Sunday, August 10, 2008

The ones who don't matter

I’m always trying to impart the wisdom of time to LittleG in ways that she can hold on to forever. You know, the sticky-note-of-life kind of sayings? The one I’m contemplating this weekend is this….

“The ones who matter will know, and the ones who don’t matter, just don’t matter!”

I say this because I’ve seen in my own life, and I’ve lurked enough on the blogs of others to know that we all get our knickers in a twist at times because people believe one thing about us when clearly what they believe is not right. It’s not fair, and it sucks, but there’s really not a damn thing you can do about it.

Case in point. I left a job in 2000 where I had worked for five years because I had a chance to get a better job making more money and doing better work. At the same time I was leaving, the receptionist who had been there for two decades was also leaving. Becky got a big beautiful write up in the company newsletter, and I got nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing.

It hurt my feelings at the time because I felt like people would think I’d been fired. It was important to me that everyone know that I had made that change by my own volition. I wanted the write up in the newsletter. I wanted to be publicly thanked for my five years of service and wished well as I packed my little box to move on to the next place. Instead, nothing. No email, no parade in my honor, no breakfast with bagels and muffins. Nada.

I bitched and moaned to pretty much anyone who would listen and it finally dawned on me that the people that mattered to me – my friends, family, immediate coworkers and sales reps who knew me from all over the country would know that I had made the decision to leave. They had heard from me where I was going and what I would be doing. The people who mattered to me would know.

And the folks that didn’t matter, well, they just didn’t matter. Who the hell cares if some guy I don’t know in Podunk North Dakota thinks I got fired? Was my service to this particular company going to be tarnished by some random guy who all of a sudden realized I wasn’t there any more? Big whoop if it was. Here’s the beauty of it – his opinion of me just flat doesn’t matter.

I’ve found that this is a good lesson to hold on to. It’s too easy to be concerned that so-and-so at the office looks down on you because you’re not a size zero and all your clothes don’t come from Ann Taylor or what such-and-such salesperson thinks about your numbers in comparison to his. It’s a cinch to get sucked in to what the neighbors think about the state of your yard or the time you spend away from home. The fact of the matter is that the people who matter to you will know your situation, and the folks that don’t matter, well, they just don’t matter.

So don’t get sucked in to what others know or think they know about you. Just do your thing, keep your head up, and never let the haters get you down. Because, frankly, the haters just don’t matter.


Clarissa said...

It's amazing how we are raised one way realizing later in life that all that matters is family, friends and anyone else we deem so in our hearts. It is a wonderful lesson to teach her one she will fall back on time and time ago all the way through life! I am going to pass this one on to Emily and Kate.

Chad and Mary Kate Martin said...

You may have to remind me of that -- especially since I work in an office of size 0s and Neiman Marchus clothes.