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Response: There's Life After Failure

 I am so glad that I found your page. It just so happens that I was considering, yet again, a different job. I work with little kids. It is a HARD job, but very rewarding. It doesn't pay well. I can't make overtime pay, but I put in PLENTY of overtime. I liked your piece about R.Nixon, because I was called into the office yesturday to receive a written warning of negligence. That sounds horrible. What happened is that a child managed to get out of the room without me noticing. It is the third time in 5 months, since I started working there. Each was a little different, but it happened.

There are SOOOOO many parts to my job. But seemingly the most important one (saftey) is not a thing I do well with. I think we should have another teacher's aide, but they can't afford it. I bounce back and forth between feeling that too much is being asked of me or unfortunately, I am not competent. Like I have a missing and very important skill and I am the one who needs to realize that even though I've been doing child care for 20 years, because of this one problem, which I KNOW is very important, maybe I shouldn't be a provider. I also know if I gear up and make a big point of being really careful, I should be able to become more safety conscious. If this happens again I could lose my job. Part of me wants to quit before I get fired.

It's frustrating, to be good at all of the important things I AM good at, and have that not be enough. I wonder if there is another job that would only use my strengths. I am innovative and have fun with the kids and enjoy being unconventional. I love to work with these little kids; birth to 2 1/2. It's scary to realize that I am not aware enough of keeping kids safe. I hate it when keeping them safe conflicts with them having fun. Add to this whole thing that as a child 'I' was not protected. I believe that part of this 'inability' to be aware of kids safety has to do with what I learned as a child. I am a survivor of incest. It is my hope that now that I am very conscious of this issue, that I can work through this and un-learn my own experience. Reading what you wrote about R.Nixon, and the quote that the real sadness of failure is not trying. It gave me more encouragement to stick with this. Thankyou, Jeannie



You have such a good attitude about all this--humble enough to admit your mistake, realistic enough to know that it is important, and still wise enough to know that failing at one thing does not make one a failure. I hope you can find a way to change and still do child care, but if not, I know you will find something equally satisfying. Good luck--Mike


Yeah, but Richard Nixon was a wealthy man. Having sufficient means must certainly take away a great deal of failure's sting.




I doubt it. Failure, like success, seems to be in the eyes of the beholder; I'm sure destitute people in impoverished countries would say the same thing about people in the U.S. who go through bankruptcy. Sure they lose a bunch of money, but rarely do they end up homeless. The point is that Richard Nixon never achieved his former greatness; however, he found new and significant ways to succeed even in his failure.-- Mike

August 3, '99

I too am glad I found your page about Nixon. I also enjoyed the comments from others. I found myself at 32 unhappily married with two children and nothing but a GED. No work skills or history. I got myself a grant, went to nursing school and graduated with a 3.75 grade average. I passed boards and was convinced that I was on the road to success. Someone has said that neither success nor failure is permanent and in my case success was fleeting. I found I simply could not handle being a floor nurse in a hospital. The incredible responsibility of of caring for nine to ten patients per night was too much. I moved to a different department in the hospital but about that time my marriage finally came apart and I was forced to leave because the hospital wouldn't give me day shift and I had two children who were going unsupervised from after school till midnight when I got home. I chose my children. Since then I've worked home health, (they went out of business) and doctor's offices. My last job was in a specialty area. The director told me he had two openings, one for case manager and one for office manager. He said, "I'd love to have you for office manager but the company won't let me hire anyone without a bachelor's degree. Will you be case manager?" I said yes. Soon he hired someone for office manager who didn't have the training in our specialty that I had. In fact she knew little to nothing about it. I trained her. Showed her the ropes, taught her, case managed for her while she was learning. She got six weeks orientation as compared to the ten days I was given. ( For several weeks before she came, I was doing both jobs without extra pay.) After a month or so we were talking casually and I found out that she didn't even have the Associates degree I have. she is a diploma nurse with NO COLLEGE at all. The icing on the cake came when she called me into the office and fired me. When I asked her why she said " I don't have to give you a reason and I'm not going to." Now days I sit at home and fiddle with the computer. I can't even seem to get it together enough to revise my resume. It is nothing but a sad series of failures anyway. I'd go back to school but how can a woman in her mid-forties hope to start over and compete in the work world? And where would I find the financing anyway? I read the article on Nixon and I feel a little better. Maybe there's hope for me too. I just don't know what direction to go. Anyway, thanks for letting me get all this off my chest. This is the first time I've really told my story to anyone but family. Sara

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