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Mourning the Death of a Friendship

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yvonne let me know today that she does not want to be my friend any longer. Somehow we are supposed to still be coworkers. This is going to be awkward. I will, of course, be professional even though my heart is crushed. I feel as if I were tried, judged, convicted, drawn and quartered without cause.

I spoke with our soon-to-be-former top attorney today and she did not think I made a big mistake. She really lifted my spirits even with Yvonne's email. I had to arrange a conference call with one attorney in DC, another in TX and another in CA on about 1 minute's notice and I pulled it off! I told my newly-promoted attorney that there was probably a more elegant way to make it happen, but I was just glad they were able to talk. I was not privy to the conversation, but I do know the end result was what we needed, an extension of time.

Later I talked with my boss, the managing general counsel, and he said that the company wants me to do even more of this kind of paralegal work! WOOHOO! I am thrilled! But I know big changes are about to happen. I am afraid that I will end up reporting to a different attorney. I told my boss that I would be really unhappy to report to anyone else. However, we both know that I will do what the company wants. Apparently, the changes will start happening pretty quickly.

I have a summer student starting Monday and, we hope, a second student the following week. I have only a few days to train them before my deep dive for 10 weeks of intense super user training and user acceptance testing of our new enterprise system.

Thank you to those who commented on my last blog. Your words are cherished!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMATENACITY 5/29/2012 8:12PM

    I lost a friend who I felt was like a big sister to me. This was 14 years ago. I still catch myself missing her sometimes, although the break was entirely her decision, her choice... nothing I tried to do to reach out over the years has changed her mind. It was based on her new husband's wishes, but she went along with him, of course. He "didn't like any of her friends". My stepson and her son are still close friends, which makes it harder. I chose the wrong person for a friend... or she became the wrong person. It hurts deeply and lasts longer than a romantic break-up, by far.

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CARRAND 5/23/2012 4:09PM

    I'm sorry about your friend. Just keep on being professional and she may have second thoughts about her decision. It sounds like you have a busy summer coming up at work! Good for you!

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BYEFATNANNY 5/23/2012 11:42AM

    Real friends stay real friends those that leave weren't really friends, I say. In our professional industry, best to keep work, work and friends outside, I've found. I don't "allow" any of my co-workers to be my facebook friends, just thought it was a safer policy. Glad you got the extension, hard work makes it easier to ignore work politics. Change is hard, but it is inevitable, sometimes when we get a new attorney they surprise us for the better. So chin up as always and nose to the grindstone. (is that physically possible LOL)

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_LINDA 5/23/2012 12:55AM

    Mali, the way you have described your relationship with Yvonne, it seems to me she was no friend of yours, but simply using you. Taking advantage of your caring and giving nature. If she is so shallow to behave this way, you are truly better off without someone this poisonous. You do NOT deserved to be treated this way. You should be celebrating your freedom. A professional relationship is all it should be..
I am glad things are happening for you at work that you like. I hope you get to keep the attorney you have. I can't imagine the frustration it must be having to constantly cope with dealing a new person. That company sure doesn't believe in stability and consistency. Good luck training the newbies before this other training starts.
Try to take care of yourself as best you can with all this looming work..
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DESERTDREAMERS 5/22/2012 11:44PM

    Losing someone we thought was a friend is always hard. Sorry Yvonne put you in the middle of being the "tattle-tell" OR her friend ( if I understood your last blog, you tried to warn her without saying the names). Good luck with your work place - it sounds very stressful!

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NONIE_C 5/22/2012 11:09PM

    I'm so sorry a person you considered a friend has decided to treat you this way. However, I believe that a true friend does not act like this. You deserve people who cherish and support you...you are a wonderful person, and you deserve to be treated as such...don't forget it.

And congrats on being so rad at work!!! I hope the changes are all great!

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ABRANNEWME2014 5/22/2012 11:02PM

    I'm sorry you have lost a friend I know exactly how you feel I lost one last week good luck to us both

Tema

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CMRAND54, You Asked (Thank You for Caring)!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thank you, CMRAND54, for checking in on me! It feels great to know someone cares. She posted on my page, asking if I were ok since I have not blogged in a long time.

My last few blogs were early in May after the death of someone Iíve known since 1986. His memorial service is on June 3, hosted by the City of San Mateo at a city-owned gathering place. He was a mayor of that city for 2 or 3 terms, but he was so much more than that.

I had also mentioned briefly that I am in the midst of document production, paralegal-speak for responding to a subpoena. My employer is not a party to the litigation, but itís a case of the litigants wanting to know what we knew and when we knew it. Thereís never enough time, so I have been putting in very long hours working on this.

One of my first thoughts when I saw the date for Johnís service, after noting itís my sisterís birthday, was that I am too fat. There will be a lot of former coworkers there, people I have not seen since I left the company in 2001. That thought, too fat, eats at me. I have to keep reminding myself that this is not about me, it is about honoring John and supporting his family.

I am so sick of weight being an issue for everything! My yard guy disappeared, leaving work half done and wonít come back. So I am doing what I can until my BF gets back on June 22. I have fallen twice in the back yard while watering. I keep tweaking my knee which is extra terrible because of the extra weight. So I have been exhausted from the work and sore from the pain.

Then today happened. The morning started with the thunderbolt news that the company has let our top attorney and other employee go as part of a cost-cutting move. I had a premonition that changes were coming, but I did not see this coming. Fortunately, those of us in Legal were told before the company-wide email went out. After that went out, there was a steady stream of people coming in to the department to find out what they could. Stressful. Hard to watch.

The attorney who was cut was the supervising attorney on this particular request for production, so I now have to switch gears and go through it with another attorney. I know him pretty well, but have never worked with him in this capacity. We had our first meeting and I made a rookie mistake which was compounded by a mistake that our rookie attorney made. The newly promoted attorney really let me have it, albeit in a low-keyed way. I know him well enough to know how displeased he was and I was in tears. My boss got caught up into the mess, too, so it just got worse.

Then it got worse. I have blogged many times about my coworker and friend, Yvonne. She has been going through a hard time and has been taking it out on everyone around her. Two people came to me and shared some info about her that I did not believe, but was concerned about. I spent the weekend agonizing about whether or not to say anything to her. I asked her if she would want to know If someone said something that would upset her. She asked me to tell her, so I did. She lost her mind! Now I am in the exceedingly uncomfortable position of ďtelling onĒ those who told me by giving her their names or, if I donít tell her, we are not friends any more. I did not violate a confidence, but it feels as if that is some kind of emotional blackmail for her to make the ultimatum.

There, CMRAND54, now you know what has been going on. Not enough exercise, not watching what Iím eating, too much stress andÖÖÖI donít know what to do.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 5/22/2012 12:31PM

    You are coping with a lot, for sure, but you are a strong person, so I know you will get through this. Take care of yourself. You are really special to all of us.

I haven't blogged in a really long time, either. I need to write something about my surgery and my retirement and the 7 pounds I've gained in the past year. I'm increasing my exercise, and being more careful with potion sizes. I want to get back to 150 again. It doesn't help that my husband has lost 10 pounds in the past year, without even trying. Men can do that.

It's good to hear from you again.

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BYEFATNANNY 5/22/2012 11:19AM

    Wow- work sounds awful right not, don't worry things will work out. I love to have friends at work, but sometimes, just losing yourself in the work, works out better. I hate when I make mistakes at work, but I am SO lucky the attorney I work under is a dream compared to some. So I guess nose to the grindstone, make up for the mistake, take a breath and make yourself too busy for the gossip. I find watering after work is relaxing, can you take a light weight chair and sit while you are watering or bending. I have little stool I use sometimes. Chin up, there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. emoticon

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_LINDA 5/22/2012 2:32AM

    Wow! Letting go your top attorney?? What is your company doing? So sorry you had to be caught in the middle :((
You are right about John's service being about him, not how fat you think you are..No one should be paying any attention to anything other then his service if they are really there to show their support..Just dress nicely and pay your respects, its not a social party..
This Yvonne really is poison. Your mistake was to repeat malicious gossip. That does nothing but create bad feelings and hostility in the workplace which surely doesn't need to be encouraged with all the stress you are under..Unfotunately, with the cat out of the bag so to speak, I don't see any kind of fix for this :(( She is blackmailing you for sure :((
I want to thank you for always taking the time to read and comment on my blogs in spite of how busy you are. You really don't have to. I would rather hear how things are going with you. I do think writing out your daily struggles does help clear the air and put it out there you need help or to self motivate you to finding solutions...
Please take care of yourself -you deserve it!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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USPS Stamp Out Food Drive

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today was the US Postal Service Stamp Out Food Drive and I left some goods next to my mailbox when I went to work. I'm not sharing that to say I am a good and generous person, but to reflect on my changing relationship with food..

I've blogged before about the fact that I have food issues in addition to self-esteeem issues and some physical challenges. These are not excuses but the are part of the reason why I am morbidly obese. My food issues go back to my earliest years and carry all the way forward. Mother stayed home and my stepfather supported all 8 of us on his salary from his job at a national lab. Money was always tight and my stepdad, because he was the breadwinner, got the best food that was available. Then Mother and all of his children, my older brother (he was the only boy) and last, me. But that was only part of it. Going without food was Mother's favorite punishment for me and, since I was her scapegoat for everything that made her unhappy (in addition to normal kid stuff!), I seldom ever had 3 meals a day.

When I went to live with my dad, I finally got reliable food and gained weight. I finally was at a healthy weight, but, not knowing squat, I kept eating and eating and eating without exercise. My teenage friends joked that I was a human garbage pail because I ate everything (except beef liver!). The teasing hurt but it did not change me

After college, the only job I could find paid very little. I discovered generic label food and cheap, filling and unhealthy food. And gained. I have food insecurity - never sure I am going to have "enough". People bring food to work to share and I almost always take some "just in case".

I've been active in food drives for a number of years, more so since I learned that so many children go without food when schools are closed because they lose the access to the subsidized breakfast and lunch meals that are served there.

Last night, as I pulled stuff out for the food drive, I felt as if I had the heart of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, that it grew a little with each item I put in the bag.

Every time I think I have this relationship with food figured out, I am reminded that my issues are still with me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 5/13/2012 2:02AM

    I am very fortunate my Mom worked three jobs to make sure we were never without anything we needed. Unfortunately, because of her busy lifestyle, we ate mostly highly processed, quick to prepare foods..
Our relationship with food is formed in our early years, but it is possible to break free of it. I hate hearing how you were treated as a child. That is incomprehensible that an adult can treat a child that way :((
Have a peaceful, relaxing, rejuvenating Sunday.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 5/12/2012 10:49PM

    No body deserves to be treated the way you were. How sad for you. I have never known what it is be hunry and without food!
My mother was in Holland during the famine in WW11 and she was eating tulip bulbs at one stage. She and her cousin went walk about into the country to the farms to look for food.

Once she migrated to Australia and had an abundance of food, my father grew all our vegetables, mum was adamant that we "eat EVERY THING on our plate" as a child that was not a problem as we had to walk a lot to catch buses to school. We lived out of town. But once I reached audulthood and after I had my children I would eat their left overs as I felt guilty throwing food out!
Oh and I forgot the bit where her stepmother would feed her children first, and if anything left over mum and her siblings might get a morsel! So when I read your bit about the men getting the big portion because they went out and earnt the money it brought back my memories!

Know that I am older I can relate to my mother's obsession with food and how upset she would get if we didn't "like" something. She would tell us the story of how she ate potato peelings and other food that you would not normally eat. And how she walked 70 miles to look for food!

Food certainly does bring a lot of emotion with it. I have learnt over time to treat food purely as a source of energy for my body and nothing more! I know get quite cross with myself if I don't get my exercise in as that is what gives me a "good feeling" now. Not food!

I hope oneday you are also able to do this. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/12/2012 11:34:44 PM

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John & Balance

Monday, May 07, 2012

This morning, I stopped at the hospice care at the VA hospital on my way to work. John was alone and he had that same glazed morphine haze that my dad had in the days before he died. I don't think John knew I was there, but I remembered that the nurses told me that the hearing is the last sense to go. At the time, it made my brother and me laugh despite our pain because Dad had been hard of hearing for years (a consequence of Army artillery drills).

So I sat down next to John's bed and touched his arm or his shoulder and talked. I told him I love, respect and honor him. That I was proud to work with and for him for nearly 15 years. I was in my 20s when I started working for him and it was as if he were a second dad - we were all young and we all grew up working for him! Through FB, I am in touch with many of my former coworkers and we have been sharing stories and pictures and memories of John.

I reminded John of the day he solved a huge problem for me. This was before the internet, to give it some context. I needed to find out when and where I needed to be in Alameda (across the bay, a place I'd never been) in order to be there for the homecoming of the USS Enterprise. Alameda was her home port then. My brother was on that ship! John called as if he were calling on behalf of some Army general and got the info I needed, complete with bus info and everything. (I had not yet learned to drive.) Without John's help, I would have missed that precious visit! John, having been a career Marine, knew what to say and whom to call to get me what I needed to know. My family met John later and they are still, as I am, grateful for that kindness.

I am so glad I went to the hospital. I feared it was going to be a gut-wrenching emotional experience! But it was not. Had I not had that gut-wrenching emotional experience with my dad, this would have been a very tough visit. As it was, it was hard, but - oh, Lord am I thankful!

I learned late yesterday that John was moved from Stanford to the VA and, within moments of that, I got a phone call. My stepmother called to say that my brother and nephew will be in the US sometime in late July, early August!

This coincides with the "thou shalt not take vacation during this period" at work due to the super user training and testing, but I hope I can at least take a Friday and Monday off...

The thought of this mini family reunion has me fired up, at least a little. I worked out a little with my 7# kettlebell tonight. It felt great! I am using the DVD that came with this new one and discovered, to my dismay, that I lack the balance to do a one arm row + leg lift + kettlebell on one side. Instead of giving up and feeling defeated, I am going to work on my balance until I can do those! I LOVE the feeling that working with KBs gives me, even if I can do so little! I am not used to feeling good about exercise, let me tell you!

Please pray for John, for his enormous family and his friends as well as his caregivers. I thanked the nurses for taking care of "my" vet!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 5/12/2012 2:43PM

    John sounds like the best of people. One of the few who would take the time to care about others and do what they can to provide help.when asked. emoticon

Good luck working on your balance. Important not just when exercising but also in day to day life. emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 5/8/2012 10:04AM

    My heart goes out to you. Am so pleased that you went and visited your friend.

Hope you can get the time off to visit with your family.

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_LINDA 5/8/2012 2:17AM

    That is awesome you could see John and talk to him, I am sure he heard you.. That is wonderful you have others to share your experiences of John with. That is a very long time to have worked with someone -had no idea you have been at this job for so very long..
Never belittle or be ashamed of what you can or can't do with exercise. So many people can't even get past the 'try' point. You are doing all you can, what ever your body will allow and it will only get better the more you practise and are consistently doing so on a regular basis. Everyone starts at the bottom -I sure have had lots of experience with that -but the payoff of of sticking with it is worth the mighty struggle to get there!
Keep up the great work!!

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MISSY455 5/8/2012 12:24AM

    I am glad you were able to get in too see your friend. I know it must have been really hard on you, but it is was important.

I hope you can arrange a few days off to spend with your family.

emoticonfor emoticon!!!

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MAMAWALMART 5/7/2012 11:02PM

    I will keep John in my prayers. I will also keep you in my prayers as you work on your balance. Continued success on your journey. Also hope you get the days off to visit with your family.

Keep Smiling
emoticon
Karen

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Update on John and Work Thoughts

Sunday, May 06, 2012

I found out today that my dear friend John has been transferred from Stanford to the VA hospice care. His family created a facebook page for us to share thoughts, pictures and memories about him. Someone posted a picture of him being loaded onto the ambulance at Stanford for the trip to the VA. The picture was not great, but I could see in his eyes that same look my dad had at the end of his life. The look that says morphine is not enough.

I work very close to the VA so I will swallow hard and stop by to let his family and him know I care.

I worked yesterday (OT) and did not get as much done as I would have liked, but it will help my desk tomorrow. Still doing discovery so that means nothing else gets touched.

Please pray for John & his family.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 5/7/2012 10:43PM

    Prayers for John, his family and you. HUGS!

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LIBBYFITZ 5/7/2012 10:09AM

    My thoughts are with you in this time of sadness. emoticon

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_LINDA 5/7/2012 1:41AM

    So sorry about your friend John, he should have better care in the hospice -they are usually very good with controlling pain- I have known too many people fallen victim to cancer :( One poor lady in her mid 90's continues to play bridge every day at the club in spite of being in terrible pain with stomach cancer -she has already had one surgery, but it was not enough to stop it :(
Sorry you have to work so much overtime :(
One cause I like to support is cancer and will be sad to miss the Relay For Life in June as I will be away. The best you can do for someone who is terminal is honor them by supporting a fundraiser for their disease. A really good fitness goal is a charity race/wallk
. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSY455 5/7/2012 1:18AM

    emoticon

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TURTLERAE55 5/6/2012 11:33PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend John. I will pray for his family and you.

Keep the Faith.

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