‘Was sort of hoping that you’d stay’

“(Do I wanna know)
If this feeling flows both ways?
(Sad to see you go)
Was sort of hoping that you’d stay
(Baby we both know)
That the nights were mainly made for saying things that you can’t say tomorrow day.”

— Arctic Monkeys, “Do I Wanna Know”

As I was leaving for work an hour early Monday (new daily pre-market project. Shoot me), Mom said I looked better than usual. “Dewy,” she said.

I said, “They haven’t beaten the soul out of my being yet. Give it a day.”

Yeah, I look like hell today. Right on schedule.

Today I didn’t have to do my Evil Commute, so that was good. I had lunch with a colleague and an associate from my old Maryland days, who is passing through town. I got some sun, ate good food, actually had a productive meeting for a change (exchanging ideas. Amazing) and snuck to the beach for the sunset.

So, win.

But I’ve been relatively bitter over a beloved colleague’s departure from the job. He gave notice last week and thankfully told me about it right away so I was prepared when everyone inevitably called me to ask questions (that I didn’t answer).

It broke my heart. It really did. We got close really fast. And he didn’t last long. He took a position I vacated, so I KNOW. I don’t even have to ask why he decided not to waste his time.

This business is interesting in that if you can manage your expectations by changing them completely, you’ll be fine. If you want to retain your integrity, forget it. Move on.

I wouldn’t say I sold my soul. But I rent it out relatively cheap, and I certainly am without it more than I’m with it.

He’s not like that. He knows who he is. And he’s got a really impressive resume to boot. His next job is a total upgrade.

It makes me wonder when I lost sight of what I wanted, or whether I’ve changed so much that I could never go back.

I think I am where I need to be. I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s not a life sentence, or at least not a death sentence, when it all gets to be too much.

So heartbreak aside that I’ve now lost my second good friend at work in as many years, I am not happy how he was treated on the way out.

Now I have to clarify we work for different sides of the same company. We have our own dysfunctions on my side, of course, but they are more-manageable.

I would hope my team wouldn’t exile me before my time is up. I sure hope his team paid him for the days they asked him NOT to continue coming in.

But it speaks volumes that I am very, very suspicious.

Seriously, nobody has any clue about our careers/connections/reputations. One bad word out of our mouths and it’s all over — and word spreads like wildfire in this little field. They’re damn lucky he’s staying quiet and I’m only talking in non-specifics on the blog.

It was my first day in a long time without cheerful little e-mails to pick me up throughout the day.

I don’t like this.

I find it amazing how this company has a way of bringing special people my way … and then driving them right out of my life.

But it occurred to me, on this day I finally lost patience and actually fought back when I felt slighted/attacked on another conference call today, they could toss me out at any moment too.

Reputation and connections and achievements and relationships and esteem aside, I could be on the curb with my friend. Thank God he had his escape plan activated.

And then when someone asked me about a project I’ve been avoiding for a year, I didn’t answer. Because it’s behind a project I’ve been avoiding for 11 months. Behind a project I just revived that is an absolute waste of my time.

All useless bullshit that doesn’t bring money in or keep it in the bank.

Shit that stresses me the fuck out because I get sick of people asking about it — I am not stressed because I’m missing an opportunity to grow or do right by the business. I’m stressed because it’s another way I’ve failed them that they can hold against me, if and when they so choose.

Look the real heartbreak here is losing my buddy. Who is off to another state to chase his next dream. Or the one he put on hold to pursue this adventure.

And through all of this, I’ve thought a lot about the job that tossed me to the curb, and all the bullshit that used to kill me suddenly went away.

It didn’t make or break the business that those things didn’t get done. Although maybe it would have sated the publisher-type beast if I’d just played along with her whims.

Because even though I focused on money-making and training my staff and basically just holding the walls up with my arms and legs as everything was closing in around us, it still wasn’t enough.

I don’t know why it surprises people that I have a brain in my head, and work hard and problem-solve, and PRIORITIZE … independent of all else. I don’t know how to become in charge.

I don’t know that I even want to be in charge. But I want to be acknowledged for, hey, you did all the right things and you’re right, this bullshit project — that is only going to result in MORE bullshit work for you, that keeps you from doing what you’re trained to do and, worse, will prevent you from having time to generate IDEAS — should be shelved.

I’m guessing I need one more good cry (and boy I’ve had a few this past week, starting with hearing about his resignation on this day last week, and his departure at close of business yesterday).

And maybe a velociraptor to eat every person and project that’s contributing to/causing my health problems.

I miss you, friend. But I meant when I said I hope they deserve you. Because, we didn’t. I just hope I’m not the only one who knows this to be true.

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