Monday, January 16, 2017

When Life Hands You A Lemon


The other night I was watching the movie The Devil Wears Prada.
For me, it's one of those guilty pleasure, chick flick movies.  I've always
loved clothes and shoes and my early style sense was developed by my
Aunt Susan who spent a couple of her early years in NYC working as
a fashion model.  While I was in college in Lake Forest, IL, I spent 
many weekends in the city visiting her at her apartment.  We would
pour over the latest copies of Vogue and Women's Wear Daily, and she
would teach me make-up tricks and how to style my hair.  As an eighteen
year old girl, image was everything ;-)

I'm giving you this background info about me, because I very, very seldom
discuss fashion on this blog, and you are probably wondering what on
earth this memory from my younger days could possibly have to do with
lemons, yet in a round about way, it does.  The character of Miranda
Priestly in the movie is a self absorbed, demanding, and driven editor who
makes every one of her employees both anxious to please her, and terrified
of not doing so.  Still, what does this have to do with a lemon?

This woman reminds me of a boss I once had.  Actually, I have worked
for two individuals much like Miranda, a man and a woman, but this
tale is about a female boss from hell, a very sour lemon.

Right after our honeymoon, David and I moved from Houston to
Northern Virginia, where he had accepted to new job. We were married
in June, and I took the summer off before deciding to look for a new job.
With it's easy access to Washington, DC, good jobs were plentiful, but
I was uncertain about the kind of job I wanted, so I signed up with a
temp agency who specialized in professional positions.  With great
enthusiasm and resume in hand, I met with them and the very next
morning I had an interview at a major company that distributed computers
to various retail stores throughout the US, Mexico and Canada.  That's 
when I met HER ~ the boss from hell!


I walked into a large corner office with lots of windows, which instantly
 expressed the power this woman possessed.  Thinking back upon this
initial meeting, I recall that her desk was actually raised on a small
platform that gave her the advantage of height over anyone sitting in
the chair in front of her.  This was a blatant power play and I found 
myself at the feet of the master of grand standing.

After I introduced myself and handed her my resume, she told
me to have a seat in the chair facing her desk.  I felt like a small
child sitting in front of the principal.   The room was silent as she
perused my resume for a while.  I did my best to calm my nerves
during the stillness.  Then she raised her head, lowered her reading
glasses, looked intently at me and said ....

I have fired the last ten individuals who held the position for
which you are now being considered.  What quality do you have
that should encourage me to give you a chance?

Trust me, at this moment, I felt like Dorothy standing before
the great, and all powerful Wizard of Oz.  I sensed that a long speech
voicing my previous accomplishments would be wasted on this
no nonsense woman, so I mustered up all my resolve and 
replied with one word ....

Perseverance

She sat back in her chair, looked straight into my eyes and
said ....

Okay, I'll give you ONE chance!


I accepted the position.  I came to work early, I stayed late.  I did
everything I possibly could to prove to this woman that I would
not only meet her expectations, I would exceed them.  

After working in this position for several months, she called me
into her office once again.  I could not imagine what this meeting
might mean and was a bit nervous, but once again I calmed my
nerves and sat in the small chair in front of the big, bad boss.
She informed me that the company was planning to relocate to 
Philadelphia and that she was offering me a permanent position
there.  

Of course I could not accept, my husband loved his job and
we were now entrenched in Virginia.  I thanked her for her 
faith in me, and turned down the position.

Sometimes life hands us a lemon.  Embrace the challenge.
Have faith in yourself.  Persevere.  You may just be 
surprised at what you can accomplish in the face of
adversity.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley








8 comments:

  1. Great story! I've had some very tough bosses and I've worked extra hard to show them that I could do a certain job well. Perseverance is a very good thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's also another word for stubbornness ;-)

      Delete
  2. I love that you did so well in that job that she offered you a permanent one! And...felt relief that you did not have to keep working there. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I ended up having a lot of fun working there and my boss also expanded my original responsibilities. I would not have stayed with the company if they had not moved to Philly because I was already getting bored despite the fact that my job description changed significantly. I was ready to move on to bigger and better things.

      Delete
  3. I think everyone has had someone like that in their life. I'm like you---prove them WRONG about what they think you can do---outdo yourself at every turn. I knew there was something I really liked about you.

    I am so glad you had a Aunt like that in your life. I had one, too, and she owned a STYLE salon back when everyone else had a BEAUTY SHOP. lol She turned heads well into her 70s and I always wanted to be like her. (my mother did not like her-not one little bit)...lol xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Aunt was a lot of fun. She passed away a year and one half ago and I really miss her.

      Delete
  4. Susan, what a great story to share. My first boss was a woman and she was so intimidating and demeaning. I was young and was eager to please her, but that was impossible! After 2 1:2 years I quit...a very good decision for me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like and agree with NanaDiana's comment "prove them WRONG about what they think you can do---outdo yourself at every turn."
    Loved your story and Love "The Devil Wears Prada" movie too!

    ReplyDelete

Bentley and I LOVE and read every comment.

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