Due to the time zoning, I will be a bit behind in my posts for #AprilMoon15, so I hope you will all bear with me.
Today's prompt is one I know I needed. I've mentioned doing a LOT of emotional work in the past weeks, as a way to release old toxic energies from my system. I believe the first prompt for #AprilMoon15 is meant to continue a healing process for me, a healing that is much needed...
PLEASE NOTE - this post is rather long so be sure you are settled in with a cup of your favorite beverage before you begin:
Revisiting Old Memories
I have written about my awful office job (numerous times it seems!) here on my blog and here are some of the posts if you care to fill in on ALL the gory details:
- The first post was written while still working in that awful office, and I was at a loss on what to do about it
- Here is another post that shared an example of just how isolated I was in that workplace
- After being laid off, I revisited my memories of the toxic work environment, by sharing more details about the workload and actual environment of isolation that eventually caused me to breakdown since being burned out wasn't quite enough!
- Finally, I shared the details about the neighborhood that became a real saving grace of COMMUNITY for me, with a vibrant colorful neighborhood filled with kind and interesting people...
The red flags started popping up within the first 6 months I worked at this organization, but I didn't see them for what they were - indications of a highly dysfunctional workplace. I was so excited to be working for a non-profit that I thought was doing good, I couldn't see 'the forest for the trees'.
Being fully burned out on my work situation, the move to a new location that meant a longer drive in traffic for me just added to my misery, along with the realization that many of my coworkers wouldn't be showing up at the office either, leaving me pretty isolated from human contact, despite another department working in a different building of 'the compound', as I began to call the workplace. My contact with these other coworkers occurred during trips to the bathroom or run-ins in the lunchroom. Because the departments were separated into different buildings, with the need for a passkey to enter them, dropping by for 'visits' was discouraged.
For over two years I had been looking for a better workplace but after the economic collapse, there were few jobs to be found, which only added to my frustration at my situation. There were days when I would be screaming at the work overload and isolation, but due to the separate buildings and the well insulated walls, no one really heard me. I'm pretty sure I damaged my vocal chords with all the screaming I did.
My hopes of ever sounding like Ella Fitzgerald singing will never happen now!
It's been said that:
"any man, or woman for that matter, can endure anything as long as there is an end point in sight"*
But I began to despair of EVER seeing a light at the end of this tunnel...
Until the day I got the news that I would be laid off from the horrible job and I would be released from the toxic work environment!
I alluded to this wonderful news in this blog post, then I came clean about this glorious news in this blog post. But here is the kicker:
Because I was told in advance of everyone else in my department, I could not reveal any of this news to any of my coworkers...and this is how it came about:
The program director I was now working for rarely came to the new office and made excuses that she was 'needed out in the field'. But she came to the office on this particular day in February to give me a work assignment that she could not give me by phone or email.
This is the day I was informed that the program I was working for would now be permanently shut down as of June 30, 2011...
...and I would have to write up the notification letter and help arrange the big department meeting that would inform all the department employees of the impending lay-off!
The program director I was working with had been at the organization for over 10 years. I could see that this news was truly devastating for her...
...which made it all the harder for me to keep the smile off my face and to keep myself from dancing with JOY!!
And, now I was FREE to begin planning a new life for myself...which I did almost IMMEDIATELY!
Now I would have a new life that would no longer include a toxic work environment or stressful drive in traffic every day.
Now each day at the toxic office was one day closer to my FREEDOM and the endless possibilities that would now be available to me.
Now I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and it was brilliant.
* - I've tried to locate the source of this quote, but have not been able to find it. I can only say that it crossed my path to provide some relief during a time of great need...