You know my twin sister, Cindy Daniel uses humor and laughing as coping mechanisms for life. She has done this for as long as I can remember, and I’m the exact opposite in mannerism often being contemplative or quiet while finding a solution to any issue or problem. You see, it’s rare for me to find humor unless it’s something Cindy says or does during a time of stress to intentionally “lighten me up.”
The fact is that she has spent our entire lives laughing in order to keep from crying, if you were to ask her, she’d tell you this herself.
Often, people have assumed that she’s either laughing at an inappropriate time or something that isn’t funny.
The fact is, I understand her when you may not. Last week, while filming at my home, Cindy began crying. Nick from our production company told me that she was crying and that “something” had upset her during filming.
I immediately found her on my patio and asked what was wrong. You see, Cindy was the victim in a horrific accident that effectively broke her in two several years ago and her back has steel pins fusing it together. Normally, when my sister cries about something, she is either uncomfortable or, in a lot of pain. We were doing interviews on barstools from my office that were causing stress to her back and rather than tell the cameramen and crew that the position of her spine without benefit of her feet stabilizing her was causing problems- she continued to attempt at staying in one place rather than disrupt the setting she was in.
The barstools in my office are actually for our Little Pawners, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney to sit and visit with me while I’m working at home.
I’m a workaholic, a perfectionist and often use terms that my twin finds funny and occasionally, I use references or terms that are directly related to my previous life when I was a slave to “the man.”
Working for several employers throughout the course of my life who were either “making me chase a carrot” or, “pencil whippers” or worse, “red liners” taught me many things but mainly that “pigs get fed while hogs get slaughtered.”
You see, I was the top performer in whatever business I worked in not because I loved the company or the business. Rather, I was a top performer in order to survive when “the man” did everything humanly possible to keep this Texas Twin “under the thumb” or, “poor and dumb.”
Both my sister and I have worked from the time we were 6 years old when we were pumping gas for my grandfather, sweeping my uncles chemical plant, cleaning relatives homes “because we were good at it and children should be seen and not heard.” After a lifetime of working whether we were sick, tired or for whatever ailment others used to “call in” I realized that the reason my sister and I were “work horses” was because we were brought up that way with answers to our questions regarding why other children were allowed to play when we were not from my family that confused both of us when we asked about it similar to this “what else are you two good for?”
It’s no secret that I tell it like it is and when contacted about my nearly 15 year history with a company that used preposterous terms like “we just can’t afford to pay you overtime for working six days a week” or, “you’re making too much money on commission” while I was struggling to feed and clothe my son as a single parent and often “at work, as usual” I spent years struggling to make ends meet because my employers all were guilty of the same crime- controlling me by not paying me what I was worth, I was asked by my former employer to remove the reference that I was forced to work three jobs after having my commission pulled for YEARS. Of course, I declined. You see, the truth hurts and occasionally- it bites you on the ass too.
While spending my life protecting my physically disabled sister and her children along with my son was never an easy task working so many hours, it was a task that would have been far easier had it not been for greedy and/or manipulative management moves put in place specifically to force me to struggle and effectively to keep me from seeking employment elsewhere.
I finally did leave when my friend, Charles told me “you’re smart, you’re talented and if you don’t leave- you will die in this dump like I’m dying right now. They will use you and never pay you enough, I’ve watched then manipulate you just like they have me for years and at the end of the day- I wish I had left sooner and had more time with my family.” He was right, and he was dead the next morning. I left Harris Hospital wondering if my life spent being the hardest worker or, the biggest moneymaker for my ungrateful owners had been the worst dedication of my loyalty while being the biggest investment of my time that I had ever made? The answer was that I had been standing in the forest the entire time and rather than to take risks and succeed, I had chosen to take the “safe path.”
Charles had been right, again. After being the former top salesman for 16 years, my dear friend had endured the same struggles that I had while working for the same company and the loss of wages when everyone lost commissions due to my ability to “swing a customer” to the list of companies (that changed weekly) offered at an area upscale patio store in DFW on the Commission List. No one else did this either as well or often as I did and the pure nature of survival is the sole reason that I was SO GOOD at it! For years, the owner told me “I was just like family” and, for years he was aware of my struggle to pay not only my own attorney but also an ad Lidem attorney to represent my son during a custody battle that forced me to work several jobs. I could have been at home with my son and living comfortably had my commission NOT been pulled because I was “making too much money.” You’d be upset about it too. The worst part of it? That I continued to exceed expectations with my numbers although I was no longer being compensated thanks mainly to my stellar work ethics and childhood that was spent working rather than playing.
Cindy lives out our lost childhood today- she loves to have fun and be carefree and, most of all laugh.
When my former employer asked me to deny or omit in my publications what actually happened during my tenure with him while I sold hundreds of overpriced sets to consumers to made millions for my former employer due to both pencil whipping and red lining with the “carrot on a stick” every year in the hopes that a good year would wield a Christmas Bonus check for $50-$200 after working 6 days a week and doing every job in the building short of driving a forklift? Not this Twin my friend!
Because my previous positions were remarkably similar to my ex husbands in control and effect to my life- sometimes I’ve “stayed too long.” However, I’ve always eventually also “found a way out” too.
For many years, my twin and I worked together and, were much more comfortable and happy. Although, I had asked many times that my sister be hired, the capacity to spend so many hours of my life away from my family was “part of the control” from both my ex husbands and, ironically, my ex employers!
Ironically, I’ve never been a “stick holder” myself and neither has Cindy. We’ve always put our own needs aside in order to attend the needs of others and money (whenever we had it) was spent on everyone else prior to being spent on ourselves. You see, I’m generous to a fault for many reasons but mainly because I spent years with many affluent employers enjoying home renovations, new cars, exotic vacations and the like at MY EXPENSE!
That’s right, if I weren’t working my ass off even at 6 days a week selling millions of dollars of their merchandise, I would be like every other “salaried” employee and doing the least I could as a form of payback- something I’ve never done and am too old to start doing now.
It’s not well known that my twin worked with a broken back in incredible pain for 6 months to save up enough of her earnings in order to cover expenses of her children knowing that she might never walk again. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be if you are one of our dedicated followers you already know that “luck” was never a gift that these Texas Twins had the pleasure of opening at Christmas.
Quite the opposite has been true our entire lives and so when I’m contacted by someone “reading” between the lines and/or “concerned about their reputation” it should be noted that I have never mixed words and, am quite knowledgable regarding both Defamation of Character and, Employment Laws.
You see the Burden of Proof lies solely on the Plaintiff and if I’ve been forced to seek a Legal Remedy- there was certainly more than enough Substantial (and Public) information and evidence for me to do so.
After all, the Defendants (former employers) whom were involved in litigation had used illegal tactics “the insurance rates keep going up and we can’t afford to give you a raise” or, “we need you in the building 6 days a week but can’t afford the overtime- we CAN pay you straight time” conference meetings I sat and listened to for years were as unethical and my ex husbands similar acts of coercion and conspiracy.
I overtip because my twin and I kept from starving by working three jobs at restaurants we lied about our ages to attain and I’ve been on the “other side of the table.”
Compensating your staff and/or your employees is perhaps one of the smartest and most intelligent things any employer can do to retain an excellent employee and for some reason short of insanity, is more than you will ever imagine, not done in today’s workplace.
My twin and myself are so driven to exceed expectations and go “above and beyond” that often, if one of us is crying or laughing, you can “bet your bottom dollar” that while we may be tired, hungry, uncomfortable or even in a lot of pain- we finish the task!
I will never “steal from the poor” to fund a luxurious lifestyle for myself at the expense of others and, I will always put my Texas Twins Team needs first.
Taking care of your own Team both emotionally and financially is the most intelligent way to keep your employees happy and successful! It’s not “rocket science” baby, it’s life.
The next time a “former employer” has a concern or issue about accurate facts related to my work history- do yourself a favor before contacting me and ask yourself how much money you made by making me a slave for how many years you did and then, realize the truth may not “paint you in the best light” but, it is and can be proven (by me if necessary) the TRUTH!
Happy employees are what make strong and resilient companies. While I may not be rich- I promise to always meet my team (or my twins needs) prior to my own.
For all the years that there “wasn’t any money for a Christmas Bonus” I hope that the struggling employees who stood with me on that sales floor needing a tooth repaired, a heater that worked in their home or a meal for their family- followed my lead and did something for themselves in order to move on and ahead in their own lives.
At some point greed and control forget to close the cage door and, your bird will fly away, this bird did….
Wendy M Wortham
Texas Twins Events