I loved my job. I loved the founder of my company. He started with nothing but a vision. His vision and his inability to be swayed by obstacles inspired me to stay there.
The company I started with put people first. One of the reasons for its success is because it put people first. It creates loyalty. Loyalty goes both ways.
My loyalty to the company began when I was diagnosed with cancer at 32. I’d been with the company 5 months. My manager (who rarely spoke to me), said, “I heard what you’re going through. I know what’s going on. Don’t worry. Do what you have to do. Your job will be here when you get back.”
Until he said that, I was sure I’d have to quit. I needed a surgery that would require a minimum of 6 weeks off. He (the manager that rarely spoke to me) and she (my mentor that hired me), told my co workers at the time that I had cancer. I’d only been there 5 months. One of the women hated me with a passion! But, I had an 18-month old son. Somehow, some way, they understood my life was important. They donated their vacation hours to me.
And so, I survived the cancer. I took my weeks off. I never spoke of the surgery to them, but I was hung upside down, at mayo clinic for approximately 7 hours. I had to sign a waiver giving them permission to save my life by whatever means possible. I was assuming I may die.
I was sliced down the middle, guts pulled out, cancer cut out along with anything the cancer may spread to. I had to leave my son who was 18 months old. I couldn’t hold him for 6 weeks after the surgery.
Finally, I was ready to go back to work. They welcomed me with open arms. One of my co workers asked, “how are you doing?” I said I didn’t want to talk about it. I just had a really long weekend.
It was understood. I loved my job. I loved my mentor. I loved my coworkers.
I worked there, loved it, learned everything I could to help the company grow. It grew. It grew to the point of not having the time to care about sick employees. It grew to the point of not doing what that old manager did for me.
What that manager did for me made me a loyal employee until I just couldn’t be there anymore. It got too big.
I miss it now. I don’t miss the bullshit and the HR and the big corporate politics. But I miss those people that gave a damn about a mother with cancer.
It all changed.
So, here’s what happened. I was basically appointed by a VP to do what I do. Loyalty is an incredible asset in any employee. That VP was that manager. Over the years, he’d been promoted. Because he was good with people….
My boss that I ended up working for was not that guy, nor my mentor. My boss was someone who felt women should stay at home or be teachers or nurses. My boss was horribly intimidated by me: my passion: my drive and ambition to make us successful.
Which I helped to do. I was a part of a big, smart team. We pushed. We grew. We changed things.
My boss didn’t like that. He was a just a “do what your told” kinda guy. I’m not sure who the moron was that put that guy in charge of me, but it led me to leave.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, I am not a “maintain the status quo” kinda person.
I’m a “fuck this shit, let’s get out and lead” kind of person. And I always will be. So, if you’re looking to maintain….looking to be comfortable with “we’ve always done it this way”, I’m not your cup of tea.
But, if you’re looking to change; looking to make a difference; looking to eyeball tradition in the face and say “fuck you. This ain’t working.” I’ll be your friend.