Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

That sums up my day. 

My job comes with a lot of stress. It isn't easy but most days, I love what I do and most days I feel that I am good at what I do. I work with an amazing group of people who let me talk about Avery, who sent flowers and cards when she passed, who came to her service to support me, who have gone above and beyond to support me as I came back to work two months after burying my daughter. I thank God for allowing me to work with amazing people. 

But my job has its negative side. I occasionally have to discipline employees and on rare occasions terminate employment. It's never easy for me but its part of the job. There are rules to follow and when broken there are consequences to be had. Regardless, terminating someone is never easy or something I take lightly. 

That however is only one small part of my job. Most days the stress rolls off my shoulders and I feel like I am there to help our employees. I try my best to have open lines of communication, to be compassionate and to really care. 

After losing Avery, I will admit, hearing people's problems irritated me. Honestly, nothing at work is that bad in comparison to losing your child. But I've also worked really hard to know that to these people, whatever their problem of the week is, it's significant to them and because of that its my job to listen and help them. I've worked hard not to be cold or calloused. And I take my time in decision making to make sure my emotions don't make me biased. And I truly feel I've done well at this. 

This background all leads up to my terrible, no good, very bad day. Last week we terminated an employee for a policy violation. Of course the employee was upset and I explained the situation, the violation and the consequence to her. I was very matter of fact regarding the situation. The employee then called back with questions. I called her this morning to answer her questions and was forced to take a firm tone with her after she continued to argue with me over policy. This is where the day went down hill at lightning speed...

She then says to me that since Icame back to work (implying since Avery died) I've been mean, cold hearted and have no heart or compassion. She also stated I'm not a good person and doesn't understand how I could be that way considering (again alluding to Avery).  

Let me just tell you, and I apologize for the language, but I lost my shit. How dare anyone judge my character or use my daughters death to tell me I am not a good person. How dare anyone throw Avery in my face. How dare she tell me I have no heart. 

This has probably been the most upsetting, most blatant slap in the face I've experienced in the last almost 15 months. I couldn't control my emotions, I called my husband hysterical. I was so hurt, so shocked, so betrayed by these words. I sobbed  alone in my office for the better part of an hour trying to get my, cold, heartless, mean self composed. 

One person single handedly ruined my day. 

I'm still very hurt by these words. Yes, I understand she is upset because she's without a job but rules have consequences and it does not give anyone the right to be so nasty. 

These words really had me rethinking my career path today.  Maybe I'm not cut out for this job anymore. This isn't the first time someone has said something mean to me. I've been called all kind of names in these situations in the past.  But this is the first time I really felt like my whole being was being judged. I couldn't shake it for the longest time. Maybe I just can't do this line of work anymore. Maybe I need a job that's all flowers and rainbows. But does that even exist?

I'm trying to let this go but I'm struggling. People just never cease to amaze me. I just need to focus on the amazing majority of people in my work life and personal life who support me through my struggles and my grief. 

I just needed to get that out. 


  1. She has no idea what she's talking about, and using your daughter's death to vent her own anger and frustration is god-awful. Keep reminding yourself that she wanted someone else to hurt like she was... it was NOT a statement about your character at all, but rather her own.

  2. Oh Crystal, I'm so sorry this happened to you...

    For someone to use Avery's death...against you--pisses me off for you.

    To expect that someone will NOT change after the death of their child is offensive. I'm not saying you're the things she said you were. But this has actually been one of my pet peeves about some things I've been told in the past year as well--That I've changed.

    Well, no shit, I've changed? SERIOUSLY? How could we not have changed? People who do not know will never understand. And they're lucky. I hope they never have to understand.

    There is no job that is always puppies and rainbows. And I think that it sounds like for the most part, your job and your coworkers have been incredibly supportive. There will always be those who don't try to put themselves in your shoes, and that's their problem--not yours.

    I think in a few days or weeks, you'll let this go, once you've had time to absorb it. Like was said above, remind yourself that she wanted someone else to hurt like she did. It's just sad that she doesn't realize that your hurt is probably a million times greater than hers.

  3. Oh my goodness. I am so sorry this happened. It's amazing what people will say to you. We are all different after losing our babies. It's sad to say, but I am more cynical and less innocent than I was before. Having and losing Kenley changed me in ways no one but fellow loss moms can imagine - in the same way Avery changed you. But, know you are a good person, and being Avery's mom has made you into a warrior. Not everyone will understand us. Many will intentionally and unintentionally hurt us. But we are fierce. And we are strong.
    You have every right to be upset about this. Jen is time passes, her comments will hurt less because they are NOT true. Hugs, friend.