Its really hard to know where to begin. There we were, my boys and I, enjoying our vacation by the sea when all hell broke loose and our lives changed.
I am not dishing out dirty details which enough people know and noone else really needs to know. Suffice to say that the problems of the past few months came to a crisis point while I was away and now our lives will never be quite the same.
Here is the story without gory details:
Imagine how it feels to work very very hard for a company that had a good reputation. Imagine that while working there you notice things. Things of a not so savory nature. Things like taking advantage of customer/clients, fraud, misrep-resentation, falsifying of documents etc . Stuff like that. What would you do? Imagine too that you are a person with a strong sense of right and wrong and ethics and honour....this is important in our imaginings because a lesser person may have just pretended not to notice things. May have just turned a blind eye.
Imagine that at first our upright citizen thinks that its honest mistakes and tries to correct it through the proper channels. Then he sees that they aren't HONEST mistakes but deliberate. Then he tries to effect change from within, which makes him unpopular with his bosses. He champions his clients and THEIR clients but he is ONE person between them and the corporate machine. Imagine, again, how this must feel. The stress. The worry. Over time it has a crippling effect as bosses say one thing but in fact ok the doing of other things. Imagine that you point out that customers are losing/being taken advantage of due to changes in policy and your "superiors" tell you that this was an expected side effect, that they would knowingly rip people off. How would you, as an honest person, deal with this?
In our scenario, the Honest Man informed these clients via a mass mail out that their products were expiring due to lack of representation, according to the company records. He included a trusted contact in that letter incase they wanted to prevent their losses. He tried to protect customers against losing money and protection. Many responded with gratitude, not knowing that their representative was gone and they were glad to save their products they'd spent so much on.
Unfortunately, some of these clients DID have representation but it wasn't in the records and one of these brokers got very PO'ed and thought that the company and the Honest Man were trying to steal his clients. The company wasn't happy about this OR the fact that their negligence had been brought to light. Our Honest Man had since left the company's employ and was exploring the possibility of creating a business with his friend, the trusted contact he'd suggested to the clients. Just when things were finally looking brighter for our Honest Man, the Doom came.
Allegations were being made about his actions. Suggestions were made that he'd acted to benefit himself. A complaint was lodged with a regulating body and an investigation commenced. While this investigation took place however, the Honest Man could not continue building and working on the business he'd so hoped to vreate as a way to provide for his family. His stress levels and anxiety for the future grew and grew. He told the regulators his side of the story and provided documented proof of the company's actions. The 'investigation' dragged on for 2 full months. The Honest Man appealed to a government official to look into the case and make sure the regulators were not being influenced by the huge corporation.
Then the investigation was finished and the regulators decided that the Honest Man was wrong to have chosen loyalty to the law and what's right over loyalty to the Company. Their letter insinuated that he should have turned a blind eye to the illegalities.
The Honest Man was crushed. Those in charge of protecting the public against Corporate wrong doing had found in favor of those doing wrong rather than he who'd been trying to defend and protect the victims. His reputation as a good and honourable person was now besmirched on the public record and the Company was laying liability of their actions at his door when they were sued. It was all too much. Betrayed by the Company, the industry, the regulators and the government, the Honest Man fell into the very deepest despair.
Isn't that a tale? Would make one hell of a novel for ol' Johnny Grisham, wouldn't it? This stuff could never happen in real life could it??! It must be some sort of crazy delusion of conspiracy theory.
Except that in the fiction there would probably be some sort of happy ending where the Company and Regulators and government officials get theirs and Our Hero, the Honest man, is validated and vindicated and everybody good lives happily ever after. In real life, we could only wish that this would happen.
As a result of that deepest darkest despair, my Honest man and I have decided to put some distance between us and the hateful mess. For the health and well being of our family unit, We are pulling up stakes and heading East to go back to a simpler life. Working to live rather than living for the career. We are making drastic changes, including the move, such as down sizing our possessions to fit into a smaller accomodation, looking for lower income employment because it offers less responibility than management did and also because thats all there is in the small town world we are relocating to. Let someone else save the fucking world. We will save ourselves, thank you very much.
Its been 5 years in this place. 5 years of his hard work and we did have some good times! That job was wonderful in so many ways. He found it challenging, never dull, exhilerating by times and he believed in what the industry offered people and did his best for his clients so that they could do their best for theirs. We met wonderful people and had adventures we never could have had if it hadn't been for his position. Our house, while messy and chaotic, is our dream home and we had such plans for it even though we never intended for it to be our last house. We just didn't envision leaving it under such a cloud of misery.
Yet, as the great lyricist said, "every dark tunnel has a light of hope, so don't hang yourself with a celibate rope". There is joy in this move. Small town life is good. Being close to family and support again is VERY good. Changing our focus to simple pleasures and loving rather than having them secondary to achieving is also good. We are bustin' a move toward happiness again.
May you be happy and healthy and have what you need. See you on the other side.