Every year we have a kickoff meeting at work. The last few years it's been in Baltimore. After much thought and deliberation, back in July, I stepped down in my role from district manager to branch manager. Most of the time, I've been very happy with that choice. I love my job again. I do miss that power though.
A manager opening came open in the town I live in, work was driving me nuts, but more importantly, one precious little angel that we'd submitted interest in and seemed to otherwise be a good match for, we were turned down for because of my work hours and so much travelling. I've enjoyed my new role a bunch, but I must admit occassionally I feel those pangs of missing the power I had. Isn't that sad? Of all the things, salary, company car, laptop, perks, I miss those obviously, but the power was harder to give up. Go figure, I lost 15K in salary, who knows what in bonuses yet, the company car and a laptop, yet, it's the power I miss.
I was dreading kickoff, the first time I'd see many of my peers since stepping down. Not all know the reason, I'm sure there is spectulation and rumors. Oddly enough though, it went well.
I just knew it was going to be very difficult to go to this meeting, not being in the middle management role and having a say in things going on, but being among those that are being talked TO, instead of doing the presenting. Branch manager and below have to share rooms. District Manager and below get their own rooms. This was a probably mentally for me, so I offered to pay 1/2 to being able to keep my own room. Thankfully, this request was honored.
I got there and it was initially a tad awkward knowing people would know I'd stepped down, but very few would know why and probably would assume the worst. Oddly enough, though, it wasn't near as difficult as I anticipated. I get to be buddies with cool people and not have the responsibility of making sure people behave. That was cool.
But the really great thing.......they requested we all bring in toys to the kickoff meeting and anybody that brought toys or sent toys could wear jeans Wednesday. My team really stepped up to the plate and sent tons of toys. We KNEW they'd go to a great cause, but image my surprise when I got here and they're going to foster children. That made me very happy. I was so excited that I had overdone it a little with the toys, once I knew the whole story. Here I am stressed out over going to a company meeting because of my change in role and get there and find the very kids I feel such an urgency for are the very ones the company is helping.
Not sure why, but for some reason that just made me more sure I'd made the right decision to step down and I'm more at peace and less anxiety over being in big groups with people at the company looking at me in a different position.
Once I got home, I got an e-mail from a lady we'd met back in November. We'd went to a match reception and found a young lady that just looks and feels like she'd fit right in with us. She asked when we could interview. Naturally, we said tomorrow!!
We left our worker out of the loop on this one. To date, we haven't seemed to have much help from her and in a few cases, have seemed to get conflicting messages from the workers we've met in our travels to find a child. We shall see who's right.
The interview went great. Our training we've focused on is geared towards EXACTLY what this angel needs. She said she's 100% comfortable with recommending us, but of course, as always, there are a couple others to interview and the next step should probably be in 3 or so weeks. I'll be a wreck til then. I really would LOVE to be this angels new, forever mom!
Always a reminder of the journey and why I made the choices I've made. I hope one day these choices will prove to be fruitful.