I was sitting outside one day recently, enjoying a cup of coffee and my mind drifted to some less than stellar moments in my life so far. Oh sure, I should be thinking positive things, counting my blessings, and making sure the glass is half full – blah, blah, blah. Of course.
There are times when life just kinda sucked.
Life didn’t stay in SuckLand for long, thank god, but shit happens to all of us from time to time.
Here’s the FIRST of my Top Three Low Moments:
It was the summer of 1996. My husband had graduated college the year before and spent time on and off looking for a new job in a new career – while working full time and dealing with a toddler at home.
We decided to make a drastic change.
He quit his job so he could focus on job searching full time and I (newly home from a lengthy banking career to be a stay-at-home mom) went searching for an underwriting job at a local bank.
I managed to land one nearby and while the men there did not welcome me nor my underwriting decisions, I plugged on and made fast friends with my (female) boss. Meanwhile, I got another call for a credit union job that I could do from home. They wanted to try something new and wanted me to find customers (that fit the requirement of the credit union, no less) AND make real estate loan applications AND underwrite them. Despite my doubts, I agreed to the job and went to work.
Mind you, this is 1996 and the so-called digital age was only a wee baby. There was no Facebook to advertise, Twitter, or blogs. All we had was boring ole email. Yawn.
I worked in the mornings trying to drum up business for the credit union and then in the afternoons I went to the bank…underwriting mainly auto loans because the guys that were also underwriters held seniority over me and my newbie/temp status (while I certainly had experience underwriting all types of loans my experience was more in real estate loans). I would come home, put on my mommy hat for a few hours, and then worked on writing resumes for a small business I started the year before to make a few bucks while staying home with my son.
Meanwhile, my husband had gone on many interviews but we hadn’t heard from any of them yet.
We managed okay but the bills were slowly piling up since my one (temp) job at the bank wasn’t paying very much and the credit union job was a commission job. We were calling the utility companies to set up payment plans and telling the auto loan folks that money would be coming soon – pinky swear.
And all that with a toddler and diapers and temper tantrums.
It was stressful to say the least and friends and family looked at us and the decision we had made as if we were officially off our rocker.
Maybe we were.
We had been at this routine for almost three months.
My boss at the bank called me into her office on September 19th. She said she hated to do this to me on the day before my birthday but she said that business was just too slow to keep me on the payroll and she had to let me go.
But I understood.
Later that afternoon I had an appointment with the manager at the credit union. To date I hadn’t brought in one loan. He wanted to know why. I told him I was not given any resources whatsoever and I was trying my best.
However, it wasn’t good enough and they let me go too.
On the way home, crying, I tried to figure out what the hell we were going to do now. I had, in one day, lost both my jobs and the last bit of income and we had a mortgage, cars, student loans, and a pricey cost of living in San Diego.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
Since the following day was my 30th birthday my husband had booked the three of us at a hotel in downtown San Diego with a trip to the zoo. Crying in our bedroom I kept saying, maybe we should cancel the trip. No, he said, we need to get away and a day at the zoo isn’t going to make our situation any worse.
The next morning, my birthday, and the phone rang at an ungodly early hour (like 8:30. Okay, maybe not technically an ungodly hour especially since we had a toddler but our phone seldom rang so early in the morning).
I hear my husband on the phone talking to someone. I hear the word ‘salary’ and ‘I can start Monday!’
I feel my stomach twist and my hands begin to shake.
He was offered a job.
I don’t know if it was luck, prayer, fate – or a combination of all three – that made all that work out the way it did exactly one day after I lost both my jobs and our only source of income. But, this event will always be etched into my mind and is something the husband and I talk about often because there have been times since then that I want to feel THAT lucky again.
P.S. Five days later my husband received a call from the district manager of the company saying (oops!) that his direct manager wanted to interview him. My husband was pissed but reluctantly went in to meet with his boss (who had been out on vacation when he interviewed the first time with the district manager). Needless to say, the Luck Gods were still in our favor and the two hit it off. He worked at that company for a couple of years before the same boss left for another company. Within months he brought my husband over to this new company with a better position, more money, and learning new things. Every summer we met with his boss and his family for an afternoon at Mission Bay. We no longer live in San Diego but we still keep in touch with his first boss via Christmas cards.
Stay tuned for Low Moment Number Two…