I am, of course, incredibly moved and grateful for the outpouring of support and overwhelming number of comments yesterday. Thank you all so much; words fail me. (Mark the date! That sure as hell doesn't happen often. Or often enough, a few friends might say.)
My deepest thanks.
Today I had lunch with the Big Boss. The one who, as detailed in yesterday's post, made some comments to my boss about my weight.
(I have come to believe that I've been blessed with a prodigious sense of humor just so that God could share all these little jokes with me.)
When I realized that we would be eating together, my mind, as you can imagine, began spitting out suggestions as to what I might say. But I have learned (the hard way) the value of AA's wise, wise admonishment: Restraint of pen and tongue.
Thus, what follows is a list of
10 Things I Did Not Say At Lunch With the Big Boss
10. Hey, this isn't what I ordered! Where's my cheesecake and pizza?
9. You know, before I started working here I was going to go on a diet, but now that I can eat for free, and the food's so good, I think I'm going to be packing on the pounds!
8. You know what would make this salad better? A stick of butter.
7. Damn it, I asked them to put some melted cheese on my melted cheese!
6. I'm on kind of a health kick. Only brown sugar for me.
5. You know what would make these phony bacon bits better? A stick of butter!
4. Listen, I wanted to talk to you about the Dress Code. How do you feel about Caftans?
3. I'm going to be working as a Santa next Xmas, so I'm on a strict diet. I only have to gain another 75 lbs. to reach my goal weight!
2. I'm going to be entering an eat-a-thon next week to raise money for an organization called The Fat Liberation Front. Can I count on you for a donation?
1. Oh my gosh! I think I felt the baby kick!
To be honest, we had a very pleasant lunch.
I got to work early, and sat down at the Starbucks across the street, and wrote out an inventory of my resentments and fears about the job in general, and the whole "have they talked to you about your weight" thing in particular.
And, as is always, always the case, even though I think I'm so smart and so very clever, things came out the end of the pen that I could not see by thinking (or blogging) about it alone.
I got clarity. The fact of the matter is, this man may (or may not) have had the concern my boss assumed he did. It's all hearsay and her interpretation of events. I wasn't there -- Big Boss might have been trying to tell her something completely different from her interpretation. He might actually have been trying to show her, by mentioning it, that they're not as appearance driven as she has accused them of being in the past.
And/or, Big Boss is trying to do his job to the best of his ability. I have no idea what pressures he is under. IF what he said meant what my boss thought, while it is about me, it's not about me. He's just a guy trying to make rent like anybody else.
I might feel a little differently about what kind of image I wanted my company to project if it were my money at stake.
Blah blah blah, I went on for some time on the inventory.
The point I want to make is that I sat down and wrote out the four column inventory structure for my resentments, and then also wrote about my fears, and I felt about a hundred thousand percent better by the end of it. I gained perspective, and I was free from the angry red fog I'd stumbled into. (Well, red and purple, maybe. Resentment and victim by turns.)
So I could have a nice business lunch and not seethe inside, nor did I have to address something which didn't need to be addressed -- at least not then and not there, if ever.
I could turn my attention from my own wounded pride and look at work in the manner which has always served me best and eventually led to my most happy job experiences: As a way to be of service.
Writing out an inventory doesn't necessarily change a bad comment or a bad day -- what it does is change how I view them.
I was able to sit across from this man and see him as a really hard working guy who wants to get it right, who is trying to help this little company pop, and saw in me something that he thought was worth hiring -- yet left to my own devices, what I want to do is walk around boo-hooing over a second hand report of a comment which, if you look at the words that were said ("He's a big guy, but he carries his weight well."), is actually a compliment!
Look, I'm not trying to minimize how hard that all was, what a wrenching and brutal day it became -- especially with that final K.O. punch. But the hard truth is that what made it such a difficult day was, at heart, my worries about what other people think of me, my feelings of entitlement, and my ego. The Unholy Trinity of Career Unhappiness.
After lunch -- which was delicious, I'm certainly not working for a company that doesn't have a shot -- I got back to work and was actually grateful to be cleaning the refrigerator again.
It gave me a chance to stick my head inside it so no one could see me get all emotional as I thought about how lucky I am -- not just to have the job -- but to have the tools AA taught me.
What a weepy old thing I've become.