The 4H Club.

Humanity. Humility. Health. Happiness.

2014 has already proven that it will be the year I push myself and it pushes back. When life is teaching you lessons the hard way, we all respond differently.

On January 3rd, 2014, life pushed me. On January 16th, 2014, I pushed back. On March 5, 2014, life pushed me again and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to push back harder than ever before.

Humanity. I am so thankful to have had so many people reach out to me with support. You have all truly restored my faith in humanity and I don’t know what I would have done or would be doing currently without each of you. ❤

At 7:35 am on Wednesday, March 5th, I received a text message saying “I’d like to meet before work today – can you do 815 at Starbucks we met at before – on Staples?” to which I replied “Yep!”

Receiving a text message from my boss was not unusual and the local Starbucks is a nice alternative for meetings – it was where my second interview was held and a cheery corresponding message was returned of “Great, see you shortly.”

I didn’t think anything of it and walked into Starbucks promptly at 8:07 am. I was met with not only my boss but the owner of my company as well… this was odd. They both stood up (again, unsuspecting me thought this was out of respect to someone new joining the table) but then they both shook my hand. Before I could sit down, the owner of my company uttered the words “Today is the day we are letting you go.”

I just sat there. In shock. A minute later, all I could get out was “I’m very confused.”  To which my boss responded “This isn’t a performance issue, we are just moving in a different direction.”

All I could process was holding back anger and tears… and how embarrassing, humiliating and degrading it was for this conversation to have happened during peak hours at a local Starbucks. I’ll spare you the rest of the details.. it only ends with me sobbing hysterically in my car about three minutes later.

I was to hand over my keys right there in the Starbucks, I was denied access to my office to gather my personal belongings, I was not offered a severance package of any kind, a coworker (whom I considered a friend) had to pack up my office and met me at a gas station to drop off my things, and to top it off… I realized today (March 9th) that my Dropbox.com account was still linked to my work computer. I logged on and it’s no surprise, my boss deleted my work folders within my personal dropbox… but he also deleted my personal finances folder! (yes, I know, it’s my fault for linking the account in the first place)

Aside from all of this, what I consider to be the worst part about this is that I was denied permission to say goodbye to my residents. The residents that have become friends and that I have grown to love and admire.

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Humility. I should have seen this coming. I’ve watched this man treat others with the same lack of decency… my naivete and trusting nature in this regard has unfortunately shown through. I trusted this man. I carried a mentor/mentee relationship with him and I spoke very highly of the opportunities this job was affording me. My family and I volunteered our Thanksgiving to come in and serve our residents and my parents drove up to Richmond to participate in the Alzheimer’s Walk with us. My family was now a part of the family I thought I had at this company.

Health. As I search for my next employment adventure, I will take this opportunity to really crack down on my physical fitness and my health. Ha! My new Crossfit family is going to get so sick of seeing me! I can’t wait to see the progress I’ll be able to make.

My reason for writing about this experience is for reflection and a subtle reminder to all that mental health and mindset is key and can make or break you. Had I been in the proper defensive mindset that I should have been in, this might not have happened to me.

  • Because I trusted the mentor/mentee relationship, I thought my boss would never treat me the way he had treated others – naive.
  • Never underestimate what someone is capable of in the “corporate and professional” world – keep personal documents separate from work documents (seems obvious, I know)
  • Your job is never secure or guaranteed. Always have a safety net.

Happiness. I find rejuvenation, support and motivation when I get around my amazing family. I had to get out of Richmond and I know that if I had gone home, I would have slummed around in my sorrows and let Mom take care of me. I was overdue for a trip to visit my family in Florida and Trooper was going to be in training until March 14th… so I left.

And I’m so glad I did. I’ve been able to visit with my cousin and see the amazing woman she has become. I’ve been able to visit with my Aunt and Uncle without having to share their time with anyone else and the act of forcing myself to get up and out has provided with me a positive mental attitude and motivation to pave my new path.

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I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou