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Sixteen years ago

A blast from the past.

It was sixteen years ago that we worked together. Except for a couple of colleagues I stayed in touch with, I never looked back.

I was not articulate in meetings. I often said the wrong things. I did not promote myself or rub my boss' starving ego. Instead, I preferred to work with data and not with people.

Every time my boss said something accusative, the slightest offensive or ambiguous, I would run to the restroom and cry.

This colleague from South Africa discovered my strength. He opened his hand and told me that I was a diamond waiting to be discovered. There was too much dirt on top, preventing the sparkle.

A diamond? Who me? I hated my first job. It was supposed to be so prestigious and rewarding, but I felt homesick in a foreign country. I didn't understand the protocols of work, having been in school for too long. I was so lonely for empathy that I would confide in cab drivers on the way home. By the time I arrived at my hotel, I'd be in tears.

Tonight I see my ex-colleague. In the past sixteen years, he's married and remarried. He's risen to the top of his profession and travelled extensively. He has three homes and thousands of employees.

And I? I am no longer dumbfounded in meetings. Quite the opposite. I am vocal and self-expressed. Like a diamond, my life is multi-facetted. While I don't have the responsibility of employees and families, I have readers who react to what I say.

But who could have imagined that once upon a time, I was meek and shy?

24 February 2004 Tuesday

Spicer and Oppenheim Consultants
Related entries:
Updating the past
Almost 20 year reunion
A reunion in Seattle
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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