Tag Archives: Business

the company you keep…

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spring. a time of renewal and growth. and like nature, i’ve been through both…big time. where to begin? i got a job. left a job. got a job. all in the course of less than 2 months. on the surface, the job i got was the perfect job. doing something i’m completely passionate about. working from home 2 days a week. easy commute. big bump in pay. because i was leaving a company i loved, i was very clear in the (count ’em) 4 interviews that the culture of the company (despite their noble mission) was very important to me. throughout the process, they assured me that they totally “got me” – that what i had was what they needed. that they were excited to let me do what i do. and so i jumped. i took the weekend off between gigs (i couldn’t wait to get started) and almost from the beginning, i knew i made a huge mistake.

why?

because words and people matter.

i won’t go into the gory details, but this place was the worst place i’ve ever worked (and i’ve worked at some doozies!). the environment they created was one of anxiety, paranoia, mistrust. their treatment of my coworkers (and eventually me) was unlike anything i’ve ever seen. part of me started looking for a job a week after i started. the other kept hoping i could make it work. i put my head down and tried to do what they hired me to do. i figured, the proof would be in the pudding, right?

wrong.

new ideas were discouraged. it was exhausting. and heartbreaking. i tried for awhile. tried to make change. tried to steer things in a different (and much needed) direction, but i was told to keep doing what they’d been doing.

and so, i left.

sometimes, you can’t fight the good fight. sometimes, you need to look around and realize that the odds are so against change that all you can do is surrender. sometimes, all you can do is help those around you and try to hold the door open as you all leave. sometimes, the beast is just too big to slay. sometimes, you just have to save yourself.

and so, i went back to a place where creativity, transparency and integrity mean something. and my return feels like a warm embrace.

i am ready to blossom.

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finding my way back…

the last couple of months (and the last two weeks in particular) have been pretty brutal. i got a new job in april and have been swimming against the dysfunctional tide ever since. i kept trying to figure out what the problem was. how i could fix it. what i was doing wrong. on and on. i was working 16-18 hours a day and everything around me was dying:  my relationship, my health, modernest, and my spirit.

i would call my friends and tell them how insane the job was and that i didn’t think i could take much more. the problem was, i actually believed in the core of the business. i believed i could make a valuable contribution, if they would just see what i was capable of. if they would just see ME. but they couldn’t.

and as each day passed, things got more and more ugly:  backstabbing. gossip. sabotage. but still, i hung on. why? out of loyalty? to what? some crazy work ethic? a twisted sense of i love a challenge? fear of the economy? be grateful you have a job, my talented unemployed friends would say. hope? my friend marie at the spirit factor would have something to say about that!

my boss (whom i adore) said, “you create your environment” – so i wrestled with that one for awhile. did i have a hand in all this chaos? was my behavior contributing to the problem? maybe a tiny bit, but it was something way bigger than me. along the way, we all contributed to that environment:  being on call 24/7, working from 6am to midnight (and beyond), accepting unacceptable behavior…is the economy really that bad?

so, friday was the breaking point. they wanted me to take on another job (i already have two). the higher ups, realizing the system truly is broken, finally ask those of us in the trenches what we think the problem is. there are a ton of excel spreadsheets to fill out. we have to account for our time in 30 minute intervals. some feel hopeful (there’s that word again, marie!). everyone is saying, things are gonna change. just hang on. it will get better. this time it will be different (we’ve had many “solutions” in the 2+ months). they understand now. they hear us. they care. or so they say.

but sometimes, you just have to stop. you can’t live in fear of unemployment. you can’t stay when every cell in your body is telling you to go. you have to remember who you are. how you want your life to be. at our last staff meeting, we were told to shape up or they were going to clean house. they told us we had to be flexible and to bend (i told marie, “i’m so bent over, the whole world is upside down!”).  well, it’s me that is cleaning my house of them. it’s just not worth it to feel this way everyday. and so, i am on the path back to happiness (broke, beautiful happiness)…

…oh, and while i have your attention, know anyone who is hiring?

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