Thursday, July 25, 2013

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I haven’t blogged much lately. That’s not really because nothing is going on. It’s more because I just can’t find the voice to write about it in an upbeat tone. And I don’t want every post on my blog to be whiny and sad… even though that’s mostly what my life feels like right now.

As most of you know, I’ve been going through some struggles at work. There are good days and bad days… more bad than good right now. You know the saying “It can’t hurt to ask”? Yeah, it turns out it actually CAN hurt to ask. I asked for some changes at work and not only did they turn down my request, but they actually took away some perks I had previously enjoyed. (Thus the reason I will be in the office today and tomorrow instead of going to the dentist to get that broken tooth fixed. I’ve apparently lost the flexibility to fit in appointments like that.) I don’t know if they’re punishing me for asking or what, but it makes me wish I hadn’t asked in the first place.

Yet I just can’t find it in me to cut that final cord and leave. It occurred to me as I was obsessing over it all (yet again) this morning that this feels a lot like trying to end a bad relationship. Inside you know that you should go, but there are just so many justifications for staying. All the classic ones that you see in articles aimed at women in a bad relationship:

I won’t find anyone better. / I don’t want to be alone.
Oh, the pessimism that kicks in when I start to browse the job openings. Instead of thinking about how great that new opportunity could be, I find myself thinking: “What makes you think this job will be any better than the one you have?” Since I can’t see the future, I worry that I’ll jump ship only to discover it’s actually no better. Or that it’s even worse. I start to think that it’s safer to just stick with what I already know. At least it’s a paycheck. And Heaven knows I can’t go without a paycheck. What if I go to another job and then something happens to that job and I’m unemployed? I can’t afford to be unemployed.

He needs me.
I’m a sucker for this one. I overvalue myself. I become convinced that things will fall apart without me to take care of things. In reality, I’m sure they could get someone else in here to do my job and never even miss me. But I have this sense of responsibility that tells me I can’t leave when they need me to finish projects X, Y, and Z.

He’ll change.
I think is really what keeps me hanging in at my current job. I just keep hoping that things will change. When upper management makes promises about making this a more employee-friendly workplace and hanging on to valuable employees, I want to believe them! I really want to believe that they’re going to change. So I hang on, waiting for the changes that were promised. And then I slowly grow disillusioned again when the changes fall by the wayside – again.

I construct elaborate scenarios in my head wherein certain executives realize the error of their ways and don’t want to lose me. If this was a boyfriend I’d be dreaming of flowers and jewelry and protestations of undying love. Instead, in my fantasies they come to me offering perks and bonuses if only I’ll stay. Yet just like a bad boyfriend, I need at accept that I can’t change the corporate culture. If it’s not good for me, I need to let go.

He loves me.
They tell me over and over that I’m a valuable employee. That they need me. That they wouldn’t be as successful without me. Who can resist that kind of gratifying and flattering praise? Of course, if they really loved me, perhaps they would be more concerned with my needs. It’s hard to believe the words when their actions say just the opposite.

I love him.
I do. I love this company. I LOVE the cause and the clients and the reason this company exists. I believe in the mission. And I remember the good times. When I started here everything was so wonderful. I worked 60 hour weeks every week to ensure that everything was ready on schedule or ahead of schedule. I felt appreciated. I loved what I was doing. I loved the people I worked with.

And as time has gone by, we’ve grown apart. I’m not as willing to work the extra hours for no recognition (actually, I still do it; I’m just bitter about it). I’m not as blind to the faults. And the company isn’t as appreciative or friendly.

But I still love the mission. I still love most of the people I work with. I still love this cause and this company… but I don’t think they really love me. And I think I deserve to go somewhere that I can be loved (you know, in a businesslike, corporate-appropriate way).

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