It Wasn’t Business. . .Just Personal
There’s an old joke,
Two women are staring at a freshly erected tombstone. One woman says, “We had 20 happy years together.” The other woman responds, “I thought you were married for 25 years?”
I’m not like that. I’ll celebrate 30 years of marriage this year. I definitely married above my station. I did subject my lovely wife to a lifetime of “wedded Bliss” jokes, but it’s been good. I can’t say the same for those around me. Society tells us that half of all marriages end in divorce. I can certainly see that in my extended family. My siblings and I are batting about 50/50. Half the marriages have ended in divorce, half are still going. My parent’s generation was even worse.
Although, I’ve escaped it myself, I have watched it unfold. It follows a typical pattern.
Everyone is excited at the beginning. Your first day, you get a new desk, meet your coworkers. You find out where the best local restaurants are and start to learn everyone’s name. Everyone loves the start. And from there, where it goes is not always up to you. Sometimes, it changes around you. You might have been asked to do a particular set of tasks when you were hired and then the needs of the business change. Your role shifts and changes. you need to shift and change too.
Sometimes, the people change. You start with one group, through promotions, demotions, retirement, and new hires, the group changes. Sometimes, the changes are for the best. Sometimes they aren’t. And sometimes, the changes start to tell a story.
I’ve “lost” several jobs in my career. Lost is a funny word. I didn’t lose it, it’s still there. There’s just someone else doing the job now. Sometimes, I deserved to lose a job. It changed around me and I couldn’t adapt quickly enough. Companies are in the business of making money. If they can make money by keeping you they will. If they can make money by “letting you go,” they’ll do that.
Other times, I’ve lost jobs that I didn’t feel I should have. A large non-profit went through a downsizing. Eight percent of my department got let go, including my entire team. I was doing good work. I had turned around a project that was losing money and turned it into one of the star programs of our department. It didn’t matter. I’m not bitter. It wasn’t personal. . .just business.
Often the signs are telling: increased scrutiny, increased reporting, your start to be placed under the microscope. And if you happen to be an employee who doesn’t do well under a microscope, it quickly spirals into a cycle of poor performance, which leads to more scrutiny which leads to worse performance.
If I had the answer to what to do in that situation, I’d write a book. I don’t. I think I’ve learned to recognize it, and the best things I’ve found is to avoid it. Don’t find yourself manning the bilge pumps on your personal Titanic.
My lovely wife and I have weathered our share of storms. We’ve had tragedies that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. We’ve had heartbreak and overwhelming joy. We’ve always believed in each other. Looked out for one another. Thought the best of each other when things got rough. And we’ve avoided starting down the road of suspicion and distrust.
It wasn’t business. . .just personal.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved