Sunday

Co-workers are friendly, but they are not friends of yours

Hey Lisa,

Yes, I am glad you got back in touch with me. There was a time in my own life, too, that I considered close acquaintances friends of mine, but I soon learned (though not soon enough in some cases), to separate the two.

You cannot expect loyalty from colleagues. Some, yes. Most, no. Sure, there's a spirit of familiarity, sometimes you socialize with them, maybe go out for a drink after work, or maybe you get together every Thursday for a game of competitive volleyball. In these times, you can get an appreciation for their home life, or share some giggles, even commiserate about this year's puny salary increases, but there's no mistaking that these folks are not your friends. I am so sorry to hear that you got burned by obviously bitter (aggrieved? resentful?) former colleagues. They must live a miserable existence if they believed that bad-mouthing you to the new head honcho would secure their jobs.

Do you really think that they have (had?) that much power to get you fired?

I know that you were "restructured" or "right-sized" or "downsized" but it still feels like being fired, doesn't it?

You sound as if you are experiencing typical mix of emotions that comes with losing your position. You've lost your position in the world, your career trajectory has been interrupted, and it's overwhelming to think about the challenge of finding work.

Maybe you ought to take some time, allow the experience of anger and resentment wash over you. Let the tidal wave of emotion wash over you. But don't let it drown your sensibility.

Because if you are anything as brave and persuasive as I recall, you'll have dozens of job offers before you know it.

Resilience

Lorelei,

I was wondering when I would hear back from you.

I cannot believe that you are doubting your ability in the face of these latest life changes because you are someone I have always admired for her strength and endurance. I've always admired your focus.

While I was sleeping off a hangover in my twenties, you were raising toddlers.

While I was dragging myself through a work week at a job I hated, you were working nights and attending college courses during the day.

And while I was whining about a boyfriend, or gossiping about one of my co-workers, you were working part-time, attending school full-time, and making your way through the remnants of a broken marriage.

And you doubt your resilience? Don't.

I'll tell you again

Caro,

I know, I know, but I'll say it again.

Don't explain yourself, don't engage in conversation about it, don't worry about what others think, and for goodness sake, don't worry about it.

The weight will come off when you're ready!!!

LOL. Sadly, what you say about my own appearance is true. I blame my mother. For whatever reason, she never commented on my appearance. I think that was helpful. That way, I never relied on it, nor was I hindered by it. And I never let anyone judge me by the way I looked.

Okay, I *tried* not to.

No. Catcalls don't count.