Friday, December 3, 2010

A look back

Last night, I was at dinner with my friends Kacy, Chris, and Lindsay, and I was talking about how my blog persona is different from my Twitter persona, not vastly, but still, different, because my followers on each are different.  My blog is more family friendly and family oriented because that is the type of audience my blog readers are.  My Tweeps, on the other hand, are mostly Pittsburgh people, so my Pittsburghese comes out a lot more on Twitter.

It got me wondering if people think I am being fake on my blog.  Do I seem too nice, too much of a do gooder, too good to be true?  Because trust me, I make mistakes, and I am hopelessly, and beautifully, flawed.  So I thought I would open up a little and share an example of a more personal story of why I try so hard to be kind, to do good, to be a better person.

It is, in part, because of a girl.  A woman really.  But I am going to call her Girl M.

Girl M and I met at one of my past jobs.  I am not the type of person to get very chummy with people at work.  Sure, we make work friendships, where we go to lunch and stuff, but it usually ends there (with the exception of when I was a social worker, you had to form friendships with those people to maintain sanity, and many of those friendships last to this day.  Love you Lindsay!).  So, in this cut throat corporate setting, I was really surprised when Girl M and I struck up a really good friendship.  She was a young mom, and she loved to cook, so we would talk about recipes, and a few times we would hang out for dinner or what not.  We both were miserable in our current positions, so when I moved to another department, I encouraged her to move over as well, and when she did I was ecstatic.  We developed what seemed to me to be a really good friendship, and she was actually one of the biggest proponents of me dating Hubby when we were stuck in the dreaded friend zone.

Then, something awful happened.  I put my job ahead of our friendship.  I was gunning for a promotion at work, and the process was ridiculously long and drawn out.  As a result, I was getting pretty desperate to prove I was worthy of the promotion, and was trying harder and harder to show myself loyal to the company.    When a situation arose that involved Girl M, I handled it, well, poorly does not even begin to describe it.  Girl M felt completely betrayed, and our friendship was destroyed.  And while I still do not know what the correct way to handle the situation would have been, I know that it certainly was not the path I chose.

So, of course, I get the promotion.  Which meant I was now going to be Girl M's supervisor.  It was so tense and uncomfortable.  She felt totally unsupported by me as a boss, and I felt totally ineffective as a manager.  It got worse and worse, with more and more bad situations arising as the weeks went by.  Finally, she decided to leave the company completely.  Not long after, I stepped down as supervisor, as it was clear management was not for me.  It was not just Girl M.  When it came to the reporting and analytics side of things, I rocked the house, but when it came to actually dealing with the people in my department, I stunk up the joint.

I will never get a chance to tell Girl M how sorry I am.  I am sure she really does not care anymore, nor do I think she would want to hear my apology, but none the less, it still bothers me that the whole situation happened.  I am such a different person today than I was back then, and I guess I wish she knew that.  It is awful carrying around the burden of an unspoken apology, and not one that I enjoy.  It is much more pleasant to get to bestow goodness and kindness upon the world.  So, that is what I chose to do.

I hope Girl M has a wonderful, happy life.  I hope she finds goodness and kindness.  I hope she spreads kindness to others.  I hope the whole thing comes full circle.  And I hope I do not make the same mistake again.