Today is 'Talkative Tuesday' and, according to the instructions from our Blogtoberfest hostess Michelle, today is a day where I 'talk' about myself.
Today, I think I'd like to share more about my Office Art Book, or rather, what compelled me to start my unique art book...
The cover of my Office Art Book (OAB), made in reaction to a horrible workplace...
My Old Workplace
Many of you long-time blog readers might remember when I was working at an office job and you might even remember this old blog post that hinted at what I dealing with.
I now say 'hinted at' because, in re-reading that old blog post, I see how 'diplomatic' I was about describing the situation I was in.
I completely left out how ISOLATED I was...and I never mentioned that the work load gave me a nervous breakdown*.
Let me attempt to re-create the chain of events that led to my burnout/nervous breakdown:
- Begin working at a non-profit social services agency
- Within months, begin taking on tasks from the HR department to help find qualified applicants for open positions in the department I worked in - an after-school program that needed 'teachers'
- Temporarily move out of the primary office space to an alternate office space in Skidrow due to a new CEO coming on board who considered taking over the 'office space' I was working in with the program director - a converted ATTIC SPACE!!!
- Move back into attic/office space with new program director - old program director STEPPED DOWN (this would create many problems in due course)
- Begin to take on work that SHOULD have been attributed to the Program Manager and the "Curriculum Coordinator", who was the old Program Director stepped down into a position he created...for himself to get out of the workload he no longer wanted to do!
- Begin doing tasks that should have been attributed to the following staff members:
Program Manager - Curriculum Coordinator - 13 Site Supervisors
In short, I managed ordering supplies for 13 sites, which included a Youth Center, and 2 office spaces, all tasks which began with the first boss, who stepped down because he didn't like working so hard...but then, how hard could he have been working if I was doing most of his work and his Program Managers work too??!?!? (She didn't like the pencil pushing of her job so it was 'delegated' to me)
I also managed transportation needs for 13 sites for various field trips and assisted my new Program Director (who was a wonderful boss) with a workload of written material that would be used in Board Reports, Grant Proposals and a department newsletter...much of this material was provided by our on-site staff, who apparently forgot to study grammar, punctuation and writing skills while in school! It was a LOT of work to turn their writing into something that could be read by Board Members or grant providers.
All this took place within one year of starting my position.
THEN I was put in charge of moving our two offices into one new location, since the 'Operations' department didn't have the time to organize or coordinate this move - This was the straw that broke my back, that fueled my 'burnout'/nervous breakdown, which was followed by:
- The new office wasn't ready for move-in for over 2 months
- The new office space was located farther than my original commute and entailed more commuting for weekly meetings, as well as errands
- The new office space was really a 'compound', which was shared with another department, in another building on the 'compound', making interaction scarce
- My fellow co-workers (with the exception of my fabulous boss) rarely came to the new office, claiming they were 'out in the field', beginning the start of my isolation
- My fabulous boss left the agency for a better position, cementing my isolation since the 'program manager', who stepped into the Program Director position, ceased to come to the new office at all, except for weekly staff meetings
I was isolated beyond belief...and for someone who needs some social interaction at least ONCE a day, this was the worst environment to be in.
But then I found some ways around it...
Story to be continued, so be sure to stay tuned!!
* - or should I call it a "spiritual awakening" as Brene Brown calls it??!? ;)