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Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Micromanaging and It’s Effect on Mental Health

I read an article the other day where a woman was seeking advice because she felt her husband did not do anything right when parenting their child. Here is a link if you want to read that first, which I strongly suggest:

https://slate.com/human-interest/2021/01/husband-is-incompetent-father-care-and-feeding.html

Twelve years ago I probably would have related more to her, but these days I related more to the advice columnist, who basically replied telling her she was micromanaging her husband and causing him to lose interest in parenting. Micromanaging your spouse can destroy a marriage and it can destroy that spouse’s relationship with their own child. I was not intentionally doing it of course. It was a symptom of my postpartum depression and my OCD becoming worse postpartum, but some people never overcome this and do it their entire life. I had a boss who micromanaged me and all my coworkers once, and it took a toll on our mental health and majorly affected our lives. It also changed a job I loved, and a company I was devoted to and would have retired with, to a company that disappointed me and broke my heart.

I was at a job I loved most days for years. I was my boss’s right hand man, I got raises and even thought about getting back into management again when my boss decided to leave and my daughter was older. Turns out my boss left, after over 20 years I might add, because she had a new boss who was micromanaging her. After she left, he replaced her with another micromanager, but did promote me and another person to assist them. I stayed for another year and a half. Most others have since either been fired, or eventually left like me. Even the ones who were star employees before were no longer good enough. The thing is though, we are all human and make mistakes daily. If any boss followed their best employee around all day and looked for mistakes, they will find them, as would their boss in them. Once this is done though, it can affect your confidence and of course make you nervous. The next thing you know, you go from making the every day common mistakes everyone makes sometimes because you are human, to making more and more and bigger mistakes because you are a nervous wreck. The micromanager then uses this against you to make you look like you were always this bad, the old boss just was not managing correctly.

Before we knew it, they had HR and upper management believing we were all the problem and not them. No one else would speak up with me, in fear of losing their job. This is how worthless we all felt by this point, that the company would get rid of an entire department, even people who had been great employees for years and would have retired with the company, before they got rid of this person. I on the other hand, could no longer take the toll on my mental health or take the injustice. I got another job, worked out a notice and left on good terms. A party was thrown for me, people gave me gifts and money and food. It felt crazy I was even leaving, or felt I had to. I told them everything I thought, as professionally as I could in an exit interview. I even told them I did not want the person fired, they were good at the other parts of their job, just not at supervising people. I also told them that one coworker I knew, who had never even had Anxiety or panic attacks before, had two caused by this boss, and I, as someone on medication for OCD and the Anxiety it causes, had no longer suffered attacks in a long time since being put on medication, but started having them again.

I loved this job before, and most of the people there loved me and had the same opinion of this boss as I did. I even reflected for that year and half trying to determine if there was anything I could do to change or make the situation better, until I realized it was not me. Everyone saw this at the time, except those that had the power to stop it. By the time they finally did, people’s lives, careers and mental health were already hurt. I had told them most of it before, they just did not listen because they wanted hard evidence, and I was not sitting around documenting everything instead of doing my job like that boss was. Some others were, but it did them no good either. As a former HR director myself, it was hard to lose confidence in HR. I tell this story as much as I can because I have been shocked at the people who have been through the same.

I was told that after I left, my old boss’s boss quit before they were fired or laid off, but my old boss is still there. They are no longer a supervisor though, because once even all the people they hired had the same experience as us, they finally believed us, once most of us were all gone and once our mental health, careers and lives were already majorly affected. Some other good people in the company were laid off after I left , so maybe I got out at the right time. The company was not as good as I thought and disappointed me. Luckily most of my bosses have been great, although I did Nanny for a couple for a short time who micromanaged their kids this way, so I felt kind of micromanaged as well, or required to micromanage them myself one, and both made me uncomfortable. I have also had coworkers at times, some even Leads or ahead of you seniority wise, maybe even training you, who micromanage, and that is hard as well. They see you struggling with something and do not jump in to help unless you ask, and sometimes even then, do not. However, they see you make a minor mistake and call it out from across the room. They never make any, and even have time to check everything you are doing while they do everything perfectly.

In so many of these cases, these people do have the best of intentions. They think they are helping, they are perfectionists. Because of this perfectionism, they are also often very good at certain parts of their job. However, this leads to them being very critical of anyone who even does it the least bit different, even if or when their way might be better, or when it might be okay for someone else to do the same thing differently. I say all of this as someone who has battled perfectionism my entire life, but I do not want to be them, but I also do not expect to change them. That is part of overcoming my own perfectionism. I cannot change them. I can only change me, my reaction, or my situation, as hard as that is sometimes, So I write this, not hoping to change them or those like them, but more so for people that are affected by them, like me, so they know they are not alone, but also for the ones that may find they are like that, as I once was, and do want to change. I also write this for those around who can change things for the person being micromanaged, like the ones who did not believe us all, and the ones who would not stand up with me and risk a job they eventually lost anyways.

As someone who has been a lead and manager, if you see someone struggling, a coworker or someone who works for you, or someone you work for, or your spouse, or your child, help them without them even having to ask, or if you do not see them and they ask, try to help them. Lead by example, by practicing, not preaching, and give them a little room in error. I work in childcare now, so of course if I saw a situation where I truly believed a child was in true danger, I would speak up to someone about what they were doing, whether it was intentional or not. However, I have often found these people often seem more concerned about things that are not life or death, while ignoring others that are or could be. Also, like with kids, when parents get onto you for everything, you eventually drown them out, or just do not care anymore because you seem darned if you do, or darned if you don’t, as is often said. For instance, with that old boss, if you did not take initiative you should have, but if you did take it you should have asked permission first. Life is not a Disney movie. Sometimes the bad guy just seems to win in real life, and it just hurts. I am almost 40, and tired, and I am ready for it just once to easily work out for me, as it seems to for them, but while actually doing the right thing. I guess I just wanted any of you reading this and feeling the same, to know you are not alone.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

When Even Home is Not a Safe Space

I was recently in a situation where I was a Nanny in an abusive home. Of course, I did not realize this right away. What is weird is when I try to google this happening to others, mainly stories about abusive nannies or babysitters come up, but I feel this should be talked about more (even if the names and certain details are kept confidential), because it was a horrifying experience. Of course it is always easier to go back and look in retrospect at what you could have or should have done, and if you have anxiety, that is all you do after being in a situation like this. Even on medication, it is hard for me to let stuff like this go and not forever bother me, but I am trying, and writing this blog is one way I am trying to do that. I even asked my husband, is this my fault, like sometimes you start to feel you put yourself in bad situations and could have prevented them, and in retrospect, there is a little truth to this, but it is also sort of like victim blaming, but you are the victim.

You are still a victim and you still did not deserve this, just like a girl does not deserve to be raped if she wore a certain outfit, or got drunk at a party, or was in a bad part of town, but I also would not blame her for being scared of doing these things after it happened. I used to not understand why some people seemed so guarded and closed off to you. You try to be friends with them and they get weirded out at how immediately nice you are to them. Now, I get it. They probably have experienced what I recently did with this family and with others before this, so many times that they just could not put themselves through it anymore. I will say in 21 years of working I have had mostly great coworkers and bosses, but the ones that were bad, were so bad it affected my mental health, and no job is worth that. My husband says I just give people the benefit of the doubt and want to believe the best in them, and work with them beyond what they might deserve.

With this family, I tried to make personal bonds. I really cared about the children and wanted to have a close relationship with them and the parents, but the parents made it clear pretty quickly that I would never be more than the help and was treated as so. Not that I had never kept children for well off people before, but this time eventually turned into an absolute nightmare. I once babysat for an old boss years ago. She lived in a very nice house and neighborhood, but we were friends and she trusted me so much that I kept her kids often. I once even spent the night at her house while she was in the hospital, picked up her children from preschool and school and dropped them back off. She had two year old twins and a 6 year old. I didn’t even have a child yet at this time and she even paid me well for it. I live in a house just as nice or nicer than the people I recently nannied for, but they lived in an area where prices were so much higher that their home was probably worth 3 or 4 times more.

These people look like they have the perfect life on Facebook and are probably very respected in the community, but I soon learned their true home life was a nightmare. I only kept the job as long as I did because it paid well and I had lost my previous one due to COVID-19. There were red flags early on. Even the person who referred me to the job did not want to keep the kids anymore because they were difficult, and only did it for a short time because it paid well, but she was a college student and I was a 38 year old mother, I could surely handle this. I love a good challenge and I wanted to help the kids and quickly got attached despite the hard parts. I thought I could make a difference in their lives if even for a short time. We had a lot of fun together at times, but these kids often lied, did not listen, hit each other, hit, kicked and punched me, yelled at me, would hide my phone and purposely steal my stuff and hide it because they thought it was funny. They were older kids, who probably could have even stayed on their own if they had not acted like this, but instead if you did not watch them every second like a toddler or baby, they were into something.

Their punishment was so inconsistent it confused me, so you can imagine how much it confused the children. I think more than anything it was based on the parents’ mood. If they felt bad at the moment for the times they thought they were too hard on their child, they would be easier other times, but then when that resulted in more bad behavior they would eventually lose their cool again. I believe both of the children had some mental health issues, I was not told this initially but this was often used later as a general explanation or excuse by the parents for any behavior, although I was never given the details of what exactly was wrong so I could be prepared or properly handle it, or even be aware of it at first. What the kids were allowed to do and eat was pretty strictly scheduled. I was even told to keep electronics from them until they had certain chores, schoolwork etc. done but once when I did this, one of them just spent 4 hours looking for where I hid them, and repeatedly harassed me and got nothing done in those 4 hours. The kids told me the parents were already considering military school for one of them, because when a lot of strict discipline doesn’t work, the go to is ironically, becoming even stricter.

One parent was always there working from home and constantly micromanaging, but also constantly changing moods. One minute he was telling me to watch out for his daughter being manipulative at times, but then did not understand why I was frustrated when I thought she hid my stuff my last day, and then she repeatedly ignored me when I asked her about it. I could not just get it the next day as I always had because she had done this regularly before. I know when these children went to school, their teachers handle them more the way I would have liked to, because otherwise they would never make it through a day of school without the parents being called. The frustration of not being able to handle it in any way that worked, was bringing out a frustration in me I had not felt since my daughter was very young. It took time to figure out how to best discipline her and what worked best for both of us and was not easy at all at first. In this case though I knew what to do, but I could not do it, I could only tell the parents and their usual reaction, as I said before, was either to do nothing or to go the other extreme by yelling, or in one case, even abuse, while I was there. The kids said things that concerned me at times about possible abuse in the home. Once I had been at this home for two or three months, I am pretty sure I heard one parent throw one of the children into a door while they screamed, “I am sorry” repeatedly, while the other child and I ran upstairs scared with my heart about to beat through my chest. The child eventually came out limping and bleeding. The kids seemed to hint once the other parent found out this happened “again” they would be upset about it. I ended up telling the other parent and leaving the job. I am not sure if I would ever feel comfortable in someone else’s home like that again. I normally keep kids in a preschool controlled environment.

I have never felt so relieved that my home feels so much safer than that one for me and for my child, my spouse and our dogs. One of our dogs gets scared and hides under the bed if we ever even slightly raise our voices because of past abuse she both experienced and witnessed in a former home. It is so sad that so many children do not have a safe space anywhere, not even in their own home. I even feel bad for the parents though because who wants to live in that constant stress, and they probably are just mimicking what they grew up with. I think one of the parents is even a therapist. I know none of us are perfect, sometimes parents yell, sometimes they lose their temper. When I was going through the worst of my postpartum depression, a lot of yelling was going on, and our home was not a safe space for any of us. If yelling and/or hitting is a regular thing in your home, break the generational curse and please get help for the sake of your kids, future generations, yourself, your pets, and even your babysitters. Here is one good source I have found for those looking to parent without the constant anger and losing their cool and who want to enjoy parenting more. This one is aimed at mothers but currently, due to COVID, I think everything is online right now anyways through zoom, podcasts, etc. Even when in person they probably allow men, or could supply some other good resources for fathers as well I am sure.  Help for postpartum depression, anxiety and rage | Happy as a Mother

 

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

I Lost The Job I Love to COVID-19

Before reading this blog, you might want to read my 4 part blog about my career before losing this job here…

This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 1 of 4

This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 2 of 4

This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 3 of 4

This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 4 of 4 – Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine

I recently wrote a blog about us not all being in the same boat when it comes to COVID-19 and how that compares to women postpartum, which may be why some go through postpartum mood disorders and some do not. I wrote about being one of the lucky ones. Well, maybe I cursed myself because right after that I found out my work would not be reopening. I still consider myself one of the lucky ones. I am still babysitting for essential employees, they have a pool, my husband is still working and I am about to republish my book and am blogging. Once my babysitting job ends, I have many other options to consider. I still do not know of anyone close to me dying or even getting really sick. I am still walking the dogs and am now even able to get their nails trimmed and my hair cut again, and I can get massages again!

I had to miss watching my niece graduating from my old high school in person because only 4 could attend, but I got to watch it on TV and part of me even thought can we keep doing it this way forever, as I watched comfortably from my bed in my pajamas. I also recently wrote some blogs about my career not going as expected so of course that continues to be the case. I have no idea what I am gonna do next. Of course I am hoping my book and blogs take off and/or my husband gets promoted in the near future, but if not, I must decide if I want to find another preschool teacher job, maybe even stay a Nanny, maybe even for one of my former students, go back to the corporate world maybe even in HR or payroll again, or do something completely different. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. Since I have OCD and Anxiety of course it is scary, but over the years it has kind of become so normal I have had to learn to manage through it.

Most people do not stay at jobs for long anymore. I often wish I had lived when people kept the same job forever and companies took care of you even through retirement. It is so hard to change jobs, even when it is for a better one. It is hard to start over learning everything again, it is hard to make new friends again and it is hard to leave your old ones, it is hard to hope you get a good boss and management and a company that really cares about you. The place that is closing is a church daycare. Many are hurt by their decision to close. Some say they are a business that needs to make money, but there is also frustration because they are a church, not a business and they don’t pay taxes for that reason. Yet when it comes down to it, they layoff people if they do not make enough money. Not only are they not required to pay unemployment, they are not allowed to in the state I live in.  If it were not for the exceptions passed by Congress due to COVID-19, no one would even qualify.

Although the reason for not reopening seems to be that the unpredictability of when and how to reopen and new stringent requirements(which are already pretty stringent), the daycare had a waiting list of 100 people and was one of the best around, but despite that it often seemed to be hinted that a yearly consignment sale helped to pay our salaries, and we were strongly encouraged to volunteer to work at it for free, so I guess the money parents paid each month was not enough? The church did pay workers more than most of them around here, in addition to a huge childcare discount, which was amazing, and they are still paying us for another month even after we just found out we are closing. The parents of most of the kids were amazing and often gave the teachers gifts and you always felt appreciated by most of them and most of the church staff. The people who made this decision were not people I knew well or worked closely with.  My bosses and coworkers were all amazing and I will miss them and my work babies so very much.

Those of us who all loved this job, are left with so many questions. Even working for a church, I found my HR background have me questioning the morality and legality of many of their practices. I felt there was no fighting it though because if someone did, they probably would have just closed like they are now. I personally did not need benefits and paid time off. I currently have them through my husband, but many did need them but could not get them. Many struggled to even pay for lunch each day and I personally helped as many as I could. One thing I have really been shocked about over my career, is how little most people at the top care about employees or really even customers for that matter. It always seems to come down to money, even in a church where I thought my job was mainly a ministry to win young people to the church and to give people in the community a job and to give parents in the community great childcare. I just hope after how many have lost their jobs and many even their insurance permanently or temporarily during this pandemic, that some things will change in our country.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

You Are Only Supposed to Put One Space Between Sentences Now?

So my cousin, who is a little older than me, posted a meme on Facebook the other day about her surprise at learning it is now expected that you leave only one space between sentences not two. Wait, what? I am currently writing a book and have a blog and this was news to me. You might notice this is the first blog I used one space instead of two and boy let me tell you, what a hard habit to break. I started learning on a typewriter and two is just what I was taught. I was also taught to sneeze in my hand though and we have to in our arm now. Occasionally, I will accidentally sneeze in my hand and my child gets onto me.

I have also been nannying recently and helping a 2nd grader and 5th grader with their school work due to my work closing and them e-learning from home due to COVID-19. I also occasionally help my 6th grader, but she is pretty independent. Recently, while relearning 5th grade language arts, I realized some more edits that needed to be made to my book. I am not sure if it was me not remembering the rules, the rules changing since I was in 5th grade or a combination of the two, but I kind of felt like I needed to repeat every grade like Billy Madison. I especially feel like this when I do not know the answer to one of the 2nd grade questions. I would feel worse, but the dad was trying to help the 2nd grader when I showed up one morning, and they had already gotten one or two answers wrong on something as well.

So many things have changed over the years. For one, kids are learning things earlier than we did. I feel like the math my daughter did in elementary school was algebra.  This was not even in her gifted class, just regular math. Pluto is no longer a planet and there is an extra ocean that did not exist when we were kids. Do not even get me started on common core math. Thank goodness my daughter just gets it, because I know parents whose kids don’t, and they cannot help them with it because we did not learn it that way. My daughter’s teacher did give the parents some homework once at an open house in 4th grade, and it helped me to finally understand common core. They still learn the way we do, they just learn many others ways as well.

This all being said, if you ever notice errors in my writing, please feel free to private message me and let me know. I stare at it so much, sometimes I miss even the most common errors. Other times, I apparently did not know the rules have changed, so don’t feel bad if you did not know either. I actually had a friend help me make a correction the other day to a blog, when he got stuck on one sentence for a bit due to a comma error.  Have you ever read a best selling book and noticed a common spelling or grammar error? I have more than once and now I realize how that happens. I am currently having my book professionally edited before republishing, but if you catch something, even the professional did not catch once it is out, please let me know. You will not hurt my feelings. Apparently, we are all still learning new things every day.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 4 of 4

If you have not read This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Parts 1, 2 and 3 of 4, you can read these below first:

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/01/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-1/

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/02/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-2/

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/05/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-3-of-4

About six and a half years ago, I started a payroll job in the corporate office of a temp company. Minus one employee that management let yell at people for some reason, it was a dream job for about 4 and a half years. While it was a nice break from management, I soon found myself helping my boss a lot, who was new to management. I also found employees coming to me for help and questions, and before long, I was training a lot of the new staff. It turns out that even without the title, I was a natural leader I guess. I don’t say this to brag, because sometimes it can feel like a burden.

My boss and I had a great relationship and once we got close, she always made me feel appreciated and needed. She eventually retired after 4 and a half years, and people around me were encouraging me to apply for her position. Was I ready for management again? I thought it would be different this time. I would get to go home at 4 or 5pm most days.  I loved the company by this time and had hoped to retire with them. Before I applied for her position, I found out it was not being filled. The company was instead hiring a new Controller that would become our boss. However, they were promoting me and another employee both to Leads.

I was still happy. I thought, wow, the best of both worlds. I would not have all of the responsibility of management but some of the perks, including more pay, and maybe the opportunity for Payroll Supervisor or something else would come up one day. Even though this was actually a step down from where I had been before, I was excited and positive about it. Apparently I was too excited and positive about it, and some others I worked with seemed to show jealousy.  It was a rough for a little bit, but that all eventually passed.

It was not long before I realized that none of us were a fan of our new boss’s management style. We would soon grow to not to be a fan of her boss’s style either. Her boss had not been there long before her. This was weird, because we did not have a CFO, but his position was probably the closest to that position, and if you have read the previous blogs, you know my history with CFO’s and Controllers. I soon stepped down from Lead, because I could not work that closely with my new boss. She was a micromanager, and I found myself having less control as a lead under her,  as I did under my old boss as a regular coordinator.

For a while, a weight was lifted. I could easily handle my job now. I did not even get my pay cut, because they had never finished giving us the full raise promised anyways. For a while things were good, but every once in a while my new boss would start nitpicking things I did again. She would take turns doing this with everyone, and would come back to you eventually. She would write people up and fire them for things she did on a regular basis, including typos in emails and attaching the wrong thing to an email occasionally. Her instructions were never clear, so you always felt like you would get in trouble, no matter what you did. Being a former HR person, of course I tried to talk to HR and management, and so did others, but we soon learned no help would come from either. It really hurt and puzzled me. I once again had my heart broken by a company.

I really tried with the new boss for a year and half, before I finally quit. I gave my proper notice, and had another amazing send off with food, cards and gifts. My branches and most of my coworkers loved me and I loved them, and they did not want me to leave. I did not even want my boss to leave, I just did not want her over our department anymore, and neither did most others in the company. She was great at Accounting, just not at payroll or supervising people. I kind of felt like I was abandoning everyone else, but over the years, I finally learned to put myself and my family before any company. By the time I did quit, I was so burnt out, I needed a break from the corporate world altogether. I wanted to enjoy coming to work again, without all of the politics and games. I wanted to take care of pets, or children, or work in Senior Living again.

Thanks to my sister, I got a great job as a preschool teacher almost 6 months ago. My sister knew the Assistant Director and knew she was looking for people. Some people thought I was crazy for wanting to do it at first. At times, I questioned whether it was crazy, and at first, I figured I would just do it for a little while until I found something else.  Not long after starting, I fell in the love with the job, with the kids, and with my coworkers. I realized I wanted to do this for a while.  Now that I am in a more active job and not a desk job, I have lost 23 pounds so far, and am still losing. Unfortunately, we are now temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but the church I work for is still taking great care of us, along with the government, and my husband is still able to work.

Since taking the preschool job and especially since the temporary closing, I have more time to blog and work on things related to my book.  Hopefully it will be ready for republishing by the end of the month. Of course, I would love to make enough money doing that and only that one day, but if that never happens, it will nice to at least do it on the side- to help some people, to donate some of the profits to charity, and maybe even make some extra money doing something I love, while also fulfilling a childhood dream. I hope you will continue to follow my adventures. Thanks for your interest and support! I have added a blog below about the church job I loved closing due to COVID, so there will probably be more following that one, as my job search began, yet again, sigh…..

 

I Lost The Job I Love to COVID-19 – Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine

 

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 3 of 4

If you have not read This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Parts 1 or 2 of 4 you can read here:

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/01/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-1/

and here:

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/02/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-2/

So here I was laid off. I was also the breadwinner at the time. My husband and I have kind of taken turns during our marriage being the breadwinner. To update you on the career my husband did not order, when I first graduated college, my husband was still in school. He only attended Auburn for one year. He would go on to attend Southern Union, Jefferson State and Montevallo as well. He joked he was going to cover every college in the state. One day, he even got an Associate’s Degree in the mail from Jeff State, he did not even realize he had earned while trying to get his Bachelor’s.

He first worked at Sonic, then he worked for a company that refilled propane tanks, and after that he worked with my mom at Merita bread. After Merita, he got a job at Papa John’s as a delivery driver. Before long, he was promoted to Assistant Manager. He was eventually promoted to Manager and again to a Mentor Manager who trains other managers. He was really good at turning around stores that were not doing well. Papa John’s had unexpectedly turned into a career for him. He never finished school.

After about 10 years at Papa John’s, he would leave for an Assistant Manager position at Longhorn Steakhouse. The job offered more money, more work life balance, and more grown opportunity.  He would soon be a regular on local news cooking segments.  He has been with them for years now and is hoping to soon become a Managing Partner. I believe he is still 18 hours shy of a Bachelor’s degree. He may eventually get it, even though he would not need it to be a Managing Partner, or even to eventually be a position above that.

When I was laid off, I cashed out my 401k. You are always warned not to do this, but it really helped us until I found a new job. We never got behind on house payments or anything else. I was still only 26 and had plenty of time to save for retirement.  I had been so excited to start a 401k at only 21, but I still was because boy had it saved us during this time. I was laid off in January and had tons of interviews, but many of those positions never ended up getting filled. I finally got a temp job in April I was hoping would become permanent, but it only lasted until May. Every person who worked for the company was hired as temp at first. I should have seen this as red flag. I hope to never have to go through a temp company ever again.

There were many other red flags. One person who was not a temp and had worked there for a while, constantly talked about miserable they were there. The CFO would constantly say I did not send her an email she had told me to send, so I would apologize and then go forward the email to her again, the original one she said I had not sent. That kind of put me in a lose lose situation, and I never got an apology once I sent the original email again.  At this point, I am really becoming weary of CFO’s. I continued to look for other jobs. Not long after I found out the temp job would not become permanent, I was offered a Human Resources position at a new retirement community. The community was not opening up for months and my position would not begin until the following month in June.

Since the community was still being built, I would work at corporate office of the company that owned the community. I was only the 6th employee, and would help hire all future employees. This would eventually be well over 100 people once the community was full. My position was originally supposed to be more of an administrative position.  However, my employer soon saw the need to make it a Director position, based on that need and my experience. My pay was still a good bit less than I was making before and closer to administrative pay then Director’s pay, but after all I had been though, I was just glad to have a job.

I would have this job for over four years. A lot of this time, I was going through severe postpartum depression. My OCD and anxiety were worse than ever. I am still not sure how much was from the job, or how much was my job being affected by what I was going through and the way it affected my marriage. When I first started the job, my daughter was less than a year old. All of the other directors either were not married, had no children, or their children were grown. I learned so much in the position and formed some great relationships with other staff and residents, and I was proud of some of my accomplishments.

However, I also had to handle or assist with firing people, lawsuits, and many other stressful things. I often worked long hours. It felt like I could not start my job until 5pm, because we were constantly interrupted by employees and residents. I sometimes worked until 1am. I eventually asked for and got a very good raise, but once I got it, I realized I could make two or three times as much as I currently did, and it still would not be worth this.

It was one of the hardest decisions of my life to leave that job  I loved so many things about it.  When I left everyone took me out to eat, gave me gifts and a card, and were just amazing. When I left, I found out through others that they eventually replaced me with two people. This kind of hurt me, because if I had just been given a second person to give half of my work to all along, it seems I could have stayed. This was partially my own fault though. If I had just left at 5pm with the work undone, maybe I could have gotten that assistant sooner. My boss did not force us to stay late, and often even left early to encourage us to. I think I was afraid if I did not get my work done though, that I would risk losing my job. Being laid off from my first job out of college, made me always scared of not being an asset to the company.

I would soon learn how important work life balance was. I left for a job where I would make less overall, but probably more hourly, since I had been salaried before and often working around 80 hours. I would also  have less stress, work half the hours, and would be mainly doing payroll. I needed a break from management. I had been a manager since I was 25, and I was now almost 32 and already burnt out. I would go from an office to a cubicle again. That last office didn’t have a window anyways. I would stay at the next job for the longest time yet, one month shy of 6 years. Find out about that experience, and everything in the months since I left in my next and last blog of this series, This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 4 of 4 below:

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/06/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-4-of-4/

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor

This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 2 of 4

If you have not read This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 1 of 4 and want to read it first, you can find it here:

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/01/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-1/

Right before graduating from Auburn, I was offered an Inside Sales position at a phone company. I was so shy as a child, I would have never seen myself in any kind of sales, but I was pretty good at it. It was honestly probably the easiest sales you could do.  There was no cold calling, just people calling you who either knew someone who had it and were referred, or got an ad in the mail. Of course, the ones who got the ads were sometimes suspicious and rude and ugly to you, but most were not. I had the phone service myself and thought it was great and much cheaper than the alternatives, but of course some thought I was just saying that to sell it to them. Some would curse you out for the part of the ad that mentioned $10 to $13 being added to your bill for taxes, even though these were added by the government to every home phone bill. There was a least a time or two I cried.

When I first started with the company, they were growing so fast that they were about to move buildings. I was told about this temporary situation when interviewing. One of my interviews took place at Waffle House by the way. So here I am, in a suit, interviewing for a corporate position in a Waffle House. I think the Sales manager just wanted me to be more relaxed so she could see me be more myself, but it was a little awkward. You are taught all of these interview do’s and don’ts and none of them involve the Waffle House, but I got the job. When I first started, we were at tables, 3 people in one room. So when we did move soon, having a big roomy private cubicle felt luxurious. I was often one of the top sales people and most of the time enjoyed what I did, but I did not want to work in a call center long term. The company also occasionally had layoffs, and Sales was one of the departments hit by them.

While in Sales, I won awards and I was selected to put up inspirational quotes for the department every day. I loved the company I worked for and I thought it loved me back as a naïve 21 year old. I thought the company cared about my ideas, so I would send some to the Executive directly over my department, who was also over Marketing.  I think I also let him know of my desire to eventually move to Marketing. My whole department would eventually learn he was not the nicest guy. He forced us to do a line at the beginning of our call that was so generic, our callers laughed at us, because they knew we were forced to say it, and they thought it was just as ridiculous as we did.   When some of us did send him ideas, not only did he not reply to them or use any of them, but our boss would eventually ask us on his behalf to stop, so I did.  Luckily, that man eventually left the company and was replaced by another I became friends with.  He really cared about the staff and our ideas.

The opportunity to move to the Marketing department never came. I only recall one person ever moving to Marketing from Sales. I was told by others it because they were having an affair with the CEO. I did not know if it was true or not, but that was definitely not how I was going to get into Marketing. Some other internal positions did eventually get posted. I applied for two or three I believe before I finally got one. I had been in Sales a year and a half and an HR position opened up. It involved some of the things I thought I might do and enjoy in Marketing anyways, like doing the company newsletter and planning fun activities for staff. I got the job and it turned out I even enjoyed the other parts of the job, like payroll and orienting new staff, etc. I liked that the job had so many different parts to it, and there was never a dull moment.

I was still in a cubicle when I first moved into HR, even though the person in the position before me had an office, that was now empty. I understood I had to work my way up to an office, no big deal, but one day my chair broke. Instead of asking for the company to waste money buying a new one for me, I pulled the old chair out of the empty office and started using it. I had asked my boss and she said it was fine. I did not even notice at first, but it was a bigger, nicer chair than my old one. Apparently certain people have nicer chairs. The CFO came by one day looking for my boss and she was not there. He made a snide comment about me using the nice chair, like I shouldn’t be or did not have the right to. It caught me so off guard that I don’t think I even worked up the nerve to explain to him, I was just trying to save the company money. I had a great boss at the time that became a mentor. I also liked her boss, our company attorney and both of them seemed to like me.

However, at some point, they changed it to where the CFO became my boss’s boss. Yes, that same one that was bothered by me using a chair too nice for me. Boy, was that moment a preview of our future working relationship. My boss would eventually leave and talked the CFO into letting me do her job, in addition to mine. It seems crazy, but I took 2k more a year to do my job, and to take on the job of someone who made a whole lot more than me. However, the company was laying off some, so I saw it as an opportunity to hopefully become even more of an asset to the company, doing more than one job, and to build my resume of course and get the experience. I figured once I proved myself they would pay me more. They eventually did pay me more, but I still made less than anyone else in that position before had made for doing just the one job, not both, even one that had no experience like me. I did not expect to make what those much more experienced had made, even doing both jobs. I did finally get an office though, and this one even had a huge window!

So now, that CFO was now my boss. I was not used to having a boss I did not see everyday. I am pretty sure had no idea what I did every day and he gave me no guidance. One day I left early, because I found at that my real father had passed away, and I had not seen him in 3 years. Of course I told my Receptionist and others, but did not tell my boss. We hardly ever spoke, he was a busy man, I was so upset it honestly did not even cross my mind. Of course, he brought this up the next day, and here I am dealing with my father’s death, and pregnant now by the way, apologizing to my boss. I tried so hard to get on his good side and things like this just did not help.

While my old boss had mentored me a lot and I had taken the test to get my professional in Human Resources certificate, and eventually planned to get my Senior one once I had more experience, I had never fired anyone before. I had never handled a sexual harassment case before, but these things were thrown right to me and with the knowledge I now have, I know I totally mishandled them then, but I did my best with the knowledge I had at the time. I delegated a lot to my Receptionist because she was asking for more to do, and she was eventually promoted to Executive Assistant for that reason.  So, I got a new Receptionist. I hoped I could eventually get that one promoted to, but she would eventually be laid off a month before I was. Here I was, 25 running a department, I was in over my head. I was lucky that I had been with the company 5 years by the time I had a baby at 26, and could take my entire 12 weeks of leave and even have a lot of it paid, thanks to time off accrued and short term disability the company paid for.

Before I went out on leave I did as much as I could, so the person filling in for me would not have too much. I also saved as much as I could until my return. Many people within the company wanted a shot at doing my job while I was out, and I wanted to give one of them a chance. The CFO thought this was a horrible idea, and basically made me feel like I should not even have my job for suggesting it. The person I had in mind was someone I worked with before and trusted. I realized they would have access to pay information, etc. He instead wanted the Controller to fill in for me while still doing their own job. So this person was doing what now used to be 3 jobs. I trained them well before I left and left a booklet for them with instructions. This would later cause the company to no longer need me.

People told me that while I was on maternity leave, and after I  eventually got laid off from the company, that things they needed done were never done, that my replacement was horrible. I did such a good job of training my replacement and writing instructions on how to do my job, at a time when the company was looking for people to get rid of, and my new boss was never a big fan of mine to begin with and vice versa. The company could not lay me off while pregnant, so I came back to work. There was another mass layoff not long after I returned. I even survived it. It turns out, I survived it so I could handle all of the terminations, including unemployment claims and severance packages, etc. Once I was done with all of that, I was laid off by myself about a month later.

I would have been more upset if they had not offered me the same severance and unemployment, etc. I had been with the company almost 6 years so they were pretty good to me considering, but I still felt used and it hurt. When telling me about the layoff, my boss was very nice and even admitted he had not been a good boss to me. He let me come back whenever I wanted to clean out my office, he said he trusted me, that felt good. I was so young and naive and thought I actually meant something to the company.  There were people at the company I meant something to, but you never mean anything to the company itself. I have learned over time, it is not the company, but your boss and coworkers that make the biggest impact on whether you enjoy your job or not and feel appreciated, etc. I would eventually stop having blind loyalty to an employer, because if your boss changes, your entire job sometimes changes. Sometimes for the better, but sometimes for the worst.

Before being laid off, I had been looking for another job due to the company layoffs, and had even been offered a job recently I had turned down, because it was a little less money and I might have to work some Saturdays. I was also having a hard time voluntarily leaving my first job out of college. I saw myself moving up and retiring with the company, but that does not happen for hardly anyone anymore like it used to. So here I am, laid off. So, what happens next? Find out in This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 3 below…

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/05/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-3-of-4/

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

This Isn’t the Career I Ordered Part 1 of 4

I hope to write another entire book on this subject one day, but I am starting with this blog, which is based on the little bit I do talk about it in my first book, as it relates to my mental health. I am quarantined right now, like most people, thanks to the COVID-19 virus. I figured I would use that time to finally write some blogs I have been wanting to write, in order to give all who are interested something to read. I would also like to encourage others to do the same. Maybe even turn it into a book one day. We all have a story to tell!

For the later part of my childhood, I remember for the longest time wanting to be a Vet.  There were many other future careers I pondered in my youth, including ice cream woman, and including owning my own scrapbook store, but being a vet was the main one I pursued seriously for a while. I worked a a vet my senior year of high school and loved it. I planned to go to Mississippi State or Auburn, since both had such great vet schools. The only reason I considered Mississippi State is my then boyfriend, now husband, was from Mississippi and wanted to go back at the time. We both tried repeatedly, but failed to get our ACT scores up that one more point we needed to have out of state tuition be the same price as in state. So, we both went to Auburn.

Before even getting accepted, I changed my mind about vet school and got into Business school instead.  There were many reasons for this. One was while working at the vet, I saw the vet worked a lot. I also did not know if I could put animals to sleep or even perform surgery on them. I even cleaned the surgery room, but the thought of actually being the one to do the surgery, scared me, which eliminated many other careers for me as well. It doesn’t scare me anymore. If I were the person I was now at 38 when I was 17 or 18, I would have no problem with that part of the job, but I did then. I had no idea that I had it in me to handle such things.

My first day at the vet, I almost passed out holding a ferret, while it’s foot had to be amputated. He had gotten behind the dryer and hurt himself. I would go on to see much worse, without almost passing out. The worst I can think of is a dog who returned home after being hit by a car. One one side of him you could see all of his insides and he had gang green. I still remember the awful smell. All the vet could do was clean up the wound, there was nothing to sew, it just had to heal on it’s own. The dog ended up okay and it was truly amazing.

I sat with dogs as they were put to sleep, and every single one of them was on the brink of death already, and the vet was just ending their suffering. I cried with a male coworker as two little girls said goodbye to their dog that had the same name as my dog at the time. I remember all three times I called my now husband, crying because a sick dog I had sat with had died, and that one puppy that needlessly died due to the owner’s neglect. I had bottle fed this puppy back to good health, only to have him return soon after with an injury he would die from.

That first job would be the beginning of many things that helped me grow a stronger stomach and to grow as a person. I would later have my own child, get my own two dogs, work in Senior living and work in a daycare. I am still young, but I have worked for 21 years and had quite a crazy unexpected career for someone who was so obsessed with planning her life when I was younger. I was in such a rush to grow up, get married, make money and have kids. Vet school would take 7 or 8 years and I did not have time for that. My grandmother would talk about how much fun the Marketing people at the bank she worked at seemed to have, and how she sometimes wished she had done that. I still did not know what I wanted to do, but she did make Marketing sound fun, and once I looked into it, it seemed like a broad major that would give me a lot of options once I did figure out what I wanted to do.

So I went to Business school at Auburn. My desire to one day write my own novel or own my own business, be my own boss, was always there, but that seemed so risky and impossible. For now, I focused on starting at the bottom and maybe eventually working my way up to CEO. If you have heard the Kenny Chesney song, “The Woman With You”, and heard the lyrics, ‘..the girl I was with the business degree, probably wouldn’t recognize me, I was gonna run the bank. I was gonna run the map.” Yep, that was me.

I would go on to be the Receptionist in my dorm, would work at Chick-fila on campus for a semester, and would even have a marketing job that had me going to businesses to get them to offer a discount on a card sold to students. I would finish school in only three years, because remember that rush I was in to grow up. In my next blog, I will begin to talk about my career after college, which was not what I expected at all. Click the link below to read, This Isn’t the Career I Ordered 2….

https://justbuyheradress.com/2020/04/02/this-isnt-the-career-i-ordered-part-2/

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.