This week has been pretty tumultuous in many ways for me. I experienced another new situation yesterday. As I sat in the garden, I knew I had to write to discharge the power of the nastiness out of me. I did attempt an email to a friend, but got through two pages and chucked it. It seemed so petty on paper. I told my husband about it when he came home, and even then, chronicling the event did not do justice to the impact on me; on my integrity.
I cannot share the details of what happened because of confidentiality and there are people who I work with who read this blog. Something someone said put me in jeopardy of losing my job. The insinuation was also directed at one of my employees. Let that suffice. This predicament truly had no resolve because it was a “he said, she said” type of situation. I had no proof to clear our names other than our integrity. My employee is beyond reproach and I knew what the impact of an accusation would do to her. Even if it was unfounded, she would be devastated.
Like a mother cub, I fought. I was willing to take the total blame for the situation even if it meant the end of my career, which it would have. But I did something I normally do not do. I waited. My initial reaction was fairly controlled, mostly because I was totally blindsided. I spent the next hour and a half stewing and thinking in a meeting. A couple of people noticed my countenance was not my normal joking and fun demeanor and asked if I was alright. I was totally preoccupied with setting my next steps in my head. I was going to take the sword.
I went back to the invesitgator and stood up to the accusation. Again, I cannot share the details. But the investigator knew from my steady eye and strength in my voice I was not wavering. I had collected some data and presented it in a fairly calm manner. I came from a previous employer that accusations and lies were the norm. I learned from there how to defend and prepare for battle. It was one of the only gifts I took away from that punitive employer. This is not the environment I currently work in. So to face a tribunal judging my integrity was totally unexpected. But I stood strong. I defended my employee. I displayed my evidence in a calm and detached matter–of-fact manner and basically ended with……”so mote it be.”
As I sat in my office, I had a sense of knowing I had done the right thing. I knew that the details of what had transpired were skewed. I knew that there were circumstances that had not been flushed out and defined. I knew…..I was screwed.
I did not care. I fought for the right thing: My employee and my integrity. I would say honor, but it is not that high and mighty. It is about truth. It is about doing the right thing all the time. It is a life style. It is not lying.
How does this turn out? The investigator went back to the accuser and found that what I had reported was indeed the pure truth. I was called back in and was admonished for the situation, which was totally out of my control to begin with and not caused by anything I did. I was told “to learn a lesson from it.” I did. I can guarantee it is not the lesson they thought they had imparted to me. I realize that the person was trying to save face and I see no harm in letting that be.
But the damage is done. I will never feel the safety of my reputation which I thought put me beyond reproach. At any one point in time, our lives can be destroyed by a thoughtless word. As I simmered and prepared for the next onslaught of the battle, I realized something new was with in. There was a sense of “no-worries”. I did not go beyond the immediate moment. I did not do the “what-if” ballet at all. I presented my material evidence with the calm of a seasoned attorney. And I walked way without a need for retribution. I admit I did a small victory dance in the privacy of the hallway when I left, but I owed myself that. I thought I would perseverate on it all night. Instead, I spent some of the energy on cleaning up straw in my yard. I slept through the night; not a cramp nor fitful dream.
I am getting what I was seeking. I understand why so many seek it out, why this mecca is so treasured. It is obtained in small doses, not an overwhelming surge of anything. I can see how it can be elusive. I can also see the frailness of it and the ability for it to go as silently as it came. But for now, I will relish my small offering and in abundant gratitude cherish it for what it is. Peace.