“If you ever had kids, it would be a ‘travesty.'”

That’s right.  One of my board members told me that, in the early days of this job.  And silly me, I thought male chauvinism was only in a$$ backwards places, like in the South. 

Welcome to California!

When I decided to take this job, it was a tough decision.  The position was to become Vice President of an organization on the brink of folding.  The VP had to train under the outgoing President for 18 months, who wasn’t exactly known for his eternal optimism.  He is the closest human embodiment to “The Grinch” that I can imagine.  I would be the first female Exec of the organization, after a long list of old, white guys….  In a very conservative industry, to boot.  However, the pay increase was substantial and the chance to see if I could grow an organization was risky, but an attractive challenge nonetheless.

When I decided to leave, it was not about the money.  My former place of employment was a place I loved.  But personal & professional growth was pretty much maxed-out.  There were two deal-makers for me:

#1:  When I chatted to my boss about my possibility of leaving, I was told I could be easily replaced. 

#2:  When I spoke to a person on the Board of Directors that I trusted of my current organization, he assured me it was the right decision to move and he vehemently supported the existing Exec…  Amid major concerns about his performance throughout the industry, here was a guy who was supporting him to the end.  His support was immensely attractive to me, especially given the conversation I just had with my previous boss. 

I took the job.  Within six months of becoming President, the same supportive guy in statement #2, told me “if you ever have kids, it would be a travesty.”  I remember the word “travesty” because it is such a dramatic statement, and a word that I never use.  I only responded “well, you don’t have to worry about that in the immediate future.” 

Now here I am, in my late 30s, thinking about having kids.  This comment was made under two years ago.  I am assuming his opinions haven’t changed.  I am scared sh&#less about telling my Board.  This guy (we will call him #2) is on my executive committee.  Puke, puke, puke.

His poor attitude will not deter me.  If I am able, I will have kids.  Screw that guy.  I am just nervous about telling him.  UGH!

This organization is so outdated, that I had to draft an employee handbook from scratch.  I can’t even remember what our maternity leave policy is at this point.  I am guessing it is equivalent to California’s minimum standard, which is six weeks.  I think I deserve more, so I get to negotiate this with my Chairman.  Maybe that is a way to break the ice.  I should figure this out before I get preggars!  What do you think?  HA!

Anyway, I want to list the blow-by-blows so I can remember them as I move through life.  Because they are just as important as the wins in life.  Maybe more important, even.  This is how you grow.

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Rebellious One

Why “Rebellious One”?  I chose this name because whenever anybody tells me to do something — and for some reason, this happens alot — I want to do EXACTLY the opposite.  Almost immediately.  This ranges from my husband telling me to get more wood for the fire to my Board of Directors telling me I need to grow our organization.  In both instances the moments proceeding these comments I was actually thinking the same thing and planning it out.  But the very moment somebody SAYS to do it, I immediately want to say no! 

What the hell is that?

I don’t know what it is, but I imagine it is the same trait that makes me successful.  If I stayed at my previous job, that was safe, I would be bored out of my mind by the slow pace of bureaucracy and still spinning my wheels due to the same frustrations. 

Let’s hope at some point in my life I gather the maturity to finally shelve that immediate need to tell somebody to take a flying leap.