Despicable Me

Despicable Me

Dear readers, this is going to be very hard to believe but some people don’t like me.  I know, I know – Kerry is so nice.  Nice is such an overused word but accurately describes me.  Not perfect, not fabulous, not evil; just nice.  In Scotland we have a perfect word that fits me to a T – “couthie”.  It’s the opposite of uncouth and is nice with a little extra kindness and warmth.  Gosh, I sound so wonderful that perhaps I am narcissistic?

I worked a long contract recently when I discovered that my niceness made some people contemptuous.  It is my job to charm clients, exude warmth and be as nice as ninepence.  Mostly, it works to my employers’ advantage and the clients.  In this recent scenario, the company I was contracted to had a nest of vipers working for them.  The first day I was upbeat and excited.  The second day, I was upbeat but trepidatious.  By the fifth day, I was ready to jump out the 4th story window.  In all fairness, I have been battling chronic depression and a respiratory infection but I was not alone in feeling the toxic environment.  The event was guarded and every day I would chat to the various security personnel.  On the fourth day, the guard was so concerned by my worried face that he said, “Miss Kerry, if you look behind you will see a rainbow”.  There really was one and I was almost tearful at his empathy.

I am realistic enough to see that the company toxicity preceded me and was so complex.  Who disliked who?  Why was everyone backstabbing?  Was it their comparative youth?  It was made worse by staff sharing confidences with me about personal and work situations.  I am an empath!  Just like Deanna Troi in Star Trek, I really hurt when negative emotions surround me.  This is also why I am so good with clients.  Most of the conference attendees gravitated towards me, rather than the organizers, because I smiled and made them welcome.  I made an effort to learn their names, ask about their country and business and was generally pleasant.

Every evening I would go home to Teddy and vent viciously about my contracted, temporary, employers.  This is not the first time I have worked for difficult people but when the generalized wrath finally turned on me, it felt like a knife wound.  It made me second-guess myself.  I can’t stand not being busy and constantly found something to do.  This also made me realize how little some of the organizers were doing.  So many personal texts and emails added to workplace venom.  Three of the days were 11 hour shifts with no real breaks, just occasional snacks and trips to the restroom.  Most of the job was sitting so it wasn’t hard work just mentally wearing.

What part did I play inciting the wrath of one particular person?  Well, I am straightforward and noted that the name badges were not alphabetical, making life a little harder than it needed to be.  My constant tidying of the workplace may not have sit well, especially when I asked the cleaning staff for a cloth to clean the coffee tables properly.  Perhaps my age didn’t help?  The majority of the clients were male and closer to my age, so they were putty in my hands.  A pretty accent and smiling face takes you a long way in Texas or anywhere else.  A few came up to me before they left and thanked me for my help or just talking to them.  None of this went unnoticed and my benign conversation with guests was often interrupted with a rather forced sales pitch.  Use honey not vinegar, darlings.

I would love to say this is the first time this has happened but many years ago when I was a small project manager, I had two paid staff and a team of volunteers.  One of the staff respected and liked me, all the volunteers did also but the other staff member really despised me.  She did once imply that my life should have been hers.  I was fat and unattractive yet married to a successful handsome guy (the same Teddy).  She was stunningly attractive with the husband from hell and wanted my job.  I thought I did everything I could to make her life easier and make the job more attractive and interesting but there were limits with funding.  After five years, I burned out and resigned, despite the President’s pleading, then she got the envied job with a good honest reference from me.  Within a couple of years the project disappeared.

I think I know my faults.  My honesty and tactlessness can be searing but rarely with malicious intent.  I am very warm but know when to draw a boundary line.  Delegation is not my strong suit and I prefer my boss to be straightforward with clear instructions.  I will put complaints in writing if I have to but usually prefer to talk it out.  So what’s the point of this post?  The soul searching was worth it – there are always aspects of our behavior we can modify.  Lessons are learned and we move forward.  I wonder if any of them thought about me after the event.  At the very end I received a hug and thanks from one of the nicer organizers.  The one who despised me still thanked me for all my hard work.

Onwards and upwards – I guess I could work at the White House or as an indentured servant at Amazon…


There is a rather sad story about the photograph.  The little boy was badly affected by domestic violence aimed at him and his mother.  I was mostly unaware of this and then they moved away.  He was the son of my mum’s school friend.  Many years later we visited and he was a handsome older teenager with a car.  He took me for a drive with an open can of beer in the console.  Despite longing to date, something made me decline the offer.  He died in his 50’s of alcohol abuse.  Every time I look at this photo, I think of what happened to this sweet little boy.


Post Cards from Kerry by Chatty Kerry

My lovely Antipodean friend, Calm Kate, interviewed me for her new website, “Meet the Bloggers”. It really made me think hard about myself and what I reveal. Now you know almost everything about me… Please go and check out Kate’s site and her other WP blog, Aroused.

Meet the Bloggers

Met Chatty Kerry early on and really delighted by her fresh openness on her personal matters.  She shares her health issues, voluntary work at the airport, family, travels, thoughts and insecurities .. she is totally herself in a very personable way.  She shares great photos of gardens, buildings and scenes both locally and during her exploits into other areas so it’s not surprising that she has published in magazines … must ask her how much they pay?  So if you want personal, travel and variety it doesn’t get much better than Kerry!

[Apologies to everyone for my lack of tech skills, Kerry decorated her interview with a delightful collection of photos to illustrate her points but I have no idea how to down load them from PDF or word document … maybe I will work it out and add them later!]

Where were you raised?


I was…

View original post 2,114 more words

Superbowl 2017


Unless you have been sleeping under a rock, you will know that the Superbowl is in Houston this year. At the last minute I have VIP contract work with long shifts and I will have to take a sabbatical from WP for a couple of weeks. If I get the chance I will prepare drafts.

I am going to take down ‘Carrie and Kerry’ temporarily and present it as a series and hopefully show that there was a happy ending for Carrie and Kerry. My doctor has also prescribed a new antidepressant (dum, dum, dum) which I will take after the Superbowl. Otherwise, there might be a National Enquirer worthy photo of me working with VIPs. They aren’t really VIPs, just executives from rich companies wasting money on bloody football tickets…

Stop! That is what I get paid for. Please pray for me in a city already overcrowded with drunk football supporters and I will be back in touch. I care not a whit about Atlanta or Boston or football but will be smiling with an old country accent to charm the pants off them (not literally). There are hookers for that…😈

The interview

k interview suit

This was the best I could do with a hastily taken photograph that wasn’t sharp but I hope you get the picture. I have not been blogging much recently and the reason why was I submitted my resume to an events company and they asked me to interview. My dear friend had just gifted me a gorgeous Michael Kors dress that fitted beautifully. It had a high neck and long sleeves – perfect for an interview but I had no jacket. I decided to go to my favorite thrift store and found a jacket that was brand new, with the tickets on, ($200) for $10 – what a find! The company offered me the job (which may vary) on the spot but mostly I will be meeting VIPs at the airport and making sure they get safely to their destination.

My first weekend was chaotic – two major events were in town, flights were delayed by weather and the road conditions were terrible. I discovered that night driving with a new lens is difficult. I can see much better but there are flashing halos everywhere. To my utter surprise I like my new job and hope they like me. In the midst of all this my husband launched our new website on Friday and we have our first customer! I will focus on that in the next post but once again thank you to two friends, one who recommended me for the job and the other for the gorgeous dress. Not only that, they were supportive and loving in the midst of my angst.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Katniss, the feral cat

Katniss, the feral cat

I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers (that’s said in my best Southern belle accent). None of you are strangers, of course, you know more about me than most. One of my dear friends was concerned that I was revealing too much of my soul when I started being really honest on my blog but I think it is good for me and for any one person that may be helped by my revelation and insight.

I hoped today might be almost back to normal but Zhenny the crazy cat had one of her occasional pancreatic attacks with blood in her urine. They happen dramatically quickly so we rushed her to the vet this afternoon. Both the new veterinarian and the assistant were AMAZING. They listened to me (treat her like a wild raccoon and pump her full of injections), the assistant who had lived in third world countries held her like a baby so she did not have to be tranquilized and then rocked her like a baby. In 12 years I have never been able to rock her like a baby. If she does not recover quickly (she probably will) or has another attack soon then we have all made the sad decision to send her to meet Grandma Kathleen in heaven. One of my mum’s many saving graces was that she adored animals.

We are back at home now and I thought you might like to meet Katniss (above). She left for about a week but has been coming every day (and now twice or three times a day) for dinner. Our weather has switched from too hot to freezing so she needs a little extra food although she is a perfectly good hunter. As you know, I am trying to tame her a little so that I can neuter and release her. Then I will cut back on the feeding as there is plenty of prey just in my back yard…

Katniss is the daintiest little girl with a tail longer than her body. We previously called her the slut (kittens, many kittens) but she sits like a lovely little lady with her tiny toes tucked in. Sometimes I imagine she is wearing a black satin dress with some white pumps. It worried me when my husband named her because we only ever have three cats and it felt ominous. Right at this happy moment we have three indoor cats, one on massive pain relief, and a contented Katniss.

You have all been so wonderfully uplifting in your comments about my illness and husband being laid off that I thought you might like this hilarious tale. He has applied for endless jobs which will not be looked at until after the holiday period. One in particular was in Saudi Arabia. We are doubtful about this because their retirement age is 60 (how civilized?) and they rarely take anyone over 55 unless they have specific skills. He certainly has the skillset and some Arabic but there are plenty of contenders in this slump. Two nights ago he noticed a missed call from Saudi Arabia on his cell phone. He waited until it was morning and then called the number back, with some excitement. Can you believe it was a wrong number? What are the chances of getting a wrong number from the exact town in Saudi that you applied to? With our current luck he was phoning the local branch of Al Qaeda and we will get even more strange clicks and cut-offs on our phone line!

Thank you all so much.

Invisible Illness


Today I have retreated to bed for the day. As hard as I try, it is very difficult for friends and colleagues to understand the peculiarities of my mental illness. You have all seen me with my happy face on, sometimes it’s forced but mostly it’s not. My mood today is nothing to with our current circumstances. I have days like this every fortnight or so and somehow I will have to relate this in an application form to apply for Disability Benefit. If only you could just attach a photograph, eh?

My intellectual capacity and usual appearance will undermine an application so I expect to be refused at least twice even with the backing of my psychiatrist who has known me for 11 years. I saw him yesterday and although he cannot take any more patients he said he would continue to see me no matter the future insurance. What a sweetheart he is.

The holiday season always takes its toll on me. I take on too much, forget that no amount of wine will take away my social anxiety and everyone tells me how great I look, ironically. I was looking forward to going to work today despite feeling tired. My ‘healthy’ appearance at the Christmas party had fooled my boss into giving me an extra duty that I always excel at but it wipes me out. When I got the schedule last night I wanted to cry – I just couldn’t do it.

The extra duty was training. I have a variety of post college training certificates in this and myriad other fields (the oddest was funeral counselling skills). When you are feeling mentally exhausted, you may as well be climbing Everest. I am annoyed at myself, at my boss, at the world and at my genetics. It is so frustrating to see other people working normally. My psychiatrist is the same age as me – he had worked at a hospital in the morning, was seeing out-patients until at least 6.30 pm and looked as fresh as a daisy. He was mentally sharp and even made me fall over laughing at his wit.

I didn’t write this for pity but you can sympathize if you like. Tomorrow, I will be back to my usual self and focus on physical tasks such washing the deck. I suppose the exercise gurus are correct about exercise being good for the brain and body but personally I love the satisfaction of completing a useful task. If anyone has any cows to herd, I will be available… 🙂