From the Vault: The Negative Story of Nell

Negative Nell by Kyle Jones

 New adventures of Nell begin next week! In the meantime, we revisit Nell’s first story.

The Negative Story of Nell


Do we allow negative thoughts to control our actions? Do we miss opportunities because we assume the worst? Do we fail because we never thought we could? Do we become blinded by our own thoughts? Maybe we need to change our focus?

Maybe we can learn from the negative story of Nell.

We think. It’s that simple. We think and thinking produces thoughts. Thoughts then trigger actions. Actions create either results (positive) or consequences (negative). Now, I fully realize that there could be consequences that are positive but I ask you the following question.

Have you ever heard anyone say, “They suffered the results?”

No, instead, you’ve heard that they suffered the consequences.

I wrote a post last year about the glass being half empty and I often need to remind myself that it is important to be positive. Being positive can open your eyes to a world of possibilities that might not be seen if you focus on the negative.

To illustrate this point, I’d like to tell you the story. A story about negativity and a story about assumptions.

Nell has been working for 123 Company for five years. She’s disgruntled because she’s been passed over for promotions and has seen other people hired after her advance further that she. Nell doesn’t like her HR role as benefits specialist because she would rather be a recruiter – not a paper pusher. She dreads coming to work and schedules a “sick day” every five-to-six weeks.  The Negative Story of Nell

Nell dreams of a job where she is happy. She often tells her friends how horrible her job is and how she wishes she could find another job.  When asked why she stays, Nell always says that this is the best she can do.

One evening, as everyone was going home, Nell overhears the company owner talking to her manager. She hears him say “well, talk to Nell tomorrow. We need to do something because this has gone on long enough.”

This was it.

It was the proverbial straw.

Camel’s back = broken.

Nell went home, typed and printed the following:

Dear 123 Company,

Thank you for five years. I submit my notice of resignation to the company and ask that my notice of two-weeks be waived. I am sure Molly, Jenny and John can fill in the gaps until a replacement is found. I have chosen to find a field of interest that will better suit my career goals and those cannot be found at 123 Company based on these five years.

Thank you for accepting my resignation.

Nell eagerly presented the notice the next morning – even arriving early to do so. “I’ll show them,” she thought. “It’s gone on long enough, huh? Well, who gets the last laugh?”

Her manager looked shocked when she read the resignation and replied, “Nell, I don’t know what to say. We had planned to speak to you today but your letter is quite specific. Again, I don’t know what to say other than I wish you well.”

Nell, without a job, cleaned out her desk and left 123 Company for the last time. She went home and began her search for her next job.


The Other Side


Nell resigned. Was that a bad thing? After all, resigning prevented her from being terminated.

Wait…who said anything about termination?

It was the company owner, right?Negative Nell Listens

Perhaps we should go back in time and be witness to the entire conversation.

“I am really concerned about Nell,” the company owner said to Nell’s manager. “She’s been with the company how long?”

“Five years,” the manager replied.

“For five years she’s been here and she’s done excellent work,” the owner continued. “True, we all know that she takes her sick days now and then but don’t we all? Let’s be blunt. I’m sure a good majority of employees take off when they are not necessarily sick. It is what it is.  Nell is a good employee. She’s done her job well and has stayed longer than anyone in your department.”

“ I agree,” the manager added.

“We need to talk to her. Find out what she wants to do. Find out what make her tick. And, quite honestly, I want to know what we might have done to cause her to think she couldn’t apply for jobs that she was obviously qualified to do.” The owner paused for a moment. “Don’t you agree?”

“I agree 100%,” the manager responded.

“Well, talk to Nell tomorrow. This has gone on long enough.”


The Lesson

Was the example of Nell an exaggeration?  Maybe – or maybe, it might be able to actually happen to someone – or maybe it did.

The lesson I hope that I and anyone who might read this learns from Nell is simple.

Don’t allow negativity to blind you.


Changing Your Focus

It all comes down to focus. That’s right…in the end…it is all focus.  What you focus upon..the good..the bad…the in-between…it defines you. It defines me. Bad things happen. Sad things happen. Great things happen. Good things occur.

Only you can make the determination on your focus. You decide to be controlled by negativity or empowered by the positive.  We can’t see the good in our own personal and professional lives if we are blinded by the bad.

What do you think of Nell’s story? Have you had a Nell experience or know someone who has?



Negative Nell Returns, Kyle Jones Mississippi, HR to Who





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