Online Edition - June 2000
Issue Highlight - Safe
The Real World at MTV
New American Revolution
Bringing Values to Life
Peter Block Column
Views for a Change
Heard on the Street
Diary of a Shutdown
Tuesday, April 4
--I take most of the day off today because I have an appointment with my therapist, a networking interview, hair coloring (the gray seems to be gaining these days) and soccer practice.
Wednesday, April 5
-- Four more production meetings!
- -I'm leaving at 10:30 a.m. today to head for an interview. People seem amazed that I would even look at a remote location, and I respond, "What are you talking about? You live here, hardly a bustling metropolis."
-- Before I leave the house I mail the mortgage payment.
-- I feel like I am right in that in-between spot of the change process that always causes all the problems. Planning change is no problem, doing the change is fun, but right now I'm not in one place or another. It's that moment when I have let go of one trapeze swing and I'm spinning around to grab hold of the other one, but for right now I'm just in the air, not holding onto anything, carried by momentum and faith.
-- I need help with endings. There is a marriage ceremony, but with the high percentage of divorce, why not a divorce ceremony? I think that beginnings always take care of themselves, but special care is due endings. I usually have some sort of getting-ready routine when I start something new, but I never thought about a letting-go routine. Usually the end of one thing is the start of another, so I just focus on the next new thing.
-- But that's not really ending anything. We try to disguise endings by calling them transitions and changes, but this is absolute ending, plain and simple. All of our talk about cycles is just a way to deflect attention from the pain of ending. You never hear, at the beginning of a new venture, "Well, I know the beginning is good, but don't worry, it's all a part of the cycle. Soon you'll have another ending."
Thursday, April 6
-- The production meeting is light with relief because they know there is only one week left to go, come hell or high water. Production stops the 14th; we all leave the 28th.
Monday, April 10
-- "Production plant looking for a hero to run or help run well-established manufacturing business."
-- A call for a hero? I can't resist. Apparently this old habit has some life in it yet.
-- It has been so long since I have enjoyed work that even the possibility gets me excited. How do people go through their lives hating the work they do? Doesn't that hate slowly poison everything else? Well, I guess it's like suffering through a bad marriage; some people have the capacity to make a life that way.
-- Not me. I'll take loneliness over fear any day.
Tuesday, April 11
-- He replies haughtily, "Yes, they are still here, and they were quite impressed by your people yesterday." This makes the entire room laugh down at him, to which he stiffens even more, which I would not have thought possible unless I saw it firsthand. .
Wednesday, April 12
-- What a relief! I found some more money! And it's mine, all mine! The company's savings investment plan is available to me upon termination, lock, stock and barrel. This means that I probably won't lose my house and I can panic a little less.
-- Wow-it seems like I did win the lottery, after all.
Thursday, April 13
Tuesday, April 18
Thursday, April 20
-- I will be alone and this company that we built will be gone forever.
-- I bring in two breakfast casseroles and then I wonder-are there enough people here to finish them both?
Monday, April 24
-- I am too tired to get out of my office.
-- I am too tired to clean my office.
-- I am too tired to cry.
-- I am too tired to write.
-- However, I find that I am not too tired to get a manicure/pedicure, so I decide to call it a day and pick up my daughter and get our nails done together.
Wednesday, April 25
-- He compliments us on the production floor cleanup, and tells us how great it looks. Hank Smith corrects him mildly, "Oh, I don't know, I kinda liked it better the other way."
The Last Day, Friday, April
-- By 7:30 a.m. I have accomplished this mission, and some guys help me carry the items to my car. The security guard looks at nothing throughout all of the carts of boxes that I bring out, and I don't even have a badge anymore.
-- I fill out my last time card.
-- Adam Jones from HR does a wonderful job at the exit interview and I can't even imagine how many times he has gone through all these details. He is patient and funny and it takes an hour, but we are finally done. I am no longer an employee.
-- I am home, time to finish this column.
-- I look for a theme, some great wisdom, but I don't see any around. I know who I am, who my friends are and what I want.
-- I know that I am grateful to many people.
-- Thanks to God for a full life, a terrific family and the strength and health that I need to enjoy this journey.