Today I had one of the best phone interviews of my life. Last night I called the insurance agency that had left me a voicemail message. I think it was after six, but it may have been earlier. I had taken a shower after work and decided to lie down for a while and rest after my massage. Rather than getting dressed just to put on my pajamas I walked around without much on while I got a few things done around my place. I remembered that I needed to call the company, picked up my phone and almost panicked when a live voice answered. It turns out that this particular agent works late because he avoids rush hour traffic in the mornings. So there I was, sitting on the floor in the space between my kitchen, dining room, hall, and bedroom wearing next to nothing while this guy is trying to talk to me about a potential career move.
Fortunately he was unable to conduct the phone interview last night so I was given a bit of a reprieve. Work was ridiculous, but I made it through the day without incident. My plan was to drive to see my financial advisor, speak with the agent after I arrived, finish the interview, and hand in the paperwork I had completed last year, but never turned in because (I don't have an excuse and I won't try to pretend like I do). Many have suggested that action is a cure for things like depression and as hard as it is to hear things like that, it is true for me. Working has been a part of that. I despise the inefficiency at work, I can't wait to get out of there, but I need to be careful about my next move. I thought I had seen a salary posting on the ZipRecruiter app, but when I went back, it was gone (unless my memory is somehow failing me).
When I was talking to this guy last night I told him who I was and he said that he remembered me. He said he thought the baseball part of my resume was totally cool and he sounded sincere when he said it so I thought that was interesting. Today he asked about my footwear and baseball experience so I launched into this big huge thing that was probably way more information than he actually wanted or needed to know, but also made me sound pretty good since those are areas where I have a considerable deal of knowledge and passion. From there he transitioned into finance which is another field where I feel fairly competent, talking to him made me feel good about myself. While I have had a lot of jobs, I have learned quite a bit from each of them. It also helped that I was on my way to an appointment with a broker because that made me seem as if I am taking charge of my financial future (which is also true).
The first part was from yesterday. Today was brutal. Work is a repeat of the grocery store. It's the same personality types, the same lack of energy, the same pretending to be busy when the boss is around, the same snide comments, the same pretending to be nice to me while shoving extra work on me because there are problems with power there and I'm not one to challenge that. After work I drove to the bank. I was going to put more money in my brokerage account, then I started second guessing myself. I took a cashier's check there, dropped it off, and went back to the mall. I bought two pairs of Birkenstock sandals in a size 35 which I haven't worn since before I had children. The sales guy tried to argue with me, but he also took my money. I wore my new sandals out of the store and it was the right move. After the mall I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond where a super nice woman helped me try to pick out accessories for my bathroom.
I have wanted a teak bath mat ever since I saw one for the first time. Today I decided to go ahead with the purchase. I got it home, and found out that it's the wrong height for my bathroom. I can't even remember what else I bought there, but it doesn't really matter. After that expedition I drove to Target because I was determined to get this bathroom situation figured out once and for all. I don't remember what I bought there either, I drove and shopped mindlessly, not buying food or anything to drink even though I was hungry and very thirsty. I was numb and in great pain at the same time so I kept shopping and driving to block out the hideousness of this past week. I don't want to go back in to work on Tuesday. It feels unsafe and unlike the grocery store, I have no protection. Sure I can go and tell my boss that these women are terrorizing me and preventing me from doing my job effectively, but it's not going to change anything.
Probably the main reason I'm not going to quit is because I still have a cell phone that they gave me. I took it home because I had submitted a quote to a country club I had been working with and I'm kind of worried that I haven't heard back from my contact because that is very unlike him and now I'm wondering if something is going on with him. Possibly he is very busy, or on vacation, he could be sick, any number of things could be true, but I don't like this at all. He's normally very open, communicative, and respectful. To not hear from him is worrisome and another gray cloud in the bad weather at work. When I was at the trade show I wondered why this woman I worked with told me she wanted me to build up my business. She doesn't do or say things unless there is a benefit to her, at first I thought this was just her way of making sure I was supporting her paycheck, now I know better.
A lot of people know how to look out for themselves. Some people know how to throw others under the bus, but to combine both of these, making yourself look better in a manner that also hurts someone else is pretty diabolical. Every time the phone rings she passes the call off to me. I have no problem talking to people whose first language is something other than English, but these are also tougher calls for me since there is a language barrier and she has expertise I lack. This is racist, but the implication at work the majority of the time is that Asians are going to be cheap and Mexicans and Hispanics aren't going to place large orders. Nobody comes right out and says this, and perhaps I'm not being fair since we've done some really cool things for our international clients, but that's my impression and how I see things.
At the grocery store I had a boss who was constantly watching out for me. She saw very clearly what was going on and she wasn't afraid of confrontation or putting others in their place. My new boss is extremely logical, but she apparently has no idea how others are feeling or I would be in her office every single day. I'm honestly shocked that nobody has asked me what is wrong or what's going on, maybe they don't care, maybe I'm better at hiding things than I realize, maybe people aren't sure how to approach me or what to say, I don't know what is going on and I have no idea what to do other than pray that I find another job soon. I can't go on like this. I feel like the pressure is so intense I'm going to crack and I'm afraid that whenever that happens, I will not be the winner or come out on top.
Driving home I had a strange insight. I thought to myself, you were doing so well about saving money, what changed? Why are you spending money on things you don't even really want that aren't really going to help or change anything? Why aren't you getting a snack so your blood sugar is higher and you feel better? I mulled over this for a while and then I realized, this is a form of control. Shopping is something I can do on my own and nobody can tell me to put something back, or that I'm wasting my money trying to block out my real life for a while. Nobody can make me leave the store unless I do something totally crazy, I'm free to add whatever I want to my cart just like I'm able to get into my car and drive to the next place to try and stave off these feelings that I can't escape. I drove to the grocery store where my oldest works and bought a microwave meal because I thought that might help.
It didn't. I carried the things I had purchased home and surveyed the wreckage. I made better purchases earlier in the day, but the time night rolled around I was pretty compulsive, not even really thinking, just shopping because the store was a place that wasn't work and it wasn't home either. I can take back some of the things I bought, but I know that's not really the answer. I have quit a lot of jobs for a lot of reasons. I need an exit strategy. I do not want to quit in person. So I have to figure out how I'm going to tell my boss that I'm leaving. My current preference is email. I'm not going to give two weeks notice. I'm going to leave people in the lurch and I feel bad about that, but this is now about self preservation. It's gotten to the point where I don't care if I have another job lined up, I feel like my health and life are being sucked out of me drop by drop with every day I walk into and out of work.
Exhale. I feel better just writing this. Writing helps. I survived the trade show, I can go in on Tuesday, go to my interview, hopefully get a new job, and be done with that place once and for all. I feel bad for the owners because I actually really like them. They trust me, they seem to like me, they are probably some of the best people I've ever had as far as corporate management goes, but it's not enough to keep me there. Nothing is. No amount of money would be enough of an incentive to sit between a venomous sugarmouth and a snappish slug. I am in better shape than I was. I am better about getting up and reading my Bible. I had been better about managing my money. I have been eating better. I've been making myself buy groceries during the week so I can use my weekends to relax and have fun. I am in a better place than I have been in a long time which is probably why I've been able to stay at this job for almost a month.
On the positive side, I've made some money. I've learned quite a bit about a new industry, I can tell the guy I'm going to be seeing on Tuesday that I already have a job, and I know that I can walk away from a completely toxic work environment that is harmful to my mental and physical health. I'm not the person who likes to start fights. I actually don't see the point of the majority of them. I enjoy a good argument where people can present multiple sides and review them, but I do not enjoy fighting. I'm still listening to The Exhaustion Cure and it's better than I gave it credit for initially. She gets into this type of thing and gives people pointers. One of them is endure. That's what I've been doing. I've kept my temper and I deserve major credit for that. Not once have I snapped back, been angry, or really treated anyone poorly. I've been a model employee at a great cost to myself and I'm never going to do that again.
Retrospectively I would have been much better quitting sooner, but I didn't. I stuck it out because I listened to all the people in my life who told me that the job I want isn't out there, that an improvement as far as a job is concerned is wishful thinking on my part, that I'm being too picky, that I need to give it some time, etc... I know almost immediately whether or not jobs are going to work out and I have done everything possible to make this job work. No more. I am done. I'm past done. I remember being so stressed at work and home that I wanted to drive into a bridge. I thought that was bad and it was. I'm past that point. Now I just want to slice into my wrist or cut my throat because that would be faster. I used to marvel at that idea, now I understand it better. It's another form of immediate control. You control your blood flow. You're finally free. I hate my job to the point where killing myself seems like a welcome and blissful if somewhat gruesome plan.
I'm not going to do anything. I suppose it's useless to tell people not to worry because I know if I was reading this, I would be very concerned, but I'm not going to do anything. I don't have a plan, this is me venting and probably a cry for help, but I actually don't want to talk about it. I just want it to go away. I want to stop feeling the way that I do at work. Maybe there really is something wrong with me, or maybe there are a ton of very poorly managed companies that let people get away with things that they shouldn't because reasons. I don't know how I'm going to get through this weekend, maybe I will just stop by on Tuesday and quit after I drop off the cell phone that belongs to the company. I think that's what I will do. This is insane. If a friend was telling me this I would say screw the phone, but it is theirs. Maybe I can have a friend drop it off for me. Maybe I can drop it on the front desk and let them discover it.
I can go in, drop off the phone, and leave. I can send them an email letting them know I have no intention of returning and never answer any calls, texts, or emails from them. It's drastic, but they have pushed me to the edge and as long as I don't step off of the ledge, I'm going to be alive instead of back in the psych ward. I've learned a lesson that had nothing to do with menus, and that is my life is mine and others can cluck about my inability to hold down a job, but I have to do what is right for me whether they approve of it or not. I'm going to relax, I'm going to do a few things around the house, probably take back some things I wish I wouldn't have bought, and I'm going to text my therapist and tell her that this is a crisis and I need her or someone else immediately. She'll get it. I'm going to go to bed, sleep well, nap, and just chill. The housework can wait. I have a plan, I'm in control even though it doesn't feel like it. Plans are good. Life is good. This is temporary. Freedom lies on the other side of quitting my job and I am so ready for it.
All my best,
P.S. I had no idea things were this bad until I started writing. I got out of the habit and that was dangerous and foolish. I need to write. I need that release. I need food, water, air, and friends. Whatever you need, I hope you're getting it as well.
P.P.S. I can just hear people calling me a drama queen and saying it can't be that bad. Fine. Call me what you will. I could not care less what anyone thinks of me at this point in time. Hot mess probably applies too. But my safety and life are important and valuable. Maybe I won't even tell people I'm quitting. I'll just drop off the phone and cut all ties. They'll figure it out eventually.