Nancy Roman

A Little Lesson in Humility

As I moved up the ladder at my big corporate job…

…oh, that reminds me of an old admonition:

“As you climb the ladder of success
Don’t let the boys look up your dress.”

Let me start again:

As I moved up the ladder at my big corporate job, I got to partake in some of the perks. Perk partaking is practically perfect.

I got stock options, gym memberships, first class travel.  (By the way, first class travel is SUCH a waste of money –  and SO sweet.)

And a reserved parking space. Or rather, I was supposed to get one.

It all started when two guys from Accounting got their executive parking spaces when they made Director.  I had been promoted to Director in Finance several months earlier.

My boss – the most loyal person in the world – called me in.

“Cliff and Norm got their parking spaces!” he shouted in outrage.

“Huh? I said.

“If those bozos can have a parking space, you should have a parking space,” he said.

“Yeah,” I agreed.  “I’m as big a bozo as them.”

“Bigger,”  he said.

And so my boss went to the perk department and raised a fuss until I got my parking space.  It was actually a rather poorly positioned space, and I had to turn the wheel hard to get into that corner, but it was MINE.  It had my name on it. (Well, not really; the spaces were numbered –but that was MY number.)

For about two months.

Construction began on a big new addition, and Facilities Planning needed my space.

For the Dumpster.

My mother thought this turn of events was hilarious.

“God has a way of making sure you don’t get too conceited,” she said.

For Christmas that year, she gave me this sign:

I no longer have the job, the perks, or the parking space.  But I’ve kept the sign.

When I look at it, I can still hear my mother laughing.

And I remind my ego that I’m not necessarily more important than the dumpster.


Bonus Moral:  A long walk to your destination can be good for your heart (and your soul).


  1. Suzanne Tate

    Spot on!

    “A long walk to your destination can be good for your heart (and your soul).” ……not to mention your butt. Goodbye Spanx!


  2. I see where your sense of humor comes from.


  3. RVingGirl

    Your Mom is too cute! Perfect sign for your bruised Ego.
    I recall a few years ago (ok so maybe 15 yrs) when some friends noted that I was nice and slim. When they asked how I did it, I VERY conceitedly (is that a word) responded that I only ate to fuel my body and that I always made sure to park the further from my destination. I was SO darn superficial. They must still hate me but must be happy because I am no longer that svelte young woman. It always comes back to bite you in the ASS! lol


  4. What a great story! I agree that God seems to notice when we might be a little full of ourselves, and makes adjustments to burst that bubble. Of course, ever since I had teenagers I’ve said that God gives us children to keep us humble (and poor!). 🙂


  5. Isn’t that a hoot ? Sounds as though you didn’t need to have too big a bubble burst but good for you for seeing the humor none the less.


  6. Doc

    Be grateful for the small things. You had a parking space. For two months! My boss still doesn’t know my name. After 6 years!


  7. Elyse

    Mothers have that special ability to burst your bubble with love!


  8. Humility is like a tool. Sometimes it’s like a splash of cold water but it keeps us on the straight and narrow even if we haven’t really gotten a big head. It helps us appreciate what is noteworthy. At least that’s how it’s worked for me.

    Your mom’s a hoot!


  9. Love. This. Post.

    So funny. And so true.


  10. Great post! Reminds me of one of my favorites: I am never quite so dumb as when I think I’m smart.


  11. Ha! Ooh now I know where you get your sense of humor!


    • My father’s sense of humor tended towards corny; my mother’s sense of humor has always been on the wickedly sharp side. Between the two of them…I just laugh at everything!


  12. Haha! Found your blog through “these days of mine”, and I am HOOKED! I have read a few of your posts, and can’t wait to read more.


    • Thanks. I’m happy that you are enjoying my writing. I’ll try not to disappoint you…


  13. Words are a marvelous tool. Another great post and loved the old admonition, You are wickedly sharp just like your mom.


  14. if you want to know how important you are, just listen to your kids talk to their buddies about you … Now there is a wake up call.

    Nice work sis.



  15. In a strange twist, our staff/faculty parking lot is far away from our building, but the students (1/3 my age) get to park right next to the door! It was at least a nice gesture for your boss to stick up for you.


  16. So funny. Your Mom is too funny!


  17. Leave it to a Mom to keep us humble.


  18. Love the sign and love your story!


  19. Laughing is often the best and only anecdote to those things in life that get to us… especially as we age.


  20. I love the line that you’re as big a bozo as your colleagues who got the parking spot–brilliant! Very funny post and a great lesson in humility. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: