When Push Comes to Shove, Dare to Take a Leap of Faith

In 2012, I was working at a small company, where I was the receptionist. I had been in that position for almost 6 years but had become very unhappy with my workplace environment. For one, the owner was not very good at controlling his temper and would often rant and rave around the office, not only screaming at the employees but also putting them down. Due to this, the moral around the office was not one bursting with joy. For another, the cohesiveness among employee departments, I had first witnessed as a new hire, had all but disappeared. For another, it was rare, when mistakes were made, that the person who made them would take responsibility. Instead, fingers got pointed and blame got diverted. The atmosphere had become like thick never-ending fog, of which no light was able to penetrate. I knew I needed to exit, yet I kept talking myself out of it until the first push came to shove…

This push occurred in December. At the end of each year to thank the vendors and customers, each sales person would submit a list of the vendors and customers they wished to send a Christmas box to. Then, each box would be filled with an assortment of fun, unusual items. And each item would be hand wrapped, of which I became the designated wrapper. This task became my favorite part of my job and every year, as Christmas approached I eagerly wrapped gift after gift after gift. Throughout my time there I easily wrapped well over 250-300 gifts from November through mid December each year. I just loved it!!! Till the first push came to shove…

When the co-owner brought a wrapped item to my desk, slammed it down and said, ‘I am so ashamed to include this in the box. The bow is not tied tight enough. Now, I am not going to make you redo it but I just wanted you to know it looks terrible!’ Yep, after 5 years of playing Santa’s elf, with never a complaint, all of a sudden I was getting told how bad of a job I was doing! I remember thinking, ‘What the f*** is wrong with her? The bow is not TIED TIGHT ENOUGH!!! It is friggin raffia material!! What the hell!?!?!’ I could not relate to the dissatisfaction that was being thrown in my face. I was stunned to say the least. Yet, I still talked myself out of leaving, till the second push, which was a bit more forceful, came to shove…

Due to the amount of work I had, which overlapped into several departments, I considered myself more of a Jill of all Trades. I was completing various tasks for  bindery, printing labels for shipping, doing personal tasks for the owners, helping the sales people keep track of potential customers as well as my ‘regular’ duties manning the front desk. Despite this, I was still getting stuff ‘assigned’ to me, yet was not getting financially compensated. I was in the throes of gearing myself up to ask for a raise when I overheard the owner talking with one of the sales people about another task. I perked my ears up when the owner said, ‘Give it to Annie. She will do it.’ At that moment, I thought to myself, ‘NO WAY!’ When the owner nonchalantly came over to ask me about doing the task, I let him finish his spiel and then replied, ‘Are you going to compensate me for it?’ He answered, ‘What? It’s just a small thing.’ I retorted, ‘I am not like your past receptionists…’ proceeding to list all the extra things I did. When I finished, he looked at me, shook his head and walked away. Needless to say, he figured out a different way for the task to be done and on my way home that evening, I stopped to purchase a laptop and began a toe in the water search of other places to work.

It was when the third shove came, it became VERY clear the time had come to vacant the company. This shove occurred when some well known athletes were going to visit the company and sign some posters for the employees. I was asked, by the co-owner, to clean out the conference room, making sure all the blind panels on the shades were facing the same direction, all the chairs were set at the same level and the stuff sitting on top of a cabinet was put away. I agreed doing everything she asked. The stuff, which had been sitting in the same place for about 3 years, I put into a drawer. Well, not a good decision!!!! That is when the third push shoved me WAY over my limit…

When the co-owner discovered the drawer full of stuff, she marched to my desk and angrily proclaimed, ‘That drawer looks like a trash can!! You cannot leave all that stuff in there!’ O.k., now I was really stunned as I could not figure out where or why she was having such a hissy fit over a drawer of which no one was going to open and about stuff that no had cared about for 3 YEARS PRIOR!!! Yep, that shove pushed my limit button to the point that every day from then on, when I returned home, I was getting online, actively searching for a job. And, this time, I was NOT talking myself out of staying. I guess as they say, three times is a charm and it was.

Flash forward to today…
I am still what some would consider a receptionist, but my current job calls me a ‘Customer Service Specialist.’ Now, let me be clear, I do not feel nor act entitled because of a title upgrade. I will say this though, due to not only the difference in office moral and people I currently work with, I have grown into someone who loves being the ‘first impression’ of the company. I also get to laugh out loud most of the day, have fun and feel extremely appreciated. Most importantly, since working there, I have yet to experience the Sunday night doldrums of returning to work on Monday. And, yes I am getting compensated, not only with a George Washington bill but also with frequent ‘thank you’s,’ rip roaring fun with others, and being taken seriously when I have a suggestion or a way to make a process better.

In my long winded way, I am trying to say, when push comes to shove at your heart and your spirit, dare to put all ten toes, both of your feet and your whole body into taking a leap of faith. As you jump, take a deep breath and believe not only in yourself but God and a future where every wish made upon a star becomes true. I know. For I dared myself to leap. And, faith brought me to the place I am today.

God Bless,
Annie

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