Beware of Snakes

Watch out for snakes” three people told me on the first day of my new job. “Be careful where you walk” okay, fair enough. “We think there’s a big tiger snake that lives underneath the building near the pathway” said a third person.

Okay, now, I was starting to get really nervous.

I thought at one stage I’d have to swap my sandals for gum boots.

I guess that’s the price you pay for working in one of Melbourne’s most beautiful recreation and riverside parks.  At least that’s what I thought but it turns out there were much bigger vipers around.

At lunch time on 27 March, my first day of work, I remember stepping out for a walk into 32C humidity. It was a blustering hot day but within minutes the temperature plummeted.

Suddenly we were enveloped in what felt like a mini tornado. All around the trees swayed ferociously and we were stung by flying twigs, dust and leaves falling on us, forcing us to bolt back inside.

It was the quickest walk in history and was so intense that it felt like an act of God. We had literally walked into the eye of the storm. 

I’m not superstitious but looking back I wonder, was it a sign of things to come?

Back in the office that afternoon, I immersed myself in learning new and complex computer systems.


That night, back home after heavy rain, I walked inside to a flooded laundry and a dirty runaway Harry that desperately needed a bath.  I remember it all because I journalled about it.

That was day one in my new job!

Now, five weeks on, it turns out the big tiger snake was the least of my problems. It transpired that the manager (the one and only person I worked with) had unrealistically high expectations that I was never destined to meet.  

I consider myself an optimistic and positive person, determined and capable and I was giving it my all, but sometimes our best simply isn’t enough, at least to some people.

My probation period was supposed to be three months but today I walked in and was told that “with two heavy months in front of us we don’t think you’re going to make it.”

Really? Whatever happened to giving someone a chance?

I calculated it and, with Easter and public holidays, I’ve worked there a total of just 18 days.

I remember when I found the job. It seemed tailor made for me. But sometimes if something appears too good to be true it is. 

The view from my office window

What I hadn’t countered on was the hard manner of my boss and her unrealistically high expectations that I would just “get it” with minimal training. 

It was shattering and, as I sat in the office this morning while they told me “I would not make it,” all I could think of was, “but you’re not giving me a chance”.  But they’d made up their minds.

I refuse to think of myself as a failure. However, it took every ounce of strength not to break down and cry while I was sitting in the office. All I could think was, “I have huge dental bills coming up, we have a big trip planned, this felt so right, this could have worked”. But I kept that all inside and I steeled myself. 

I did give them my honest feedback though and I told them what I thought of their so called “training”.  I walked out of there with my head held high. 

I tell myself it’s their loss but, to be honest, it was like a kick in the guts and it hurt. 

On the way home, feeling numb, I stopped at the shopping centre. I needed to be around people and sure enough, I discovered that when we’re open there’s no shortage of kindness around. 

Three strangers in totally different scenarios, obviously sensing my low mood asked me how I was. And instead of saying “okay” I told them.

What a difference it makes when we open up, when people reach out to comfort us, when strangers understand, with words, a touch on the arm and expressions of hope. 

Words like “something better is waiting for you”, “you’ll be okay”, “maybe you could look at doing something completely different” helped me realise this job isn’t the be all and end all.  I will find something else.

At least now I don’t have to worry about those snakes!

We live and learn don’t we?  Life is a continual journey of highs and lows, setbacks and successes. This job didn’t turn out as I’d have liked but I’m trusting that there’s a good reason why this happened. 

I do believe that I’m stronger for this and that something better is waiting for me and that, perhaps, I’m right where I’m meant to be.

I read something by Susan Jeffers the other day that rang so true for me. In her book Embracing Uncertainty she says:

“Yes we all hope life gives us more good than bad. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But when we come to the realisation that we can make something good from the bad, we also come to the realisation that THERE REALLY IS NO BAD!  Instead there is opportunity after opportunity to improve the quality of our inner lives by using all that life hands us to make us stronger and more loving people.”

So that’s what I’m doing …  I’ll dust myself off and put myself out there again.  When life knocks you down there’s only one way to go and that’s up.

Here’s wishing you strength and peace and more good than bad in life.  

I like to think that through all our setbacks we learn and grow and ultimately become stronger and more resilient.

Trust, let go and know that, however we might not understand it, life’s all happening perfectly.

232 thoughts on “Beware of Snakes

  1. Looks like the “caution snake sign” referred to the people you actually worked with. I’m a firm believer that all things happen for a reason. Don’t be surprised to learn that your supervisor gets bitten by one of the snakes you were told to beware of. That would be sad, yet funny! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know how bad this could feel, Miriam! Especially, because I’m not a positive person either and take it really badly when I get negative news or feedback. I think you did extremely well given the minimum training you received. Don’t lose heart, my friend. I’m sure there’s something better planned for you! Sending you warm hugs!!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Cheryl. It was hard at the time, I’ll be honest it really knocked me. But I know I did what I could and they didn’t really give me a fair chance so, as far as I’m concerned, it’s their loss. Onwards hey? xo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I came in a little bit late to say…you’ll be fine. ..but then there I said it…Indeed there’s always something better waiting for us every time something crappy happens..and with the kind of persona you are…you’ll come out just fine..and awesome. ..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you Miri – putting it ‘out there’ in black and white for the World to see what a truly miserable manager she was and yep – she’s done you a favour .. onward and upward stronger and stronger looking up to the stars my lovely friend! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Miriam, I am SO SO sorry to hear about this whole situation- but I LOVE your perspective through it all. I think one of my favorite sayings is when one door closes, another one opens. I have experienced this a ton in the last couple years, and I cannot wait to see where you find a new, better, snakeless adventure πŸ˜‰ Also- they are CRAZY to do that to you. I think that alone says it’s a place ya wouldn’t wanna work. I myself am in a challenging adjustment period, but I love your wise words and the quote from the book about every “bad situation” just bringing good in disguise. Sending you much love ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Mack, that quote about doors opening and closing is one of my favourites too. Good luck with your own challenging period of adjustment. I hope it all works out for you. Life has a funny way of working out doesn’t it, even through tough periods. Big hugs and warmest wishes back to you ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, Miriam…what the heck?! First I was so excited reading about your job, snakes and all then got such a shock to read about your boss and total lack of training. Miriam, you must have been floored and I really feel for you. It IS their loss, although it’s always so tough at the time. You did right to go amongst people, feel normality and I’m sure your family are being supportive and help! Hugs flying their way around the world to you! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so kind of you Annika, truly, the amount of support here has been amazing. I feel blessed to have so many people back me. My family were terrific. Yes, it was a shock but I realise now I could never work to her expectations. She was unrealistic and toxic. Thanks again and hugs back xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so sorry that the job didn’t turn out how you would have liked, but you are definitely stronger for it. I can hear it in the beautiful words that you write and the wisdom that you gleaned and offer so freely to the rest of us. Better things are around the corner! ❀ xo

    Liked by 2 people

  8. thanks for being so honest and open Miriam– so sorry you had to walk through this. I’m sure you’ve learned and grown– but sounds like such a difficult day. Hopeful you’ll find the best place ahead to share your skillls. God Bless friend. hugs hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure I will Rhonda. The Universe obviously has other plans for me, so I’m open and ready. Thank you for your kind words my friend, appreciate it. xo


  9. Hello beautiful,
    I’m having trouble finding the words that may give you some comfort…
    I totally understand how this would have sent you reeling and been terribly upsetting. It was totally unreasonable to expect so much from you so early on and the pressure really came through from some of your comments in your posts.
    I’m a huge believer in things happening for a reason and the new line is ‘things don’t happen to you, they happen for you..’ which I think shows the benevolence of the universe, even if at the time it is only utter crappiness.
    You are the warmest, kindest soul just from reading your words, I can only imagine what you would be like in person… so a place that treasures that personality is waiting to be found by you.
    I’ve no doubt in my mind…
    Wishing I could send a hug for real life but a virtual one will have to do… love, Di πŸ’πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Di, I absolutely love what you said,’things don’t happen to you they happen for you’. I totally agree with you and am well and truly looking ahead now and seeing what happened as a lesson and a stepping stone to something better.
      Thank you so much for your caring words. You really warmed my heart and I honestly can’t wait for the day when I can give you that hug in person. Much love to you today my dear friend. xo πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello beautiful,
        I’m so glad. I stopped and thought ‘what would I like to hear’ and this came to me, as I hear it just when I need it too. So it’s yours as well now…πŸ’•
        You are so welcome and I’m truly happy to see your amazing attitude from this πŸ’
        Is it too soon to your next adventure to plan for a time this month??

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Friday would be wonderful, MiriamπŸ‘ How does the 26th suit?….And then for a half way pointπŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ’œ

          Liked by 1 person

        2. That should be good for either one Miriam… yay.
          Yes, there is a way to access emails from this app I believeπŸ€”
          So yes, it’s getting closer….😍😍

          Liked by 1 person

        3. Awesome. πŸ™‚ You can always get in touch with me via my Contact Me page. That sends a direct email. Look forward to more chats and eventually in person! πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

        4. Oh great Miriam. Good thinking.
          I’ll will after Monday. It’s our turn to head to Bright for a few days As always, sending you a hug πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’œπŸ’œ

          Liked by 1 person

        5. Oh how awesome Di. Enjoy the weekend and that spectacular part of the world. I love it there πŸ‚πŸ‚Look forward to being in touch next week. Have fun! xo 😊

          Liked by 1 person

        6. Thank you my friendπŸ‚πŸ‚ We are here and settled into our little cottage.
          Yes, I’ll be in touch but it looks like the June date you suggested…. on the way up I realised I have something on the 26th that I hadn’t written on the calendar yet…πŸ€”
          Lucky you mentioned the week afterπŸ‘Œ Have a lovely weekend It’s going to be great weather. And a happy Mother’s Day too πŸ’œπŸ’œ

          Liked by 1 person

        7. Hi Di, that’s no worries at all, we’ll sort it out when you get back. You just enjoy yourself in Bright, I just love it up there. Happy Mother’s Day to you as well. Hope you get spoilt rotten! 😊🌹❣ xo

          Liked by 1 person

        8. Thank you Miriam. Yes, it’s the perfect weekend for colour so we are actually on our own. One child is in Italy with his wife so it wouldn’t have been the same….
          Until next week… πŸ™‹πŸ»πŸ’•

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Some humans are simply sour and impossible. You don’t need all that stress, Miriam. Life is too short to be saddled with a horrid boss. I understand how you felt, anyone would feel low too, but sometimes some things just work out the way that we may not understand but inevitably for our own good.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Miriam, I’m sending you and all involved so much love and Light. What I really appreciate about this post is that you have the openness to trust, to see the perfection (or at least have faith in it!), and to be honest with your supervisors. I know that God / Spirit has your greatest good in mind with this, and with what’s to come. Be gentle with yourself. Hey one nice thing is that you probably have more time for blogging! You bring such gifts to this community, Miriam. Anyway, please know I’m loving you from LA!! Love and Light, Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw Debbie, what a lovely comment from you, which I’ve come to expect from you. You’re always so supportive. Thank you for that, I so appreciate you. And yes, definitely more time for blogging (until the next job comes up). Thanks again. Big hugs and hope all’s well with you. x

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve been going through my share of rejections over the past few months too. It hurts. But you have to pick yourself and keep moving on.. Because there’s no use in lamenting over rejections.. I could really relate to this post. Seemed as if it was just what I needed.. a dose of hope and positivity. Keep fighting, dear. There’s something better waiting for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You are one of the most uplifting people I have ever had the pleasure of “meeting,” Miriam. Thank you for the link!

    As I was reading I was reminded of a job my wife took, several years ago, that was “perfect” for her. She was hired on the spot by a high energy manager, who promptly went on vacation. Thrown to the “wolves” she was given little training by people that were jealous of her getting hired. One day, only a few days on the job, she was confronted angrily by the warehouse manager, a very large man (and an ex-con) who scared the daylights out of her.

    I told her to quit the job.

    When the manager came back she was beside herself to have lost someone she thought was perfect for the job. The lesson we walked away with was quite simple… if you find good people, put them in a position to succeed and train them properly. If any of those three factors are missing, it can’t work.

    She found something better in time, but was hurt by the experience immediately after.

    The truth is, we don’t know what we’re in for until we give something a try, any more than we know what we’ve lost until it’s gone. There are no perfect jobs, only us, doing the best with what we can. Everyday. But Jeffers is right, there is no good or bad, really, only our reactions to events that make them so. Stuff will happen; let’s just continue to do our best. πŸ™‚

    Thank you again for sending me the link… a fantastic and uplifting look into the past of my new friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tom. I really appreciate that you wanted to read about this, it was a pretty stressful time for me but I honestly believe now, looking back, that it was never destined to work. It’s like the Universe was conspiring. I don’t know whether or not you believe in “signs”, coincidences, call it what you will, but the entire time I was in that job, I had nothing but trouble with my usually reliable car. It jerked and went so poorly, it was in and out of the mechanics, they changed spark plugs, leads, you name it they changed it. My car never went so badly. Even my car savvy hubby couldn’t work it out. The day I got fired the car suddenly started running smoothly again. Like, virtually the next day.
      Anyway, that’s just a sideline. I’m sorry your wife went through such a hard experience herself. It’s good you told her to quit but so awful that she had to go through all of that. We really do live and learn don’t we, in all facets of our life.
      Again, thanks for reading Tom. Our experiences and how we relate to them all make up so many facets of us. I’m so glad we’ve connected. Cheers Tom x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am, too, Miriam. Some of the things in my recent past have made me question whether my long-standing disbelief in “fate” or “signs” was misguided, and your story has added to my changing perception of that. Something is happening in all our lives; something too fantastic not to be magical, on some level.

        And, if not, it sure makes more sense to believe and hope than to disregard and scowl. πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

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