Hindsight: In Eager Expectation
I began my journey at Humana by spending three and a half grueling years in the trenches, also known as the call center. I learned how to talk to someone who was yelling at me with a smile on my tone and answer questions about life, babies, and death in three minutes and sixty five seconds (in all fairness, they threw out the average handle time towards the end of my phone term). After my time as a call representative, I was a team lead (who took all of your supervisor calls), a concierge specialist and then I spent my final days as a provider services analyst. I experienced some extremely stressful situations, but was able to speak with clarity and as a result developed a very sturdy backbone. This was something I definitely didn't have when I entered the former warehouse on Main Street. I actually credit a lot of my growth to a tough love supervisor I had during my team lead years who expected me to speak up in meetings, regardless of who was present: whether it be a manager, director or CEO (which I gladly with shaking heels took that challenge) and was willing to have the difficult conversations with me when I did not want to hear them. I owe a lot of who I am today to her.
At the time I never knew what all of this preparation was for and to be quite honest I am not sure I fully know now. I recently started a neighborhood watch where I live. This is one of the scariest things I have ever done (aside from giving birth) because so many things could go wrong. The first part of the process was going around my neighborhood, talking to complete strangers, and trying to gauge their interest in the group. Then I walked door to door and gave out at least 250 fliers to all of the houses in the area with my sweet little girl in tow. We had our first meeting a month ago and if anything could go wrong, it did. Our group was 17 strong though and they were willing to stand outside in 90 degree weather to discuss the issues that I had become so passionate about. The most memorable part of that evening was when one of the older men, probably my father's age, proclaimed, "Let's give Dorothy a round of applause for starting this group." I was in awe as I watched as men and women of all ages applaud my efforts. It hardened my resolve that I was doing the right thing.
Last night we had our second meeting. There were some moments that were definitely intense and at times I wasn't sure if I handled myself in the professional manner that I had been known for during my Humana days. I received an e-mail this morning that I dreaded to read as a result. Much to my surprise it was a kind note from a woman who attended who told me she was impressed by the calm way that I handled the meeting and thanked me for caring so much. I couldn't help but think of the eight years that I spent at Humana in customer service, in roles of leadership and leading meetings. I said to myself, "Huh, I wonder if this is what all of that preparation was for?"
You see, I can't take credit at all for what these gracious humans have applauded me for. If it were up to me, I would still be that scared little girl, hanging on her mom's apron strings, whispering for a glass of water at her grandparent's house (It's hilarious that my friends today can't believe I ever was that girl). I have a letter on my refrigerator from a friend that has the verse, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). Apparently God knew exactly what he was doing 9 years ago when I started my job at Humana. He was preparing me to do oh so many things that were nowhere near my radar at the time. One of those things is being a neighborhood watch captain. Who knew?
So, the moral of the story is the lame old cliche that you have heard a million times (okay, make that a gazillion), "Hindsight is 20/20." I never tire of looking backwards and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. When I do look back I also look forwards to the future and wonder, "Okay, what does He have planned next?" Then I wait in eager expectation with a big 'ole smile on my face.