Thursday, February 5, 2009


ambivalence: [am-biv-uh-luhns] n. The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings toward a person, an object, or an idea.

I learned the definition of this word years ago and always appreciate it when I hear others using it correctly, as it is widely misused and misunderstood to mean an uncaring attitute towards something.

It very adequately expresses the feelings I experienced recently when I was copied in on the following emails to my boss regarding the search for my replacement at work:

1. My Exec. Assistant will be moving to the DC area in a couple of weeks. She saw your posting and mentioned it to me. She is an excellent worker and is familiar with all of the Wachovia systems. She's been with the company about 5 years. Give me a call if you haven't already filled the posting. I'll be glad to tell you more about her. My number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx. Thanks-C.I.

2. Good Morning Bill, Thank you for forwarding this to me and keeping me in the loop. Have you had the opportunity to speak with Chris? Since I don't have his Assistant's name I don't know if they've already posted for the position. If you'd like me to reach out to Chris I would be happy to help. I have been conducting phone screens last week and this week. I was hoping to circle up with you Wednesday or Thursday to discuss the candidates I've spoken with. We have a decent candidate pool started already. I also have some additional ideas about next steps that I'd like to share with you. Please let me know which day would work best for you to circle up. If you need to reach me today I will be working remotely at (xxx) xxx-xxxx. Thank you and have a great day! Danielle

On one hand I experienced elation at the thought that my long awaited six month sabbatical and exit from an industry I've grown weary of is fast becoming a reality. On the other, there was something rather sad about realizing that I am expendable, that someone new will step into the place I've filled for the last 11 years and before long, I'll just be another name that is floated in casual conversations about people who "used to work here".

Ambivalance. And maybe a little melancholy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know that feeling! We all like to think we're irreplaceable...and then when the moment comes, it seems the "company" moves on with just minor blips. I think the only place where people can't be replaced is in personal relationships...that's something that's become bigger in my mind with all the layoffs and things that have been happening--realizing what's really important in the big picture!