Remember when you were in grade school or junior high and you found out you were not one of the cool kids? Maybe I presume too much so I'll talk about me (my favourite hobby if you haven't noticed).
When I was in the 7th grade (we didn't have junior high in Phoenix back then) I found out that I was not one of the cool kids. I was painfully shy, very fat and a bookworm. When the other kids were hanging out during lunch I was usually in the library poring through book after book or convincing the librarian to allow me to check out more than the allotted two books per week per student.
I had always wanted to be one of those kids but they didn't like me for all the wrong reasons and like kids can be, they played on my differences. By accident however I discovered that I had something that I could use to leverage my coolness factor. One day one of the cool tough boys Myron asked me the answer to a quiz question and I gave it to him. That it was the correct answer and that only he and I had the correct answer, he decided to sit next to me during class and even started speaking to me in the halls and at lunch.
Pretty soon word spread that I was smart, or at least smarter than most of them. I'm being serious, don't judge me. Anyway, as word spread, more of the cool kids, following Myron's lead began allowing me to hang around. Boy did my life change! No longer relegated to the tether ball lineup for 6th graders I played with Beverly and Angie and Ventrice. I ate lunch with Evelyn and Jerry-Lynn outside rather than hiding out in the library. Sure I wasn't asked to play every reindeer game but at least I was invited to enough of them to permanently change my social status.
It wasn't long before I learned that my wisdom was power and I changed from wanting to be with them to being my own social club. Those kids wanted to hang with me because I could help with grades. Yes, I became a bit of an egotistical, self-absorbed teenager and these traits followed me throughout college and even work. But I discovered last week that that image of me had all changed.
There's this group of folks at work. They are the "cool kids" if you will. You'll always find them sitting together in meetings or walking over to Starbucks during lunch. Theirs is such an exclusive group that even I wanted to become a part of them. And I tried most everything to be noticed by them including volunteering to help them complete their projects even though I was overloaded myself. I'd call into one of them on my way to work to take Starbuck's orders or even make runs to the supermarket to replenish diminishing potluck foods.
So here's where I suddenly realized how stoopid I was being with these people: last week most of us happened to be in a meeting with visiting managers and instructors when one of the "cool kids" began passing invites to a post Thanksgiving brunch. Noticing that I hadn't received one (there were only about eight of us in the room, how obvious was this), he promised to email the invite. And he did.
It was this one sentence email that listed the date and time and name of the eatery. Nothing else.
At first I was relieved and really happy that he had remembered me but then, as I re-read and re-read the email I got hotter and hotter. I mean I was so angry I could have held an ice cube and melted it in two minutes. While standing in Siberia. During a blizzard. You get the picture right?
How dare they treat me like this? Who do they think they are? Who died and ordained them the future rulers of the world? Most importantly though, when did I start thinking they were all that and two grab sized bags of chips?
And then it all came tumbling back...all the times I asked them for help and received none. The many times they went out for food and didn't include me. Having to run after them while walking to meetings. Okay, maybe I wasn't that bad but still.
Now, returning back to my sweet, egotistical, self-absorbed little self, I'm blowing them off. Today alone I've ignored two of their emails asking for help and I'm not even thinking of showing up at that stoopid little brunch. The old Debo Blue is back and they can kiss my fat butt.