Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My Debbie Downer Post

A lot of really cool things have happened since I last blogged:
Camping trips, road races, parties, mice encounters, hugs from children, conversations with friends, amusing quotes from children ("Your pants smell good!"). And I apologize for not brightening this thing up with stories and pictures of my life from the last few weeks. I will eventually. Promise.

But today, I just feel like poop. And there are too many people I want to tell about it. So here goes.

I got a call from Sr. Cathie last night, the woman I interviewed with for the Rose Haven job. After a very long, hard, but necessary conversation, we kind of came to the conclusion that Rose Haven is not the job for me.

Now she kept saying "Don't take this as rejection." And I understand what she means. In all honesty, after hearing more about the clients they serve and the kind of intensity involved in the work, I don't think that's where I belong next year. This year has been extremely trying at times, and what I need most in a job next year, is something with a little stream of hope woven in. I need some positivity and joy mixed in with the challenges. Not that Rose Haven is full of hopelessness. Quite the opposite, I'm sure. But they deal with a lot of grief and a lot of really heavy things. Things that I am not sure I want to handle. Things that Sr. Cathie thinks maybe I shouldn't handle. At least not fresh off of this already difficult year.

So in one way it's like SWEET! Glad I figured that out before I committed a year of my life to it.

The shitty part? The encounter still made me feel like a total piece of crap.

In a subtle way, Sr. Cathie implied that after two phone interviews (which took place in a very public teacher's lounge and a very public school office at the end of the school day, by the way. Not the most ideal phone interviewing environment.) I sounded "distant" from my kids. It sounded like I "hadn't developed any close relationships with them". And that hurt me. Bad.

She kept saying things like "No one here thinks they are better than anyone else. We become very close to our clients here." And I didn't know what to say. I felt like she was telling me I was vain and incapable of developing meaningful relationships with people who are different from me.

She said she was sure that I was "a very smart girl". But to me, it sounded like "you are cold and uncompassionate."

It's really hard to hear someone's impression of you when they don't really know you. It's hard to hear someone else's take on your life and work, when they don't know what makes you tick. They don't know what your job is like, what kind of opportunities and roadblocks are involved. And it left me scrambling to try to prove something. But I was at a loss. Anything I said came out sounding so pathetic.

I've always prided myself on being personal and compassionate. I've always felt like my relationships with people was like my thing.

And I realize that what was actually said and my emotional reaction to what was said are two different things. But some of that stuff, no matter how gently it came out, was really hard to hear. I mean, you can't show someone the core of who you are in a fucking phone interview. It just doesn't work that way.

But the hardest part, is being back at work today, seeing these kids who I do love, and feeling like someone has just told me it isn't good enough.

I know that wasn't her intention.

And I know that the message behind everything she was saying was completely legitimate. Rose Haven is not the best fit for me. She could see that before I could. She knows what goes on there and she knows what I'm looking for in a job, and she realized that they don't match up. I couldn't have known that without her help. I need something a little more life giving than Rose Haven can offer.

But the hard part is having someone tell you that they don't think you should do something...Especially when you yourself feel you are capable of anything. The hard part is you automatically take that crap as a judgment of character. As a judgment of how you are currently doing. Even though you know you shouldn't.

Suddenly, and for the first time, I feel totally inadequate. And I feel like crying.

By the way. I again have no idea what I'm doing next year. Maybe I'll still be doing JVC in Portland, just at another job. But maybe this was God's way of saying "You can get out now, and do something for yourself. That's what you need right now." We'll find out soon enough.


At 9:50 AM, Anonymous MEG said...

why did she chose "cathie" as her nun name???!?! is she too good for catherine!??! DUMB
don't take what she said to heart, annie. you're right...there is no way that she can get to know the real you and who u really are over a phone interview. you ARE compassionate and should pride yourself on your commitment to friends, family, and people you dont even know.
i'll just tell you this....there is NO WAY i could have gotten through the accident and everything involved with it without YOU. you were there to listen, laugh, be unselfish with your compassion, and help me to realize that it was all going to be OK. so take that, sr. cathie. she can call ME for a reference or go screw herself. blaaaaaaaah!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Little_Wilkins said...

God Meg....I so needed to hear that today! Thank you so much! I love you!

At 7:38 AM, Blogger kdub said...

Oh man...I'm trying so hard not to fix this and call that woman and well her what a huge mistake and misjudgemant she has made. I'm going crazy because I know you would do so well there and working with women in hard core situations would be a blessing for you and and them!! You are one on the most amazing women I know. You are compassionate, caring and able to accomplish huge challanges. Everyone who has done JVC knows that Omak is one of the most difficult and challanging placements, and you have done an amazing job!!!! Don't let anyone tell you different. Has this woman talked to your references or ANYONE who knows you??? You are so wonderful annie and have done good for the world a million times over. Don't forget that!!!!!! I love you!!!!!!xoxoxoxoxo

At 1:23 PM, Blogger r-fresh said...

Ode to A Nun!
by rfresh

Nun, oh nun.

Ye noble phone call judge compassion.
Were it not for you, all would be lost.

Nun, humble none.
Armed with the vow of poverty and bitterness of hagard outdated teachings.

Make the call with your wise ability, shoot down volunteers and confuse those who want to help, aide and do-good.

For you, oh Nun, are the "decider"

Eat shit, Nun!

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Little_Wilkins said...

HA! Thanks brother. I'm laughing right now.

MAN, that makes me feel better!

I'm so glad I have cool people in my life who KNOW WHO I AM.

Can't wait to see you.


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