It’s Not Everything


Easy-Peasy — Easy-Think-of-Your-Own-Description,-For-God’s-Sake

X is everything — No, it’s not. It’s not everything.

This construction? Don’t use it.

Because sentences.

OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move back to the job offer.

When we last left off, I had just gotten word that an offer was coming. What’s happened since then is that I’ve had a preliminary, pre-offer discussion with the guy who would be my boss.

He said that, because of my experience, they were going to offer me the very top of the salary range for the position. He kindly cut to the chase and gave the numbers everyone wants to know the most.

Now, I have a friend who is a master negotiator. Months ago, when I thought an offer was coming from a certain company, but instead I was just being strung along for months, she had worked with me to develop negotiation scripts for a variety of scenarios. Because I had a heads-up that the potential boss would be calling me, I’d reviewed the scenarios just before the call. That was key. Without that, I don’t know if I would have been able to do any negotiating. Oh, I know it’s what everyone does, or at least is supposed to do. I know employers expect it. But it doesn’t come naturally and I haven’t even had the opportunity to negotiate for many years.

So I said, “That’s great! I’m so happy to be getting an offer from you. I’d love to join your team. My current salary is X; is there any way we could get closer to that?” There is a 12K difference between what he offered and what I’m making, and I felt that there was no harm in telling him the my actual salary, so that he’d see I’m not being greedy or extortionist, but that it’s a significant pay cut.

I also asked for more vacation. The salary, he said he’d have to ask the president of the company. The vacation, he said he thought he could do.

He will get back to me. Of course, I’m terrified that they will decide to rescind the offer based on my audacity…but I hope not.

Many things about this job are worse: the commute is longer. The pay will be less, even if they give me a few thousand more than the initial offer. They don’t give nearly as much toward the 401K. Even the health benefits may be more expensive. But, the job itself is better. The company is better. I think I will like the work better; in fact, I think I will love it. I think I will finally look forward to going to work again, and enjoy the day rather than getting through it.

After all this time, it’s a huge step to take. But I’m thinking, if I don’t take this opportunity, I am choosing to suffer. It would be so cowardly as to be shameful. Why am I living? Is it just to have a large amount in my 401K? And the fact is, things aren’t so bad. It’s a perfectly respectable salary that they’re offering. Some companies don’t give anything toward the 401K. I do have something in there, after all these years. So, not taking this opportunity would be disgustingly timid.

So I’m going to do it.


A Bottle of Pills

It was just a bottle of pills. Thirty while capsules. The pills could not be done without. One would not leave the country without those pills. But they were missing.

They were not on the table where they had previously been. They were not on the floor. No one had seen them. No one had touched them. No one extra had been in the house. There was no evidence that the dog had gotten to them. Yet, they continued not to be found, as if defying the laws of physics.

“They cannot just vanish,” it was said. “Something happened to them. We just don’t know what.” Despite the fact that the bottle was not allowed to vanish and defy laws of physics, it did just that. Though we have looked high and low, it has not been found to this day.


Your kid is the best athlete among his peers. He’s head and shoulders above, actually. You were the best athlete throughout school; so was your spouse. It is, therefore, your kid’s birthright to be the best.

It’s so frustrating when he’s not given the playing time he deserves. Why should he, a superstar, sit on the bench while that other kid who missed so many practices get to be out there? And it’s completely irrelevant that your kid lost the last five face-offs he was in. The sun was in his eyes. He didn’t get enough sleep. He was thrown off because of the argument at breakfast table that morning. The other team was older and bigger. The kid on your team who won his face-offs–that’s irrelevant. He was lucky. Besides, he got more playing time than your kid, so of course he’s had more experience. The point is, it’s not fair.

Your kid gets knocked over all the time because the other team knows they have to cover him.  If they didn’t knock him down, he’d do serious damage.

During the game, you’re seething on the sidelines. You question every call, because the ref is targeting your kid. He probably thinks he’s making things fair for the other team, to make calls against your kid, but does he stop to think it’s not fair to your kid?

During the car ride home, you and your spouse bitterly recount the ways in which your kid was unfairly treated. The injustices. The ironies. The moronic calls. The coach’s favoritism. Next year, you swear, you’re moving him to the other town’s team. They’d be lucky to have him.

Your kid learns from you how unfair the world is. How much he deserves, and how outrageous it is that the coaches don’t recognize it. He learns that he should be bitter and angry at his teammates who are given playing time that should rightfully be his, while he rots on the bench. He learns that he should look for explanations like favoritism when things don’t go his way. He learns that it’s definitely not his fault.

As a parent, it’s your job to show him how to deal with disappointment.