Monday, July 29, 2013

What to do when you fail

I have been struggling with my professional life for some time now.  The work itself is rewarding despite everyone else thinking I'm either a) insane, or b) a saint for working in a tough job and often with kids in even tougher situations.  Regardless of being either or both, it's a job I've loved for well over a decade.

The office? Not so much.

For the last 4 years, the office and the powers that be have not made it easy, or even desirable, to work there.  Injustice after injustice have occurred with no consequence or recompense.  For a long time, I fought and fought and fought to stand up against the things I knew to be wrong.

It was exhausting.

Last year, in the fall, I got a chance to work for a friend and I thought the change would be amazing.  It sounded right up my alley -- responding on an emergency basis and referring to appropriate channels.  Day shifts!  Regular hours! An office to call my own!  I jumped at the chance, nailed the interview, bought a whole new wardrobe and started a few weeks later.

It did not go well.

It was a small office with definite "rules" that seemed to change daily.  I had a hard time fitting in after years of saying what I thought, not putting up with stupid things, and being very independent.  One person (my friend) decided she didn't like me after all and she was the person who mattered.

Five weeks start to finish and I was let go.

I was devastated.  I hung my head in shame and went back to my old job. My pride (personal and professional) was beaten and it took awhile before I could be okay with the fact some people just don't like me.  I haven't forgiven the woman who I'd considered a friend, but I'm working on it.

There were positive lessons gained from the ordeal.  I learned I hate day shifts. I am not a M-F 8-5 girl and I don't think I could be.  I did sleep better, but I went to bed super early so had very little time just to hang out.  I apparently need a LOT of time to hang out.  I found myself a bit tense and edgy at the lack of rejuvenating moments.  I do love my leisure time.

I learned that one day person and one stupid-early-hours person do not see enough of each other. Sure, I might live longer in the end, but working night shifts allowed me to be at home the same time as my husband. We spend a lot of time together in the afternoons so losing that was a huge kick to our relationship.

Now I'm back at my old job. Same issues, same concerns, same bullshit.  However, I'm different. I'm not as overly involved as I had been. I stepped out of some roles and it has preserved my sanity for awhile. I am cautiously looking for another job -- one I would be good at and where they will like me -- and I'm hoping I find something.

If not, I'm still doing work I love.  I can wade through the crap for now.

That has to mean something.


  1. Oh, that sucks.

    I've just taken a job working for an old friend, and I worry that the same thing could happen. What if we don't mesh after all? We have worked together before, but at that time, she was reporting to me. The dynamic has changed.

    Bottom line - it was worth the experiment and you've learned important things about yourself.

    Good luck with the discreet job search.

    1. Don't worry! Your experience will be different. I think the expectations of my friend and myself were very different from the reality. Good luck!

  2. That sounds like a really tough situation. It's so interesting how people are different - I can't imagine doing anything other than 8-4. Everyone has their own needs though. Hopefully the experience wasn't a total waste - it's always hard in the moment, but at least you can say you gave it a go - no regrets.

    1. That's exactly right. I gave it a go and learned a lot. I just hate how learning always sucks so much!!

  3. Once more into the breach, eh? Bing let go from a job (what a euphemism, that) is such a devastating blow, even (especially?) when you kind of hated it. But it sounds like you learned and got stronger from it, like I did, so at least there's that.

    1. It kicked my ass. I don't fall apart like that very often, but I sure did this time. I'm better now (though gun shy), but it took a lot out of me.

  4. I like you enough to make up for the people that don't.

    1. Thanks, Jamie. I like you too. And I changed the commenting thing so you can do it without the hilarious handle you have now. Mwah!


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