Have we become unfeeling?

A client of mine, a credit union, had a closer. She had been with the company for over 10 years. She died in December, unexpectedly, in her sleep.

We were alerted to the situation, as the closer had worked for us as well.

We sent flowers, and I called the production manager to see how her team was holding up. Lisa’s death was out of the blue, she was only a couple years older than me, and not in poor health. When I expressed my sympathy and asked how they were doing, I was a little amazed at her answer. She was quite irritated. Several of her staff were too shaken up to finish the day of work, and she was not happy. “We have a business to run! Now I’ve got to find a closer, and everyone wants to go home and cry.”

That wasn’t the response I thought I’d find. The manager was not interested in sympathy, she wanted to get her loans out.

The death of her coworker, colleague, elicited no sadness at that moment.

Now, I don’t know if she was in shock or grief when I got ahold of her, or if she was any different later on.

It was just a sad reminder that for so many companies, “the show must go on”.

We can be replaced. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been a part of something. We will be replaced once we are gone.

Our lives are so short, and when they are done, the people remaining must go on. They don’t stop living. The community doesn’t stop functioning.

But must we “go on” so quickly? Isn’t there some decency out there that says “the life we just lost was important enough to pause and grieve?”

Do we have to be such slaves to production that we are irritated at the death of a coworker?

It just makes me sad.

My life as a Corporate Clean Up artist

Many moons ago I worked for a Savings and Loan, that’s no longer in business. They didn’t make it through 2008.

I grew up there, you might say. I started right out of college as a Manager Trainee.

After a couple of years, I was labeled by my manager as (and I quote) “unconsciously competent”. I didn’t realize at the time how that label would haunt me. I must have been unconscious and doing something competent. I don’t know. It was a weird label.

I became a Branch Manager. Then I was lured away to the lending department as a loan officer, then I became a District Manager, a Trainer, and then……it happened.

I started getting transferred from District to District for the dreaded Corrective Action for employees not meeting minimum production standards.

Because in banking, if you aren’t measuring it, reporting on it, or meeting about it, you have to be producing it. And we had folks that weren’t producing, and managers who couldn’t manage the non-producers out the door. So someone had the brilliant idea to let me handle it.

For 3 years I moved from office to office. After the 2nd transfer, people caught on that I was being brought in to fire people. I developed an eye-twitch, I drank to excess, and I would have horrible nightmares. I realized at the age of 32 that I would rather be liked than be in charge.

I was 32, a young mom, very cute, and people were afraid of me. I was promised that if I would clean up the Texas Districts I could name my assignment. That didn’t happen, and I ended up resigning.

It’s a difficult job firing people for a living. Don’t get me wrong, it really had to be done, but mostly because the non-producers shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. When I suggested that the hiring managers could clean up their own mess, or I maybe I should focus on the hiring managers my peers turned on me. Politically Correct I am not. And I wasn’t very happy being the maid service for those who were not competent in any state of consciousness, and were not being held to the same standard I was being held.

I fired, or accepted resignations from 23 people across 6 districts in 3 years. In all that time, no one made it through to produce. It is never easy, but the more I had to go through the motions I had to marvel at people who were not really working, not trying, not really understanding their jobs, and not making commissions! They tried so desperately to hold onto those jobs. 120 day corrective action cycle usually could be wrapped up in 90 days. (Unconsciously Competent….see the pattern). After my second transfer, I had three people just resign and leave when I scheduled our initial meeting.

Today, I am grateful that I’m not in charge of anything except managing my accounts, and sending in 1 weekly report to the partners of my firm.

When I look back on some of the ridiculous things that had to be done in my career, I’m so grateful not to be in banking anymore or in charge. I think my eye twitch would come back if I had to be in charge.

Sorry about the typo at the bottom. That Meme writer is Fired!

Some assembly required

At our office Christmas party, we had a Gingerbread House decorating contest.

Some were pretty….some were funny.

But we were all festive, in bows and ribbons, and moose sweaters.

A good time was had by all. 

Reference check

The email appears last night at 5:09 pm.

Its esoteric request was disappointing.  


You have achieved the next level in our selection process.  Please log in and provide us with the email addresses of 5 professional references.  One of the references must be a former manager.  These references cannot be friends or family! 

 This is a very important step in our selection process and must be completed within 48 hours.

If you are no longer interested in this position, please click here, and you will be removed from our selection process.

Most of the people I’ve worked with in the past are friends….that poses a dilemma.  

What questions are emailed in this survey?

Next week is Thanksgiving, and most of my friends are taking the week off.

Since the email came in after 5pm on Friday, when does the 48 hours start?

What happened to the other 4 applicants being considered?

What will my friends think about this survey?  They’ve been gracious enough to accept….but?

Why do I feel so exposed, and stupid?

Do I want to take this next step?

Today I am grateful for choices, a supportive husband, and a little time to think things through.  

The FUTURE challenge


My dearest buddy Rob from the VPub has nominated me for something fun!

He’s a great blogger, has wonderful music posted both original, and other artists.  His blog is witty, entertaining, interactive, social, and I’m so happy I was introduced to him in this blogosphere.

For the Future Challenge the rules are as follows:

• Thank the bloggers who nominated you. Thank you, Rob!
• Link back to the challenge creator, Dreams and Movie Screens so she can track your progress.
• Share 5 things about your future (jobs, kids, marriage, travel etc). Then one day you can look back and find out how psychic you really are.
• Tag 5 bloggers and put them up to the challenge.

5 things about my future.

  1.  My future is very bright, but uncertain right now for my profession.  I’ve always worked, I like to work, and I will work again.  I’m not sure if that will be as a bee keeper, honey producer, or as a check out clerk at the local grocery store.  Who knows, I might start a serious blog for income?
  2. My husband and I are focused on where we will go after retirement, and we bought some land a couple hours from any City.  We will raise bees, and see how that will impact us either as a hobby or a business.
  3. My children are grown, and I’m looking forward to grandkids someday.  When we build our house in the country, it’s going to have a cool bunk room for the grand babies, a play area with rope swings, 4 wheelers to ride, pond to fish, and a place where the whole family can congregate together.
  4. Someday in the near future my husband and I want to travel to the Home Countries; The Czech Republic for him, Scotland/England for me.  I really want to do the river boat cruises through Europe.
  5. In this transitional phase for me, I’m in between so much.  I wrote a fellow blogger recently, that it’s like a very long slow curve I’m traveling around and I can’t see what’s around the bend.  I’m not afraid that I don’t know.  But distractions keep me from staying positive.  My future is bright, and tomorrow I will wake up again in anticipation of ‘something good’ happening, because;  Something Good is Going to Happen!

I’d love to open this challenge up to anyone who would like to participate.

Specifically:  Marla, AKA Crazy Mom at Just Make the Coffee, Lorrie Bowden, Lucy at All Right Choices,  and Christy Life As Christy.

As I take these seminars on Big Thinking, I’m really challenged with these things to push myself a little farther.  My nose has been to the grind stone for so long.  I’ve looked up and I’m over 50.  Time to get dreaming about my future, don’t you think?

Thanks Rob for the nomination.