Be Like Rachel

As I sit here, huddled on the couch, trying to lasso one of the many ideas floating around my head at the possibilities, one person keeps circling around my cyclone of thoughts: Rachel.

Rachel is an ex-coworker of mine, who recently left her shitty job to go and do what is comfortable and familiar to her. She has been in the legal field probably more years than I have been on this earth, and yet after 6 months at HOWL she found it unbearable to work there. There were multiple reasons ranging from work over-load which triggered anxiety, to constant criticism and lack of want for understanding on the behalf of her superiors.

One particular incident took the cake. On the morning after her birthday as we all showed up to the break room for our customary treat on someone’s birthday, her boss was on a tirade. Donald Trump has just been announce our President-elect two days prior, and Rachel’s boss (a liberal politician on ice for the time being) was pissed at the recently disclosed statistics referring to the number of American’s who didn’t vote. Rachel was one of those silent Americans on Election Day, but she wasn’t a silent subordinate at her birthday gathering. “I didn’t” was all she had time to say before he unleashed his rage on her for her responsibility in this matter. In front of everyone.

She had that smile on her face. You know, that one you past on with cement glue while you tuck away inside of yourself to stew over what in the actual fuck just happened and debate over your course of reaction. She kept that smile chiseled on for the rest of the day.

While Rachel’s boss went on to business as usual, she was deciding that her next move was… on. She was moving on, because she could get a paycheck anywhere and she didn’t have to suffer public humiliation and verbal abuse to get one. She remembered that she used to be valued.

When Rachel left, she left behind a life lesson for me- a budding professional struggling to get enough years of experience on paper before getting the nerve up to ask for a salary I can LIVE off of and not just make ends meet. She said, “there is a shortage for people like us” and to me that didn’t just mean that there are more jobs than qualified professionals in our field, to me that meant people who know their worth, people who expect to be treated with dignity and like human beings.

Rachel didn’t just laugh last. Rachel preserved her right to live a life where joy was present so that laughter was possibly. She didn’t sell out her personal dignity for a paycheck. Be like Rachel.