E.Q. Climax or Anti-Climax: You Decide

kumbaya-dammitPREVIOUSLY … on “The E.Q. Saga of Elaine” …

Elaine decides to leave her job because she needs to work part-time and that option is not available in her department.

Meanwhile, the department hires someone for a new part-time position; unfortunately, Elaine – nor anyone else – was advised of the opening. Thus, the preferred (and one and only) candidate slides into the coveted part-time role.

Elaine is pissed. She confronts her boss about the back-room hiring and leaves his office on an angry note.

In this week’s episode … Elaine must decide: Mend crumbling bridges with her boss? Or, hold on to her anger/principles and give him the cold shoulder for her final two weeks at work?

Following our heated exchange on Friday, I manage to not run into my boss on Monday or Tuesday. I know I’m not ready to have an adult conversation with him yet; my raw and wounded feelings are still too close to the surface.

By Wednesday, I’ve simmered down and at least can IMAGINE having a civil conversation with him, even if I’m not ready to actually do so. Our paths cross by the receptionist’s desk around lunch time on Wednesday.

Me: “Hey, I’ve been trying to catch you.” (Yes, a slight white lie. There has been no inclination or effort on my part to seek out my boss, but I figure it was a safe opening salvo.)

Boss: “I’m catchable” (in a friendly, neutral tone).

Me: “Great. I’ll find you later.”

The rest of Wednesday passes, and I’m still not feeling the urge to chat with him despite laying the groundwork. I figure, when the right moment arrives, I’ll know it. (Right moment for what, you may ask … Right time to stiffly apologize? Eat crow? Lay out my concerns again? I’m not sure. You, Wise Women, gave great guidance for me to ponder. I figure I’ll know what to do/say when the time comes.)

It’s Thursday morning, and I see my boss’s door is open. I’m finally moved to deal with this lingering mess. However, as I sit down in my boss’s office, I’m still not too sure what’s going to come out of my mouth.

Me: “Listen, I’m sorry I lost my cool last week.” (Partial truth – I’m not sorry I got angry. I just wish I could have expressed my anger in a more emotionally detached way (i.e., sans the quivering voice and red splotches on my face and neck)).

Boss: “No apology necessary. I completely understand where you were coming from and why you were angry. It’s a very brave thing to get angry with someone.”

Me: “Yeah – especially when that someone is your boss.”

Boss: “I’m sorry that all of this happened. You’re a terrific employee, and I’ve been telling other department heads they’d be lucky to get you.”

Me: “Well, thank you. I would appreciate any good words you can put in for me.”

Boss: “Consider it done. Now, I want to talk to you about something else. It looks like the person we’re hiring to replace you can’t start for another month. Would you be available to work part-time in April – as many or as few hours as you want?”

Me (without missing a beat despite the bitter irony of his request): “Let me think about that possibility and get back to you next week.”

I exit my boss’s office softly humming “Kumbaya” to myself while thinking, “There’s no way in HELL I’m sticking around for another month.”

So, after three months of lame-duck status, this is my final week at work. (Please take note, Wise Woman Stacy. I am ACTUALLY leaving!! This may have been an anticlimactic ending to the E.Q. saga but it’s the right one for me. It’s time to begin the next chapter.


  • Debi Says:
    3-23-2010 11:36:27

    You go girl! As my Dad would say, “Sounds like they’re trying to give you a snow job.” I love when employers talk out of both sides of their mouths, as in, “You’re a terrific employee and anyone would love to have you. But, we’ve hired someone in your place. And, no we will not be able to work with you or accomodate your needs.” More often than not, decisions involve the “bottom line.” The older and wiser I get, the easier it becomes to pull my shoulders back, hold my head up high and walk away with my dignity and self-respect intact, reciting, “THEIR loss. My job is done here, and it is time to move on.”

  • Stacy Says:
    3-23-2010 13:14:59

    Elaine, you had me choking on my granola this morning when I saw my name! Here’s my new advice: take one week off to have some fun and collect your thoughts and then in two weeks start writing your book.

  • Sharon Says:
    3-24-2010 10:20:23

    Elaine, your work there is done. Every job I’ve ever had has taught me something I needed to learn. That doesn’t mean that it was always a good experience. The trick is to figure out the lesson and how it will help you along the way. If the universe had intended you to stay in that place, you would have learned about that position before it was filled. There are bigger and better things in store for you. Who knows? Writing a book could be on that list. Next chapter here you come!

  • Anne Says:
    3-26-2010 07:38:30

    Congrats. Somewhat resolved, at least enough. Final chapter closed. Time for a new beginning. And it’s spring….all good things – the doors are wide open; take the time to decide where to put that first step!

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