Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New York State of Mind

Christmas blog to come..but in the mean time...I am heading to New York tonight to Kent's parents' home in Highland Falls. I cant wait to get there! It will be my first visit to their home in the Hudson Valley. It is just a beautiful spot in the world, and I can't wait to experience it for myself.

Kent called me this morning to tell me that there is snow on the ground. We will be playing in a winter wonderland tomorrow, and I am so excited!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Million Dollar Baby

I do realize that even after my last blog about not blogging that I have still not started blogging again.
I just got back from my first trip home since moving to the West coast. I had such a wonderful time, and I am already looking forward to going back. I was so excited last week as I was preparing to fly out the night of the 23rd. We had a holiday potluck at Gap; I was wearing a new sweater, and I just couldn't wait to get on that plane, land in Atlanta and see so many loved ones that I missed so dearly. I was scheduled to leave the office right at five, so I could get home in time to pack and clean before my Super Shuttle picked me up at 8:30 for my midnight flight (had to leave plenty of time for the long holiday lines). Around 3pm, I get a call from our Chicago team that works on the Gap account, and it turns out that we have billed the wrong account for about a $1million in duty (tax) payments to US Customs. If we do not fix this asap, we could potentially overdraft the account, and be subject to thousands of dollars in fines to the government. I immeditely get on the phone with our executive leadership because I definitely need their help when it comes to problems of this size ($1M!). It turns out that this problem is not easily fixable, and we won't know how to fix it until one of our internal customs gurus returns from vacation after Christmas. This means that I must go through the entire holiday not knowing how this can be resolved. I felt utterly helpless at this point!

Feeling discourged, disheartened, and sick to my stomach; I thought, "how in the world could this happen, and how could I not catch it before it became a big problem?" Images of quitting or being fired flashed through my mind. While it was not directly my fault, I still feel like I could have prevented it if I had asked enough questions while this part of the business was transitioned. I lead this program, and the responsibility is mine.

I internalize everything, and now that my boss is basically non-existent I have noone to offer real feedback or support- no one that is truly invested in my development. There are many great people that are involved in the account that I could reach out to for support, but you can't force a mentor/mentee relationship. That develops over time.

In the middle of this, I had to leave the office in order to get home, so I could catch my flight on time to get home. All of the excitement had drained out of me, and I was just sort of empty. I made it to the airport. I drank a beer before boarding my flight, and that made me feel surprisingly better- not that Im condoning alcohol as a coping method. :) I boarded the plane in San Fracisco, made it stop 1 in Dallas around 3am West coast time.... I groggly made my way off of the plane and onto the next one, landing in Atlanta around 9:30 east coast time...