Detoxing from….a bad job

I haven’t blogged in months, it’s true, so hello readers!

Years ago, when I left a bad job situation, it took me a while to process through all the emotions and anger, and I refer to this process as “Job Detox.” That is not to take away from the seriousness of drug and alcohol detox. Just terminology to acknowledge that sometimes it takes you a minute to find yourself again after leaving a job.

I started my most recent job a year and a half ago, after being out of the work force for a decade due to many reasons, cancer and family being among them. I had hoped to go back into Computer Programming and had taken some up-to-date programming classes, but that was not the door that opened.

It was Retail.

This scared me, as my last retail job was during my early twenties, when I was still quite shy. I have changed dramatically in the past four decades. Life will do that to you.

On my second day of work at this job, I asked a question, and my supervisor barked at me, “I showed you that yesterday.” That set the pace for what kind of game I was in for. I did speak to upper management, and the supervisor was better for a week, before slipping into his old ways.

The supervisor was rude to the customers. When someone asked, “Where can I find pencils?” instead of replying “Aisle 8” he said, “Why don’t you try aisle 8 where it says pens and pencils.”

I cried every day for an hour before I went to work for the first two months.

Time went on, and I found my niche. I was very good at helping customers with so-called “simple” tasks, such as using the fax machine. Many customers were elderly, and would need to fax important documents, such as death certificates, insurance information, or bank statements. They were nervous because they were in a serious life-altering situation, and also because they didn’t know how to use the fax machine. While my supervisor told them, “Self-serve fax over there”, point, and walk away, I realized they needed help and that’s what I was there for.

I would tell them, “The Fax machine is over here. I will help you get started.” Many told me of their situations, and thanked me profusely for helping.

I kept myself in my own head space as much as possible, alternating between being angry at the supervisor and feeling sorry for him. He was snippy with customers and with me.

Then on my birthday last summer, I was so depressed and upset, I talked to upper management again. Again, my supervisor was better for a week, and slid back to his old ways.

Of course, I prayed and tried to keep myself right. I limped along, convincing myself I can do it.

But two months ago, my mother-in-law, who was battling cancer, took a turn for the worse. My husband began working 16 hour days as his job stress ramped up, and we constantly worried about his mother. Going to work to be verbally abused all day was too much to take when my home life was in disarray.

I went into work one morning, the supervisor asked me how I was. I replied that I was upset because my mother-in-law was doing poorly. A “normal” person would reply, “Yes, I’m sorry to hear that.” He replied, “Well, you knew this was coming.”

The next day, I printed out a job, and then realized I needed to print 2 copies instead of one. The customer would not be there for several hours. He told me, “That’s the second time today you screwed something up.”

THAT was the last straw.

The next day, I tracked down a former manager who works at another retail store. After a quick conversation, he told me to apply “today”. I quickly had a phone interview and zoom interview, and by the following Monday, a job offer. But I still had to live through my two weeks notice.

It was a bumpy ride, but I made it. I start at the new job next Monday. I took off this week in-between.

I then proceeded to beat myself up. I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t pray hard enough. I didn’t ……

Sometimes it’s just time to move on.

So today I decided it was time to admit, I was angry, upset, humiliated, sad, and maybe some other things I don’t have words for yet.

I’m looking forward to the next chapter.


7 thoughts on “Detoxing from….a bad job

  1. You have to put yourself first some of the time. You gave it your best shot. It sounds like you found a way to feel fulfilled by helping customers. That doesn’t mean you have to live in an unhappy place. I hope the new job turns out to be one that you love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Sue,
    I retired for the third time, and I don’t plan to try working again. I think at 69, I can just take it easy. I was elected to our school board last year and for the next four years, I have something to do. I’ll live with that! Take care of yourself and don’t let stress rule you!

    Liked by 1 person

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