This should be the theme of my whole weekend.
If you've ever seen the video, "It's Not About the Nail" then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, I highly recommend it. I've always been the most empathic listener in my family, which in all honesty is probably how I've survived twenty-something years around them. It's an art, really. Listening without the intent to speak; just listening with the intent to listen. Sometimes I forget myself and listen with the intent of offering up any amount of advice I can gather, when that's not really what the speaker wants. Sometimes, all we want is to be listened to, empathized with, and be told, "yeah, that really SUCKS."
This weekend, I made a bit of a "breakthrough" with my mother if you will. Anyone that knows me is aware of my work situation in which I am the sole recipient of masses of bullshit strewn my way on a daily basis. Over the past year, more specifically the past six months, I've fallen into a deeply rooted depression, and it's hard to get out of bed in the morning. I set three alarms, beginning an hour and a half before I need to leave the house, knowing that I will be fighting the fight come morning. I hit snooze, half thankful I still have some time left to sink into my mattress, half hoping I will sleep through it and not get up and have to drag myself to that godforsaken place. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of teams and divisions within my agency that are fantastic places to work, and my team actually used to be one of them. I used to skip class while I was in college and go to work instead because I loved it so much. I felt amazing being there and working with such fantastic people. That changed drastically. Management left, and the new management that came in turned the division into a dictatorship empire of bullshit.
I was in the car with my mother yesterday, which is a weird statement in itself, and I was talking about how many hives I have thanks to my job.
"Why don't you just leave?" She asked, like so many people have asked me before.
"It's not that easy," I replied, weighed with frustration. I then proceeded to present an anecdote about why it's not that easy.
Almost two years ago, a trainer in our department left for another agency, for what she thought was her dream job. After holding that job for almost a year (long enough to pass probation), she wanted to come back to our agency. During that time, management in our division changed for the worst, but a job vacancy for her old trainer position had opened up, so she excitedly applied. The other trainers that had worked with her previously were excited to see she would be coming back, after all, she'd previously been doing that job for a couple years, and was a shoe-in for one of the six positions being filled. She interviewed extremely well, and had working experience that applied directly to the position. However, even though she'd left the agency on good terms with everyone, the upper management that had the ultimate decision responded to her interview with a rejection letter. She didn't get any of the six trainer positions, and when she inquired as to why, management responded with, "She left when we needed trainers, and now she wants to come back? That's too bad."
There was absolutely no legitimate reason why, but they were pissed she left in the first place, and because they are immature preschoolers throwing tantrums, they burned the bridge for her. They came up with reasons why they would no select her for the position, and passed it off as legal. She made a choice that benefited her career growth, the right choice for herself, and these managers make it impossible for her to come back in any division at this agency, not only ours.
So, you're thinking, okay, so what? Right? Why can't I just pick up and leave. It's not that easy. Every single move I make has to be strategic. Every email, every word out of my mouth in meetings, everything I do must be calculated. Is it worth the potential outcome? I'm at a point where the best option for me is to sit back quietly, and watch. I continue to go above and beyond partially because I have hope that the universe will come back with something amazing for me, but also to prevent those managers from having anything to hold against me such as decreased production or quality of work. Every action I take at work must be mannered in a way that is beneficial to me, without degrading my division or team. It's exhausting, but one wrong move, and I'm done.
As of now, I'm making a whopping $2200 less than my team counterparts, for doing twice the amount of work. I finally reached a point where my management team recognized my hard work, and told me they were going to reclassify my position to one higher, so still only $500/month more than I'm making now, but it counts for something, and I'm grateful for it. The problem is that I was told this almost three months ago, and nothing has happened. I recently interviewed for another position in another division, and my management seems to be waiting it out to see if I'm offered this position. If I am, why do more work to reclassify my position? Makes sense.
I'm telling my mother this, and suddenly I saw the light bulb illuminate. Ding! It's moves and counter moves. If I had more in savings than I currently do, I'd take a leave of absence and figure my life out and find a new job. I don't. So, it's not that easy, and sometimes, I don't need a solution. If I could change my circumstance in this instance, I'd have done it a year and a half ago, but instead, I'm doing everything I possibly can TO change my situation to no avail. A year and a half of interviews and always being second choice. Always a bridesmaid, never the bride, basically. Sometimes all I need is for someone to say "Yeah, that SUCKS."