What I can control and what I cannot…

I work with a very “group-oriented”, social services department. I realize that I work in a “person-centered field” and that collaboration and brainstorming with co-workers comes with the territory. I know that it takes discussion to continue developing a relatively new program composed of several moving parts, and I also know that, in general, I am always very different from everyone else… with whom I work and otherwise.

courtesy of Lazur URH
courtesy of Lazur URH

After several years in a job that allowed me to self-schedule half of my workweek, gave me daily opportunities to make my own decisions, and afforded me the option to complete paperwork in an office full of people or in a quiet library between appointments while dressed in normal clothing, I am still adjusting to the constant group-think, public declaration of personal goals, people having to express their offense and displeasure with life as it crosses their path, provided that you agree with them. It isn’t just that I have a different upbringing, or that I have different political views (which I have learned not to express so as not to offend anyone), it is partially that I am more introverted than most of the group. I like time to myself to work, think, re-charge after a stressful case. I need breaks so I can come back to something when I am ready. I like to be able to get lunch on my own to read or write for a few minutes, but I can’t do that here without having to make up the time.  That is not how it works at most jobs, but it is definitely not how it works when you wear a uniform, drive a marked vehicle, your work is tracked and you, specifically, have to answer questions about how you spend your time while other stop off to run personal errands, spend their time on Facebook, and take many personal calls.

courtesy of Palomaironique

Our new fiscal year is coming up, and the boss decided that we should discuss our program goals and individual goals recently during our weekly meeting. In my opinion, your personal professional goals would be better discussed during your upcoming employment review. I felt put on the spot when answering this question, especially being next to last, and due to previous conversations regarding my time management, my commitment, my interest in the job, and why I needed clarification on different policies/protocols after almost two years. I feel that we are all good, hardworking people, but I don’t trust everyone and I believe that some co-workers have an agenda. This means that you get shown up when they have the opportunity, and you may just get thrown under the bus. This means that some people get to ask questions but they can be annoyed when you ask, and they get special recognition for being perky and outgoing, even though it causes chaos at times. I still have a hard time forgetting that one of these people accused me of making a “racist” statement, which was judged so based on their own ignorance.  I was asked to justify a vague reference to something I might have said but was not allowed to know what I said or who was accusing me. I had to apologize for what I may have said and for my poor joking skills, explain that I have always had diverse friends, and promise to be careful of what I say in the future. Mind you, these people would consider themselves open-minded, liberal people.

I know that I can only control myself, my actions,  and my attitude. I have no control over others’ attitudes, actions, agendas, or how the wind is blowing. I am who I am and I can only be me to the best of my ability. I have done the best I can to adapt to circumstances I cannot change and cannot communicate because people see what they want to see and they ignore what is not advantageous to see.  I am trying to cope the best I can and do what I can to manage my stress, but would welcome feedback and suggestions. Any thoughts?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

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Leisure Reading…

I have always loved to read, ever since childhood. Some of my youngest memories involve going to the library for story hour, and sometimes going to the library in nearby neighborhoods to a better choice of books. I am grateful that my parents and my paternal grandparents were avid readers because I couldn’t imagine not reading books, news articles, articles online, etc.
My choice of books has changed over the past few years, but I still love to read. I used to read a lot of popular fiction, young adult books and then Chick-Lit if you will. My favorites have included: Sophia Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham, Marian Keyes, and Jane Green. As I started to gain more awareness about the world, politics, what is really going, I started reading more fact-based and biographical books, which have taught me a lot. I am proud to say that I have read a few classics, including “The Diary of Anne Frank”, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”, “Animal Farm”, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, and others, some of which have been mentioned in another post.
Recently, I found myself needing a break from seriousness and the stresses of the world. I like to be informed and, if you read Red Pill, Blue Bill and other posts as well, you’ll know that I believe in the truth. However, everyone needs some recreational and fun reading from time to time, so I optioned to read “This Charming Man” by Marian Keyes. I have read many of her other novels, but have not read a book like this in quite a while. I am only 100 pages in but, so far so good. I have to say, in my opinion, that fictional writing can be very intricate and needs to hold your attention. This book is entertaining and juggles a few characters that hold a common thread, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
What do you read when you need to relax, laugh or just get away for a little while?

I Will Never Forget… 9-11

Torri-di-luce-a-New-York

Fourteen years ago, I made my way to New York city for the first time. I had dreamed of visiting for years, and decided to visit my brother who was attending college nearby in New Jersey. That week was one of the best times of my life, and I know that this trip meant a lot to my brother as well. I went to many of the great tourist attractions, took into the spirit of NYC, ate lots of NYC pizza and hot dogs from every street vendor I could, and I got to attend my first New York Yankees baseball game. I maybe from Chicago, but I love New York!

I grew up in a household watching the U.S. Open tennis tournament every year. I heard stories from my Dad who had visited NYC many times, including as a youngster with my grandfather. A frame photo of the New York City skyline hung in our living room and still does today. I would always ask my Dad about the different buildings as a child, and he got a booklet from a NYC colleague so he could better show me and teach me their names. I knew where the different ports were, which river was the East and which was the Hudson. I knew the different bridges: the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, the Manhattan bridge, and the Brooklyn bridge. I knew the Empire State building, the Chrysler building, and the World Trade center, also know as the Twin Towers.

I, like most Americans, remember how my day started and what happened on September 11, 2001. I was getting ready to go to a new job, getting dressed and checking the news. I saw them report that the World Trade Center had been hit, and I saw the smoke pluming from one building, then the other. I remember my Dad calling the house from work, telling us to turn on the TV if we hadn’t already. I remember the shock, what was going on? How could this happen? Was my brother, across the river in Jersey City going to be safe?

I was in the world Trade Center five months earlier, with my brother and a friend, looking out on one of the world’s greatest cities from the observation deck. I spent a lot of time walking around that area, and have many pictures taken of and from the World Trade Center. I remember thinking, wow, I could have been in those building when this shocking, unbelievable, and very tragic event happened. I wasn’t, but so many other people were. They all got up that day just as I had, and their lives were changed forever. Many people lost family and friends that were in those buildings, working, trying to rescue people, or just visiting New York City. They died due to a horrible tragedy that I hope never happens to our country ever again. One of my brother’s dearest friends lost his father that day.

My brother and his friends helped out by loading supplies in the boats that cross the river to the NYC side. He said that they had to get their minds off what happened and wanted to do something to help. The shock and horror of what happened took a backseat to their desire to be part of the solution. They cheered on and gave their time to the firefighters and other workers that were now searching for people at Ground Zero to boost their morale and express their appreciation. I will never know exactly what that experience was like for my brother, who later moved across the river to Manhattan. He sent us wonderful pictures capturing the spirit of NYC fighting back and banding together, one of which made it into a 9-11 commemoration book.

I visited Ground Zero in May 2002 while I was in NYC for my brother’s college graduation. It was indescribable. Those tall, strong buildings with the beautiful view of the city were not only gone, but an ugly, gaping hole in the ground with the remainder of the debris was left in its place. There were makeshift memories surrounding the area, poster of lost loved ones, posting of thank you for the people around the world who felt New Yorkers’ and Americans’ pain. It was an overwhelming scene and I was overcome with emotion, but glad that I had my memories. Even today, seeing pictures of the World Trade Center evoke feelings of happiness, sadness, and wonder about the why and how of what happened. The perpetrators and their accomplices, whoever they may be, destroyed a great American Icon but they didn’t destroy my memories.

Courtesy of allposters.pt
Courtesy of allposters.pt

My family went to the 9-11 memorial in Chicago on September, 11, 2002, and my brother was temporarily living with us while he figured out his next steps. Brother happened to be interviewed by a local news affiliate, and said that he had not talked about 09-11-01 since it happened. He came alive talking about NYC coming together and about supporting the rescue workers with a spirit of fight and courage – I saw something special in him that day, and was very proud.

I will always remember 9-11-01. I am grateful as an American for the brave men and women who rose to the occasion to help, rescue and, ultimately sacrifice themselves so that others might live. I am grateful for those, like my brother and his friends, who got stronger and reached out to others when they could have stood by. I am grateful for the police and firemen throughout America who go to work everyday to rescue, protect and help others, with the knowledge that their lives could be at risk and sacrificed. There are tragedies throughout our country every day, but I pray that we will never face another day like September 11, 2001.

© 2015 bogdaysofchrell