Creation and destruction

Proud of who I am - a year on

Let go of the past




A year ago, I was metaphorically speaking sitting at my almost empty desk with my bags already packed (they had actually been packed for months) ready to spread my wings and leave behind a place that had caused me and my family endless misery.

What I learned was that civil servants have traded their souls, their happiness for an empty job and a good pension. I really mean this. And what a heavy price to pay it is.

Luckily for me, this was not my first job in my life - and as we Romanians say, I've seen a lot of water flow under many bridges, so I had plenty of experiences against which to measure everything that was going in Victoria. And boy did it score poorly.




From the lack of professionalism and integrity of the management to the hypocrisy of a system eager to pretend that the "king has beautiful clothes" when there were none, from the brainwashing, box ticking exercises to an environment where bullying was part of the norm. These are not my words, you can find them on the Myers Briggs career evaluation service. An amazingly false environment where truth about the system is only whispered among people you really trust (and repeated extensively in confidential staff surveys) ...... to cut a long story short, everything about the way the place reminded me of Communist Romania, all top down instructions, no listening, no attempt to help, to develop, and yet I was in the middle of the cradle of democracy.

Standing up for ones views was the equivalent of professional suicide and departmental isolation. I know it! I've done it! I've been there and I still have the scars to show.

Anyway, I plan to write bits about my experience in the Civil Service in time. Why? Because I am Romanian.

Having lived in this country for 8 years, I can honestly say that I'm proud of who I am. I'm proud of the level of dedication my generation in Romania showed in our top jobs in marketing, advertising, publishing, media in general. What we had at that time was a hunger ... hunger for knowledge, hunger for results, hunger to learn, have fun and a huge respect for the enlightened mangers some of us were lucky enough to meet and to learn from.

For me, I'm speaking here about Reese Palley (read about his adventures here an American adventurer, sailer, writer, an intuitive advertiser, a pioneer, a man who did not believe in compromises and who inspired us in the ad agency he established to think outside the box and believe in our ideas. Do check him out guys, you will be inspired by his adventures, I can promise you that!

Another man who made a huge difference in my life was Michael Holscher (read a bit about him here another American. What he was able to do was to surround himself with the right people for the right job and then give them the freedom to use their creativity and instincts, standing against those proposing safe, well trodden ideas. He was prepared to take creative risks and I'm sure this is why our achievements were way above any expectations.

When like me you are lucky to meet people like Reese and Mike, it's easy to spot a fraud, it's easy to see through the layers of empty words. We learned to stand up for ourselves and our rights and I treasure this more than anything.


Timeless Rituals

What a beautiful post you wrote, Corina. I know something about Romania, because here in Italy tere are thousands of Romanians who came here for a job.
Thank you for sharing with us. I'm now going to read about those two man who inspired you. :))

Jo Anne Parker

Powerful words from a powerful and caring woman...Thank you for doing the the right jo


I have shared some of your civil servant pains, dear Corina: I have witnessed you 'fading away' in a dark zone that was eating up your creativity, your zest for life. Thanks god you came out of it, and I hope you will slowly leave behind the leftover scars as well.

You put side to side a time of great development in our youth when we were eager, lucky and free to meet people who inspired us with a totally different kind of perspective on life, where people with houses and mortgages give up their dreams for a pay, and create an organization that forces everyone else to do so. Although I'm not sure these things are a matter of nationality, the change is quite an experience: and aren't such experiences the forces that push us outside our previous answers and identities...


Dear Simona/ timeless Rituals I'm very, very happy that my words made you think about some of the Romanians living in Italy. :) I believe that stories like this one bring people closer, makes them open up and be more compassionate ........I hope that you found Reese's story exciting. He is still such a non-conformist! :) much love! Corina


Dear Jo Anne your words as always support and motivate me. A big thank you! Lots of hugs!


Dana my darling I know ..... I was a sad shadow of myself and felt trapped, desperate, helpless. Thank you so much for listening to my endless desperate stories :) Yes my lovely what we ve had in the early 90's was special..... a unique moment in time. And somehow our adventurous spirits made us take so many roads less travelled...... leading to meeting exciting people, being part of the group of pioneering souls opening new industries in Romania.

Lots of the civil servants I've met were tided up in mortgages but not all. I was sad to see lots of young professionals .. at the beginning of their careers. In less than 3 years they ll have their wings clipped, and they ll have joined the hoards of grey, fearfull individuals saying yes sir, no sir, being bullied or bullying others.... there are very few options.
Anyway you are absolutely right these experiences play an important role in our lives. Many hugs! Corina


I love to hear something so true and I feel relieved I am not the only one spotting frauds and bullies! I am so happy that you feel PROUD of yourself as a ROmanian that grew up in fear and taking risks to maintain your identity in the sea of conformity we were supposed to be engulphed. We were far beyond mortgages, we would have been the 2nd generation on the verge of losing our lives if not learning to say Yes, Sir and No, sir. We found the BORG!

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