Thursday, May 29, 2008

HMPH! In Yo' face!

When I was eighteen, I got my first job in the United States.  I worked as a waitress in a major chain restaurant.  I really didn't like the pressure or the pace of the job, but I needed to make money so that I could go to college.  I remember being incredibly nervous every time I clocked in. Not only was I insecure,  my boss was a total jerk.

"Are you stupid, Michelle?!"  he would shout "If I have to cancel ONE MORE ITEM, it's coming right out of your check!"

His constant sneers and insults sent me home crying more times than I care to count.  It was not the best way to establish my work ethic.  As a matter of fact, his hurtful words and painful mockery made me more insecure than I had ever been.  

If that was even possible.

But a long time has passed since then.  Twelve years, to be precise. In that time, I have managed to push myself through college, get married,  move to a different country, be a news writer, radio producer, television director, theatre director, teacher, counselor, marriage therapist and more.  I had every dream job that I ever wanted, I traveled the world with my husband, and eventually settled down and had a beautiful little girl.   

I went from being an insecure girl to a confident woman.   

Just the other day I had to come back to Texas to and do standard maintenance on my car. I was led to the customer service desk where a representative was waiting to service my car. Little did I know, that sitting behind that desk would be none other than- yes, you guessed it- my cruel EX-boss!

"Good morning, maa'm-"  he started to say.

Then, the look. 

"I used to work with you,"  I said.  

"Yeah, I remember... So, how's life?"

I gave him a brief recap of the whirlwind of events that have shaped and molded me.  Life had done a lot of turning since I last saw him, and I know he could tell.  I was no longer the insecure little teenager who feared his every word.  I was the grown woman handing him the keys to service my car.

"Please make sure that the oil is changed and that all the fuses are working properly, "  I ordered   "I don't want any warning lights turning up.  Call me when it's done."

And just like that- in an unexpected turn of fate-  I found myself walking away with a spring in my step.  The world had changed, and I could hold my head up high.