Today's post was going to be a pity party. I wrote it out in my head on the drive home. I had a no good, rotten day ... and nothing was going to make it better. But I was wrong. I do feel better ... not because of the alcohol which I impulsively bought without considering the possible consequences ... not because of the hot shower I took, although it helped ...
My new job is the polar opposite of my old job. Even in our busiest times, we were still ridiculously laid back. There was always time to write an e-mail or check on Facebook. Near the end, there were days with literally nothing to do. But this is the busy time of the year for my new employer. And so if I work continually ... from the moment I walk in the door until the moment I leave in the evening ... there will still be jobs left undone.
It's not an easy job ... it's mentally draining. I think part of the problem is that I started at the wrong time of the year. I used to get off at four ... and I now get off at five thirty. So when I leave it is guaranteed to be pitch dark ... and these days I can usually count on it being drizzly and dreary.
I think the worst part is the loneliness. At my old job, I had at least a dozen people who I could go to ... sit at their desk ... ask about their kids or their parents or their husband. If you work somewhere 23 years, you develop strong relationships with people. They become a second family. Now ... now I don't hardly know anyone. I eat lunch alone every day. For someone who is an extrovert, it's far from an optimal situation.
I've been trying to suck it up and deal ... it's not like I had a choice or could even go back if I wanted to. My old office is no more. Instead of 30 people, there are now only two working there ... which brings me to today's breaking point.
Last week I got a phone call from a boss in St. Louis saying they needed help with the phone system. I could make excuses or try to make myself look good ... but the bottom line is that I was feeling spiteful and ignored him. Today I got a call from a lesser boss ... one who I used to like. He texted me saying it was an emergency. So I called ...
Before I left back in September, I spent days compiling a binder full of documentation. Lists of FSA offices and important contact names ... lists of congressional offices and who we work with when it comes to the Census. And most importantly ... documentation on how to program the phone system ... along with all the administrative codes and passwords. I gave one of the two remaining employees this binder. I walked him through it ... and specifically showed him how important certain sections were.
Another displaced employee ... someone they were paying as a contractor to stay on long enough to clean up and break down the cubicles ... got a hold of this binder. And they destroyed it. They shredded everything. The contact numbers. The passwords. The templates. There is nothing left. So now, they are coming to me in a panic. They need to know if I can come in ... sit down with them ... and recreate that documentation from memory.
I went back and forth this afternoon ... from angry ... to hurt ... to depressed ... and back to angry again. I was angry that they would continuously interrupt my work day ... I was hurt that this person destroyed what I put so much care and work into ... I was depressed because I genuinely miss my old job.
And so I drove home ... so sad ... and a little angry for feeling sorry for myself. But as I got home and dumped my bags on the table ... I got a text message. And it made me smile. He let me vent ... cheered me up by suggesting a terribly unreasonable hourly rate to charge my old bosses to do the job ... and, the cherry on the top, asked if I wanted to go out tomorrow night.
I don't have a resolution tonight. Tomorrow I'm going to go into my new job ... work non-stop for eight hours ... and eat lunch alone. And at some point, I'll deal with my old job ... and either agree to help them or walk away while the place metaphorically burns. But at this moment, I'm at peace ... and that's ten kinds of awesome.
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid
Oh, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me
Ben E. King - Stand By Me