Examining my Past

I just read an article titled 8 Workplace Habits to Ditch in 2015 | Working Mother from Workingmother.com.  Now, I’m no longer working and my kids are 20 and 17, so I’m not sure I’m really the intended audience, but the article resonated with me.

I’m not sure I could have faced this when I was still working, but I’m not sure how good of an employee I was.  I worked hard, sometimes very hard.  But I goofed off some (mostly to reduce stress) and I was generally slower to complete my assignments than they wanted me to be. I also wasn’t afraid to tell them an idea was stupid or at least I had trouble hiding my disdain for certain assignments. I definitely looked down on people who got their work done on time.  In short, I committed a lot of the infractions mentioned in this article.

I think the biggest problem I had was that it was way too easy to blame problems on something or someone else.  Probably, this stems from the fact that every year, they made our deadlines shorter and/or they asked for more.  I left last year (2014) and I remember having this same thought when I was pregnant with my 20 year old daughter, so 1994.

Also, I found it hard to look away from my bosses’ issues. I had one boss who was great at the content of the job, but he was not so great at being a boss. He was a perfectionist and nothing was ever quite good enough. He was good at editing. Very good at it. But, he was always adding one more task to an already full workload. Then there are always people in your management chain who are not too good at their job or they have other flaws. How many sexist comments did I hear that they were made in jest, “so it was okay?” Then there are the other questionable jokes that shouldn’t be said by a boss (i.e., past drug use, use of violence, etc.) Maybe passable to a small enough audience, but an entire Division of 40 people does not qualify as small.   And, how do you take someone’s comment about your work ethic seriously when they are browsing CNN and USA Today every morning for a couple of hours, evidenced by the sound track coming from their office.

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So, before they pushed me out of my job, I was already aware that I had an over-developed sense of fairness. I kept thinking that I wasn’t supposed to be so disappointed and angry when life wasn’t fair. Didn’t I learn that in grade school? But, I had some really hurtful moments when I realized that the rules were different for bosses and when I saw other people treated unfairly because a boss just didn’t like them. Playing favorites happens a lot in the real world, but it still hurts when I notice it.

I was in the same job for 22 years. Maybe that’s too long. I know its more common now to change of jobs every 3-5 years. And maybe there are good reasons for that.  None of us can stand to look at the same problems and people year after year after year.  And maybe, if your same issue comes up at job after job after job, you can look at it and own it.

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