Today I received a supremely nice compliment. I'd ordinarily keep it to myself but I wanted to document it here for me to find later.
My HR person was incredibly kind, helpful and encouraging to me from the moment Dad died. Today I overheard her saying that she would be out of the office for 2 months. I decided to stop by her office to see if she was ok. Several years ago she suffered a debilitating paralysis from the neck down and has been recovering ever since. She is now able to walk short distances with her walker but she is mostly in a scooter tearing up the halls in the office. She will be fine but her doctor has been wanting her to take some time off to focus on rehabilitation. That's what she'll be doing for the 2 months she will be away.
I was happy to hear she was going to be ok. As I believe I've mentioned before, we are about to go through some major changes at work that will likely involve layoffs. Nobody knows what's going on and we're all just waiting and hoping for the best. I told my HR friend that she had picked a good couple of months to miss since the stress that we were facing would probably not be helpful in her rehab. She agreed and explained that she had made these plans months ago and almost postponed but ultimately decided she had to take care of herself. I was happy to hear this and reminded her that we both know that nobody will take care of us but ourselves. She asked how I was holding up with all of the office drama. I simply said "If I could keep breathing and living after that phone call when I learned Dad had died then I can certainly handle whatever work has in store for me." She immediately threw up her hands to give me a "high ten". We talked a while about how she had absolutely been through worse than any dumb layoff, as had I, and that we'd survive this whole work thing too.
Here comes the nice compliment: She told me that in her 30 years of being in HR she had never seen anyone come through "that kind of tragedy with such flying colors as you have." She continued with "I mean it's not every day somebody's dad falls down a mountain. That was truly tragic. It's like the last thing your Dad did before he left this earth was to take all of his strength and goodness and pour it into you." Ok, that started out really harsh but I think she recovered nicely. I'll take it as a compliment.
We talked a bit more about how she's seen this whole work drama bring out the best and worst in people. From top to bottom she's been surprised by people, both positively and negatively. I'll bet! We're supposed to know our fate after the new year and have it fully integrated by the end of February.
I told her that I in no way wanted to lose my job. I like it and (most) of the people I work with. However, if I did lose my job I would be on an epic road trip the very next day.
So, that's the plan. I'll try not to stress out about that which I have no control over. I'll just keep my head down, do my job and have great weekends. That's the plan and I'm sticking with it.