2017 was difficult but I could be proud of it and of myself for the progress made. 2018 was a much different year. In sum: 2018’s been a shit year. Oh yay, Quix – thanks for the uplifting post!
It started with unprecedented blizzardy weather. Our area is not prepared for snow that exceeds half an inch. It’s rare when it snows at all, much less a couple feet and with extremely icy roads. Kids were out of school for a week as a result. At work, angry callers from students who couldn’t get through.
Also at work, the manager that everyone loved was fired and the dominoes fell from there. Starting with the new evaluation criteria requiring at least 25% more output for the same pay. Emphasis on quantity, not on quality. Many people quit, including my direct supervisor and most of the 20 new reps (many of whom I had a hand in training).
I moved to another team, with higher responsibility and the same pay. The work was soulless with no sense of achievement. Just endless work and unhappy clients. For the first time in quite a while I hated my job. It didn’t help that the direct supervisor was a nice-to-your-face but stab-you-in-your-back kind of person. She’s since gotten promoted two times and is untouchable as she was one of the first people who started with the company. Yay.
In the summer my family and I had to move out of the house we’d been renting for 4 years because the owners were selling. It took several weeks to find a new place as there were about 25 applicants per rental. We found a really nice house, but the downside is that it costs significantly more a month.
Shortly after we moved, and my kids started at their new schools, Hurricane Florence happened. We had fled to Charlotte and couldn’t get back to our city for 2 weeks due to flooding on all major roads in the state. My kids were out of school for a month due to damage to the schools.
Our rental house took some damage to the roof when a huge oak tree fell on it. It was initially not too horrible, but over time has revealed more damage. In the past couple months we’ve had to put buckets down in our living room to catch the rain coming in as well as call our landlords to keep putting up new tarps until they can make the repairs. Now we are seeing rain come into through the windows on one side of our house. It appears that the tree falling on the house caused the tree to shift. Our area has had over 100 inches of rain this year. Tomorrow someone is going to come over to put some more temporary patches on the issue.
On top of that, the floorboard in our kitchen is rotten and has almost entirely come up due to faulty plumbing. The plumbing has since been fixed but the floor needs replacing. We barely use the kitchen because it’s gross. Our dishwasher was fixed but doesn’t work well and has a weird smell. There are other issues with the house but those are the most obvious ones and I’m starting to feel bitter the more I write about it, so I’m going to move on…
My son temporarily had to go yet another new school due to the damage to his new school. During this time he started misbehaving. Then he started going into fits of sobbing every day and acting like a toddler instead of a 10 year old boy. His physician had moved to a different state and so we had to find him a new physician, which took weeks. He had both the flu and strep which made him feel horrible but he never got better and the urgent care doctors kept saying nothing was wrong. So I got his school counselor involved and we found him a therapist. New physician said he was severely low in vitamin D. We’ve been treating him for 3 weeks and he’s almost back to his old self now. However, those 3 months were pure torture for all of us trying to get him help.
My daughter was very happy last year starting middle school but this year has been sad and lonely at her new school. She was a straight-A student for four years but is now struggling. I’ve talked to her teachers and principal to get her in the right groups to help her out and these changes were just implemented this last week, before break. It’s heartbreaking to see her struggle. I hope the changes help. Though now she’s decided she’s a vegetarian, which would normally be great, but she was already picky and now refuses to eat anything but junk food (like chips, fries, nachos, etc). I’m becoming extremely concerned about her physical health now. Sigh.
Back to work stuff…so, after I got back from Florence and the work load increased even more (and of course, on top of the stress from my home life) I started missing work. I ended up having to go to HR to ask for disability accommodations. That conversation was humiliating and upsetting. They denied me disability accommodations (I won’t go into details now or it’ll make me angry) however after I gathered plenty of medical documentation they did agree to give me FMLA (family medical leave act), which allows for up to 480 hours of unpaid leave a year for my medical condition in order to keep my job. I’ve since taken 5 FMLA days and I got them to agree to move me back into my old position, which I was great at (but had left knowing my pay would decrease).
They moved me back into my original position but over the course of a month they started giving me more and more of my responsibilities from the team I had just left (due to understaffing) I was doing the same job that I had told HR I couldn’t do anymore. So I started missing work again and then I had to talk to HR again, who said they had no idea, and had to talk to all my supervisors about only giving me work for the team I was most currently on. Of course, this was also humiliating (who wants people to talk about how you just can’t handle the stress because of your mental health disability??) but fortunately it did work out okay.
In the past year my schedule at work has changed more than 5 times. It can be anywhere between 8am-10pm any days except Saturdays. I’m not allowed to take formal breaks unless the phone queue is low (which it hasn’t been since people keep quitting) other than lunch and stepping away really quickly for potty breaks. The pay isn’t even a living wage and is going to drop in April because I’m not hitting the numbers to keep at my same level of pay.
Several of my favorite coworkers or supervisors have quit, gotten fired, or moved to other teams within the company. It’s just flat-out awful. But I’m still there. Still fucking there for my psyche (weirdly enough) so I can actually say that I gave everything I could. I can’t be jobless again. It’s depressing and demoralizing and not good for me. So I keep working and in the past few months I’ve also applied to about 25 jobs with no luck. I’ve had 6 interviews, which have been extremely stressful trying to coordinate without any breaks at work, and every week I get more and more job rejections. It’s very tiring.
In the last two weeks I’ve expanded my job search out to Raleigh, which is about 2 1/2 hours drive away. I do this with much sadness, considering this will have me away from my children and will make physical custody issues more complicated. At this point it seems like the only option for me to find a decent job.
Oh right…I just remembered some more really really crappy stuff. But that’s all I’m comfortable sharing now.
Just like I’d like a bulldozer to destroy the house I’m living in (I’d be happy parting with most of my belongings) I’d also like a bulldozer to wipe out 2018. I’m not optimistic for the new year.