Nothing stays the same, ch. 2

Would there be a year three in NYC? If you had asked me at the beginning of year two - I would have said yes. This just goes to show, you truly never know. When I switched jobs and moved over to HarperCollins I was so happy. I loved my boss. I'm telling you though, there's that saying "We make plans and God laughs." If I've learned anything from the past seven years it's that He's got one weird sense of humor and He's not done with me yet.

After the holidays when all of the promotions and raises were announced, my boss who had been there five years and had been promised a promotion did not receive one. She went in to our department heads and talked to them, it didn't go well. The following Monday she went into their office to give her two-week notice (thank goodness she had told me over IM - ha, remember Instant Messenger - and dinner & drinks all about this so we could prepare over the weekend). Instead of two weeks, she was given five minutes.

Let me tell ya something else people - this hit me hard. Why? Well what I left out from telling you about at Simon & Schuster was that one spring day our department head went into my boss's office and closed the door. They were in there for a very long time. This always made me nervous - I mean the department was only four people; I was lowest on the totem pole. I had no pull. I could be let go at any time. The department head came out and closed the door behind him. Still nervous. My boss came out, didn't look at me, and walked down the hall. He finally came back around the other way and said, "Can I see you please?" Oh my gosh, here we go. I've got the sweats. Then, as I looked at the nicest man who had worked at this company for 15 years, the words "I just wanted you to hear it from me, but I've been let go." What? No! That's not how this is supposed to go. That's not --no. I thought I was in here so you can let me go!

There I sat, just like the sweet and innocent, fresh-out of college face he had been the one to let have her foot in the door - dumbfounded. In that moment, you could still tell I was a soft Georgia peach. There was nothing about the sidewalks of New York that had hardened me. The only question I could muster up was, "Will I see you tomorrow?" Silly, Sydney - what type of dumb question was that! That was the last day I ever saw the man to give me a first chance.

Then there I sat in a HarperCollins office reliving the same moment just nine moths later. Was this a joke? Could this really be happening again? Can't the person who hires me and I actually get along with just stay?

Like I said this happened in January, and remember real-estate is a hot commodity in Manhattan, so it was about this same time that the subject of living arrangements were arising (even though our lease didn't end until August).

With two jobs at well known, prestigious publishing companies I had proved I could conquer  the City. Maybe I had done what I had come to do. I did not go directly into teaching. I came, I found, I walked into these places and sat down for the interviews. I created a life for myself with friends and a gym membership. I went to concerts and the U.S. Open. I went to Mets and Yankees games, and also museums (okay and who am I kidding, of course I ate and shopped). I learned that city like the back of my hand! What I also learned though was that I could have lived there forever and never been able to afford my own apartment. I went to a job where people were clearly disposable. I wanted a job where someone cared if I showed up that day. I wanted to know I was making a difference. While I suppose I could have pursued teaching in New York, economically Atlanta made the best sense. I would be near family. I had also learned during my time there that nothing was more important than family.

me and my dad (with an empty wallet) my last summer in NYC

At the end of my first year in the City, my dad unexpectedly had triple bypass surgery. He was not and is not a large man. He worked (and continues to work) out. As his "little girl" this too hit me hard. I still remember being on a business call the day of his surgery and my cell phone rang - 'Mom.' I stopped the person I was speaking with cold "--I'm so sorry but my father is in the middle of surgery and I have another call coming in that I am going to need to take, is there any way I can call you back?" Hi, Dorothy, not only are we not in Kansas anymore but you are also now a full fledged adult. You say things like, 'My father is in surgery' and 'I'm going to need to take this other call.' It makes you reevaluate things a little bit.

the last birthday I spent in the City - in the blizzard, fitting huh?

So yes, back home to Atlanta I went - with an acceptance into a Master's of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education and to my own apartment!

back in Atlanta

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