The Weak Can Never Forgive

from zazzle.com

from zazzle.com

This weekend, I did something really horrible to a friend. I betrayed a confidence, and it got back to her. The fallout was extremely bad.

I’d like to excuse myself and say the person whom I told caused the problems, but the truth is – if I’d kept my mouth shut, the situation wouldn’t have happened.

So on Monday, I went about the painful task of trying to make amends – apologizing to all parties involved, all the while knowing my friend was furious and incredibly hurt. It was a very difficult, humbling experience for me, knowing I’d caused that pain. I knew that I would also have to accept the possibility that our friendship was irrevocably damaged.

Tonight, totally unexpectedly – I ran into her. My immediate impulse was to turn and run. But my brain told me I had to face her. She smiled, not quite the smile I’m accustomed to, but encouraging nonetheless. I said I was sorry, and she nodded.

“Don’t worry – we will get through it,” she said.

My tears were swift and hot – the gratitude that coursed through me at the generosity of her forgiveness is indescribable.

My friend and I still have a lot of work to do to mend our relationship. But her willingness to forgive has released me from a world of hurt. Gandhi was right – only a strong person can find the courage to give that gift, especially as she is dealing with her own pain.

[word count: 248]

Smile, You’re on Candid Camera

image

from jewishcurrents.org

Yesterday my husband opened an envelope from the DC government addressed to me (you’ll recall that I am horrible about checking snail mail, therefore he kindly opens mail for me that looks like it might be a bill; I believe it’s his way of protecting my credit rating – lol). Inside was one of those tickets issued by speeding cameras. The fine nearly had me fall out of my seat. It was a WHOPPING $100!!!! $100????? Shouldn’t I be able to protest this as some form of usury, highway robbery, extortion, or something???

[As I’m looking at the ticket trying to recall where I was going, hubby asks, “So did you see the camera?” Huh? My reply: “If I’d seen it, I would’ve slowed down and we wouldn’t be looking at this ticket!”]

imageBut that’s my point. Now that I know the camera is there (on DC-295 about .7 miles before Exit 1), I’ll slow down every time I get near it. Drivers do this all the time. They slam on the brakes so they drive 30mph in front of the camera and then zoom back up to 50mph as soon as they’re out of its range.

I will concede that speed cameras are a good thing near schools; we should slow down. But on major thoroughfares and highways, I think they’re a waste of time, once folk have figured out they’re there. They don’t consistently stop speeding.

These aren’t “Candid Cameras”, playing harmless practical jokes. The ticket is real and I am definitely not amused!

[word count: 249]

If I Work But Nobody Sees Me, Is It Still Work?

image

from joneshousecreative.com

Yahoo!’s CEO Marissa Mayer set off a firestorm with the company’s recent mandate that they will discontinue telecommuting. Today, it appears that Best Buy will also follow suit.

I’ve been reading Internet commentary on the issue with interest, as I’ve worked from home for the past seven years. I go into the office for certain meetings, and when my manager calls a team meeting, but if I don’t have to, I happily avoid the 90-mile round trip jag between my home and a desk in Reston.

As you wade through the various responses and theories (one interesting speculation is that Yahoo! is doing this to encourage employees to quit, rather than announce layoffs), a rational observation is that telecommuting works in some situations and doesn’t in others. But to say that collaboration and effective work can only happen when everyone is in the same place is, in my opinion, untrue.

I have seen the area of the company that I work for succeed with a workforce that is scattered across the country. We utilize teleconferencing a lot, and we instant message and text as well. I’ve never been unable to get an answer to a problem or customer issue because someone wasn’t sitting at a desk.

Personally, telecommuting is a lifesaver. We absolutely cannot afford to live in Northern VA, and now that I have children, that 75-90 minute commute each way would be hell. I am praying that Ms. Mayer’s mandate remains an exception, and never again becomes the workplace norm!

[word count: 250]

We Didn’t Win the Lottery :-(

The other day I received the following email:

easter-egg-lottery

the you-didn’t-win email

Needless to say, while I was disappointed, I hadn’t really expected to win.  A chance to take the boys to the White House and possibly meet the Obamas?  Those kind of things don’t happen to me!

What I was pleasantly surprised about was that the National Parks took the time to respond to the losers!  I expected to receive notification if I’d won, but didn’t expect to receive anything if we weren’t selected.  Getting the notification let me know I could put *my* hopes to rest (since, as parents know, you NEVER tell toddlers about any event that you do not have COMPLETE CONTROL over, because of the weeping, wailing and recriminations that occur if you can’t deliver.  So the boys were clueless about their potential meeting with Sasha and Malia).

rejected

from beyond.customline.com

When I’m job hunting, I wish people who received my resume would respond to me if I didn’t make the cut.  I’d be happy with a form letter that let me know Company A wasn’t considering me.  What I’d like even more is if I made it to the interview phase, but lost out to someone else, they’d send me a note saying *why* they didn’t pick me.  We’d all be much sharper interviewees if we could correct the mistakes we made in previous interviews.  Wouldn’t this also benefit companies that are hiring?

Just my two cents – I’ll put them toward a lottery ticket!  🙂

[word count: 243]