I have finally logged back in after three years of nothing. Three years of nothing. I wasn’t crafty. I barely functioned. It felt like my job had consumed me. And it did. I had to work to pay the bills. I dutifully dressed everyday and drove to a job that was eating at my very soul. It was terrible. I endured verbal abuse that is unbelievable to most. And I was the Human Resources Manager! The abuse was coming from the top of the top. What do you do when the person that signs ALL the checks turns into a monster? I had worked at this place for such a long time and I knew it was an unconventional job from the start. For the longest time I felt like it was all my fault. And it partially was…But it allowed me the flexibility one needs when you have kids that get sick, or need to be picked up early. I didn’t have to arrive at a certain time, just before 10 am. That is not too bad. For a while the pay was good. Then I guess they figured they were getting a bargain so I went two years without a raise.
I became pretty depressed. Like go home sit on your couch and don’t move until bedtime. I had to force myself to get up and do activities, like cooking. Ugh. It really sucked. I made up my mind to find a new job and set out to do so. But…the whole flexible thing really made the choices narrow. Like really narrow. Plus I live in an area where commuting was going to be necessary in order to find a job that would pay me what I needed. But wait, my kid starts school at 7:30am and gets out at 2:30pm. Sure there is afterschool care but I have to get back by 6pm for that. With an hour long commute (if I’m lucky) as a given, I realized I needed to be really careful about the next job I took. Talk about anxiety. Make enough money to pay rent (I live in the Bay Area, not an easy feat), pay bills, flexible, and not filled with people that make me feel bad. I didn’t want to end up homeless.
Around the end of 2014 I started to feel desperate for a new job. I networked my butt off. I went to a ladies mixer event for business women which was similar to what I imagine speed dating to be like. I updated my linkedIn and networked like crazy. I got an Indeed account, a Monster account, and signed up for the alerts from city and county jobs. Everyday during the workweek I put out 5 resumes, on the weekend we would take a “fun” trip to the library or Barnes & Noble (I had no internet at home) where I would send out over 20 resumes and applications. I scoured Craigslist and networked some more. I went on interviews, I was charming, but I wanted too much money. I felt like screaming, “for Human Resources?”. You can’t pay someone $15.00 an hour to manage that responsibility, unless you expect labor violations due to the person not knowing what they were doing. sigh. And so it went, I didn’t share with anyone that I was looking so I wouldn’t have to endure worse treatment at my job, should my boss find out.
Nothing hurts your psyche more than getting shut down over and over and over again. Why couldn’t I find a job? Maybe all the awful things my boss said to me were true. And then it hit me. Why was I limiting myself? I had been helping advise/run the company I was at for almost nine years. I was not just a human resource person, I was an accountant, I was a manager, I was a payroll specialist, I was document control. I was whatever I could do.
That was the turning point for me. I started applying for different jobs. I got a part-time job populating a database for an online auto parts store. This lifted my spirits and renewed my faith in my brain. A friend of mine had a start up and I asked him if he was hiring. And he wasn’t but he said he would let me know when his company was at the point when they could afford to hire people.
So I continued plodding along. I kept my chin up and tried to stay positive. Then it happened, all the drama. Someone else at my work found a new job. This poor soul had also been abused. He was called the F-word, told to watch himself because he just bought a house and “what if he couldn’t pay for it anymore”, and on and on. About a week after he gave his notice a girl in my office that I am convinced is crazy, told my boss that I “got” the other guy his new job. No, no I didn’t. I need to get my own job. Anyhow, he went crazier than normal and cut my hours based off of what she said. He even confronted the other guy with her in his office to see if I got him the job. Still no.
That is when a good friend told me to just take anything. All I needed was good pay. I didn’t need to plan on a career but just to take any job so I could get out. So I did. Wow was I happy. I quit that horrible job and took a new one. It was not flexible, it was not pleasant, but it was better. Then it happened. My friend called, his company had just enough money to hire me, it was flexible, super flexible. So I quit. And it was great.
Now I am working on cleaning up the mess I made when I sat on the couch. Maybe that will be a post, how to clean up a mess like a boss. But for now I am going slow and enjoying being able to breath and believe in myself. And bonus: my new boss isn’t a selfish beast that demands that when bagels/donuts are brought in no one is allowed to eat them until he shows up and picks the one he wants. Now I am happy, appreciated AND I don’t have to worry about getting fired over a bagel.