I was fifty years old, not quite three years sober and had just lost my job. It had taken me a year to find this job and now, after only 15 months, I was out on my ass. It was all my sub-ordinate’s fault. I had yelled at her a couple of times, but if she had been doing her job properly, I wouldn’t have had to criticize her. Afraid she would sue, my employer took the easy way out and asked me to resign. I burned with resentment.
I didn’t sleep for five days. The voices of the demons in my head screamed nonstop about what a loser I was and how I would never work again. The fear was overwhelming. I went to meetings and shared about the job loss, but the voices continued unabated. Finally, an older member suggested that we work through the steps around the job loss issue. At that point I would have done anything to get some relief.
When I arrived at the fourth step, I followed the instructions outlined in our book. I listed those people at the job who had harmed me; what they did; and how their actions affected me. As I completed the fourth column, my part came into view: I was driven by the fear that my subordinates’ mistakes would reflect poorly on me. Not only did I see my own perfectionism, I saw that I expected everyone around me to be perfect too.
I found this sentence in our book that described my management style: “And do not his actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? Is he not, even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?”
Almost immediately after finding my part I was lifted up onto a pink cloud. The universe took over and in less than a month I was on my way to China to a brand-new career, three times the money, and an adventure of a lifetime. I am absolutely convinced there is no way this could have happened with ego running the show.