Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today's fortune: July 6, 2011

Today's fortune: You will soon emerge victorious from the maze you've been traveling in.

This is one of those fortunes that's a bit self-fulfilling. I didn't know I was stuck in a maze until I read the fortune this morning.

Then the maze walls became crystal clear.

Good luck.

Last week, I took a big step backward in my career development at Acme Co. by making a mistake that has haunted me ever since. The mistake was big enough that I was told - in no uncertain terms - if it happens again, I will lose my job.

I say the mistake has haunted me, but what the mistake really did was place me squarely in the middle of a seemingly inescapable maze of anger, frustration, worry and embarrassment.

After wandering around aimlessly for a few days, this morning I thought I was clear of the maze. I thought. I finally closed out the widget on which I had made the mistake. It was a terrific feeling to see the widget disappear from my desk and to know that part of my employment was behind me.

But it wasn't, of course. I was not free of the maze after all. Rather, I was in a deceptive clearing that only mimicked freedom.

This afternoon my supervisor presented me with the official document - the reprimand. It landed on my desk with a thud. I had to sign it, she had to sign it, and a copy was sent to Human Resources for my permanent file (I thought the whole "This is going on your permanent record!" thing was just a threat used to scare schoolchildren, but no).

I read through the document, and I asked a few questions.

Then, I stuck it in the back of my file drawer and I'm going to forget about it.

That's not to say I'll forget the lessons I learned. In fact, I am going to place those lessons squarely on the front burner and allow them to guide me through every widget I make henceforth.

But the reprimand? Ancient history.

Now I truly feel like I've broken free of the maze.