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A Rose Among Thorns

In Face of Despair Part II













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As you learned in Part I of my story, my adulthood did not get off on the best foot. Partly, I suppose that was my fault for loving the wrong man or, in my case, men. I have never been a good judge of character. I guess because I am easily deceived. Or maybe I dont want to see the bad qualities in a man, so I turn my head the other way and ignore all the signals that tell me to run.

Regardless of what my problem is, my struggles have been there and are still here with me today.

In Part I of my story, I explained to you the abuse that I suffered during a relationship with my ex-husband. I also talked about the suffering me and my daughter did due to her numerous health problems she suffered at birth.

When she was an infant I went to work for a printing company. They had already pulled out of bankruptcy once, just before I started working there. At the time, this did not bother me. I needed a job and they were offering me one. The pay was low, but I had a great boss, at first.

His name was James Bass. When I started there I knew nothing, or very little, about computers. I was hired to be the receptionist for this particular office. There were several offices located throughout Houston, Denver and other cities around the U.S.

My boss handed me a computer disk and a book and said, this is what you need to learn about computers. I was scared but was determined to learn everything I needed. At this point, I had merely graduated from high school and had no formal training, nor college courses behind my name.

It took me a short while but finally I was progressing in my computer knowledge. My boss was very laid back and relaxed and had immeasurable patience. Had it not been for that, I dont think I would have ever made it past the first week. As time progressed on, I started getting worried about the company. Okay, so I am not a CFO or CEO of a company. But I am capable of determining bad managerial and executive decisions. And did this company make them.

The first thing that I began to notice was that the company started hiring too many vice presidents. They hired a vice preside for marketing. A vice president for advertising. They hired a vice president for this, that, and the other. I knew we were heading for trouble. Any time you hire a vice president, you pay them any where from $75,000 or more. I didnt see a small company like that being apple to support such a big payroll.

But what do I know. I was just a peon sitting at the bottom of a totem pole, just trying to earn a paycheck.

It wasnt long before the company started make more bad economincal and financial decisions.

They started buying into companys that were insolvent, and/or, on their way to insolvency. When a company has filed bankruptcy and pulled out of it once, it doesnt sound very wise, to me anyway, to buy a company that is already in financial ruins. What did they hope to accomplish?

What they accomplished was disaster. It didnt take long before the company was in trouble again.

Employees started hearing rumors that layoffs were coming and people began to get edgy and worried they would lose their jobs. And most of us did. Including myself. The only ones that remained were those related to the business (family members.) I was devastated. Just when I thought things were looking up, I was faced with another trial that I was not prepared to, nor did I know how to handle. I did not know what I was going to do with my life at this point.

I thought it over for a while and decided I would go to school. I took a few summer classes at the local college, studying computers and taking an accounting course. I scored a B in the computer class and an A in the accounting class. I enjoyed the accounting class and discovered thats what I wanted to do. It was challengeing and fun.

After the summer was over, I went to work for a mirror and glass company working for the owner/president of the company. My charge was the billing. I was to help an outside company develop and implement a new billing software program compatible to the companys needs. I thought this was an important challenge for me, since I had very little computer knowledge or training.

But I easily caught on. My boss began to teach me all the ins and outs of the business. He was training me to be his second in charge. The company was fairly large, however, the front office had just a few employees, including the office manager herself.

I worked there for six months, I suppose, when changes started happening. It all started at the onset of the new billing software. It is a known fact that most all employees are resistant to change. It was no different here than anywhere else. Employees did not want to change the process. They liked it the way it was.

A lot of friction developed among employees. The office manager did not know how to run the office. The owner became disgruntled and all hell broke lose, to say the least.

This began to cause problems with me and the office manager. The reason being was simply this: The owner of the company would call me with a complaint he had heard from a client out in the field. Hed call me up and tell me what the complaint was. Then hed further instruct me on who to go to and what to tell that person in forms of disciplinary actions.

The office manager did not like this. She felt it was her role to discpline employees not me. But what was I to do. I had to follow my bosses instructions. I was torn between a rock and a hard place.

As time began to progress forward, things became worse. Peoples attitudes were changing rapidly, including the office manager. Strife was every where and it became unpleasant to work there. My boss would come in after a long, hard days work. Hed be in a rage because of someones mistake. He vent out on me, throwing things, slamming his hands down on my desk. He frightened me at times. It seems even in the work place violence follows me.

I did not last long after that. I ended up quitting there and returning back to school on a full-time basis. I went to the Texas School of Business. There I learned more about computers, accounting and payroll. It was a tough experience. The teachers there were not very qualified to teach. The school was very disorganized. And the teacher turn-around was terrible. I remember the teacher they hired last was a much like me. She was constantly depressed. Half the time she did not show up to teach class. When she was there, she sat at the back of the room crying, while I instructed the class for her. I often tutored some of the students who were lacking in certain areas. When I graduated there, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA, and was given the Outstanding Student Award. I was proud of myself and thought this a great accomplishment.

I was hired immediately by NAPA Auto Parts Distribution Center, which was located in my neighborhood. They started me out in the Accounts Payable department making $10.00 an hour. At last I was moving up in the world.

I didnt stay at this job more than 6 months. I learned that I didnt like working there. I was much older than most of the people I was working with. I was a hard worker and dedicated to me job. There were others that were young and careless, and did not have the same drive and determination that I did.

I left there and went to work for Voest Alpine Intertraiding USA. They were a company that specialized in chemical trading. They worked with well known companies as Chevron, Mobile, Enron, Exxon and others. I worked as the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable Clerk. I worked under the direction of a lady named Sue.

At first our relationship was a good one. She liked me and trusted my knowledge of my job. The office was small and our department consisted only of the two of us. I was now making $13.00 an hour and I was able to purchase my first home when my daughter was only seven.

However, things did not turn out the way I had expected, or wanted. Once again, my life would take a turn for the worst. I would be faced with yet another disappointment. This time, there would be devastating effects.

Please join me next month for Part III of my story. Find out what would lead me to a nervous breakdown which would lead me to a four day hospital. And learn what I did to recover from the effects.

In The Face Of Despair Part III

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