The office manager quit

At my last job on day 3 I was doing the office manager’s job while she was out sick, which was just ridiculous. Turns out the office manager, who’d been there for over 10 years, was looking to leave.

I know this because apparently, I’m still on the employee email list.

If I were still there everything would have fallen on me in her absence. Lovely.

So yeah, glad I’m gone. 

This news helps. It helps because in my free time (which I have in spades at the moment) I spend time regretting my decisions, despite knowing they were the best decisions I could have made in those moments.

But when you are sitting in your king-sized bed, surrounded by papers and mail, laundry and empty water bottles, binging on craisins, and unsuccessfully trying to find some sense of joy on the internet, you really start to zone in on those decisions.

I wonder how many times I’m going to keep closing doors. And I also wonder how many times I’m going to keep sticking with things until they become unhealthy. Historically, I’ve done the latter. I’m trying to make healthier decisions.

They tell me not to ruminate.

But ruminating at this moment is the only thing that’s making me feel better, at least temporarily. Yesterday following the New Hampshire election helped. I was reading a book about populism and that helped. And right now I’m ruminating in the form of a blog post.

It’s been 3 1/2 weeks since I quit my job.

The job search is maddening. I even applied for my old position that I quit last March, and two other positions within the same company. And I hate that company. In fact, when I drive by the building I secretly flip them the bird.  I got a call from the head trainer who likes me because now she’s a recruiter too, and based on my conversation with her I was for sure I’d start on Monday.

She said a couple weeks ago that she was excited to see my name on the docket and that she’d “pitch” re-hiring me to the higher-ups to see if they can get me started.

She nor anyone else in HR ever called me back (typical) and I haven’t heard about the other positions I applied for with the company. I called to followup and haven’t gotten a return phone call. I hate waiting. And I hate being rejected by a company I hate. Which I realize may not make a lot of sense because why would I even want to work there? (answer: I’m desperate) but it just feels worse.

I haven’t heard back about that hospital job I interviewed for a week ago either. That interview was an hour and a half and took a lot out of me because of the behavioral-based interview questions. I’m sure they have a lot of qualified candidates, and they may possibly still be interviewing. I just need to find out soon if I’m no longer being considered. They said to call back in a couple weeks for an update if I haven’t heard from them. I don’t think 8 days can be considered a couple weeks. I’m trying to figure out when to call.

I have re-applied to my social services job from 2016 five times since I quit. It’s because it’s a good steady job. I wasn’t able to do it at the time because I had just lost my faith, just told my husband I wanted to split, moved into a different bedroom, and hadn’t worked for an employer in 7 years. I didn’t have the psychological tools to handle it. But now I do. Not that I want to work there. But again, desperate. So I contacted HR and asked them why I hadn’t been considered again for the position (it has a high turn over rate). They simply said there were a lot of applications.

It feels awful to be rejected and ignored. I feel like I’m groveling.

I don’t think vocational rehabilitation is going to be able to help me. I got a letter in the mail from them saying that based on my records they do consider me to have a severe disability (a 3 on a scale of 1-5) and that I could use their help in preparing for and finding work.

Though there is something else the eligibility letter said that really bothered me. It simply listed that my disability affected me in two areas: interpersonal skills and self-direction. To be honest, that kind of hurt my feelings. I’ve never had any interpersonal issues on the job nor had any issues with self-direction on the job. In my personal life? Maybe? but not at work. Ask any of my past coworkers or supervisors.

It reminds me of my last session with our family therapist. She insinuated that I didn’t really want to be independent. That broke me because I’ve never felt more misunderstood.

I have a disability.

I know because I’ve gotten validation confirming disability for FMLA (family medical leave) at a previous job, and now from vocational rehabilitation. I’m simply just trying to find a way to live the life I want despite having limitations.

I had to call the vocational rehab place to set up another meeting. The letter said I was eligible for services but never said what those services were or how to get them. My caseworker is brand new. Vocational rehab didn’t help me last time (I found a job on my own several months later), so I’m really skeptical this time. Despite my skepticism, I’m trying to keep doors open that may help.

Only 3 1/2 weeks since my last job. God, it feels like months. I can’t do this for months. I need a job within the next couple of weeks or I’ll go crazy.


22 thoughts on “The office manager quit

  1. So you dodged a bullet there, without really knowing it. The red flags you were getting about having the Office Manager job dumped on you really turned out to be a good warning. I’m glad you didn’t keep that job after all. Hope you find a better one soon.

    Today I had some red flags go up too. And I’ve fired my therapist, although she probably doesn’t know it yet. We’ve been talking for three appointments, and you’d think she’d know me at least a little by now. But today she tried to recommend that I try some ridiculous head-tapping nonsense, and my BS detector went off big time. I checked it out after the appointment and found it was some new-age alt-med crap that’s not recognized as a valid treatment. So then I went online and cancelled the appointment we had just made. If she notices, and contacts me about it, I will tell her exactly why. I had never really been comfortable with her anyway, so this is probably for the best. If I ever go back to therapy, it will have to be with someone else.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I often can pick up on red flags and I usually ignore them, but not this time!

      I’m sorry your therapist is into the head-tapping thing. I think it’s called EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique? If so, yeah, that in my mind is on par with reiki, or energy healing. I’m quite sure that’s not the kind of therapy you’d be looking for

      It’s really hard finding a good therapist. As you know, my family therapist seemed like a great therapist until my third session when she went from being gentle and understanding to aggressive and accusing. I’m glad my husband was there with me to validate my experience as I questioned myself afterward. We talked about it the other day and agree we feel like she broke us a little bit as individuals. That is NOT what a therapist should do. And neither should a clinical counselor (which I’m assuming your therapist is) be using non scientifically-proven methods of therapy.

      I hope you do end up finding a therapist that’s right for you, if you choose to continue with therapy. Have you tried the Secular Therapy Project?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s exactly the thing she was trying to push on me, and it was that same Wikipedia article that I found, that let me know I needed to fire her.

        I recommend the Secular Therapy Project to people all the time!. But I’m on an HMO, and for treatment to be covered I have to go to one of their therapists. There’s really no way for me to interview them in advance, it’s kind of luck of the draw.

        I think I’m going to take a break from therapy and go it on my own for awhile. The things that have been the most helpful so far are the things I’ve figured out for myself anyway. The only things I really got from her was advice to keep a journal, and one book recommendation. (And it turns out she had only read half the book, so I couldn’t even discuss it with her properly once I’d read it.)

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The biggest thing I get from therapy at this point is having someone to talk to every week – something consistent in my life. I’ve mostly learned everything I need to know (not to sound like I’m not open). She helps primarily for that reason.

          What book did your therapist recommend?


          1. It’s “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma”. It’s pretty good, and more informational than the therapist was. But it’s accepting of some amount of woo-woo, so that decreases my confidence in it somewhat.

            Since I only had the therapist once a month, she wasn’t really somebody consistent to talk to. So mostly I’ve been writing to myself, and that seems to help. Plus I have a supportive spouse and daughters.

            I suppose I should give you a little more detail on what happened to put me in therapy. When I had my gallbladder out in November, it was the second try, because the first time the anesthesiologist couldn’t get the airway tube down my throat. So this time they were going to do it with a smaller tube, a fiberoptic camera, and me awake with just a local anesthetic. They were supposed to give me something to help me be relaxed for the procedure, and maybe not remember it at all. What they gave me was a small amount of Ketamine, which was a medication I had never had before. It turns out that I react to a small amount of Ketamine as if it were a very very large amount, and instead of being awake and relaxed, it sent me on a full-on hallucinogenic bad trip. I’ve never even been so much as drunk before, and suddenly I was, as recreational users of the stuff call it, “down the K-hole”. (There’s a good description here: Worst experience ever. And when I woke up, instead of having amnesia, I remembered all of it. It left me pretty emotionally messed up, and when that wasn’t better after a month, that’s when I made a therapist appointment.


          2. Ubi! I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. That’s awful!

            I was looking into Ketamine a couple months ago as a promising treatment for treatment-resistant depression

            Apparently there are clinics around the country that do physician-controlled ketamine treatments. What I wonder now, after your describing your experience, is how do they prevent this going “down the K-hole?” That seems like it’d make someone’s mental health worse. Though, I guess people needing the treatment have no other option left.

            I hope you are able to recover/process your experience. I’d be interested to hear more details about the experience. Maybe you could write a post about it? That is, if you don’t think it would cause you more harm to re-live it.


            Liked by 1 person

          3. Apparently my reaction to that stuff was really unusual. I managed to talk to the anesthesiologist and the surgeon later, and they were very surprised at what happened, and didn’t say “that happens sometimes”. So I’m guessing that this a rare thing, and most people are fine with the dose given for depression. It would make sense to me for the doctor trying that to give a really tiny dose first, just to make sure there’s no bad reaction, but I don’t know if they do that.

            I’m not planning to write a full post anytime soon, but I have written up my experience for my own records in way way too much detail. I’ll email you a copy.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I got your email and responded. What a horrific experience! I had no idea that they still gave Ketamine to patients. I’m upset they didn’t mention the possible side-effects, even if they are rare.

            The closest I can to relate to your dissociation is when they gave me novacaine to pull out my four wisdom teeth at once. I felt like I wasn’t there and I was somewhere between sleep and awake and it was making me feel panicky. I was fortunate to have the dental assistant heavily patting my leg in a rhythm that helped me realize where my body was in space.

            I was just thinking about the dissociation I sometimes feel when I’m doing my float spa. If you ever do try it, I strongly recommend in your case having the light on and the pod open. You don’t want to do something that will simulate a similar experience you had during surgery.


          5. Interesting, I’ve had tons of novocaine, including for extractions, also root canals, but I’ve never had that kind of reaction to it. I’m glad the dental assistant knew to do that for you. There ought to be a support group for people that have stressful drug overreactions. I’m wondering if there are a lot of people who potentially would have a bad reaction to something, but just never get dosed with the drug they would be over-sensitive too.

            The closest float spa to me is about an hour away anyway, so I probably won’t get the chance to try it anytime soon. I’ve been staying away from alcohol, too, because I don’t want anything mind-altering right now. I’m valuing being clear-headed more than ever.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. A word on the “interpersonal problems” issue. I suspect your old employers listed you as having interpersonal skill problems…usually for no other reason than you having the audacity to ask for your disability to be accomodated. Also, the advocacy agency probably lists anyone who has trouble keeping employment as having interpersonal problems, so don’t take it too personally. Welcome to the worst part of disability discrimination: when you say someone has interpersonal problems, you don’t have to accommodate their disability anymore, you can just fire them (or not hire them) without legal consequence because they’re “difficult people.” It’s a farce, and a well known tactic within the disability community.

    And thus you get the ever present conundrum for disabled people: do you ask for disability accommodation and risk being pegged as having interpersonal problems, or do you try to plow through your job and hope you don’t collapse and fail? There are no good answers, but we must keep trying. Many hugs. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Violet, I suspect you might be right – while I left in good standing I was overlooked for several positions that I was well qualified for, which was the driving reason why I ultimately quit. These positions I felt I would be more successful at and had a good rapport with the other works and supervisors on the team. They ended up hiring from the outside.

      I suspected it was because I became a “problem” when I asked for disability accommodations. I was, in fact, going to file a complaint with the EEOC for disability discrimination but I was afraid of being fired and then after I quit it was too late (because I would have to go from the date they denied me my accommodations which had been over 6 months).

      All this to say that while on paper I was a model employee in the back of some of the decision-makers minds they may question whether or not I’d be successful in any positions I applied for. Which sucks, because I know I can do it.

      The sad part is that I’m wringing my hands, hoping that they’ll call me and offer me a job because work is so good for me, even if I hate the company.

      Regarding your other point – I’ll try not to take their listing me as having interpersonal problems personally. I think even with the advocacy group they don’t know what to do to help someone with mental health challenges. I believe for the most part that they can’t help me but I”m going to go to my next meeting with them next week just in the slight chance they connect me with an employer who will hire me.

      Thanks for the hugs. Hugs back! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Every single job where my disability became known and I had to ask for accomodations, this same thing happened to me. One employer wouldn’t even give me a reference, even after writing me an outstanding job review months prior, because I had “proven myself to be sick and unreliable.” The unfairness is horrible and many times disabled people don’t have the resources to hire lawyers and sue…and employers know it. I think the only option is to hide your disability as long as you possibly can…but if you get sicker over time, as I did, it becomes impossible to hide.

        Do you think you’d have a shot at getting SSDI? I was refused becuase I’m not fully wheelchair bound yet, but sometimes they are more lenient with mental illnesses. You might want to try that route, but know it takes years to get through the process.

        I’m sorry you have to deal with this, and I’m sorry we live in a world where disabled people are treated like shit.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No, I don’t think I have a shot at SSDI. One of my previous jobs was making medication determinations for SSDI (back in 2009) and I can tell you if my case came across my desk I’d deny it. The reason why is that my disability is not severe enough for me to not work for a year (which is the criteria). The reason why it takes so long to get through the process is that typically when you reapply your condition has gotten worse, or there has been enough time of not working to show sufficient amount of time, combined with more medical evidence, to support not being able to work.

          In short, I’m able to work. I just have extra difficulties.

          Anyway, I appreciate your sympathy and I know you can relate. Thanks for you perspective, as usual, Violet 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Hang in there, Quixie! Applying for jobs sucks… I have never understood what’s so hard about having a process where you keep your applicants informed of where they are in the process. In the age of email that should be trivial. But virtually everyone seems to do this badly. My kids tell me this every time they’re looking for something new… can’t get anyone to call or email them back.

    Sure hope you find something you like and can settle into!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi all! Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while — December is always busy for me, and then in January we got hit with an emergency project at work, lots of extra hours. Can’t believe it’s February already.

        So I’ve been slowly catching back up online. Quixie I can’t believe all you’re going through at the moment. I hope you’re doing OK.

        For me, other than being busy, things have been going relatively OK. Thanks for asking! I need exercise though… my treadmill is broken and walking in Minnesota in winter is not real practical; sidewalks all covered with ice. But those are excuses, I could at least do bodyweight exercises in the house, stairs, etc. I’ve seen you post that you’re exercising — good for you! I think it helps us.

        I do try to meditate a bit each day, and build simple mindfulness habits into my life. When I stop and am aware I usually realize I’ve been hunching my shoulders and carrying tension in other spots.

        Are you still doing the sens dep floats? I read those posts with interest; I’ve never tried it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Brent,

          Thanks for the update! I wondered many times how you were doing and now I know!

          As far as the sensory deprivation floats, I haven’t done one in a few weeks. I’ve got too much time on my hands at the moment so I think being too much in my mind is not beneficial at the moment. In your case I absolutely would recommend it. Even just for the tension relief! You’d be surprise how much epsom salt helps sore muscles.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh you DEFINITELY dodged a bullet by resigning from that job! I agree!

    “I hate being rejected by a company I hate.” That makes COMPLETE sense to me Q.

    And though I’ve not met you IRL, we’ve spent many hours conversing over the last few years, and I have to say, your interpersonal skills seem just fine to me!

    Liked by 2 people

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 7 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write about my mental health journey with bipolar disorder, my loss of faith (deconversion), parenting teens, reading, exercise/health, work-life, and my marriage separation/divorce.