Moving Forward

2010! 2009 was such a turbulent year for so many people including myself. Corporate layoffs, I was part of that. Bad investments? Got burned there too. Lawsuits? Got pulled into a messy frivolous lawsuit and won. Having gone through these bad experiences, I must admit, I feel lucky that I didn't have it as bad as most folks so I'm thankful and feeling very blessed.

**Workplace Drama Aside from Being Laid Off**
When I found out that my department was going to close in March, I embraced the news. My workplace was horribly polluted with low morale, gossips, negative employees, and bad management. It was a really unhealthy work environment. Lets see, we had someone pouring hot chili sauce over another worker's keyboard out of spite; someone smeared vinegar all over another worker's desk, which got her really sick because she has severe asthma; and yes, breakdowns and tantrums by grown adults. I mean, shouting matches with things slammed. Last but the least, the vice president came to work 3 out of 5 days and oh, the 3 days that he was in, he only worked half day. 99% of the time that I went to his office, he was either on Yahoo or some other websites. Needless to say, there was absolutely no respect whatsoever for this guy.

I was soooo glad the department closed. The only thing that kept me going was I loved what my job entailed: coaching and training people. I also had good working rapport with some of my peers but the place was just too much.

**Investments Nightmare**
Late in 2007, many people found their investments plummeted in value especially their retirement accounts. People who have been working for over 20 years lost almost everything at my company. One manager's retirement account went from $700,000 to $100,000. The older workers felt their future prospects were bleak and scary specially for those who were informed that they were going to be laid off in a couple of months. I was on the same boat with everyone else. I also made some really bad personal investments in the stock market and lost practically everything. Then of course, the Madoff scandal broke and the world learned how investors in Madoff's company lost millions and some lost their homes to forecloses or people in their
60's going back to work because they lost all of their retirement money. So again, I'm feeling very fortunate that I didn't have to endure this kind of hardship with the lost of my bad investments.

**Frivolous Lawsuit**
I was one of the defendants in a frivolous lawsuit filed by a family friend. Having gone through this lawsuit taught me a valuable lesson: always, always write in the memo field of your check the purpose the check was either written out or deposited. In a nutshell, 5 years ago, a close friend of my parents asked me to get him new cash for Chinese New Year because I worked for a bank. The friend gave me a cashier's check for $5,000. I deposited the check into my account and when the check posted with no problem, I got new cash for the friend. The friend sued me and some other people that he had loaned us money and was never repaid. Luckily because I know the rules and procedures of banks, I was able to obtain copies of transactions to get the most valuable information stamped on the bank records which were the time and date of the transaction. With that information, we were able to subpoenaed the surveillance videotape and showed in court that the plaintiff was with me at the bank. The judge, thank goodness, ruled that the case was indeed frivolous, awarded me with court and legal fees.

You know the saying: Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. I've learned so much from last year's bad experiences. I've grown wiser and more careful with my money. I wish you all a healthy and fulfilled 2010. Cheers!


LifeMelodies said...

Very well said and of course we all can learn a thing or two from others misfortunes. I didn't get laid off but work has been a hellava bad place to be with less workers and more work. Not to mention no raises and crazier work schedules. I wish the best for you in 2010!

Anonymous said...

Here's to a better New Year in 2010! :)

RoseBelle said...

@LifeMelodies - It's definitely wise to learn from other mistakes. Yeah, I've heard horror stories about people that are overworked. Wish you the best 2010 too!

@Mei- Thanks Mei! Same to you too!!

Cheryl said...

Wow, what a year indeed! You are so positive and that is great. You turned vinegar into honey so to speak! I feel badly for older people who lost all their retirement and yes, have to go back to work. Its a sad state of affairs. I feel very fortunate in that my husband has a good job but I am having a difficult time in finding one. But we count our blessings that we have food on the table and our bills are paid. I must say your post had a great message. Happy New Year!

levian said...

that is so true! it is what you do with it that forms your experiences n made you who you are. i love the insights that you share with your experiences. some people can indeed be so sneaky trying to gain from what belongs to others. you have done well! wishing you a happy 2010 n a better year to come! :)

RoseBelle said...

@Cheryl - thank you for the kind words. I feel the same as you too. As long as the bills are paid, food on the table, roof over our heads, and of course, our health, I'm content and happy.

foongpc said...

Wow! That's quite a turbulent year for you! Well, that's in the past. Let's hope for a better 2010! May you have a happy and prosperous new year! : )

RoseBelle said...

@Foongpc - I sure hope 2010 is better too! Last year was quite something and I do not look forward to any repeats either.

Anonymous said...

2009 seems like a bad year for just about everyone. The economy hit rock bottom and people around the world suffered. The good news is the world economy is looking upbeat and better this year. Here's to a better year!

Liz said...

For me too, but I'm thankful that it wasn't as hard as the others. I'm hoping 2010 is a lot better for all of us. :)

RoseBelle said...

@KN - Not one person I know had a great 2009. Everyone's looking for change and a fresher new year.

@Liz - Hope you will have a better 2020 too!

Ryhen Satch said...

My workplace was horribly polluted with low morale, gossips, negative employees, and bad management.

Well, I guess I'm not alone. But I think the reason why this kind of thing happens is really not that hard to figure out. Just imagine all sorts of people with all sorts of personalities getting into jobs that just doesn't provide the euphoric effect they are all expecting. What do we get out of that? No wonder why Theodore Kaczynski, the Unabomber, wanted to dump the whole stinking system and take the consequences. haha.

Yeah, 2009 was really a lousy year, but I'm sure there's something better just waiting around the corner for all of us. As The Crow puts it, "It can't rain all the time."

If you ever need anything, you have a friend right here, Rose. =)

RoseBelle said...

@Ryhen - You're right about the different personalities in the workplace that make it quite difficult to have a harmonious workplace. Every workplace has the same common problems. I haven't heard of one place where everything is lovey dovey. Thanks for your extended support :)