Some Gut-Wrenching, Soul-Spilling Truth

18Oct08

Dreams keep some unhappy folk alive. At least, it seems that way to me. I’ve always stated that posting things on the web is akin to shouting your business on the street corner for all to hear. However, now I feel like sharing some things that I’ve been keeping close for many moons.

Who knew that a bad job could ruin so much of your life? I am downright miserable, and I fear bordering on depressed. It all happened so fast just over a year ago. I was working on a temp job that I really enjoyed, but I needed that first, after-college, permanent position. At this point, I should mention that the last few semesters of college, I realized that my current interests did not match where my degree was headed. However, I was past the point of no return, so I finished school, and took a temp job while looking for permanent work.

With no success, I applied and interviewed for many positions. A position that looked that it would use both of my majors showed up, and though I was sick of applying at the time, I shot off a resume and cover letter on a whim. In just a few days, I received a call for an interview. The interview went fairly well, and I was called for a second interview. Another couple of days went past, and I received the job offer.

This is where things started to get a little hairy. They offered me a great starting salary, the job seemed to be something that I could enjoy, and the benefits were really good. Still, in my gut, I sensed something was off, and I had the strong urge to turn down this offer. But everyone around me seemed to think this was a good thing for me. I thought that perhaps I had a fear of success issue going on, so I accepted the job.

The changes began gradually. The hours were slightly later than what I worked before. I had to deal with full-on rush hour traffic, which made a significant difference in the time I arrived home. It’s cut into the time I get to spend with my husband and my daughter. I used to arrive home a little after five most evenings, giving a chance to get dinner on the table right around six, and the rest of the evening to do family things. Now, I get home well after six on a good night, shoving dinner to around seven, and not much time to do things with the family afterward. My daughter doesn’t sleep as well as she used to because she stays up later now to get time in with Mommy.

I was told during my interview that there was all kinds of documentation about the work in my position. That was a pretty deceptive statement. There is a bunch of information there, but almost of all of it is results. There’s very little in the way of background information. Work instructions for the activities in her position were along the lines of: Open the file, update the file, and send to the following people for review. That’s it. I later learned that the person in my previous position like to hoard information, thought her job was really special and was secretive about it, and didn’t get along with the manager. Nobody seemed to really know what she did or how she did it. Which sucked for me.

It has become more and more clear that I have a passive aggressive manager as well. I won’t go into the specifics there, but other things have happened that bother me. For example, I get told to do one thing, do that, and then learn that this person expected something totally different, but never managed to communicate or clarify that important little tidbit. Or, I was recently chastized because the boss wanted something done as this one type of activity, when come to find out, the person wanted done as another, despite what was written on the piece of paper given to me. I was supposed to know what was wanted (I’m supposed to be telepathic?) and do it that way. Next time I needed to just take care of those things.

Which thoroughly infuriated me because I take pride in doing things the right way, and if I’d known in the beginning what was really wanted, it would have been handled. I really like doing things the right way the first time.

The stress of this job has been steadily growing, and I think I’ve reached the point where I can say that there isn’t enough money to make me stay. It’s ridiculous. I’ve given up valuable time with my family for a job that leaves me feeling frustrated and upset most days. If I’m going to be sacrificing something as important to me as my family time, it’d damn well better be worth it, and this job isn’t. I like my coworkers and everything, but it’s just too much. It’s in a field that I realized I never wanted to be in, and it’s not even enjoyable most of the time.

As soon as this second child arrives, I’ll be looking for something different. I’ve finally realized how important my family is to me, and I don’t want lose that. It’s time for change and I’m ready to do it. I just have to figure out what direction I’m heading into. Being the primary breadwinner makes the decisions I make very important. So we’ll see what the future holds.

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4 Responses to “Some Gut-Wrenching, Soul-Spilling Truth”

  1. Ah man. That sucks so much. I too have been the victim of sucky jobs, but at least where I worked I could move to a different team. Jobs are really important to one’s life—a bad one can totally screw everything over, especially if you have a family. I hope you get out of there soon and find a new and much, much better job.

    I once also had the Job That Doesn’t Let You Leave. Plus the oncall was heavy duty; I’d get paged several times every night during my week, thus I got very little sleep and was still expected to steam ahead 10 hours a day on project work. That so didn’t work out.

    Then I moved to a team with easy hours and no paging to speak of, and got a manager who… well… a) had no idea what he was doing, b) was passive aggressive, c) could not handle disputes between members of his team. I never knew that one bad boss, even in an easy position could completely ruin my joy in life. Be careful; a bad boss cannot save a good job. You can only hope he gets fired/moved.

    (It’s telling that in the first team, I wanted to stay with the company and move somewhere else. In the second team, I wanted to quit altogether and take my chances on the job market. Fortunately I’m too damn stubborn to die and managed to force my way into a third team. And I was blocked by my manager. That was not fun.)

    Nowadays I work in a team with rewarding work, a manager (and his manager, and the director) who all have clues and are great to work with. The hours are bearable and oncall only comes once every two months and then it’s only during the day.

    What a difference it made in my life.

    Of course, nowadays I have other things to worry about (medication) but at least my job isn’t one of them.

    Many good wishes to you and hopes for you from my corner.

  2. A good job does make a difference. I miss that. Even at my temp job, my boss at least made the effort to try and that’s all that mattered.

    I hope your medication stuff gets worked out. I saw on Twitter where you were talking about it.

    I’ve been researching some work at home jobs, and the husband just laughed at me about it, but I’m serious. My mom watches my daughter and will watch the new baby when she arrives, so I could still send them there on a modified schedule so I can work. It’s really good to have that opportunity, and I am smart enough to appreciate it.

  3. Life’s too short to put up with alterable stress. I hope the next fork in your road works out better for you.

  4. The “good salary, good benefits” traps so many people into jobs that they don’t like and you can see it suck the life out of them. Keep your eyes open — wide, wide open — for something that better suits you. Life really is too short to do something that doesn’t make you feel good most days.


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