One of the best moments of revenge I’ve ever experienced happened when I was working at eBay as a Customer Service Rep. My boss that had a massive ego and enjoyed putting people down around him, including me. Let's call my old boss Jim.
Jim was macho and a man's man. He knew it all, and saw himself well above those around him.
Jim definitely underestimated what I was capable of. And so did a number of my co-workers.
This to be honest, was not a great time in my life.
I wasn’t making much money and it was hard to pay the bills. I was single and nothing seemed to be going my way.
I was tired of my job at eBay and ready for change.
I knew I could do more.
But after a phone call with my sister, who has been a great mentor in my life, something magical happened.
My sister Anita had a suggestion for me:
“Hey little brother, have you ever thought of being a Project Manager or Business Analyst?” She said. “You'd be great at it. You're highly organized, intelligent and great with people.”
It was a nice compliment, but more importantly that question and idea from my sister set me on a path that would change my life.
So without too much hesitation I registered for the program to get my certification as a project manager.
I was excited.
I was optimistic.
My attitude had changed at work.
I knew I could be a great project manager or business analyst and I knew that getting this new certification would start opening new doors for me.
The future felt bright.
A month later at eBay, as I continued with my PM certification classes with what spare time I had in my nights, my boss Jim came by to chat.
One of Jim's assistants was standing there too. They had a question. They wanted to know why I seemed so happy lately. Why I now had a new spring in my step.
What could I possibly be so happy about, they asked.
I told them the news. “Well, the great news is, I’m on my way to becoming a Project Manager! Or Business Analyst later if I want to! I registered for my certification as a PM! I’m almost one month into the courses!”
And then something horrible happened.
They laughed at me.
Without hesitation or thought.
Deep belly laughs.
I’ll never forget that moment. It was cruel and incredibly painful.
Here was my boss and another co-worker laughing in my face. Completely dismissing me, my abilities and my dreams.
After they stopped laughing, Jim said “Well, good luck with THAT” and walked away.
I said nothing and stomached it. Finishing my shift at work that day wasn’t easy.
But then something else happened.
By the time I reach home that night, the pain and embarrassment rolling through my belly had turned into a fire and drive. I could feel the adrenalin flowing through my veins.
I looked myself in the mirror that night and made a promise to keep going. I knew they were wrong. Even if they didn’t know it.
I dug deep, determined to prove them wrong.
I kept going with my studies. Working during the day at eBay and studying each night.
Months went by as I kept studying. Exams came and went and I kept getting top grades. Nothing was going to stop me.
I knew that some day THIS was going to pay off. Little did I know that SOMEDAY was just around the corner.
Then something incredible happened.
I landed an interview at a Fortune 500 company! It was an amazing role as a Business Analyst. They wanted to meet with me right away.
It turned out they wanted to see me because now, all of a sudden, my PM certification training was providing just the right balance to my skillsets.
I was the only external candidate they interviewed out of the 11 that applied.
And I NAILED the three-hour interview.
I got the job.
And, get this, it paid more than DOUBLE of what I was making at eBAY.
Once I signed the contract, I wrote my resignation letter and had a private meeting with my boss at eBay.
Jim had found out about the job already somehow, but what he didn’t know was how much I’d be making. And it was A LOT.
Especially for someone at such a young age.
Jim was shocked. He couldn’t believe it. He looked at me wondering what he has missed.
Jim looked white as a ghost. Like he’d just discovered a truth he just couldn’t accept. I smiled and thanked him for everything, and walked out the door.
About two months after I left eBay I heard that Jim had decided to leave as well. Out of the blue, Jim had moved down to California for some job that apparently paid really well.
To this day, I don’t know if he moved because of what I had accomplished, and to tell you the truth I really didn’t care.
This story really isn’t about Jim. Or to be honest, it’s not about me either.
It IS about all the underdogs out there.
It’s about proving to yourself and to all those doubters around you that THEY are WRONG.
It was a pivotal moment in my life.
And I hate to admit it, but it felt great too.
Being successful, and pushing through the hard times really is the ultimate revenge - for any of us.
Wherever you are right now, whatever you are going through, continue to believe in yourself. Amazing things might be just around the corner.
Put in the hard work and dedication.
Get advice from mentors around you. And then just go for it.
Go ahead and prove them wrong.
Thanks for reading and I hope that helped someone out there.
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