I hesitated long and hard before writing this post but today, I was in the sort of mood when you over analyse things of the past.. you know for example why did that girl hit you in the playground 10 years ago...? ok 20 years ago, FINE 25 years ago at least! Or what about that boy who was a real jerk and broke your heart. That sort of memories that make you think, why? what did I do to deserve this? It rarely happens, I am more the sort of person who gets up, brush up my hands and moves on, but today I didn't think of the girl in the playground or the jerk, I thought of my old boss...
I thought of how I felt he treated me unfairly when I became pregnant and how he changed when I returned to work from maternity leave. I thought of the long hours I worked in this tiny office completely health and safety unfriendly, where I almost broke my neck many times, falling over the printer cable plugged near my desk, leading to his office, tangled with the computer leads of the desk opposite me. I thought of all these Sundays taking calls in between my roast dinner, glass of wine and friends, because wingy musicians complained they had to share a hotel room, because budget was tight and it wasn't my fault! or because they weren't happy with the gigs they were booked on the following week and no one reminded them it was BLOODY SUNDAY!!
But this is not me... I am not the sort of person who dwells on the bad stuff. That happened and surely it was a lesson to take and use later on in my life. So I am sitting here and I decided I was going to write a letter to him (shared with all of you of course) and in this letter I was going to be thankful, so here it is:
Dear Old Boss,
This is it, we are
finallycoming to the end of our common road and for all these years and time spent in your office, in between my maternity leavesI wanted to thank you.
Thank you for giving me so much self confidence in my job from the moment I joined your team. Thank you for your praises and kindness the first 18 months of me joining your brilliant company. It was an absolute pleasure to feel so involved in a concept fun and different such as yours. I loved every minutes (between 8.30 am and 8.30 pm most days, lunch at my desk) of my job. Thank you for that fabulous fancy coffee maker that froths milk like no other, as a wedding gift. It is a shame it stopped working at the same time as our professional relationship, the minute you found out I was pregnant.
I will never forget the look on your face, the one that said "Stop a minute, I am having a heart attack! tell me it is not real, GO ON TELL ME!". But then you came back to your senses and congratulated me. At the end of the day you'd just became a dad for the first time yourself so you knew what it was like. The same as you knew how hard pregnancy can sometime be and that is why I could only be amazed by your
non supportivereaction when I told you after few visits to A&E because of heavy bleeding, that I was told to take a week off. I was only 8 weeks pregnant with my first baby and petrified. What a surprise it was when you asked me how I was thinking of making up for that time. How did you want me to? Come and work at the weekend? (I already was anyway).
The pregnancy had ups and downs but luckily, after 12 weeks, it had much more up than downs. The job was as stressful as always but I loved it still. And I loved working with my lovely colleague. I had so much fun with her and she was such a wonderful support. I missed her so much when I returned from my maternity leave and she had gone. Because I did come back as I said I would all those times you asked me if I intended to before I went. You insisted on the fact a baby changes everything. And yes, a baby changes everything. I woke up one morning of February with this bundle in my arms. My world had changed as well as my priorities. This job was not my life anymore and this is why I was going to pay.
And I did pay... I did request flexible work, involving a couple of days from home. I showed you all the way it was possible and you rejected my requests on grounds that employment lawyers laughed at and wondered if you wanted to be sued. Then you offered me part time and fell over your chair when I accepted it. I know why, you thought I was going to give up... I never give up that easily, bulls (I am a Taurus) are persistent and stubborn... you should know.
You confused the brain with the placenta and thought I had lost most my capacities to think the moment I gave birth, and that is why you took the best part of my job an gave it away. You held me responsible for problem you had while I was away. And you almost had another heart attack when you found out I was pregnant again! This was it, not only I was going to have double the chances to stay home for impromptu cold and flu, but I was going to lose the rest of my brain and commitment to my job.
So we played the game of "are you sure you want to come back?" for another 6 months. And would I be nice and grant you the truth? Why? For what reason? I didn't need to tell you I wasn't, the same as you should have never asked me these questions.
But I am not a victim and I will never be.
When I left to go on my second maternity leave you were abroad and you never called me to say bye or good luck. However you did write to me a couple of days later... to put in writing the fact that you wanted me back full time. Because no one told you that you were not allowed to request this and I had every right for 9 months to come back in the exact terms and conditions.
So before I go, can I ask, why is the girl replacing me working 2 days a week? Oh, she doesn't have children, I see...
I might have been really cross in the past. I must have (well I have) cursed you a little bit or a lot, but I still like you. I still think you are a fun guy to work with and I have learned so much positive as well as negative during my time in your company, for that it was worth every minute. I will never forget how much I loved coming to work and even in the harder time I never came to office thinking "I don 't want to go". Just for this it was worth it. And for the best reason of all: You opened my eyes to the fact that I had to work for myself and you inspired my desire to become a Life Coach. So just for this I give you an immense thank you!
May your life and the one of your family be full of joy, success and happiness,
Photo credit a.drian's