had got as a high school graduate, no need for the degree I worked so hard for, and taking an $8/hour pay cut. More than that, counting overtime. I’d gotten used to my comfy lifestyle, eating out several times a week, able to afford the rare occasional cheap vacation, and still having a real shot at getting rid of my credit card debt within a year.
I hesitated. I was very afraid to take such a seemingly gigantic risk. So I sat down and meditated.
I remembered how I came into optics in the first place.
Back when I was 18 years old, I had been working at a small hydraulic cylinder factory. I had dropped out of my sophomore year of college 8 months before, and had been working as a temp. Supposedly as a receptionist, but I was actually doing accounts receivable, accounts payable, administrative assistant, and customer service rep. All for the low wage of $9.50/hour, when the older white lady who had been doing the job before me had been paid $16/hour, with benefits.
My mom had come to visit from Puerto Rico, and was taking me to get an eye exam and eye glasses at the Big Optical Store in the mall. I was too broke to afford them by myself, and we had been talking about how unfairly they were compensating me at my job. The optician who was helping us was coincidentally also from Puerto Rico, and was able to understand our conversation, and said “You know, we need some help here, and we start at $10/hour. I bet you could do this very well.”
I remembered how I was able to flex my hours around my school schedule, and how I was able to get so much accomplished outside of my job. And how I cried with real disappointment when the Big Multinational Company’s location that I was working at hadn’t been doing so well and I was fired in my 6th year, after I missed the bus from campus to the remote parking lot and was a little late one too many times, even though I had the highest secret shop score in the store. (I suspect it was because I had been in my position the longest, and probably had the highest salary. That location is now closed, by the way…)
And then I felt it in my bones, as clearly as if I had heard it.
I am here to help people see, spiritually, through the Tarot. Helping people see also with my day job also feels very consonant with that. And it would give me the flexibility to pursue the things I am truly passionate about: developing my tarot business, and music, and writing, and art.
Well, my friend was a bit too optimistic, but it just turned out that I was able to interview 3 days later, on Valentine’s day, and they wanted to hire me, but they had just hired someone else and didn’t have enough hours to offer me. They’d keep me in mind and give me a call as soon as they had a full time position. I told them to please call me when they did, as I wasn’t in any real danger of getting fired at my then-current job…
My goodness, look at the time! It’s past 1 am, and I have to be up in 6 and a half hours… I seem to forget that although I’m back at my college job, I’m not college-aged any more! I need my sleep or I get cranky, LOL.
I promise I won’t leave you hanging as long as I did last time. In fact, I’ll come back and finish this anecdote tomorrow. You can expect that I’ll be blogging more regularly from now on, now that I’m starting to settle into my new, much less stressful day-job routine.
Also, now that I’m starting to feel like I’ve REALLY started, after such a long silence, I may have a hard time shutting up. Ha!
I promise once I get all the mushy introduction out, so that you can better get an idea of where I’m coming from, I’ll get down to more specifically tarot-licious blogging. But first there’s a pillow upstairs with my name on it. Well, not literally, but I did sorta claim it as mine with small polished chunks of celestite and scolecite inside the pillowcase… hehe.