So this will be a more personal blog post (a review of Angelfall will be on shortly!) but I felt I had to share this. In an unexpected twist, which I presume will be the theme of 2017, I came to the end of my tether. In short:
I quit my job today.
In a climate where employers feel workers need them more than they need us, the tendency for bosses and line managers to increase demand and damn the consequences seem to be increasing.
Such demands can overwhelm workers, especially in a small environment. Especially unreasonable demands, such as the one I was given today – complete 15+ large bill reports (some £700) within an hour deadline.
I wasn’t given an ultimatum, such as “do this or you’re fired”, or a reason why it had to be done before that time. I presumed it was because we had a large backlog. Understandable that we were behind, seeing as I was promised help to deal with the 180 bills left over from Christmas holidays only to be lumbered with it all myself. Understandable even more so, that on my own and working 4 x 4 hour days, I couldn’t complete all of it in record-speed if they wanted the bills to be accurately reported.
I was there for all of 4 months and the pressure and unrealistic stress of what shouldn’t be a stressful job – billing admin, I mean hello?! – built up from the second month. On top of that – harsh, clipped, and not even passively aggressive emails in bolded red letters were sent dragging myself and the person who trained me for half a day through the mud for a mistake neither of us knew was a mistake. This only served to tip my mood over the edge.
Having been diagnosed with anxiety and mild depression last year, just before I started this job, I was pleased I would be only working part time in a non-stressful environment. It seemed ideal to both recover from my operation and manage the diagnosis of my mental health on a flexible basis. But that wasn’t to be.
I found my behaviour and mood slipping with every amounting pressure the bosses placed on me.
I should have heeded the warning signs the moment the company’s boss, in the final interview, gave me unsolicited advice in how to sell or promote my future books, saying I should hire a teenager to claim they wrote them for me. He was so serious, when I tried to explain he spoke over me. I’ve never been so brazenly mansplained to about a subject a man knew nothing about, but hey, I thought – he’ll be in another office. I won’t deal with him much.
And I didn’t. but you know the saying – shit rolls downhill. And his business partner, a female, is very much worse. I don’t like to reduce such angry or deep mood swings to something trivial, but her conduct was so angry I hoped it was the understandable trouble of being hormone related, rather than an active choice for her to be treat her employees with so little respect. The fact her anger and aggression pours out in every email and she’s a home worker is enough to make me ridiculously glad I wasn’t there when she was office-based.
I never like quitting jobs. I didn’t quit Uni in my first year, even when I felt myself spiralling downhill half way through. I always tell myself I’m made of stronger stuff, which I am. I’ve been through enough to know I’m worth more than how they treated me, and I’m not afraid to walk away from those situations, even though I may walk into unsteady times.
My mantra is this – do no harm, but take no shit. Know where your limits are, and if you near them, don’t be afraid of turning away and removing yourself from a toxic situation. Nothing is worth the mental or physical stress unrealistic expectations and aggressive bosses place on people, let alone other employees.
I have every faith I’ll find a situation which suits me so much better. In the mean time, I’m going to take every opportunity to recover my health, find what works for me, and enjoy writing / reading til my little heart’s content.