Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving thanks, part one

About a year and a half ago, I was sitting in my car sobbing on a bright May morning because I didn't want to subject myself to one more day in the toxic cesspool that my place of work had become. Peter said, "Go in and quit. If it's this bad, just quit. We'll manage somehow." So I went to see the Human Resources guy, and described a few of the freakshow conditions to which our staff was being subjected. I told him what my husband had said. He asked me, "Is that what you want?" I took a deep breath and said, "Yes. This is sucking the life out of me. I have to get out."

The HR guy said, "There will be changes. Do you think you could wait a bit?" So I said yes, I'd wait it out. It took three more months, and then one day they fired our boss. Things got better immediately.

The same week, I realized that I did want to continue working, but fewer hours and with fewer responsibilities. I drew up a proposal to work 75 percent time as a senior writer-editor instead of a manager of seven creative people. "Okay," they said. And I wanted to work one of my days at home. "Okay." (A year later I said I'd like to go to half-time and they said "Okay" again.)

And that is how I went from a thoroughly unhappy, burned-out, acting-out director of publications to a mellow part-time writer-editor and part-time day-care grandma who calls herself blissed-out.

I am thankful that the HR guy was willing to suggest that I wait...he managed to tell me just enough without violating professional ethics, and he let me know that I was a valued employee who deserved consideration (of course I was, but our staff definitely didn't feel valued at the time).

I am also thankful to Peter for saying, "Quit if you need to." Feeling that I could quit made it less necessary to do so, because I no longer felt so trapped. It was not the first time he helped me through a nasty time at work, but I hope it's the last. There are two new bosses, and I like working with them. I love the work, and I'm good at it. And some day in the not-too-distant future (God willing and the creek don't rise), I'll retire to spend even more time with the grandbabies before they're off to school. Happy Thanksgiving!


Ms Sparrow said...

Boy, you awakened some old memories in me. I remember getting sick to my stomach every morning going in to work. The stress was overwhelming and caused nightmares.
Retirement is such BLISS! I'm thankful every day.

gayle said...

I can't wait to retire!! So glad things worked out so well for you!

Respectfully Yours said...

I really enjoyed your blog. I think we have all had jobs that choked the life out of us. Such a nice ending and thank goodness for HR man helping you out.

Glad you are feeling much more content. Happy Holidays from Canada. Have some Turkey Bird for me.


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