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Looking For a Clue

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The Holding Pattern



While I sit here and wait for a massive spreadsheet to recalculate because I'm trying to delete lines, a blog subject popped into my head.  So here we are.

Back in 2014 my life went sideways.  And at the time, I was already battling a depression and anxiety slide that was the result of my spreading myself too thin at work and in my personal life in 2011 through into early 2013.  I can see that now.  At the time, I didn't.  I did know I went into a slide from the scale.  I was a WW lifetime member at goal and began crawling up the scale.  I now know the connections between my mental health issues and compulsive eating.  I didn't then.  But that isn't what this is about.

February 2014 I went to visit my mom.  I walked in, she had been sleeping.  She asked me 'which one I was.'  And I knew and didn't want to admit what was going on.  Actually, I knew back in November 2012 or 2013 (they sort of blur together) because Mom had an car accident and was in Kansas City Mo at the time of the accident - a good 45 minutes from her small town Kansas home.  My sister was all up in my grill that Thanksgiving because she thought I was upsetting Mom.  I can tell you now, it was because I knew Mom was 'off' and not behaving normal.  Mom was trying to hide her issues.  But I could see it and the more she tried to hide, the more I noticed and worried.

May 2014 a Deputy from the county sheriff's office where Mom lived called because Mom was in a part of the county she never went to.  And seemed, to him, to be having a dementia/Alzheimer's episode.  I will be forever grateful to this officer for taking the time to alert me.  It was what prompted me, after some coaching from one of my cousins, to haul my mother to her doctor and begin the process of getting her diagnosed.  And it began a period of over a year of my driving back and forth (~3 hours one way) every weekend, no matter the weather. 

At that same time, I was told that my name was brought up for a project at work.  And my boss told them  no, without consulting me.  Because my stress level was off the chart.  A very small part of me was annoyed because I wanted to make the decision myself and how dare he.  The larger, slightly saner, part of me remains eternally grateful because it saved me from me.  I probably would have say sure, I'll do it and tried to kill myself even  more than I already was. 

The whole "Mom Thing" put  my career into a holding pattern.   Because even after I put her in memory care in June 2015 and dealt with her estate and such for a few months after, I still had the responsibility of handling her finances and making reports to the county.  I had to become my mother's legal guardian and conservator.  And I did it mostly alone because my sister had crawled into a hole and was non responsive. 

Mom died in early February 2019.  It has been two years.  I spent the last 11 months of pandemic world extremely grateful that she wasn't around for covid.  That I didn't have to handle the worry and issues that would have meant.  Her passing also meant more relief than grief to me.  Because it meant the beginning of the end of the holding pattern I was in. Sure, Covid slowed progress down.  As did the departure of a coworker and her replacement coming in from outside so time was spent on boarding someone new to the plant/organization.  

And we're in 2021, still dealing with covid.  But I'm feeling a bit more invigorated.  And something has popped up in the last few weeks at work that is allowing me to shine.  The Controller handling a transition of something to a new system left in January.  And, as I actually suspected partway through last year, he hadn't dotted all the i's or crossed all the t's.  He didn't understand all the stupid audit requirements.  He didn't ask either.  A reconciliation process for the new system wasn't picked up.  My boss tried and delegated it to me to work on.  And I had to dig out someone's sketchy instructions for the old system and try to  make it work.  While I couldn't get it completely tied out, I came within $2k and considering the total inventory value I thought that rather kicked butt.  Made the boss happy too. 

Yesterday I began to ask questions to my Boss's boss because, well, there's on particular issue that I know, because I'm the person that for the last 4 years has gotten the question, that our external auditors ARE going to ask.  So, it was - so, how the heck do we audit column Q.  And first I had to make them understand, no no, not that tie out.  That one I've done and it's under control.  Nope, the stupid one we can't do and old system we had to keep reminding them about.  But they will ask so how do we handle? 

Then yesterday afternoon Boss's boss sends everyone an email.  Use the old system (even though we had been moving forward with new) because my questions brought to light validation issues with the new system.  So now I've faced with redoing the reconciliation process to the old system (because Controller who left did that before - he picked it up after my coworker left  and knowing what I know now, I should have been in the room for that little bit of training)

So don't mind me.  I'm using this as a way of reminding everyone who I am.  I'm out of the holding pattern.  I WANT to work on this.  I makes me happy.  And while yes, it would be nice if other locations took stuff on, I'm grabbing this one and making it mine. 

Bye Holding Pattern.


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You are so strong and have been through so much.  I couldn't be happier you are in a place to grab this and own it.  I've said before, many times, that I'd love to work with you not just because I like you, but because the work style you so beautifully communicate is one I respect and is most compatible with my own.  I suspect there would be many times I'd be the annoying co-worker you'd like to vent about on FJ,  but I have nothing but respect for your focus on compliance and audits.  As Tom Haverford would say, "game respects game."

I hope this is the beginning of a new empowering phase for you.  You deserve it.


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