Sunday, August 25, 2013

Answering all the work questions and why I won't "just leave"

First of all, Nanny S was supposed to take her child back to Zim on Friday this week.

When she asked for leave, she mentioned that her father is very sick and "if something happened" she'd need to leave earlier.

Well, as it happens, she was here yesterday when she got the call. I heard her saying, "mama" and my heart sank.

Indeed, her dad had just died.

Amidst much crying, I sent her home immediately.

All that to say... this week is going to be interesting because of course my current job doesn't lead itself to deviations from the project plan!

Also, the veggies in my microwave just exploded, the power shut off for a moment and there's no sign of life from it. Soooo looks like I have to go buy a new microwave tomorrow.

But now, the work questions:

The big question is why don't I just leave. Well...

1) I seriously love the company

I've worked at many in my industry (well 3 others) and this is by far the best culture to suit my personality.

Our industry is very conservative, straight-laced and generally boring (to be blatantly honest)... and I'm not.

I really believe that in a company the size of mine there has got to be something to perfectly suit me.... also I'm realising I didn't know what I had before....

2) It's not the money

A goal of mine a few years back was to be able to live on one of our salaries. We made it (see, goals work) - I can't remember exactly when - so it's really not that.

BTW, it's due to a combination of God, tithing, a sensible lifestyle by Jhb standards (i.e. old cars :) - mine is 8 years old this year) and wisdom in fin.ancial matters.

3) It's more difficult to employ an unemployed person

I've recruited for enough positions in the past and there are enough barriers to jump through without adding one more thing to the checklist.

My industry is not recruiting heavily at the moment. E.g. on a major job portal just this week, there were 135 jobs. Of those, only 14 were management positions and none were suitable for my skill set when I checked this week.  Mmmm.

Also, resigning impulsively does not look good for your emotional fortitude, i.e. the resilience factor :)

That said, of course you can get a job being unemployed - it's just something I would prefer not to do right now.

On taking a risk and stepping out

This current role was a huge risk for me. Huge. Related experience but not actual experience. And look how this has played out. To be fair, technically speaking I can do this... I just don't want to.

And because this is playing out so badly, I'm feeling a bit battered. Okay, a LOT battered in terms of work self-esteem but more than that, in terms of trusting my intuition and all that jazz. Which I was never very good at in the past.

So I'm really, really keen to get back to basics with what I know. I'm no longer interested in being out of my comfort zone. Maybe the Ps reading can't understand this but I'm sure the Js will.

On surrendering and trusting God

In a nutshell, I still battle to know where that line is - the fine balance between trusting and sitting back and purely relaxing. As you know if you've read this blog for 2 seconds, I'm not a "relaxing" sort of person so this is difficult for me.

A few nights ago, I took out a project life card (it says "recorded") and I wrote out my job specifics and prayed over it. That's as much as I can trust for now.

God knows my heart; I'm trying to trust but it's as difficult now as it was during the infertility years. (speaking of which, I started talking to a girl about that the other day and nearly started crying - guess it never leaves you!)

As with the infertility, I decided to start having different conversations with God in the car. Isn't it fun being inside my head?! Then, I said if I got through that, I'd use my experience for good. And I'm saying the same now but also that I'm available to minister to people going through seemingly impossible situations. Whatever they may be.

I know one day when I look back this will seem insignificant but until then it feels very bleak for me. 

I thought this job was perfect before I started working in it ....

YES! It still is a really good SKILLS fit (sadly, 98% - this is why I can't get HR to take my unhappiness seriously - but Marcia, you're PERRRRRFECT for this role - we consider 60% to be a REALLY good fit). I now know that I underestimated the very crucial part my personality, team culture, values and % of people/ task focus.

Now what?

Well, sadly, I feel like what Dr Phil once described an emotional burn victim on his show. Just the slightest touch and I can feel pain immediately.

I've been "fine" since Wed and yet, on Friday I had a coffee date with a friend. Started talking and there I was crying again. This is my life.

I'm keeping busy because if I slow down, that means I start thinking and when I think, I cry. Even now the tears are welling up. If anyone shows the slightest bit of kindness towards me, yes, I cry.

When I drive to work and I let myself think about where I'm going, yes, I cry.

All I can do is block everything out... for now.... while praying hard and trying to keep focussed and do the best job I can.

There are 3 options on the immediate horizon after the current project ends mid-Sept:
  1. work in current location on another project for a month (this will be good for sanity dates with Louisa and my other CBD friend) - new project manager
  2. move to new project (more exciting) with existing micro manager - I've already told the boss I canNOT do this... no matter how exciting....but he hasn't said that that is fine...
  3. work on totally new project in a very far location that does my head in if I even venture to travel there during weekend hours (yes, I'm looking at you, 4ways)
So option 1 is looking "good" simply because everything else is so terrible.

And friends, that's where I'm at.

Sorry for the depressing post - I guess this is what happens when you stop and contemplate!

Wish us well for this week without Nanny S :)

Now, would you just leave? Why or why not?

PS congrats if you made it through this novel!


  1. I would leave. I've done it before. Staying in that job meant an unhappy family life for me because I couldn't switch off when I got home. I was too overwhelmed by it all. And of course it affected my kids and how I parented them and related to my spouse. I will do it again if I'm unhappy enough. Don't care about the money etc. I know that God will ALWAYS meet my needs and MORE. He is BIGGER than any job - crappy or not. Life is just WAY TOO SHORT to be crying every single day. That is NOT what God wants for you. I did it for an entire year. It broke me. I STILL have low work self-esteem.
    Also, I don't think it looks emotionally impulsive if you just leave. I know of at least 12 people who have done that. In CT! The place where there are no jobs. They ALL got much better jobs - not long after they left btw.
    Having said all that, you need to do what is right for you. If staying in a great company is right for you (and btw there are other great companies too!) then that's what you need to do.
    Also, there is nothing wrong with dealing with your emotions and giving in to it now and again. Cry as much as you need to, blog about it, talk about it. It's all part of healing and dealing with the issue. Delaying this only makes it worse.
    Sending you sooooo much love this evening. Sundays were my worst. Because I knew that Monday I would have to go back.

  2. oh man. i hate work stuff. it is not always easy to "just quit" or "just find something else". i'm proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone. that's inspirational, and something that i really do NOT do well.

    my only advice is to keep busy. and know that things HAVE to get better, right???


  3. Looks like I lost my comment. I'll email it to you. Wish you a week better than you've had in the past few weeks.

    My thoughts are with S and her family. It's always hard to loose a loved one.

    Best of luck getting through the week xxx

  4. I have "just quit" a number of times.... BUT I was a lot younger and had no responsibilites as I got older it was a lot harder to do! Now I don't think I could do it. This entire year I have felt that I should go half day - financial we would be fine, but I just could not do it.

  5. Personally, the only reason I would be forced to stay at a job I wasn't happy in was because we need my salary in the house. If money was not an issue, I would never stick around in a job that made me miserable. I've read all your reasons and they are all valid, but because you and I are so different when it comes to how we view our work I can't identify. I do know that I simply would not be able to tolerate THAT much unhappiness over work, life is just too short and there is just too much else that is precious to me that would be severely impacted if I was THAT unhappy in my work. It would spill over into all other aspects of my life to their detriment. Yes, staying power and seeing it through are admirable and probably character building, but for me personally, I would have left by now!

    I do still hope that things somehow turn around for you. xxx

  6. I would do the same as you... because I've been in that boat before.
    Eventually I found something to move to. Thankfully change is something that happens a lot in this company.

  7. OK firstly NEVER EVER on daily basis travel to Fourways - EVER! It is like traffic hell! So that isn't even an option. I don't care how exciting the project may be the travel will kill you!

    I stuck it out for 10 years. I plodded on and then the shop opportunity came up and well now I am planning nanny :-p I also would not have resigned on impulse but having said that I know a few people who have done it and it is has worked out BUT there work circumstances have been extreme and yours are bad but I am not sure they are extreme? So I wouldn't leave without out plan of action even if it does become extreme!

    Oh and remember NO FOURWAYS!

  8. I am not a pack up and leave type of person. I am also not a person that loves being out of my comfort zone- I have to push myself hard to do it AT ALL! In fact, I hate it.

    So I would totally choose what you are doing - however although I do get what you are saying re the company, I would still look everywhere I can - which I do think you are doing. AS to travel it can just suck the life out of you. Remember that. Also remember as your kids get older you may have even more demands on time and flexibility (ask me)

    I love how you talk to God in your car - I do it at night before I fall asleep. I am sure the answer will come.

    And what is it with HR - Human resources that only look at sills sets and forget we aer just as much personality as skills in any job? In our little team we ALWAYS look for personality match before the other stuff. As we say, someone must be part of the family or they will not be with us for long.

    Lots of love and good luck

  9. I worked for 10 years for an insurance company and they nearly flogged this willing horse to death. When I resigned on a 24 hour basis they had to send a woman to Jhb to learn to take over my position and they employed three people to do the work I did. I was so unhappy there that I can seriously tell you that my happiest day was the day I walked out of the building. I stuck it out for 10 years and if I think back on that now I realise that I was so miserable at the time that I would have done my family a favour if I left sooner.

  10. You are a very logical person, that's why you aren't leaving your job. You think with your head and not your heart. I hope things work out the way you want them to.

  11. I would do the same. This market is brutal right now.
    I found if I focus on something totally different - fitness goals - or whatever works for you - things start to come together in my head.

  12. Only you know what you can handle Marce. I personally don't think it's healthy to be crying at every opportunity cos you are SO miserable with WORK. That said I also don't think you should "just leave". But I would DEF look around A LOT while you are working. There are lots of GREAT companies out there.

    You will see victory in this situation. Hang in there.


  13. I think I would do the same as you. I have 'pack up and leave' tendencies when things get hard...but career-wise, that is usually NOT a good choice. I am so sorry you're struggling so much, especially in a position you are so great for on paper. Maybe with option 1, you can get a little relief soon...and just remember that God has good things in mind, even though you can't see them right now. (I know you know this, and it doesn't help to hear it over and over...but sometimes we all need a reminder.) I have prayed for you in this situation, and I'll keep at it! : )

  14. I mean I get it, I realllllly do, but ugh! There has to be a better way to handle this.

    You can't just sit around miserable waiting... Be strong friend!

  15. Your veggies exploded?! What did you have in there, and for how long?!

    I have been in positions where I just could not face another day at the secret place I was at, and have resigned with nothing on the horison...but of course that was pre Nicola, and I am all responsible now so I'll tough it out wherever in order to bring home the bacon, and to afford the home to bring the bacon to.

    If money was not an issue, I doubt if I would sacrifice my happiness just to show some stick-to-it-ness. I do hear you about it being harder to get employed if you're not already employed...that's a fact.

    Sorry to hear about your nanny's family crisis. When will she be back?


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