Monday, February 22, 2010

When does it really start being you?

I've been contemplating this for awhile now - and I'm going to make every attempt not to make this a bitter, angry, rant. I said I wouldn't do that anymore and I want it to stay that way. That said, a person can only take so much nonsense until they just either 1) give up 2) break completely.

I'd personally rather not be in either camp - I think I'm better than that, however, it's hard when judgements against you are so personal.

I've held a lot of jobs. It's not because I'm someone who can't hold a job, or gets bored and leaves. It's generally a matter of circumstance: company changed management and therefore ideals and company structure, it was only temporary to begin with (see: internships, seasonal - summer work), I moved, I moved again, company was bought out.

Then this started to happen:
bar tending - mismanagement led to frustration, led to anger about job, led to me leaving

el banko - management ceased allowing me to make decisions about my career, led to frustration, led to anger, led to being stuck in a position I didn't want, led to endless talks about under performing - led to more frustration - led to me leaving.

Now this.

Sure it's only a part time gig - but sometimes those part time gigs are what allows you to buy that pint of Ben and Jerry's you could otherwise afford. Or what lets you take your puppy to the vet that you otherwise couldn't do. Sometimes a part time job is a very big deal when considering your check book.

But when do you throw in the towel? When has it become more YOU and less THEM? How do you know the difference?

A few weeks ago I was told some pretty horrific things by my manager. It was completely inappropriate and extremely unprofessional. Was it true? I don't know. I felt completely betrayed, confused and hurt. I essentially went through all the symptoms of loss. I was given a week to think about it.

Upon my return it felt like going into battle. Who was against me? How would I know? What was true and who could I trust? I had, and still have, apparently, no idea. I did, I thought, at least make an effort to keep certain attitudes in check, continue to be friendly with co-workers and members, and generally do my job and keep my mouth shut.

Still not good enough - once again I found myself in an office - door closed - face to face with my manager. Was it handled better? Sure... but there were the accusations again. Nothing had improved. Nobody wants to work with me and if they weren't telling me before it's because they are "chicken shit". I'm on a tight leash and one misstep would be my complete down fall. "It's only a matter of time."

So I'm being set up to fail? No...

How is that not being set up to fail? Waiting for someone to make their next "mistake"? How is it not expecting complete and total failure when it's your word (which at this point might as well be coming from that guy sentenced to prison for crimes against humanity) against all these mysterious people who want to bring you down?

When did what I have to say stop mattering and more importantly why?

"You've changed, you're not the same person you were a year ago." "You aren't the person we hired" "Maybe you're just a harder person now"

I don't think any of this validates what are apparently, non-stop co-worker complaints. Who are these people that have so much time on their hands that they can sit down with the manager of their part-time job and complain about someone they work with for 2-3 hours at a time? Do I have people I could complain about? Sure. I don't have that kind of time, nor do I care.

I've never been in the interest of gunning for someone to be fired. Clearly some people are.

But now, after three jobs of complete frustration and road-blocks, do I just accept that it IS me after all? Or do I chalk it up to bad situations, bad decisions, bad times, and put it all behind me?

It's easy to start being paranoid when nothing you've done for the last two years has been good enough. How is that even possible? How have I spent my whole life to this point striving to succeed, and doing just that, to just...not. How have I taken an active interest in helping others succeed only to have the "others" allegedly turn on me?

Nothing is making sense.

Perhaps it's time to cut my losses and move on - completely close that chapter in my life and just breath that sign of relief and terror. Relief that it's finally over...and terror that's IT'S OVER.

I'm not a quitter - and it takes a LOT to drive me to that decision. Usually it's because I'm determined to prove everyone wrong. There are no easy answers, and there probably will never be an ideal time to make that decision. Those things rarely align.

I think ultimately, once those people have made up their minds to bring you down, no matter how strong you are, and no matter how hard you fight against it, sometimes it's not enough. Is it right? No. Is it moral? No. How do you know when enough is enough? When do you chalk all this up to coincidence and a bad two year span, write the final chapter and call it a day?

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