The big project has taken months to come together – details, research, formatting and proof-reading. When I proudly present it, I’m met with that look. The “why did you think I wanted this?” look. The “No, what I really meant was this” look. I clap my hands to my face like Edvard Munch’s The Scream. But I really feel like Dorothy.
You know, Dorothy Gale, sweet Kansas girl who is thrust into the technicolor world of munchkins, talking scarecrows, and witches. All she wants to do is get home and everyone directs her to the wizard for help. After overcoming many significant obstacles, she is brought into the wizard’s presence, her meek request is rebuffed, and the accomplishments that brought her to this point are ignored. “Bring me the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West!” he shouts. It’s as if there is a straightforward recipe for getting what she wants and she skipped over step three.
I was stunned. We didn’t have any international policies, so my models didn’t point me that way. No one ever asked for it to be international. And it was going to be very hard. Now my meetings were by phone with counterparts in England and Ireland; they had more detailed laws that went over and above what the US required. After more weeks of revision, review, and negotiation, I thought the policy was ready.
I went back to the senior managers’ meeting with my knees quaking. I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for the item to come up on the agenda. The policy was named, there was no comment (not even one!) and it was declared approved. Somebody rang a bell (were we on a ship?) and it was done. I floated out of that room, proud of finally pulling this project across the finish line. At that moment, I think I had on ruby slippers.