Change

It’s been rough, and so I have not been posting, but a lot of stuff has gotten better. And one thing is bad and scary, and I’ll get to that further down.

I’ve struggled with collapsing, after therapy and after other things, like 12 step group. It’s not been clear what was causing the problem, but I’m hoping I’ve got a handle on that. We discussed yesterday in my session…I’m not sure what i want to talk about here. I think work. And then my sorry ass health concern.

Last weekend was so rough, where I was mostly lying down, unable to think. I felt endlessly sad in a swamped kind of a way, with no real adult reasoning power to help. By the end of it, I decided I had to do something to improve my life. I decided to quit my job right away. So Sunday night I sent off an email to my boss’ work email, resigning with two weeks’ notice.

I had some medical tests Monday and Tuesday, so didn’t get back to the office until Wednesday. Well. Turns out they really want to keep me. I don’t know why that surprised me so much, but it kind of did. Of course, it’s costly to lose a new hire. But if I was really bad, they would let me leave if I want to. So pretty much right away, the managing director wanted to see me to discuss my concerns.

She was good at communicating, in contrast to my boss. She asked me questions, and listened carefully to my responses, and spoke to what I said. I’d decided to go with this not being a writing job, that it was not a fit for my skillset, rather than with ‘I hate my boss’. Because I really think if the job is OK, I can manage the damn boss.

She did ask me right away whether it was a ‘reporting issue’, if I’d like to report to someone else. I couldn’t think whom else I could report to. She looked at me and said ‘me’. Which totally shocked me. I didn’t know what to say, so I said that was for her to decide.

Then we talked about how the job is supposed to be 70% writing/ 30% admin, and how it’s the opposite, or less. Mostly admin. And how I didn’t think the person whom I was replacing had been a writer. The discussion was a little involved, but she said no, the previous person had done a lot of editing, and I had misunderstood some things. And that if my boss was focusing on admin, she’d need to speak with her to straighten this out.

All my resolve that I needed to leave this job kind of melted away here. I know this MD can also be difficult, but she was pretty nice to me at this point. After dealing with the boss where every interaction seemed painful, it was nice to speak to a boss who didn’t seem angry.

Later in the morning, I also spoke with J (boss). She was a completely different person also – concerned, ‘shocked’ by my email resignation. I explained again about the job not being a fit for my skill set. She also said the previous person was a writer, but she was less sure that she could make the job mostly editing rather than admin. However, she didn’t say she couldn’t.

I also said that I’d felt our interactions had been rather difficult, and that I wasn’t sure if I was doing things wrong or what the problem was. She said no, there’d been stress, but she had no concerns about my performance. I also said I’m used to managing my own projects, and don’t need a lot of manager input – that I escalate if I run into issues, but otherwise am fine. She wasn’t sure what I meant. OK.

So. The upshot was, I decided to stay for another few months, give it a try. And it’s been so much better. J has backed off entirely – I’ve barely heard a peep out of her directed my way, except to say something social. I expect she’s now afraid to send me any admin tasks, lol. I’m sure that will change. Then today I got this huge document to edit. I think they were going to skip the edit, because they are behind schedule, but have now decided to give it to me, maybe to show me there is lots of editing. There is more there than I can get through in the time allotted, but it’s OK. I like having work.

Having this boss back off is huge. I feel so much better.

So, maybe quitting was the right thing. Even though I’m staying for now. The situation felt so awful to me, and now it seems better.

The bad thing. I went for the medical tests. I had a serious illness a few years ago. It seems all OK, but now a test has come in that they’ve called me in to talk about. It’s unexpected, so I guess they’ve found something.

I’m really not set up for serious illness. I don’t have support. I don’t even have full-time work at this point, though I believe I do get some amount of short term disability if I needed it. There’s no partner, no close friend.

Anyway. I was in a panic when they called me at work. I called my ex to try and talk a bit and calm down. He’s really been a great support to me with this illness. He said if it was something serious, they’d have me in right away, not in a few weeks.

But this surgeon only has office hours once a week, Mondays. That would leave this Monday, because the following is a holiday. So I am in pretty fast really. Whatever it is won’t progress in a few weeks.

I was so darn scared. Still am, hours later, if I think about it much. Then I think – so many people go through what I’m going through. The tests. The waiting. The hope and fear. I am not alone in this experience.

So a mixed salad. Work being better is so huge, I can’t describe it. Medical bad news is so distressing it’s also hard to describe. Though this seems like fear, rather than anxiety, and so is more limited. I’m getting bits of time where I feel OK, which is not likely with anxiety.

I think with work also, I feel that nice sense of agency. I took action to change a situation, and it did change, if not exactly in the way I’d envisioned.

A lot of therapy time is spent recounting these details of my life, simply. As to the rest, another post.

 

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14 comments
  1. Good for you on the work issues!

    Wow, hoping for the best on the health front.

  2. Rachel said:

    The medical stuff sounds really scary. I hope it turns out to be nothing major. And I am impressed with how the work situation played out. It was intolerable, not what you signed up for, and you said something and received validation and J off your back. I bet she respects you more now, which I hope will lead to a more positive work environment for you. Nice work Ellen.

    • Ellen said:

      Thank you Rachel. I’m impressed with the work situation too. 🙂 I never thought this would happen, and I hope the improvement continues on. Yeah, the medical stuff scares me a lot. Serious illness is a lesson in fear.

  3. I am glad that worked out unexpectedly well, but very sorry to hear about the health issue. The waiting must be so scary.

      • Ellen said:

        Yes it is scary. I was just with family members, and no one was able to say that to me, so thank you.

  4. Deepest sympathy on the medical stuff. It is so hard when the body is not working.
    Good for you on instigating a change at work. That is huge. It didn’t go as planned but the change did happen. Cheering for you.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes it is. I know you’ve been through the ringer with health stuff too. It’s scary.

      The work stuff is good – very unexpected. Hope it lasts. Thank you

  5. e.Nice said:

    I am so proud of you for taking the step to step away from something that was not working for you. Really glad they are trying to fix the problems and I hope it just gets better from here on out. The medical stuff sounds really scary. Hope you get answers soon.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks nice – the step away seems to have helped, even though I’m still there. I’m less scared about the med stuff now, but it’s still a worry. I just have to wait and see.

  6. You made a big step in honouring yourself with the job and so much good came out of it. That took real courage.

  7. so happy that you took a stand regarding work and that situation with your boss. way to go! you stood up for yourself and it payed off. xoxo

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