July 22 – Why Me?

by Linda Cardillo

I’m not feeling good about myself today. For the first time, I feel like an old person preparing to be put out to pasture. I’m not old. I’m 67. A youthful (so I’m told), vibrant, fun-loving 67. So why am I feeling like old news?

Recently one of my coworkers quit. (I’ll call her “Jane.”) Since our administrative staff had been cut in half over the past several years, she and I have been carrying double loads, and she was burned out. It would have been a disaster if she left, so our new director got her a promotion, a decent raise, a new title and new responsibilities. She now does a lot of communications work – Twitter, Facebook, Mail Chimp, Eventbrite, that sort of thing. Things that are, in today’s world, essential to a company’s infrastructure. (BTW…my Bachelor’s degree is in Communications and I haven’t gotten a raise in nearly 7 years. Just sayin’.)

During a recent meeting about our individual “goals,” I was told, “No offense to you and what you do, but what “Jane” does is key.” That statement came after being told we could have future staff cuts or our office could be closed all together. Put those statements together and it equals, “If we have administrative staff cuts, you’re out.” (Some background facts: I’ve been with the company 17-½ years. “Jane” has been here for 10. I am a widow with one income, no family to help in a pinch, a mortgage and property taxes. Jane has an employed husband and no mortgage.)  Life isn’t fair.

That’s it in a nutshell. The unfairness of it.

I do not begrudge “Jane” in any way.  She’s excellent at her job and we’re great friends in and out of the office. As coworkers, we complement each other and we have both won the highest award given to administrative staff for outstanding performance. So, why me?

First of all, she quit so she got the new job, the promotion and the raise. Second, the manager hasn’t been here long so he doesn’t know my strengths or credentials, which I probably didn’t convey very well during our too-soon get to know you one-on-one lunch meeting. Maybe he just didn’t ask the right questions. I blame him for what he doesn’t know about me. It’s easier than thinking I didn’t read the signs and should have sold myself better. I didn’t know I was supposed to. That’s on me.

After years of being told, “this place couldn’t run without you,” I am now non-essential personnel. I arrive every day to a colossal volume of work, but because I’m not Tweeting or revising last month’s E-newsletter, at the end of the day, what I do doesn’t matter.

I’m not feeling good about myself today.

Linda Cardillo is a full-time working widow who loves to create mixed media art and cuddle with her perfect, precious yellow lab.

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8 responses to “July 22 – Why Me?

  1. I’m sorry, Linda. Working for a company is like being in a family of people who don’t really love you, and it stinks.
    It’s not you, it’s them. The corporation has no heart.
    I left the corporate world for self-employment, and I recommend it highly. But I’ve been lucky to be able to do it, in a field that needs me, who I am and how I am. The good news for you is that retirement is approaching, and retirement means doing whatever you want to do!

    • Linda Cardillo

      Samantha, thank you so much for your compassion and encouragement. I work in non-profit but it’s become much like a corporation at this point. Most of the people I work with are wonderful, talented and caring, which helps a lot. I promise to write about something more uplifting next time! 😁 Thanks again.

  2. Oh Linda, I know this is no conciliation for you – but we all feel like this at times, So please please forgive my language and I use an English phrase here “…….don’t let the b…..s get you down”.have courage and strength to carry on. Good luck. Carina

  3. Life is not fair. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when you get screwed over. Take a day to feel old then pull on your big girl panties and carry on.

    • Linda Cardillo

      LOL…that’s usually exactly what I do. I honor the emotion, let it have its way, then move on. But this one was tough. I had a hard time getting past it. I’m guessing the reason is because I felt threatened, which triggered fear and the age old fight or flight response. I’m working on it. Thanks for the pep talk!

  4. Bragging, boasting, flaunting were all negative behaviors for women in our age group. We minimized ourselves and when complimented, responded with, “Oh, it was nothing,” That’s not an easy thing to overcome. We are routing for you. Hang in there and sell yourself, even though it may be difficult to do.
    .”

  5. I hear and feel your pain. I chose to retire, but am still adjusting as I also loved what I did and was very good at it. Here is hoping you find your niche somewhere.

  6. Linda Cardillo

    Thank you all so much for your kind words, encouragement and empathy. I know I’m not alone. This has been weighing heavily on me for weeks and I really needed to get it out. I appreciate your comments more than you know, especially because this is my very first blog post ever! You made my day! I promise to write about something more uplifting next time. Blessings and cyber hugs to you all.😘

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