Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Accepting and admitting
I woke up feeling so much better. It took a couple of long phonecalls with close friends, a long chat with my mother, and mainly a very supportive and proud for me husband.

The difficult part was accepting and admitting things I chose not to see, not to admit and not to accept.

Friendship is a "used" words nowadays. I am not sure why we all do this. Why we distinguish friends by adding adjectives to the word. I myself just did it in the beginning of this post. I just realised that I wrote "close friends". My mother was right (ouch it is always hard to admit this ;o) when she used to tell me I had to learn to distinguish between friends and aquintances. I had to learn to distinguish between people I met and had fun with and friends. She used to tell me that friends are the ones for the hard times. I used to tell her shes over cautious.

I met my partner in 1993. She was the PR manager of a local festival, and I was the PR manager of a radio station back then. We did some cooperations, and through them we appreciated each other and became "friends". We would meet twice a year and call each other occasionally through all these years, but each time it will feel as if we were together the day before. As if time has not passed. She called me when her husband asked for a divorce. I called her when I met that woman.

When she proposed to me to start a company together, I hesitated. I told her that we should not mix business with our friendship. She said I was silly. Our first 3 months were fantastic. Then one day, one of her oldest clients called, she picked up the phone, he said hello's and how are you's to her, and then he asked for me. She said puzzled, why do you want Argyro? and he said, I want to talk to her about a project I have thought.

She changed from that moment. What was reffered to as "our company" our clients" "our bank account" suddenly became "my company" "my clients" "my bank account". I had a long talk with her and I realised she did not even acknowledge it. What we do not acknowledge we cannot change. So I took then a very conscious decision to let her be the "boss". Because of the madness of the business we are and the people we deal with daily, and between constant arguments arising from silly power games and a low profile, I chosed the latter.

After all she was my friend. She was 10 older, had the business longer, is a woman who has fought all her life to reach her current business status, a woman I admired, and she felt threatened from the youngster coming in. Understandable.

Things got great and we finally had a pleasant working environment and a renewed sense of being a team.

Then she left to give birth and was away for 3 months. Same three months my mother went through chemo etc. So when she came back to the office, she got all these compliments from clients about how hard I worked, how well I dealt with things, etc. And the power game begun again. However because I did not follow it, it stopped sooner than before.

I did not expect her to be happy for me. I expected her to tell me that we are so busy it is impossible for me to let her in such a busy season. In the meantime, on Monday evening I met the woman who offered me the position, and worked out with her ways to keep my company too. I was ready to give my partner an alternative. I would stay here till Nov. 15, when all our theatres would have finished their openings, in the meantime we would hire another assistant. I would train her. She would get paid out of my profit share and not the company's expenses budget. The remaining of my share would go to my partner. I would not get paid any share unless things got a lot better financially. After all I was going to get a good salary. I had dreams about me getting tons of new connections in the new position
and sending tons of projects "our" way. I had dreams about helping our existing clients do more productions through this organisation.

I never got the chance to tell her any of this.

The woman who offered me the position, had offered a similar one to my partner a year and a half ago, when she was in the middle of her pregnancy. She accepted the position and just came and announced it to me. However, there was a personal conflict between the two women and at the end the offer was taken back.

Apparently her hatred towards that woman is a lot more important and strong than any friendship she had for me. Otherwise her last words would not have been "I have been always a lady. Now you will go work for a whore".

Accepting and admitting all these were hard. Really very hard. Because twice during the last year and a half I have been offered a very good position in one of the ministries of greece as the minister's PR consultant. The minister is married to my oldest friend and I know and have been friends with for more than 10 years. He offered me the position once, I declined immediately. He asked me a second time telling me he needs me as someone he can trust. I declined again. Neither my gf nor her husband told me that our personal relationship will never be the same. Mind you, the money were better than what I have been offered now. And I told my partner both times. I told her I would not go somewhere to do alone the same job we were doing together. And this is also the reason I gave to my friends when I declined the offers.

I am really getting this new job because it involves production and production is what I am superb at and production is also a job that makes my heart really sing. I have done this for more than half my professional life and this is perhaps the greater opportunity I will ever get to re-enter this field. I told my partner this yesterday. I told her I declined my best friend's offer twice. An offer with lotsa zeros in the annual paycheck. If she cannot understand it is fields I am changing and not persons to work with, it is not my problem.

And I decided that should she comes for a second discussion, I will not tell her all the plans I made the night before so we could stay together. Because what one can not acknowledge one cannot understand nor change. And it will sound as if I was making excuses for myself to show I am nice and think of her. I have nothing to apologise for. Because in my decision process her well being took a major factor. Till yesterday.

And yes, there is still sadness inside my heart. But now there is also anger. Which is healthier. And there is also slowly appearing joy for the new opportunity, the new start.

Thank you so much for the supportive comments you left yesterday. You made my morning black coffee extremely sweet :)

Posted by Argy at 11:38 am
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always sad when we find that someone we care about isn't who we thought she was. I am so glad you have chosen to step away from her anger toward a new opportunity! Go Argy!

1:00 am

Anonymous Trish said...

I am glad you could talk this over with people who could give you both sides of the coin and allow you to really "see" things.

Yes, there is a big difference between friends and acquaintances. How she treats you in the next few weeks, will show you what she really is and I hope she sees she is taking things personally which she shouldn't and set aside her personal feelings and put the opportunity in a professional light.

2:35 am

Blogger M said...

I congratulate you on your courage and your integrity. Not many people would have chosen to discuss a new job possibility with their current partner (or boss as she feels she is). You have chosen to act with the highest integrity and should be proud. And it is good that you are angry. This will allow you to free yourself of any unneccessary guilt you may be feeling and act in your interest alone.

This world is a funny place and you need to be true to yourself first. Those that are your true friends will follow you and support you whatever you do.

I hope that clarity finds you soon, and lots of zero's on a new paycheck. :)

8:09 am

Blogger - u said...

good on you argy! :) i really wanted to comment on your previous blog entry, but i kept getting errors (it was during the site update i think). i gave up on blogger for a few days and got caught up in other things... but i'm glad you had the courage to take that decision as it wasn't an easy one to make!
p.s. i agree with you, it's hard to mix friends & business!

2:38 pm

Blogger Kate said...

I've just finished reading all your updates since I went away. You've had lots going on! I really admire you and the way you think about things - can you lend me your brain? :-)

11:47 pm

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12:13 am

Blogger Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing all this. Your life seems so intriquing and eventful - it never ceases to amaze me how much can happen in few days! It also seems that good things happen to you, even if there are some difficult decisions to make. I'm glad your heart told you what's the right thing to do. And about friendship: Yes, your mother is a wise woman.

1:41 pm

Blogger ms ralph said...

Oh Argy. To me it sounds like you definately did the right thing. You weighed it out in your mind, and was going to go the extra mile for her and yet she had to act like such a child. Sometimes we say a lot of things we don't mean when we are hurt. I hope that one day she apologises for the "whore" comment. But until then, you should feel good about your decision and your new job! When does it begin? I'm very happy for you that you are going to do something you love. It will be great.

3:30 am

Blogger Mary said...

Ouch, the golden rule is to never work with *friends*. She is obviously taking this too personally and her anger is NOT ABOUT YOU babe so please don't take on her manipulative bullshit. Women can be such dogs sometimes. You have to do what's right for you and if your friend was such a *lady*, why doesn't she sit down with you and discuss this maturely. I realise this is hard but geez, there's obviously more to your reasons for taking this on that doesn't involve her. If this is the way she behaves, it is a great idea to end the working relationship now and move onto to fresher pastures where you will grow and flourish! I know it hurts babe but just keep moving, growing and surround yourself with positivity. Not people who get jealous over your success.

12:32 pm


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About Me
I have spent all 36 years of my life loving life itself and this will never change. I am a great lover of the smallest things. I am addicted to smells and I attach them to people and events. It is impossible for me to wake up without ice in my coffee.

Age: 37
Height: 1.68 cm
SW: 130kg/286lbs
CW: 86 kg/189.2lbs
GW: 69 kg/151.8lbs
Lost: 44 kg/96.8lbs
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