Last night I got some unexpected good news:
I was offered the position that had applied for a month ago and got turned down for. Without reapplying.
I am an still in shock and can only presume that over the course of the past few weeks I have “proved” myself. I have sought to prove to those in authority that they made a mistake and that they should have promoted me.
When asking my direct supervisor a few weeks ago why I hadn’t gotten the position he had been taken aback and promised at our next meeting that he’d give me specifics on what I could work on (at my insistence). His initial response was some vague statement that seemed to be personality-related and confirmed my worst fears about myself.
That, combined with how toxic it had become on my team, caused me to begin to spiral down and for a couple weeks I had not been able to stop my obsessive thoughts and had begun a depressive episode.
At the next meeting he could not come up with specific examples with what I was doing wrong and only could come up with things I had been doing right.
I brought up the issue of personality and he had admitted that he was a bit of a button-pusher and a results guy (which I am not).
I have confronted him multiple times (I hate conflict – it makes me sick to my stomach for days) about how the new unrealistic criteria for evaluation that requires we work 25% more for less pay, emphasize quantity over quality, the break policies – which make it nearly impossible to take formal breaks – which is not illegal though it is incredibly unethical, and constant changes with no stability, would wear people down and they might get disheartened and frustrated and quit.
Actually, I presented it as, I could be wrong but maybe something to think about? and not, Your lack of emotional intelligence is astounding. You’re an insensitive idiot. I’m always wishy-washy and bend over backwards to see others’ perspectives which makes me appear as a push-over. I’m poor at debating and I don’t stick up for myself. I can bend a lot more than most but I’m not what people perceive me to be. I’m not nearly as motherly, meek, and patient as people think I am. Sorry.
Though, not all these negative changes at work are not my direct supervisor’s decision. I think he actually is more intuitive about the future and cares more than he lets on. The powers that be above him are just putting pressure on him.
During our last meeting I deterred from business and encouraged him to talk about himself. Interestingly enough I was able to guess that he is a military brat, like me. I have recently discovered my super power of emotionally changing the tone of a situation by really listening beyond what is being said. While this feels emotionally manipulative my intentions are good – I’m really just hoping to get people to become their most authentic beautiful selves.
After getting him to talk about himself I spoke his “language.” Lots of eye-contact, direct and to-the-point, assertive, and goal-oriented. This does not come naturally to me at all (I look all around when I talk, rambling aimlessly, approaching everything as I’m indecisive and that everyone else knows better than I). Over the series of a couple weeks I gave him many examples of my ability to pro-actively think outside the box, take initiative, and solve problems.
I had been doing this all year. I just had to present it differently.
When HR offered me the position last night my reaction was not one of happiness, but a resounding
I only thought this internally, of course. I mean, I want the job. Well, more than I want the one I have now, anyway.
The last two weeks I have been feeling better. It started with attending an active listening training lead by the new head of the training department. She is awesome.
I learned that while my strength is active listening, I have become much better at my speaking abilities through this job. And the training was so fun and light as the trainer was so energetic and pleasant. It was a nice break from the oppressive environment and gave me hope that there were other departments that I might be able to work in that don’t suck.
A couple weeks ago looking for work at other companies had created so much angst in me that I had to stop looking and resigned myself to my fate. Looking for other work had created as much emotional duress as it had working on my current team. So knowing I might not have to look for other work gave me hope.
Then something my direct supervisor said (yes, the insensitive asshole) really helped.
When I honestly told him that my current position was not utilizing my strengths and asked him where he could see me in the company long-term he thought about it very briefly and said definitively: “trainer.” He told me that he has gotten so much positive feedback from people that have shadowed with me and that I am a very good educator. I told him that was what I enjoyed doing but said it’d be many years before I could get to the place where I could do that. He said he didn’t think it’d take years, but that I’d really need to get some good experience on the other team (the one I just learned I got promoted to).
This was very encouraging. A few months back I had had fantasies that I would one day be a trainer.
That was a couple weeks ago and I have to admit the thought of being a trainer excites me, though terrifies me. The trainers train every department and there are hundreds of employees. I don’t have an outgoing personality. I’m always second-guessing myself. I don’t present myself well. And why should anyone listen to me anyway? I’m not sure I could ever allow myself to be that brave and risk failing that hard, however, at that moment and this moment it does not matter.
I’d been feeling very old. I’m entering middle-age and my wasted life really bothers me. I’m surrounded by significantly younger people at my job. I’m in my mid/late 30’s and I have the combined work experience of a 26 year-old. This is because I’ve been agoraphobic and depressed and couldn’t work, but also I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I just feel like…I’m not where I should be. I have not known how to process this.
Anywho, now on to focusing on moving. I’m out of my house in 2 weeks. The new house is gorgeous, spacious, and is surrounded by a beautiful garden. I’m afraid I’ll ruin it just like everything else. I neglect my physical world. My body, my home. I want to change that. What if the garden goes to shit? It probably will. I keep killing plants. But maybe if I can do what I’ve done so far this past year with everything I’ve learned maybe I can learn how to keep some plants alive.