The next time I saw Jillian, I asked her about the management situation. “Not 'cause I'm prying or anything like that,” I said, “Just interested.”
I mean you are well educated and your credentials for the job you are doing are impeccable. I reckon you'd be liked by everyone. I guess I am not sure what is happening.”
“There's no problem,” she said. [Editorial note – I didn't say there was a problem, this is a presupposition which often comes from negative thinking.]
I just don't want all that responsibility and all the extra work that it would entail.”
“OK.” I said.
“Pity. I reckon you'd make a good boss.”
“I am a boss (if you want to call it that)”, she said.
I have a small team and we do alright. Our research is going well, although it is not really the kind of thing I thought I'd be doing when I was at Uni. I mean it's not rocket Science, but it is important work and not too full of reporting useless stats that no-one ever reads, and there's not a lot of that admin bollocks.”
“I didn't know all that”, I said. “But you were pretty ambitious when we were in school. And competitive to boot. I remember the time ….[perhaps not appropriate for here – maybe another time and place?]”
“Yes. Thanks for that.”
“So why are you choosing to stay at shallow end of the pool then?” I asked.
“None of your bloody business!” she blurted.
Oops. Always the forthright one?
I asked Jillian why she still thought about her name and her birthday situations. I know they were a problem for her in the years at high school.
She said she didn't really care about them any-more; they were really not important now. I wondered?
“Besides”, she added, “They were small things”.
She went on to say, “The quote by Richard Carlson in his book 'Don't sweat the small stuff' which goes on to say – 'It's all small stuff' tells me to keep the little things in life from driving me crazy; and it's true. But some stuff does seem to be hard to totally remove from your subconscious. And it can pop up at any time, inopportune moments mostly.
“But,” she went on, “Jillian with a J does make my signature easier to write....”
“As for the other things,” she continued, “Sometimes it's easier to blame someone or something else.
“I know that's not right, but, ya know, it's not my fault. I didn't choose when to be born. How could I? But when I was a kid it seemed that something or someone else was always more important then me and my needs. I know I used to cry a lot.”
Deep stuff. You probably figure that as TMI (too much Information), but Jillian is really a cool person. If we are gunna do this we have to take everything. Only 100% game playing here.
Jillian works for a large multi-national company and is still (as far as I know) after all these years – enough to earn Long Service Leave – not in an executive role. I asked her about that.
Why am I doing this? A recent question about my Jillian posts. Good question.
I fancy myself as a writer to be, and this seemed like a way to practice writing dialogue and following the age old writer's dictum of 'Show, Don't Tell.'
I contacted Jillian and it was agreed that this might well be a good idea. She said she trusted me, and knew I would not say anything really terrible, nor give out any identifying information.
She also figured that a third party opinion of her and her life, (and in public as well), might be very interesting and also maybe helpful in giving her a different view of herself and perhaps even an insight into her life now and in the future.
So there you are.
For various reasons of privacy and other things I will not be too specific about certain identifying features and stuff that might allow you to go up to her in the High St and say,
“OMG. I know you. You are Jillian. We are so following you on Facebook. How’s your poor Dad? What about that weight? Is it staying off. What about that low self esteem? Gee, I really feel sorry for you and … ” You know stuff like that.
A bit awkward. (I am making the awkward turtle gesture with my hands as I speak).
So you can know she is a she. Kinda obvious, I guess.
Her age is indeterminate but between 30 and 55.
No information about her appearance will be available. But she does love Prada handbags and Jimmy Choo shoes. Not that she can afford them at the moment, but ya never know. She lives in a city in Australia, but has country links.
She is NOT happy that she was born so close to a national holiday/sibling birthday/well known event. See what I did there? Still nothing you can use to find out much detail, but gives me stuff to talk about later on. That is so upsetting to her (still) and she blames her parents for that. They could have been more considerate.
And she is still – at her age – NOT happy that her parents called her Jillian (with a “J”). All the famous people are Gillian with a “G”, she says.
Anyway, I’m going to tell you more about her and some of her stories over the next few weeks or months, depending on the interest.