I felt as if I could go out and get a job anywhere a few years ago. I had a great boss who was my mentor and teacher and now is my friend. She gained my respect pretty quickly. She was (still is) a Go-Getter and very confident in what she does and knows. She taught me the ins and outs of being an Event Coordinator. Over the almost two decades I’ve known her and the dozen or so years I worked under her, I learned a lot. I know about action plans and being detail oriented and organized and giving great customer service. I learned about permits and licensing and insurance and not only how to throw a great party, but how to coordinate vendors and direct parking. And run meetings.
I’ve also owned a store and my own art business, not to mention the decade or so before that with a handful of other jobs that taught me numerous other abilities that I feel have been the stepping stones that have led me to being a pretty qualified employee. I’ve hired and scheduled and trained. And my employees loved me and I loved them.
Fast forward… several years….
When the hotel I was working for sold, I found myself without a job for the first time in over a dozen years. I’d had a pretty successful art business and a greeting card company where I designed and wrote each card and so instead of being scared of what came next, I saw it as an opportunity to , reinvent it.
As I was just turning a corner, and feeling as if maybe I could actually make a living or at least bring in a decent contribution to our household, I was interrupted by an opportunity to be an Event Coordinator at a Winery. I was hesitant because I really did feel that I was on my way back to doing what I loved with my art business, but though I was making good money at my shows, my husband kept reminding me to figure in the expenses. I knew he was right. My shows were all in Orange County, four hours away and the traveling expenses and show costs had to be figured in. And so I took the interview and was hired right on the spot.
At first I was excited. I was hired for what I was told was full time and I showed up on time, never sat down, cleaned and prepped and did whatever needed to be done. But except for one art show in the time I was there, I realized that they weren’t looking for an Event Coordinator. In fact, the girl who recommended me ended up adding that to her job description. And I wasn’t hired for full time, I was hired for the weekends. Right during member pick up which was hardly gone over as was the point of sale system they used. When you work every weekend instead of every day it’s hard to get a rhythm going. The communication was non existent and the moodiness in the office was uncomfortable. I floundered trying to learn all the different procedures. And felt undervalued and began doubting my own abilities. Now I look back and realize I just wasn’t trained like I might have trained someone coming in.
When I had to ask for yet another paycheck that I didn’t get the week before and go through another uncomfortable conversation and the owner snippily asked me… “anything else?” I found something inside of me that I’d lost working there, and thought to myself YOU HAVE THE POWER DIANE, YOU’VE ALWAYS HAD IT.
And said…. “Yes. I’m thinking, THIS will be my last day.” It was the most empowered I’d felt in a long time. And that was that. There were no other words needed. No explanations. They knew I hadn’t been treated well. I know what I experienced and walked away with my head held high.
But now as I’m thinking I need to find another job to supplement our income, I am frozen in fear. It’s funny, because my first boss was tough. She’s really a softy as a friend, but when she was my employer, she was all black and white. She had a talent of gaining respect at “Hello” but she really earned it. She was an amazing teacher and I learned from her for twelve years. I know what I know. But for some reason I’m frozen in fear having PTSD from this last blip of a job.