Four brave prosecutors have resigned from the DOJ in protest of Trump’s meddling. I am impressed with their fortitude despite the almost guaranteed fallout that will follow. I have heard many pundits on television of-late calling for more resignations to “send a message.” To me, and many others, they have acted heroically by forfeiting the security of their job to take a stand.
Remember that old Johnny Paycheck song?
Performed by Johnny Paycheck, written by David Allan Coe
But, in the every day world, how do we view people who willingly tell their boss to “shove it?”
When my powerful, mercurial boss insisted I do something incredibly unethical, and I refused, she berated me with her usual brand of contempt and finished by reminding me, “you don’t have your union anymore…” I walked away, and resigned a position I had treasured. After I dried literally three days of tears from my eyes, I woke to the realization that no future employer was going to see me as a hero. No one was going to look at my resume and exclaim, “She stood up for herself and her colleague. She refused to be bullied by her boss. Let’s hire her!”
Several months later, I’m still without a position. The boss? She continues to preside over a staff that is becoming quite accustomed to the revolving door in the front office and a board that routinely looks the other way.
Would I do anything differently?
There is a always a price to be paid when you stand up against authority. Inside, you hope against all hope that it won’t ultimately cost you your livelihood, but you can’t let that dictate your actions. At times like this, we are called upon to take action regardless of potential negative outcomes.
But, that doesn’t make it any easier to pay the bills or salvage your pride. With every rejection, you feel the trauma of that fateful decision like a knife, twisting in your heart. All anyone can do is trust that someone will come along who realizes that the decision to walk away doesn’t signal weakness or a lack of perseverance and commitment.
Life is not always fair, but that is not news to anyone who has lived a few years. It’s how you respond to that disappointment that really matters; how you pick yourself up, dust off your knees, and move forward in a different direction.
And I’m moving forward — eyes wide open, and head held high.