The Lost Year

The moment I left, I knew I would be back...

I knew it was only temporary when I accepted a position, at a smaller host, as a one-woman Customer Service Department. I told myself, "Self, you are not a traitor, these people are hardly competitors."

On that bittersweet day in April, 2012, I left SingleHop because I felt it was the best thing for me, as well as my team. It took a year (474 days, but who’s counting) before I went back to SingleHop. We shall call that "The Lost Year."

After a few months at the new place, I realized something was just not right. The tiniest of things were nit-picked and micro-managed. Small, easy decisions took weeks to resolve. The slowness was painful.

Soon, I was tasked with "improving the culture," which, ultimately, I found to be nearly impossible. There was no Kool-Aid. And no one wanted to drink my Kool-Aid.

I could get past the fact that none of my new coworkers had the brain power to grasp the pronunciation of my name (eh-LEN-ee), but I could not get past the fact that no one really wanted to be there. There was no vision, no purpose, no drive; this place was content with just treading water.

And that is when I realized that I NEEDED those things. My ultimate realization came when I started doing something I said I would never, ever do: I started wearing yoga pants to work.

So, I learned the hard way that the grass was not greener. Really, the grass was dried out, brown, and ugly.

I needed to get back to my roots and began discussing my options with my now manager. It seemed she wanted me back just as much as I wanted to go back. Maybe because SingleHop was my first big-girl job, or maybe because I joined SingleHop during its "start-up" years, but I feel a certain loyalty to the place, and, while I was gone, I really felt like I was missing out.

Now, I am back. I am at a place of which I can be proud. A place where a little something called transparency exists. An ever-changing, sometimes crazy, but always exciting place, where the owners want nothing more than to make it an even better place, for both its employees and clients.

I was in shock, for at least a week, upon my return to SingleHop. So much had changed! There were real adults working here now! Not only did we have a shiny, new, neon green office, but the staff had doubled in size. While the fun and exuberance still thrived, so, too, did professionalism and purpose. SingleHop had grown up. They were not the only ones, however. I realized that I had changed for the better, as well. I started at SingleHop all those years ago as a fresh-faced newbie to the industry, enjoying the spoils of my first meaningful job. I feel as though, like SingleHop, I have grown into an adult professional. I am better able to recognize when best practices are being utilized and when work needs to be done. It is ironic that SingleHop and I seemed to grow and mature together, even while we were apart.

So, did I trade my 2 mile commute for a 20 mile commute? Yes.

Did I move down the rungs of the corporate ladder instead of surge ahead? Yup.

But that's OK, because sometimes you need to take a step back in order to leap forward, and, at the young age of 27 and a half, that's a risk I was willing to take to be a part of something big- a place with goals and a vision, where we all like coming to work everyday, and we see the big picture.. and I'm sent cat pics on an hourly basis.