Relevance

His name was Jim, the new web guy.  I’d never met the man, but in the email exchanges that ensued between him and I in the coming weeks, I felt less and less secure that I would still had a place in the Rick Springfield organization.  He proposed a total site redesign, moving the site to a server that was more robust, changing the message board I currently had running on the site.  I tried to think back to when I’d taken over the site from Rick’s pro designer back in 1999.  I too had a vision for massive changes to the site to make it more user friendly; had I missed what needed to be done by having too many irons in the fire?

Ronnie had sent the mockup of the new site Jim had proposed, and while I had to admit I was impressed, I was also frustrated that it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t have put together myself.  Had Rick given me any sort of indication that he was unhappy with the look and feel of the website, I could have put something similar together myself.  But everything I always heard from him was that the site was great, especially the new one I’d put together for the new record.  The record company never said anything either, nor did Ronnie.   So as I exchanged pertinent information with Jim, trying to engage him in conversation about music player scripts or photo display layouts, I was trying to gain a sense of why I had been supplanted with someone who didn’t seem to be that far outside my level of skill.   All I could figure out was that he was a single guy who did websites for a living.

“I don’t know why,” Kim answered my query when I asked her.  Kim was now living in Los Angeles and designing all of Rick’s merchandise; she often heard this or that about the business in her work with him, so I asked her if she knew why I’d been demoted.  “I never heard anything until you called me with the news.  I agree with you though that the site isn’t anything you couldn’t have done.  There must be another reason that isn’t obvious.”

Rick had promised to call me at home, to talk to me and reassure me that I still had a place in the organization, though so far my phone had remained quiet.  “Don’t even think about leaving the team…we need you too much,” he typed in response to my email query about the new set up.  “Is the new guy being nice to you?  It all needs to work, we need you to work together,” he pleaded through the computer screen.

And then there was Michael.  Of course this couldn’t really have come at a better time, I tried to tell myself. I was less and less available as I drove Michael to speech therapy and had therapy visits in my home while I sat by, trying to learn how to make my son learn.  I should be grateful that my unpaid workload was decreased; in fact, as a mother I should have probably asked for it to be this way.  But somehow, I still felt deflated and demoted, since the change in situation was not of my own choosing.

I needed to just look on the bright side and make it all work.  Everything happens for a reason, I always said; there must be a reason for this too.  Rick wanted it to work, Ronnie thought it was the right thing, and I needed to get on board before I risked irritating everyone with my own insecurity.  Jim hadn’t given me any reason to think that I wasn’t still going to have a place on the team.

I really, really wanted to believe it.  With my hopes and dreams for my youngest child crashing down around me, I needed to believe that I was still special, and important, and that I still mattered.

 

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