For some time I’ve been struggling with hopelessness about my current job. It’s a story so many people tell these days. Bad manager. Company struggling to make profits. Low morale. Employees are not engaged. Yet, no matter how miserable I am, I consider myself blessed to have a permanent job.
About six weeks ago, an incident happened that forced me to do the most challenging part of my job. Essentially I had to call out a woman for sidestepping process and doing something that would have ended up costing the company tens of thousands of dollars in fines. This woman was not happy with me at all. She came over to my desk, yelled at me (for doing my job) and called me names. She was loud and rude and everyone who has desks around me heard this. Two people came over to me afterward to tell me I did the right thing. When I connected with my manager a couple of days later, his only comment was about how it was an unpleasant mess. It would have been a perfect opportunity for him to say, “So glad you were on the job!” or “Good work!” or anything along those lines. Instead, his reaction was more of him being annoyed that the incident happened.
The experience threw me into a tailspin. I have a very strong work ethic and that day I was doing my job, just as I had been hired to do. I didn’t deserve being yelled at, especially not in such a public setting. I saved the company untold expense in fines and public ridicule. I didn’t need an award, but a “thank you” would have gone a long way.
On any given day you can walk through our building and find a majority of people surfing the internet or sending text messages on their cell phones or sending messages to friends on social media. Nearly every employee is physically at a desk but each person’s mind is not. No one ever bothers to say anything to those people for being late on projects or missing deadlines or only putting in a five hour work day. And I sit there and do my job, because that’s the kind of person I am. And then one rogue employee comes over and bullies me for doing my job.
It was the last straw. I decided then and there that I had had enough.
The problem…I can’t afford to quit my job until I find another job.
About a year ago my manager left the company. The next day, I started looking for another job. I’m still looking. This event of six weeks ago caused me to step up the pace in my job search. And today, I might have seen a spark of hope. I’d like to ask others if they saw it too, but I can’t. They weren’t in the interview I had, an interview to take on a different job in another department. Sure, it’s with the same company but at least I know the situation. It won’t change my commute. It will put me back in the kind of work that in the past has made me the most happy. Most importantly, it gets me out from under my current manager (who by the way never should have been made a manager) and away from having to do any work-related tasks with the woman who caused the rude scene.
I know I saw a spark of hope. I just know it. And even though I keep telling myself to be cautious and not to start counting my chickens, I can’t help but feel a light bounce in my step and a flicker of joy in my heart. I’m either on the cusp of something really great or the precipice to falling off a cliff. I’m really hoping I truly did see a spark and I can turn it into a full-blown fire.