The Weakest Link
There used to be a television show years ago with a feisty British woman that was called, “The Weakest Link”. The show featured contestants answering a series of questions of an easier nature which would strengthen the chain. Eventually, a question would be found too difficult for an individual and they would be deemed the weakest link, the one that broke the chain. The basis for the title is the old saying, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link”.
Lately, I have been creating a very strong chain but I am afraid because I also have a weakest link. I have a secret that has been destroying me these past 6 months. No matter what I do, it is there. I hope by writing publicly about this shame – it will no longer be a secret and I can bring this shadow to the light and it will disappear.
Work is very important to me. My first job at a grocery store landed me working right along side the Manager doing the end caps at 14 and working with the other department heads in complete harmony. I never came late and saved my money diligently which lead me to be able to pay a lot of my first year of college on my own. I then worked at a hospital for many years after college and learned how to work in other departments at ease to cover and pick up shifts when needed. I mastered the workings of the Infant Care Center, Special Care Nursery, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Urgent Care, Emergency Room, and eventually even worked in Human Resources. I could do it all and my reviews and pay check showed that but my sleep habits were terrible picking up all of those different shifts.
After about 8 years of that, my husband encouraged me to get a day job. I went to my old stand by that kept me in the black in college and applied at Wells Fargo. I paid for college with encoding checks – that is typing the black ink numbers at the bottom of a check into a computer. Sound boring to you? It fascinated me and I was making one of the top salaries because we were paid by how many checks we processed. I was error free and loving the high salary as I typed my way to glory. Wells Fargo had positions as underwriters and processors in the mortgage department when I applied after my hospital work. We could all work our way towards underwriting levels and were paid more based on good telephone relations with our customers. I mastered this and was awarded the distinction after less than 18 months after my first day being awarded a cruise to the Caribbean along with 1000 other Wells Fargo employees of notable action. The next employee who was employed even close to me in time was 7 years.
Upon returning from the cruise, things changed at Wells Fargo and I knew the impending mortgage financial crisis was upon us. Instead of underwriting mortgages and verifying documents, we were told things would be taken care of post closing and to just get everything to the closing company. Something stunk and upon a return from a vacation in Hawaii, my husband said it was my turn to do whatever I want as I had encouraged him to do what he wanted 10 years prior when we were first married. I decided to start a business focused on taking care of pets, and Aloha Pet Care was born. I would later change the business to “The Good Dog Handling and Training” as it morphed into my true passion of dog training.
I, like most entrepreneurs, love the work I do but find the marketing to be difficult sometimes. When I heard about the Victoria Stilwell Positive Dog Training Program, I thought it was for me. In November, my husband and I drove to Atlanta to interview in person. Victoria Stilwell has a wonderful TV show on Animal Planet called, “It’s Me or The Dog”.
Being accepted into her program would mean she would refer me as a preferred dog trainer that utilized only kind and humane methods. Also, as a plus for me, I could write articles about positive dog training which would be featured on her blog. After supplying Victoria about 30 references of clients and professionals that knew my skills and integrity in dog training, the next phase was the personal interview. We met at a lovely Atlanta Shelter. My adventure was to begin and here I was as I waited to meet Victoria on that morning – I was giddy, excited and completely full of how wonderful the world really can be when you work hard and follow your desires and passions. I had already been accepted into the program – this interview was more of a prefunctuary phase in which I would learn how to use her name and logo information to get veterinarians to work with me and for the local media to know that I am fully supported by her. I was told I could assist in putting on seminars and she may even visit Minneapolis.
I really felt I needed her name with my name to feel that I was endorsed by someone – I did not know my own value. What happens next? Are my dreams fulfilled? You already know that they were not since this is called The Weakest Link and I am talking about shame – but I will let you ponder it all a bit longer. The truth will be revealed – it always does.