Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Dirt - Or What The F Happened Here

As promised, but a little delayed. Normal for me, isn't it?

I've spent much of the last few weeks playing defense. Almost everyone I know has said at least once, "Why on earth would you quit your job? You had it made!" Sure, working from home has been a great blessing for three years. I have loved it and hated it, but always held on because I believed the same as those others; why walk away when it fits so well?

First, I'll tell you how awkward it is to leave a job that you do from a home-office. When I left my last office job for maternity leave, I packed up my personal items, tidied up my desk and walked out the door. No turning back, no second thoughts. When your office is in your home, you can't walk out of the office. 

Well, I could, but eventually the Trucker would need me to come back and cook dinner.
Working has been tied to so many other areas of my life. So many daily habits revolve around working. Get up in the morning and check emails while having coffee. Put the kids to bed and sit down to work quietly. Different things at different parts of the day all led to work. Checking phones, checking emails, doing a wide assortment of tasks. I worked an average of 15-20 hours a week but I was connected 24/7. Now that it's done, I put the kids to bed and still think about work. I feel lost when I go to check emails and don't have any to check. I'm still looking for the other phone when I leave the house. I've carried two cell phones for three years.  The office is still here. It just has a different computer. And it's very, very strange. After a full week, I'm slowly starting to get settled back into real life. 

So, why would you leave a job that seems so beneficial? 

It really boils down to BS. Twenty hours a week should not be stressful; and if it is stressful, the stress should only happen 20 hours a week. I've had ups and downs through the course of this job, but I've always been able to speak freely with my boss and find solutions that fit both of us. Until now. He stepped back and I wasn't sure how to deal with things. At first I just kept my mouth shut. A new supervisor was hired and there was a definite issue. Beyond my own issues, I am worried about everyone I left behind. I know that I am not the only one with a problem and I am sad that I am the only one who stood my ground.

I went from nearly no communication, even though I was available, to too much communication and manipulation. I was getting tossed under the bus (so to speak) and treated like I was wasting time because the priorities I had worked under for nearly three years, didn't match the 'new' ideals. And when I accommodated new requests, I became a target for the things that weren't done. Often, things I would have chosen to do first if left to prior arrangements.

Dirty play was the end of me. I guess that I was perceived as a threat. Sure, I'd worked there three years. I had a relationship with our boss. I had some influence (maybe, though now I sincerely doubt it). BUT this woman was hired as my supervisor. If I was a threat to her job, wouldn't I have HAD her job already? Well, I didn't. I went out of my way to try to help. I went out of my way to try to resolve my issues. I spoke up and then it became clear that nothing was going to change.

I don't depend on my instincts too much when I first meet someone. I try to avoid my first impressions and give people the benefit of the doubt, whenever I can. I will not do this again. I had a bad vibe from the first hello. And I should have been more careful. I opened myself up for attack. 

Ever work with one of those people who spit poison at some but are all sunshine and roses to others? Unfortunately, the only one who is getting the sunshine and roses is the bossman and he can't see what is really happening. Two sides to every story, and all that. 

I finally gave up. I finally gave notice. I laid out all the issues I could, accepted and acknowledged my own list of faults and gave my resignation. And then I cried for hours. And I stressed for weeks. This was the single worst event of my working life. I liked what I was doing. I liked what I was learning. But I am expendable, as everyone is these days. There will be someone else who will do what I did and follow the new supervisors terms. They will never need the support of the big boss, because they will report directly to this new person. 

I made a Facebook mistake. I gave indirect access to my personal Facebook profile to this woman. And she made it very clear that she'd been watching me. She'd been reading my updates. She conveniently forgot every conversation we'd had and denied there were ever any issues.  Now, I have nothing to hide. I try not to post things that I don't want to be public knowledge and if I have ever posted about work, I try not to SAY it's about work. I don't post names or too many details about anyone else. I have my privacy settings as locked down as they can be. I can't say that anything she'd read would have a negative impact on me directly, but I could never work well with someone who made it so clear that she violated my privacy for her own gain. It was a stupid slip that I made, but without having done it, I would never have seen the true depths of deceit that she would go to.

I could have stayed and waited, because eventually she WILL self destruct, but it just wasn't worth it anymore. So much has changed with this company since I started. Most of it is good, the company has grown immensely. But I have spent three years learning a new way of doing things, to have it change again before I've really nailed it down. I'm not sure how to play nice in a world that is never the same from day to day. There have been ups and downs, and I just got tired of riding the roller coaster. Because my office was in my home, my family suffered the stress-related bad moods. I could not shut down the computer and go home, because the computer was at home. I couldn't walk away from the office. 

The more angry I got, the less I wanted to work. And the less I worked early in the week, the more I worked weekends and late at night to catch up. Then, I'm over tired and over stressed for many reasons and the Trucker finally had enough too.

Interesting side effect - the Trucker said he was proud of me. He really didn't believe that I would actually quit. He knew I wanted to, he encouraged me to do it. But I'm usually very careful in times like these. He expected that I would have some grand conversation with my boss and work out some sort of solution, like I normally would have. But I didn't.

And as much as I might miss what I was doing, I have opportunities opening up daily right now. I have never felt so free. 

So, why do you leave a work at home job? When it's not good for the home.

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