Friday, September 22, 2006

The times, they are a changin'

Not the greatest of weeks really. I've spent way more time than I want to in tears, but I just can't stop it at the moment. I need to make some changes in my life, one really big one, and a few smaller ones. I think that I need to be less passive about my life, and actually take control and some active steps.

There are some things that I won't be changing. These things will remain constant in my life:

  • hwiwtstromlw
  • My family
  • My friends
  • My hair
I don't want to be a workaholic anymore. I don't want to feel guilty about having sick leave or annual leave. I don't want to feel that I am essential for the running of the company I work for, and indispensable to the customer facing teams. I don't want to feel tired all the time because I leave for work at 7 in the morning, get home after 7 at night, and work when I get home. I don't want to find myself spouting jargon all of the time, and finding annoying workplace phrases sneaking into my unwork conversations. I don't want to leave work on a Friday at 6 knowing that I have work to do on the weekend. (Incidentally hwiwtstromlw has banned me from doing any work this weekend - my employer doesn't deserve it - bless him, and thank goodness for his perspective)

I have been worked for the same company for the last seven and a half years. When I started there I became staff member 14 or 15 - now there are well over 300. I worked hard, the hours were long, but there was a real sense of community, almost family, and working together to build this company. I've learnt so much working there, and I've made some amazing friends. The feeling of family is dying out, and so is my enthusiasm. I posted recently about losing my assistant, and before she left, my boss and her boss had a meeting with me and decided that she didn't need to be replaced, and that I could do it all, I just needed better time management. Ouch. Apparently I spend too much time talking with my colleagues and socialising. They thought it would be OK to have me backed up by another department if I was sick, or on annual leave. Today my request for 3 weeks (of the 6 I have outstanding) leave was declined, although previously approved, as it is too much to expect another team (of 40!!) to support my workload for that long. Okay. I was prepared to do the right thing by them, I even booked myself into a time management course today - I know I'm not perfect, and I can definitely learn new things, but that was the last straw.

So much of my "public" identity is bound up in my work. I'm scared. I'm about to make some big changes in my work life, so now I have to confront me. The one hiding behind super work woman. Once she is gone, who am I?

Flippantly, someone who needs to buy shares in Kleenex, and go to bed with Strong Poison. I won’t sleep with the wind gusts.


Franny said...

Hi, just came over to pass on a message from our 'friend', Alan Rickman. He says that you are working too hard, that your employer is making $$ off of the sweat of your brow AND making you feel like you are not doing enough, so that in the future, they can make even more $$$ off of the sweat of your brow as you push yourself even HARDER!

He also says that you may like what you do and believe in it, but that's what they count on to get you to take whatever they throw at ya. Hmmm...

Lastly, Alan wanted you to know that you try too hard to please everyone, especially yourself.

He a very wise and caring person, that Alan is.

jellyhead said...

I'm with Alan here. Though, as an aside, I am NOT with Franny in her strange crush on this man!! (nothing against you Franny, he just doesn't turn my crank at ALL!)

I'm sorry, but if you take your job seriously, work those long hours, and you maintain good relationships with others at work through a small amount of socialising (which I would have thought was part of good workplace relations), your bosses should be singing your praises to the heavens! They shouldn't be telling you that you just need to get more done; they should certainly not refuse you holidays which you have EARNED and which you DESERVE! I'm indignant on your behalf.

Maybe like you say, it is time to think about making some changes, as scary as that is. I'm sure you will sort it out, and come out happier, whatever you decide to do.

Hope you have a peaceful, non-work weekend!

thisisme said...

Thank you both, specially for the message from Alan. Digressing for a second, I'm with Franny, there is definitely something about Alan. Definitely the eyes. Jason Isaacs has it too. Changes are happening. The resume is updated, and sent to my referees for proofing, I've shortlisted 5 jobs to apply to, and the resignation is in draft form. I've also spent time talking to my family, but that is a whole other post...