Eight years ago today, I posted on Facebook that I really liked my new job, but maybe it was too soon to say that.
Eight years later, with the benefit of hindsight, I can say HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Yes, it was WAY too soon to pass judgment on that job. Indeed, later that day, the woman I was replacing, and another woman who was resigning, completely unloaded on me about how dysfunctional the tiny office was. These two women could barely draw breath, they were talking so fast, talking over each other, trying to warn me away. The office problems were due to the executive director's need for drama and her penchant for trying to play her employees against each other. You can imagine how poisonous the environment felt, in an office of four people.
I lasted there thirteen months, I think, before being "let go" because even though I was the most excellent worker ever, I wasn't a good fit. Damn right, I wasn't. No job is without problems, but that job made me feel like I was being smothered by life. The very air in that tiny, charming office (at the back of a church in a picturesque neighborhood) seemed to disagree with me. When I was at work, I was miserable. When I wasn't at work, I tended to worry about work, at fuckery I knew was coming, and I was miserable. The artsy, society-improving, "perfect" non-profit job for me was actually the worst job I've ever had. And I used to scrape gum off of desks!
I've been at my current job for six and a half years now. Another non-profit, bigger, better organized. Again, no job is without problems, but this is the first job in which I've felt that my skills are being used in a way that is actually good for me. Soul-sucking bullshit is at a minimum. I'm not treated like a skilled robot who shouldn't feel normal human emotions. True, sometimes people tell me to calm down, but I am passionate about my job, about what I'm contributing.
I feel a bit retroactively sorry for the me who was so bright-eyed and excited eight years ago. I know what's coming for her. I know she's about to go through some serious soul-sucking bullshit. But I know that I'm better now for all of the bullshit I went through. I'm experienced, I know the warning signs to watch out for, and I'm still showing up, happy to be here.
And really, what else can you ask for?