When I finally did agree to join Joe, at first it was part-time.  I got approval to work part-time at my job, so that just in case it didn’t work out at USFSB, I would be able to go back.  During the first few months, Joe asked me to work with each employee to evaluate their job duties and assess their efforts.  Of course, the employees did not like the scrutiny.  I was respectful of their feelings, but I was met with so much animosity  that it made it difficult for me to fit in to some aspects of the daily office routine.

             Joe established his position with the employees easily, but by the time I arrived, I was met with some resistance, which did not make it easy for me to adjust or enjoy being there.  I believe, at first, the employees just assumed that I wouldn’t stay.  Maybe, they didn’t even believe that Joe would stay, but who knows.  I think they just thought, “Oh, well, Joe’s wife is here for a while”.  In addition, as Joe said, he was used to running his office as a ‘dictatorship’ and I was used to a large office where consensus was a usual process.  This was going to be a challenge!

             Challenge or not I believe that the reason we can work together successfully can be summed up in a few words.  While we both have common goals, we approach them differently because of our unique and sometimes opposite personalities.  Joe may win most of the debates, but maybe that comes with the territory of having been a successful attorney!   Can I ever win??

             Despite the resistance from the employees, I soon became involved with one of our large vendor programs and liked the idea of the marketing I could do on behalf of USFSB by traveling to their field offices and train them on our program.  This part of my job became very appealing to me.   Within a few months, I got approval for a leave of absence for one year from my job and I came to USFSB full-time to run this program.   

            Eventually, I was doing quite a bit of traveling, training, and meeting with corporate executives.   I liked what I was doing, but I still tried to be independent of the office and the staff.  As I established my own ‘territory’ in the office, it became easier and I began to enjoy my new career.   I isolated myself from the insurance side of USFSB and became less and less involved with the employees.   This would later change, but at the time, it worked for all of us. 

             In terms of the office dynamics, I still was part of the staff and when we met, weekly, on different programs, Joe and I, on occasion, would have different ideas on how to approach the vendor program.    Although, I became the face of USFSB at these field offices, Joe orchestrated our moves with them and, sometimes, I resented it.   Neither of us had much experience dealing with the large corporate world, but I was the one meeting with them and I felt I had a better perspective than Joe when it came to some of the decision making.   That is not to say his decisions were bad.