Things have been tough and just when I thought they can’t, they get tougher! Such is life, eh? At least mine. The last few months have been, in a word, brutal. I am still the director of happiness at a local start up and still miserable there. On March fourth I sprained my spine at work. Ever since things have been worse than ever until this past Friday when I had my “annual review” (I’ve only worked there since Dec. 1, 2014) and it was terrible. It was dictated to me and I was handed several pieces of paper with the contents of what was being said to me, only my ears couldn’t believe it and all I could manage was a single word whenever prompted, “Okay.” like some sort of deer-in-the-headlights robot. I was given a 30 day performance improvement plan, shape up or you’re fired, basically. They asked if I had heard of these before, “I’ve written several before” was my reply. When they asked if I wanted to respond or had any questions I mentioned the second item on the “plan” about timeliness, stating that I have in fact been at work at 9 am the last two months as instructed and agreed upon. The response of one manager was, “I have not seen you here once and I won’t be challenged on this.” I said little else the rest the meeting.
A half an hour later I was in my car heading to physical therapy for my spine, but it was my knee that was in screaming pain from too many trips up and down stairs that morning. Sobbing loudly in my car in stop and go traffic on the expressway, leaving a Voxxer message for my dearest friend “V” explaining what had taken place at work when *SLAM* I was rear-ended. My poor car is crumpled, but I’m okay physically. Emotionally is another story all together. I took pictures and exchanged information and assured the other driver that I wasn’t crying because of the car accident, that I was already very upset. Physical therapy did not go well since I couldn’t stop crying. Ugh! By the time I got home and finally calmed down enough to call the insurance company I could feel the ball of tension and anxiety tightening and yet seemingly expanding inside me at once.
Stress is a killer they say, and I can feel it eating away at me everyday. The toll this job has taken on me physically and emotionally is beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Quit? Ha-ha! *FallsDownOnTheFloorLaughingHysterically* I WISH!!! If I had a dime saved up, if I had a safety net or a hope of a chance at an opportunity at something else, I would in a heartbeat! But that just isn’t the case. I’m stuck. I’ve been applying to jobs since December (pretty much never stopped, to be honest) and so far nothing. Lots of phone interviews and promises, but all for not. I’m at wit’s end with nothing else in sight!
The reason I haven’t lost my mind entirely is in large part due to my incredible friends and boyfriend. We’ve been through some really tough times and yet they always stick by me, supporting me and cheering me on. But this job? This job makes me feel like I don’t deserve it. This job makes me feel like a turd that’s been scraped off someone better than me’s shoe, onto a dingy curb. That’s me. I know better and I work very hard everyday to believe I am worth more, deserve more and that something good will come, it has to! And I haven’t lost all hope, but it’s fucking hard! I only get to see my boyfriend on weekends and my friends even less and it’s such a struggle to stay positive when your boss scolds you like a child for not knowing something they never even showed you. *ShakesHead*
I fantasize about quitting. Walking out. Or just never showing up again. I dream of running away. But I can’t run away from the damage that this job has caused me. My boyfriend broke up with me at one point because he’d convinced himself, despite my protests and explanations, that it was he and not my job making me miserable. *Sigh* Things were really touch and go for awhile but then it got better. Until I hurt my back. I was finally shaking off the last bits of depression clinging onto me when I was laid up and unable to do much for myself. How my managers have communicated with me since has been eye opening. This performance improvement plan? Yeah, I wasn’t surprised. I’d already convinced myself that they hated me, but the stuff on there? I mean, they are basically accusing me of lying and I cannot stand for that shit! And the whole “I won’t be challenged” thing? I’m pretty sure that’s not legal. I don’t clock in or anything, I’m usually in the kitchen cleaning, organizing or servicing the espresso machine. If they’re in a meeting, well duh, you won’t see me at 9 am!
Friends tell me to consult a worker’s compensation lawyer, but it feels gross. That’s not who I am. I just want out! Like NOW! But I’m stuck until I can find something else, some sort of income. You don’t want to know the things I’ve considered doing to get the hell out of this job and still be able to pay rent. Ugh! This morning, on my way to work, knowing that I’ll be under a microscope for the next month, I had an anxiety attack of sorts. My breathing became shallow and rapid, I didn’t want to cry but didn’t really have a choice and I just wanted to turn around and go home, forever. I kept driving and kept freaking out and then turned into the parking lot and just decided I had to be okay, I had to make it work and get through this day.
I survived it. Tomorrow will be tougher, I already know this. Today both managers were out of the office. Tomorrow that won’t be the case. Nothing I do will ever be enough for them. Getting a simple answer to a simple question today took 7 emails and I still don’t have a definitive one. They push me to ask clarifying questions and then go back and forth so many times it’s infuriating. They stopped referring to me as the director of happiness about the same time I hurt my back. Now they introduce me as the office assistant. Funny that, when am I ever at my desk?! People don’t talk to me except for a select few and even then it’s very small talk. I host our new hire happy hour off-site events and even then I’m alone at the table while everyone else talks. I try! I swear I do, but it doesn’t matter.
My last two jobs were bad, but this is worse. I never thought I’d miss my last one, but boy do I?! I miss interacting with people, helping people, creating, training, shit, I even miss stupid stuff like answering the phone or reception work. I don’t know why they hired me. I don’t know why the fuck they hired a 37 year old, 325 lb woman to do such a physical job. Not that I can’t do it, I’m doing it, but they’ve not been happy with me for a single day so what’s the damned point?! It doesn’t matter what I do. I go above and beyond, bend over backwards and they find a way to pick it apart and make it out like I’m slacking off. I mean I’m literally busting my hump (sprained my spine, yo!) here and they don’t give two shits. Ever since I hurt my back they (my manager and the hr manager) now cc each other on every email related to me. Even when I emailed the hr manager, asking for confidentiality, when I hurt my back with an update, she sent it to the entire ops team!!! When worker’s comp came to do a safety assessment one of the managers bitched and moaned, “Well I don’t see why we have to do this just because something happened to someone unrelated to my department” two feet away from me.
I’m not looking for pity or sympathy or anything. This is just me getting some shit off my chest. I just can’t believe how things have turned out. This is a successful company that will absolutely become even more so and they’re doing really big and really great things, but that’s all unrelated to me. Yet with the amount of pressure on me you’d think I was the damned CEO! I am little more than kitchen stock girl/cleaner, lunch set-up/clean-up, errand girl and office lackey. I am paid well, the benefits are great, but none of it matters when it’s felt more like a curse than a job. The day I reluctantly accepted the position (always trust and listen to your gut!!!) my great aunt passed away, I didn’t know until a few days later, but I swear it’s been nothing but bad stuff ever since. I’m on my third manager in four months and it’s just worse and worse everyday.
If you wanna do something for me, send some good thoughts out into the universe for me, will ya? Others call it praying. I just hope I can make it through my shift tomorrow.