February 6th, 2007

Helen smiling in rain

Miserable weather, miserable day

I have to conform to every british stereotype here and complain about the weather.

Today in Zürich it is alternately raining and slushy snowing. The Uetliberg has disappeared in thick cloud. I have just got into work after suffering a 1.5 hour long terminally boring HR meeting, to which I could contribute absolutely NOTHING. I am wet. My cold is starting as is my period. But hey, I have a smiley icon and I have evening drinks planned with my mentor / business friend, so will do my best to CHEER UP!

Hugs to everyone out there suffering with colds or recovering from ops *waves at weeblyone*

Good News?

"I was completely astonished. At first I thought it was a mistake, and like a fool I rang to query it."
Margaret Drabble, Seven Sisters

This homework was prompted by the above quote from the book I'm currently reading, plus a conversation I had this week with a friend. The character from the quote receives a piece of good news which she can't believe is true. Has this happened to you? What was the good news? Why didn't you believe it? What did you do? What happened next?
Your response can be fact or fiction.

I have three stories on this theme. I tend to doubt myself and my abilities and look for external reassurance and confidence. After my finals and before graduating (in 1996, I was just 24) I got a letter from the department telling me that I had won a department prize for "excellent achievement" in my finals. I didn't believe I had won this prize fairly and was still smarting at having missed a first by 2%. I emailed the department secretary to quiz her about whether they actually meant me, or perhaps it was for someone who had only started studying German at University? I wasn't very gracious about accepting it and I'm not very proud of that moment in my life.

And then six months later a similar thing happened. I finally found my first "proper" graduate job. I was to work as a help desk consultant and trainer for a call centre software company. To put things in perspective, all the other arts jobs I had applied for came with a starting salary of about 12K. This techie job offered me 17k. I actually told mr.ncot "I can't take the job! It's too much money! They don't realise that I'm an arts graduate... I don't deserve that salary". Thankfully he argued me round and also taught me the important lesson that we don't judge our worth by the money we earn. We earn what we earn. We value ourselves for the person we are, the choices we make and the actions we do.

The final story comes from a friend of a friend. She got a promotion at work, which came with a pay rise. She told her boss "Don't worry about the payrise." Luckily her boss ignored her.

I'm not arguing that we always need more salary or that money is a motivator. But I do question why we think we don't deserve the good things and the positive changes that come our way. Why are we scared to believe that good things can happen to us? Do we believe we're not worth it?

In the book "Seven Sisters" the narrator gets a £120,000 payout from a long forgotten investment policy. When she finally accepts that the money is hers, she uses it to travel, taking her friends with her. The money helps her to make real, positive changes in her life. Let's grasp and appreciate the good things that happen to us and use these chances to improve ourselves and the people around us!