A recent reconnect with the only employer I was embarrassed to reconnect with revealed more than predicted.
During a tumultuous time of change in my life, I applied for a seasonal, part-time job to generate additional household income, while not taxing my thinking and free time as I pondered what direction my life needed to take.
For four years, three days a week I visited three of the Toronto company’s key accounts to merchandise the company’s souvenir products. My performance also encouraged management to recruit me to a staff position to support the inventory control team and to serve as the in-warehouse production line supervisor.
However, during my employment with the company, my marriage was ending and I fell in love with a co-worker, all of which many people experience, but unfortunately how I handled myself during that time for years afterwards caused me to feel profound embarrassment and shame, especially since it was the only time I had allowed my personal problems to greatly affect my work performance.
On reflection, though I was not satisfied with my performance, the company obviously was since I was employed by them for four years. But it was only with my recent correspondence with the owner of the company of forty staff members that he shared his perspective.
Of course, the dialogue started with the letter I chose to write him few months ago, apologizing for my unprofessional behavioural at times during those four years.
Though we had only had a few interactions over the course of my employment, in his response letter, he was respectful and shared his perspective forthright. What he did recall about me was my talent, yet he also mentioned he recalled me as being unpredictable, though as I had explained there was a lot of tumult in my personal life that erupted into my professional life, including the discovery of my creative and entrepreneurial drive and talent.
In other words, I was experiencing an intense journey of self-discovery in my early forties because my dreams and talents had been squashed and/or squished into the predictable boxes my talents could be shoved into for the sake of familiarity and safety.
Many years later I can now put his words in context in ways he cannot do because he does not know me now. For instance, though I have further developed the talent he recalls, I have also discovered talents I was unaware of even then. And as for my unpredictability, I have also discovered the value of my “unpredictability” including how it has allowed my other talents … creativity … innovation … entrepreneurship … to rise up, be seen, and be developed in order to support the predictable elements of me … the most important being my passion to help people in any way I can.
For him and his company, helping people meant serving in a couple of capacities I mentioned above, yet as I have always been driven to do in any job, I also am driven to discover and develop more effective, efficient, and compassionate ways to support people and their goals.
And, as a result, I realize that it is precisely my creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial unpredictability, combined with my predictability of the sound business practices I developed at a young age and the sound personal practices I have developed since my employment by his company that I now am a whole, well-rounded individual … not only with the visions and dreams of what is possible, the unpredictable, but also with the logical, practical, and predictable skills needed to transform the visions and dreams into realities … everything that makes me the innovative social entrepreneur I now am.
As I have learned regarding all matters of life, one’s perspective is always key. Significantly too, I know predictability will only generate predictable … known … results, so if we want better, more, growth, change, etc., we must step out of the world of predictable into the unpredictable. And taking that step is called living.
Thank you IW for helping me to connect more of the dots of who I was, am and have yet to be.
December 4, 2016
Kaitlin Ann Trepanier, founder and president of Connecting the Dots … with The Respect Principle, the company dedicated to raising Respect Levels for the benefit of all people by developing and delivering books, products, and services that entertain, educate, and inspire positive change. http://www.therespectprinciple.com ©All Rights Reserved 2016