Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fool if you think it's over

So I'm in what Duck Philips would call a “sticky wicket.”

The reason (which I publicly glossed over in my other blog) why I was moving to more anonymous territory was because I was “found out” at work. Not a big deal, right? What I do outside of work is my business and I'm fully entitled to own and maintain my own personal blog.

But in the heat of a particularly terrible and stressful week recently, I made the mistake of mentioning work on the blog. Again, fully within my rights. Was what I wrote, a tongue-in-cheek look at my management style, that bad? No. (Hyperbole, as always, was generously used). Could what I have written been worse? Yes. Judging from my track record of making light of people in situations I'm silently thanking GOD I refrained from poking fun at anyone but myself in said post. Was it a smart thing to do, venting my frustrations about work on a blog that I THOUGHT was unknown to coworkers? Probably not, no.

But in my defense, that week and all weeks before and after have been been simply dreadful (which I'll save for another post). The day I wrote the “incriminating” blog post I was bawling my eyes out at lunch to my husband, who had elicited my meltdown by simply asking how my workday was going. As I choked on my sobs I could barely breathe I was so frustrated and stressed out. It was terrible. The rest of that day I spent puffy-eyed behind a pair of Wayfarers at my desk, silently cursing my decision to ever take the stupid job. Oh, and this is after the stress caused me to miss my period earlier in the month. (I've since gotten it, not coincidentally, on the day I called in sick last week and had a blissful 24-hour time span to relax.)

The problem is I don't like the atmosphere at work. There's no such thing as general common courtesy, or social etiquette, or anything, but there's lots of passive aggression, lots of eye rolling. It makes working there very, very hard and now it's even worse because I made the impulsive decision to go home and blog about the tip-of-my iceberg of frustrations. Little did I know that I was being watched.

Recently one of my coworkers -- who's been throwing me under the bus from the beginning -- confronted me in private about the blog post. (For the record I have NO idea how he/she found it, but I have a sneaking suspicion he/she is buddies with the IT guy and he's been perusing my work computer to troll for incriminating “gossipy” information to pass on. Not cool.) I assumed that after our talk he/she would go tell my boss, which is fully within his/her right to do. But no, coming to me was an after-thought. Not only did he/she first circulate it to the entire office to smear my name, they then went and talked to my boss about it BEFORE coming to me, because they wanted to “know how to approach me,” which is complete bullshit. He/she knows exactly what they're doing and I couldn't believe how conniving and mean they were in their approach to the situation.

Luckily my boss, L, thought the whole thing to be petty and largely stayed out of it. L and I had a private discussion about it and that was that. But now the office atmosphere is even more toxic and I honestly don't know how much longer I can “hang in there.” No amount of money is worth this kind of stress and workplace bullying. What I hate the most about the bullying is that it's done so passive aggressively that it's hard to tack down and confront.

Basically taking this job and having my husband turn down his six-figure offer down south was THE WORST DECISION OF MY LIFE. I have tried my hardest to live a life with no regrets and had succeeded until I took this job. I was wooed by the notoriety of the company and the stellar income they offered, and didn't stop to question whether they were actually a good fit for me. (Though how would I have known about the office vibe from just my interview?) Either way, I was a fool.

Now I'm crying more often, snapping at my husband over trivial things, and dreading going to sleep at night because I know that in the morning I will have to traipse to the Gulag. I kind of feel like Meg Ryan in French Kiss when she goes to Paris to try and win back her husband and instead runs into terrible luck. Standing in a phonebooth near the Arc de Triomphe, weeping about her misery, she raises one fist in the air and squeaks “I will triumph!”

I could only wish that my now-miserable days were spent in Paris having my luggage stolen. Heck I would even walk the the red light district in Montmartre if it meant I no longer had to do this. But as I get pulled deeper into the mire, I feel myself losing sight of who I am and what I want. I want to cry but I can't. I am becoming numb.

I have no idea how I will triumph.


  1. Wow! I've never been the FIRST follwer on a blog before! Love the layout.

    My only advice is something my mama first taught me when I was very young and debating quitting ballet lessons or something. She said "if your heart isn't in it, then take yourself out of it."

    This saying has held true throughout my entire life and it's one of the best tests in trying to decide what to do.

  2. Think of this job as a stepping stone to the career you are supposed to have - you will triumph!

  3. It's true that you could have had no idea about the office atmosphere during the interview phase. You know that you're just in the place you're supposed to be - even if it's not the place you're supposed to end up.