Thursday, June 2, 2011

“There are two seasons in Scotland: June and winter.” Billy Connolly

I thought today I should write something... maybe you have noticed I haven't written anything for quite some time or maybe you were glad to take a break from my ramblings. Reality is, I just felt busy, uninspired and had some ups and downs in the past few weeks. As Billy Connolly said "there are two seasons in Scotland: June and winter." I think that the East coast is a bit like that. I guess I feel behind which the weather has played a big part in. The garden just started to get tilled last night, it has been MUCH to wet to try any earlier. Luckily my plants/seedlings are growing well so for the most part, I do have veggies on the go. I also tell my friend Stewart, you are right, those black flies are wicked! I expected big black buzzing ugly things, but these suckers are tiny and get in my hair and bite my head! YUCK!

I posted several pictures of our little coffee shop which I happen to think is just ADORABLE! However, having emptied the porch to reno the shop it meant that I had to clear out all the boxes that have not been unpacked yet. Since we are still "camping" out on the main floor and I need even more space to bake these days I do feel a little chaotic and cluttered. (I am by no means a neat freak, but chaos tends to shut me down.) I am trying to figure out how to walk around things, leave a big area for food prep and baking as well as find a place for us to sit down and eat since the kitchen table is covered in "stuff". Oh well, I know it will come together! I hope to earn money this summer to have BEDROOMS by September! Oh please! PLEASE! PLEASE!

On top of everything we had a wonderful visit from Len's brother, thanks again Larry, so much fun to have you here! Rachel had been working all year toward a job she really wanted. She had volunteered in the community, led the organization in an Easter party for the recreation council, had numerous letters of recommendation, a good resume, cover letter and prepped on job interview questions for about a month. She was devastated when she was not selected but became even more angry when she found out all the behind the scenes drama and how the interviewer usurped her role, went beyond what she was asked and basically told us during feedback, she never even considered Rachel.

There isn't much you can do in a situation like that. Sometimes life is ruled by who you know, not what you know and I know that for the most part, the committee did not agree with the action taken. This is NO reflection on the successful candidates... However, in order to repair things, accurately review an application and consider a candidate that was discriminated against, you have to hurt other kids who applied and were selected. It is a lose/lose situation. I only hope that Rachel has learned this is not about HER, she continues to contribute to the community and not become jaded and that she takes this as a learning experience, as difficult as it has been. 

I must admit the night we came home from driving Larry to the airport and Rachel ran outside crying hysterically, I panicked, I thought for sure something had happened to my dad. I could see she had bad news but thought, "Oh no! Dad is always predicting something bad will happen to him and now it has!" I was relieved when she told me the problem and then my mama hairs stood up and wanted to protect my baby. It was hard to explain to her that this is something that will happen to you in life. I had to share the experiences I have had, in particular a job that would have changed our lives had it come through.

Back in 1998 I was at the top of my government career. I had a great reputation, was moving up, was seen as a leader, someone who put more effort than required forward and someone to move up the chain from a staff member, to supervisor, to management. Little did I realize the real interworking of politics and the sham that many of us live through. I always had some "trust" in the upper echelons but after my stint over the next couple of years, I realized that if I had to be like "them" to get ahead, then I would stay behind. I explained to my daughter that I had worked hard for the job, interviewed as much as I could to gain experience and I applied for a job as a District Supervisor. There were 3 positions in our region, 2 permanent and 1 for one year. I will never completely know the truth, suffice it to say I was in the top 3 and offered a position. Having said that, I did NOT get a permanent position (if I had I wouldn't be where I am today.) The best information I could get was, yes, you passed, excellently, however, one of the 3 people can NOT be offered the one year term since 30 staff members will walk off the job should she be given the position. Therefore, SHE got a permanent position and I had to commute for 1 year and know that at the end of that year, I would return to work in an office with the OTHER successful candidate. Think it worked out well? No. Think he was happy to have me back in that position? No. Think a person should be offered a job as a permanent supervisor when there were 30 people who would walk off the job should she ever walk through their doors? No. A matter of who you know, not what you know? Yes. A life learning experience? YES!

The upside to everything was I had a backup plan in my pocket for my girl. I knew that I was going to be terribly busy this summer, running a fulltime coffee shop, working part time doing homecare, building websites and getting the farm up and running. Not to mention that we don't have rooms and the kids would not want to go to bed as early as we do and they would both be bored and under foot. Sometimes problems in life offer solutions. As many people know Jessica was critically injured before she turned 3 years old. As a result of this for medical and legal reasons she is required to be in Vancouver, BC at Children's Hospital by 9am on June 30, 2011. We can't afford a trip, but the legal fund is covering Jess and myself. Grandma and Grandpa have come through with Airmiles for Rachel to join us so all I have to pay is the taxes, insurance and meals. 

Can you picture the disbelief, amazement and excitement that crossed my girls faces when I told them... Guess what? Let's go to BC! Obviously they knew I couldn't afford it so they were afraid to believe me. For days they asked if it was real? Mom, are you serious? You wouldn't joke about this would you? No babies, this is real... and guess what else? Mom has to get back in just over a week, but you two get to spend the WHOLE summer in Nanaimo and Port Alberni! Our loving family and friends will put you up! You can see your friends, get your courage and strength back, know that even when it is hard here because you are new, there are people who love and accept you no matter what! Plus, we have lined up some part time work for Rachel, so she can play, see family AND make some money!

Well, parenting is hard and there are days they drive me nuts, but nothing could replace the looks on their faces. The joy and excitement and bewilderment that overcame them. I love you girls and  if I could take away every hurt that you would ever experience, I would in a second, but I can't. I can only teach you that pain, disappointment and anger go away... you don't and you learn to move forward. I am going to miss them desperately. I have never been separated from them for more than about a week at a time. I know they will be OK. They are loved and will only be staying with loved ones who I trust implicitly. Get your confidence back Rachel, it is not you, it was not about the other girls, one person did their job wrong and that has impacted you. As I have learned I could be owning a home, debts, working my ass off in a job I had grown to hate, but because someone decided to go through their job wrong... I am now happy... for the first time in my life.

The coffee shop is cute, fun and getting great word of mouth already. My only regret is I can't sleep in all summer! I guess there will be time for that during the dark days of winter. I am so excited to see my parents again, I love them very much and they are great people. You never know what can happen to change your life in an instant, but taking the time to appreciate what you have, who you have in your life, these things will make us happy. I have made a couple of really important true friends here and for that I am so grateful! But ladies, I am going to be home FOR MY 45th birthday! Nothing could be a greater gift!


Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,
That's exciting for the girls! I will be away on a road trip until July 29th but Jessica can phone me after that and maybe I could take her out for ice cream or something. Our number is in the phone book here. I think we're the only Cruz.
Enjoy your busy summer!
Kathy Cruz

.........Sarah Sherman said...

Hi Kathy! Thanks again for your thoughts! Yes Jess would love to connect with you! I will email you details. Take care! Thanks for reading! :)