I finally got promoted to finance manager at HP. I love working there, but it has been really frustrating being stuck with a title of “Analyst” for years, while watching the Wharton Alumni Magazine publish my graduating class news and seeing everyone I went to school with getting awesome job after awesome job. I realize that those are just the people who are writing in to share their “news”, but it drives me a little bit crazy to think about the career I could have if I wanted it. But it’s more important for me to be able to go home and be with my family than it is to make a lot of money. One person in the family who is traveling and working tons of hours away from home is more than enough.

I found out about the job opportunity while I was in the hospital after getting my gall bladder out. I convinced another doctor to do the surgery, and there has been no pain since that thing came out of my body. My friend Sandy took care of Anjelica while I was in the hospital. Lou had gone to speak at an APICS dinner meeting in NY, so he couldn’t even be with me for the surgery. 

The management job pretty much fell in my lap. I was thrilled about it, until Lou and I were talking about my promotion, and he said, “See, isn’t is good that you went to business school?” I agreed that getting our MBAs has been a great investment and has paid back well for both of us. But then he added, “You know you would still be working as a waitress or something in restaurants and or at the front desk of hotels if it weren’t for me pushing you into going to college.” Confused by that statement, I retorted, “I always planned to continue my education after getting my associate’s degree.” His eyes became very dark and small and sunken below his brow as his face tensed up and he practically bellowed at me, “Don’t go there. Don’t even think about going there. How dare you say that?  I believe that you saved my life. How can you say that you would have gone to school anyway? Is that really what you want to say to me?”

I didn’t say it aloud, but my first thought was that I would have even been done with college a lot earlier if I hadn’t taken two years off from my schooling to bust my ass working while he got his MBA when we first got married. Maybe I wouldn’t have been a Finance major at Wharton, but I definitely would have continued my education. I put all my plans on hold for him, and then changed my plans completely because the colleges where he wanted to work didn’t have the degree programs I wanted. He actually thinks I would have no degree and no career without his influence? And when I object, he’s furious with me for having the nerve to believe I had something to do with my own life? I didn’t say any of that aloud either.

What I did say was that I hadn’t meant anything negative, and was sorry if it sounded that way, but it was just that he made it seem like I had no ambition for anything on my own, when I did always plan to continue with college. I added, “Of course I know you supported and encouraged me, just as I did you.” He just repeated, “How dare you?” He was mad at me for quite a while. Personally, I think it should be the other way around.

I read a book called The Celestine Prophecy, which has me thinking about a lot of things in general. The book breaks down personality types into four categories based on what someone does to get power and control over others: aloof, intimidator, interrogator, and poor me. I see Lou as a definite intimidator, and I think I fit in the category of aloof, because I tend to stay so quiet now. I didn’t use to be that way. And I’m not really that way at work. In the office, I stick my neck out, and am outgoing and vocal both in meetings and one on one. The rest of the time, I tend to keep my mouth shut. The book asserts that being aloof is a control mechanism to keep other people uneasy and off guard and guessing about what I’m thinking. I’m trying to absorb that concept, but it doesn’t seem to fit quite right. I keep my mouth shut more often because I don’t want to say something wrong that will cause a problem. Being quiet causes problems in itself, but I can only be accused of being too quiet. Lou says it makes other people feel I’m being judgmental, or that I think I’m too good for them. On a positive note, I got the funds from my neck injury lawsuit. Now the plane and the house are both paid off, and the only debt is my student loan from Wharton, which, apparently, we wouldn’t have if not for Lou.

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