Saturday, March 14, 2009

Paying It Forward

This week has been very hard. I trained three other consultants on the two software platforms that my former clients' are on, which apparently made them subject matter experts. I've heard that many of my colleagues were confused and concerned about my leaving, and when management was asked why I was on the lay off list, they were told that I didn't have a lot of work, even though I had a lot of clients. This was either a bald-faced lie or a demonstration on just how ignorant management was on my body of work for the last three years. When my colleagues asked who they were supposed to call on with questions, they were told that my junior associate "knew everything" and she could help them with any issue. She has one third of the experience and education that I have and her most recent experience with my specialty was 5 years ago.

I know that dwelling on my anger and disappointment doesn't do me any good but unfortunately until I can totally walk away from this mess I know I will not be able to let it go. There is nothing worse than losing your job then being asked to stay for several weeks to help with the "transition" of your work to others. I could have said no to that offer but I could not afford (financially) to give up several more weeks of pay and an extra month of health insurance.

I have been nothing but professional, responsive and helpful to my former employer and, to the best of my abilities, I will continue to be, as hard as that is. I plan to walk out of there with my reputation and my dignity intact.

On a much more positive note, I had the opportunity to pay it forward at the barn as well. I recently met a wonderful young woman, a university student who recently brought her horse to board where Missy lives. In fact, her Mitten lives three doors down so we share a common tack room. We don't like to admit it, but horse people can be solitary and fall easily into cliques, and I know all too well what it's like to be the new girl. I spent a delightful half hour showing her around the property, introducing her to the horses that I knew and sharing some of their history. She was so genuine, open, sweet and funny and we immediately clicked. On the way home it occured to me that I was old enough to be her mother, yet she's been riding many more years than I have, an interesting dynamic to say the least. Because I am in a vulnerable emotional state, upon further reflection my brain came up with: if I had had a daughter, I would have wanted her to be like Casey. And that made my heart hurt. But I am thankful to have a new friend.

I found these beautiful old prints online and will be sharing them with you over the next few posts. I'd love to get the whole series.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your layoff. It's always hard but this economy is just brutal. And to train everyone else and have to have a long transition? That's just salt in the wound.

    How nice that you have a new friend during this time.

  2. So sorry about your layoff. Hopefully someone will make note of your professionalism and remember you when hiring down the line.

    Sorry I haven't kept up as much as I should. Hope things continue to improve with Miss.

  3. Isn't that a great feeling when kindred souls meet? No doubt Casey walked away that day with good thought about you.
    Your classiness at work will also be remembered. I like to think that when one door closes, a window opens. Who knows what the future will bring? It's all part of the adventure.

  4. great to find a "sympatico" friend especially during a tough time. I feel your pain.. I was once in that position too training in transition. Definitely teaches you to be better rather than bitter and it's just opening up wide open spaces ... in the moment tho it's hard to feel

    hang in there

  5. Your new friend sounds nice. It's great to find people who share your common interests.

    I am sorry your employers are being so difficult. It seems at the very least they could acknowledge the effort you are putting into training people but sadly, management generally is ignorant. In my last workplace whenever we had to cut costs my peers would simply take a pen and cross out those getting paid at the higher end (unless they had a personal rapport of course) without any regard to how valuable this person might be. It used to drive me nuts at the incredible short-sightedness of it. Half the people who make it to management have no clue about what is going on in their organization.

    Anyway, I don't know if that helps when you are at the receiving end (and I have been there) but I know you will come out of this with flying colors. I am sorry it isn't easier though.