I was ready to log onto a work call where they were going to announce the winners of a contest.
I knew that I had won. I had 1000 points, several hundred points more than anyone else. I had never won a contest before and I was thrilled. I had worked my ass off. I had made 900 calls and booked 26 appointments. I had never done this much work in my 13 years with my company. And I was excited to win the $600, too. I felt like a hero.
My phone rang. It was our market director. Maybe he was calling to congratulate me?
“Hi, Mike. I’m just getting on the web ex call.”
“Um. Yeah, um, Hilary, I just wanted to let you know that Headquarters said that you are not eligible to win this contest. District sales managers were not in the original contest that was submitted and they did not approve our request to have you win. You can have the t- shirt, but not the money. I will have to submit something in next year’s budget in order to be able to pay you any money. It won’t be until next quarter if it gets approved.”
It was hard to talk with the knife in my gut.
“Umm, ok, well, I’m glad you told me ahead of time. That would have been hard to hear on the webex,” I said, barely getting the words out over the lump in my throat.
“OK,” and he hung up.
The tears sprang loose. I clicked the link to the webex but stayed out of the camera eye. I made sure my camera and sound were off. I couldn’t breathe.
I heard them saying how great I did. Ladee dadee dah. And then they announced the winners, the people who had trailed behind me the whole contest. They were the winners, not me. I cried silently, wondering how this had happened.
“We’d like Hilary, Sally and John to say something,” I heard them saying.
SHIT. I started typing a text. “I can’t talk. I am too upset.” I heard the other two speaking.
I composed myself and hit the unmute button. I don’t remember what I said but I tried to stay positive.
The webex ended.
I knew I was in an incident. I felt betrayed. How could I ever trust anyone again? How could this happen? The whole time my numbers were on the spreadsheet. They said that managers were approved to compete. How could they do this TO ME?
I wanted to badmouth the company, my managers, anyone.
But I didn’t. I took the high road. I said I was disappointed, that’s all. And I was.
I tried not to go into my usual story – it’s my fault for being so stupid, for believing them.
But you know what? It’s not and I’m not. I’m proud of myself for not going there for the first time in my life. No need. I had declared I was a Bold Leader and this is what it looks like.
The truth is, that if I had known I wasn’t eligible, I wouldn’t have done so much work, booked so many appointments, and gotten my business going again. And set an example for everyone.
So it’s not all bad.
And, I worked extra hard today and booked 5 new appointments. Just because.
I can make that $600 another way. Try and stop me.
I’m proud of myself for acting so mature. I’m not used to it.
Thanks for listening.
PS My neighbor has a karaoke machine. It’s loud and he really can’t sing. This is not good.