It's really hard to keep your eyes on your goals when you're surrounded by people that upset you. It zaps your creativity, makes you lose sleep while simultaneously being too tired to move when you come home from work, and really takes a lot out of you. It's even worse when there is no way of avoiding the conflict that causes you pain and it's at work, which means you have to try because you rely on that money to make ends meet.
I had a job for two years where I made a lot of what I thought were friends. I had a boss I loved, I had coworkers I loved (even the ones I didn't always get along with, in the end, I thought cared about me) and I had customers I enjoyed being with. I recognized that a lot of my difficulty was my own negativity, and I did have a lot of trouble surviving on lesser pay, but I enjoyed my work. Unfortunately, the boss sold the biz, the new owners and I didn't see eye to eye, and all the coworkers I grew close to faded away. I couldn't write about my hurt and anger on the experience online because I didn't want anyone to get their feelings hurt, but at the same time I was never able to fully heal. I couldn't mention things that were happening on Facebook or my blog, and I just started to feel mute. Like why bother blogging when I had nothing to say? Prior to this I'd had no problem raging on the internet, but this somehow seemed to pathetic and personal that I just couldn't continue.
In the mean time, I'd stepped out of that job and magically, immediately into another full time position. It was seemingly perfect. An office job, so I would have weekends to work on my store or vend at shows (which never happened), it paid me enough to pay my student loans each month, and buy groceries (literally that's all I have) and it was a desk job. I love desk jobs- data entry is one of my favorite things to do.
Nothing is perfect.
My boss is the nicest gentleman I've ever met. He's an old school doc who genuinely cares about treating his patients. He's a 'dinosaur' in medicine (his words, not mine). He loves botany, plays the violin and gets excited about rare medical cases that come in. He's nice. He wants everyone to get along. He likes to think he's fair. I was excited to work for him- I felt a little like I was working for the medical version of Sherlock Holmes.
His MA, the only other person in our three person office, has made it extremely difficult to continue on there. She has to have her own way in all things, up to and including correcting both the doctor and I on things that she doesn't know anything about. She monitors how loud or long we use the restroom and comments on it (also will make fun of how loud you blow your nose or basically exist) and she gets angry that I have a nine-to-five schedule when she has to work ten to six two days a week. Her constant stream of complaints about me filtered through the kind voice of the doctor as well as her passive aggressive accusations to my face have made it hard for me to even try getting up in the morning to go to work. My boss even has to ask her if I can have a personal day whenever I ask for one, even with months notice.
I was making it, though. I was getting through. I had plans, dammit. I was going to save up extra, pay off the $50,000 mistake in student loans I have as soon as possible and I was going to have a shop of my own.
It's not going to happen. My five year plan is down the drain. This week, she decided to attack and attack until finally she destroyed my desk while I wasn't there and instead of being able to just fix it, she threw the parts of it away (they belonged to the hospital, FYI, not the doctor) and it cannot be righted. On top of that, in order to prevent a scene in front of patients, I got called at 7:30 at night, while I was at home making dinner, by the doctor to let me know this. I told the doctor that I was not quitting right then, but that I was certainly going to start sending out resumes. I told her to her face, after a year and four months of non-stop picking, that it was her fault because she made the work place unbearable.
The doctor asked me to reconsider quitting, but I don't see how I can when I have no support from him, no protection from her rages. "I know she's difficult, you just have to let it roll off you."
I know I can be difficult to work with sometimes, but I work hard. I was good at this job. Very good. And I liked my boss, which made it much easier to want to be there. But I can't do it anymore. There is no escaping. The way patients are booked, I can't even step away for a moment to take a deep breath or count to ten to get rid of her. And now she's not only in control of the entire office, she's in control of my hours and my work space when I've been told repeatedly "She's not my boss".
I didn't know if I should post this online because I am currently looking for employment and I don't want future employers to see this and think ill of me, but at the same time I've felt for about two years now like I was restricted with what I could post on my blog. Society and bosses ability to Google have been controlling my voice and my words, and as a writer, that is just intolerable to me.
I'm afraid. I don't have a job lined up. I don't have enough to make my loan payments. I don't have my own shop yet, I can't support myself. Food, bad credit, keeping my apartment- these are all things that I'm worried about. But I think every once in a while you have to stand up for yourself, even if it means being afraid.
But even though I don't know what's going to happen now, this quote kind of resonates with me.
Quitting my job to save my mental health, to protect my well-being, is not a weakness. It's an opportunity. I've been saying my whole life that I wanted a business, and now, while I send out resumes to every office in the city that I see a craigslist ad for, I have time. I can edit my book and put that out for publishing. I can continue to sew for my etsy shop. I can start a kickstarter to open a Cirque du Frock Thrift Boutique and if the government gets pissed off that I cannot pay them 50,000$ right away, well that's what they get for letting children take out loans.
I really mean it this time when I say I hope to return to blogging, because I'm sick of being silent when I'm in trouble. I'm sick of not trusting that what I'm doing is right. I'm sick of not making mistakes and learning from them.
I've decided it's time to fight back.