Looking at the Great Escape

I’m stepping out of darkness
The workers cheer and encourage my escape
Take a chance and shed the stress
Turn in my key, life reshape
See hope rising over a brighter landscape

This poem is for David ben Alexander’s W3 collaboration. The prompt this week is to write a poem that includes some form of the word ‘hope’. I chose to write a Lira which is a poem of 5 lines with a syllable count of 7/11/7/7/11 with a rhyme scheme of a/b/a/b/b.

I am coming up to the 3 year anniversary of my retirement from full time employment. I was at that job for 28 years, 26 of them working for a woman who made Voldemort look like a saint! There were some pretty dark times. There were points when I wanted to quit but I stuck it out for the sake of my children. That is, for the educational benefit where the university would pay half of what tuition cost to attend there, toward the tuition at any other 4 year college/university. In effect my sons attended for 8 semesters (and a couple of summer sessions) for free. They are the only ones in their friend circles who are free of educational debt. As soon as that benefit was used up, I started looking for a way out. I was stymied and sabotaged several times by the big boss. I outlasted SWMNBN (She Who Must Not Be Named) and finally was given an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Although I’m still working there, it is on my terms and at my convenience. And besides I just got a 14% pay raise without even asking!

65 thoughts on “Looking at the Great Escape

    1. Sure if you went to the university where I worked it was a full ride BUT you had to pay housing and board and had to live on campus which would cost about the same as tuition and room and board at a state school! Also you had to qualify for admission (my niece was valedictorian, captain of the swim team and on student council but she didn’t make the cut). As it was both has scholarships that could be used for housing or tuition so their only real expense was books which they were able to use an educational ROTH IRA for… it worked out beautifully.

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    1. It was tough – not lying. But I was surrounded by friends and family and my blogging community on Xanga and that really helped. Their support got me through some really hard times…

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  1. Love this poem, Val and congratulations on your retirement anniversary. Lasting that long under the boss you described (that made me giggle) proved your patience and grit! And so happy the guys benefited too! 💛🤗❤️

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    1. Thanks Karla, I held the idea that I was on a swinging pendulum. No matter how bad it would get there was the point where everything would start to get better until it was good. This was on a 3 year cycle that corresponded to the triennial accreditation visit. Hehe!

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  2. This poem makes me happy, Muri 🙂 ~ I’m so glad for you!

    Also, thank you so much for participating ❤

    Shabbat shalom,
    David

    (P.S. I delete your first ‘Mr. Linky’ entry, which was to a link that doesn’t exist, and I added a link to this post into ‘Mr Linky’ instead!)

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    1. Thanks David! I hope in your new job you are surrounded by wonderful coworkers and bosses. I’ve always considered a good boss one who advocated for me, kept me informed about things that would impact me, and gave me praise in addition to correction. I’ve finally found that on a part-time basis! You beat me to changing the Mr. Linky to this post -Thanks bunches!

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        1. I really want to do this but being on the road in the mountains with no assured internet connection I’ll have to pass – but when I return I’m going to be all over this W3 stuff!!!

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    1. It is really satisfying to be appreciated after many years of not getting any raise. But the researcher I’m working for now truly knows how valuable I am – and that is pure joy!

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    1. Thanks Kerfe! I was in it for the long haul and focused on the benefits instead of the daily grind. What really helped was that SWMNBN needed me. Every time I tried to leave she was jubilant then panicked. Eventually she was gone and I remained!

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    1. Your words made me smile! I know I won and it is a small triumph. The true winners are the boys – their lack of debt set them up for success ahead of their peers… now if only they’d find a life companion so that once we are gone they are not alone!

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  3. I don’t have the mental fortitude that you have; but I can still admire yours. So thankful that you have a boast over the exit of that terrible boss!

    I am glad that you have a good outcome for you to enjoy at this point in time, too.

    I also enjoyed the poem and its form. Great work!

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  4. Sticking it out is part of life, that’s what I always thought. Work is called work for a reason, it isn’t meant to be liked. Anyone who “loved their job” was lying. Now I see what you mean. Working on your own terms and schedule because you want to, not because you have to, changes everything. Glad you outlasted SWMNBN, and have found peace with your part time gig.

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    1. Thanks Joan – working for people who truly appreciate my skills and talents, working on projects that have real value, and doing it at my convenience is wonderful. Being paid for it, and paid very well, makes it a pleasure!!

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  5. Val, yours is the 3rd story I have heard in the past weeks about the providence of God, hoped for and prayed for, yet it never fails to surprise and humble us with its great generosity, going beyond everything we seek.

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    1. And the thing is that for the whole 26 years I prayed that her dreams (and that of her husband) would come true… God made it right in the end. Funny thing is, the experience brought home to me that evil is alive and at work in this world.

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  6. Your tale reminds me of the job I most loved but had to endure the boss I most despised. Do you suppose the horrible bosses of the world know how awful they are and how they fail to bring out the best in their staff?

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    1. No, they are oblivious. As long as they are on a power trip they give no thought to others. Their self-centeredness is total. When things go wrong the staff is conveniently to blame…

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    1. Perseverance is one of my characteristics and has, along with patience, served me well. I’m a survivor and I’ve marched forward leaving the past to crumble to dust (at least that past that included SWMNBN)!

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  7. I’m glad you made it through the tough times at work. I’m sure your children appreciate what you did for them in suffering at the hands of a not-very-nice boss. I only had one bad boss throughout my career and that was only for three years. I could not have taken 26 years of him. Enjoy your new part-time work that I hope is a lot less stressful.

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    1. Thanks Mary. Sparky would roll his eyes and say things like “You are surely exaggerating” or “It can’t be that bad”. Then he got a new boss and his world was turned upside-down. He lasted 9 months and left the job. He became instantly much more sympathetic. Having a boss that was evil incarnate opened his eyes.

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  8. well done you! Your sons are truly blest for skipping that humungous debt burden and now you’ve negotiated your own terms … yea for female power! And I guess you’ve insulted Voldemort 😉

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    1. Hehe! I don’t think moldy Voldy will mind since he’s not flesh and blood! As for SWMNBN, I don’t dwell on her much. I’m happy with the outcome as are they. Life is change and I’ve had lots of it during my working days.

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    1. Yes Gary! Being able to pick and choose makes the job all the more enjoyable! And the fact of not being required to work to maintain a roof over my head or food on the table is a dream come true!

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        1. No David! I’m really glad you have been reminding me. If I felt better I’d be on this. As it is I’m trying to get the energy to make the bed. Once I recover from that expenditure of energy it will be a shower and getting dressed. If I’m lucky I’ll be dressed by dinner time!

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        2. No David! I’m really glad you have been reminding me. If I felt better I’d be on this. As it is I’m trying to get the energy to make the bed. Once I recover from that expenditure of energy it will be a shower and getting dressed. If I’m lucky I’ll be dressed by dinner time!

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