Welp, its been a completely shitty week and a half, and that’s even before you get to politics.
I have to admit, I feel funny about writing a post that’s pretty self-absorbed, but I figured, after posting previously about what had been going on and then basically disappearing for a while, I owed you all an update.
That said, I totally get if all you want to do is read and talk about Charlottesville. It’s been mostly where my head has been at.
Long ass post ahead (skip down to the bold if you just want the new stuff.:
For those who’ve missed my previous posts, the short version is that after a full year of post grad-school unemployment, I was hired in June for a job in local government that I hadn’t even applied for. (They found my resume and recruited me.) I have zero background in the area and no training, but told them I was happy to learn. And you know, I was desperate for a job.
At the beginning of August, I more or less got blindsided by my boss and the executive director of the division, who wanted me to “seriously consider whether or not I was a good fit for the organization.” They also informed me they would be writing a memo about my inconsistent job performance to human resources.
I knew I had weird, complicated relationship with my supervisor, but I had NO CLUE that she thought there were anything like problems on this level. And when I got the memo...it really felt like they had started from the conclusion that they wanted me out, and worked backwards? It was combination of relatively minor offenses like, “pulpo doesn’t complete deliverables in a fast enough timeframe.” and they pointed to 2 cases, roughly one month into the job, where it took me around 24 hours to deliver on a project plan. (Because I was overwhelmed and still trying to figure things out. It had mentioned to me afterwards that they would like me to be quicker, and as far as I know, I have been...)
Then there were other points which I just flatly dispute. Like they claimed I was unprepared for a meeting I was leading but I didn’t have handouts. (I showed them all the other preparations I had made for the meeting...apparently I should have intuited the need for handouts.)
I tried to have a conversation with my supervisor, where we went over the memo point by point. Afterwards, I tried to initiate a conversation about where I felt like things had gone wrong on my end (i.e. having constantly shifting expectations placed on me and a somewhat unclear area of responsibility) She immediately brushed me off and shut down the conversation. This felt like a pretty obvious statement to me that she wasn’t actually interested in working constructively on this.
point 1. They made a lot of comments to me about style. It’s true, I’m a lot quieter and less assertive than other people in my office. There’s definitely a personality difference with many of my coworkers. And I will be the first to admit I was probably slightly insecure, considering I had just come off long-term unemployment and was starting a job I had no real background in.
point 2. It also felt clear in context that mostly are mad that I’m not my predecessor, who was pretty brash and confident and who kind of just went off on his own to get shit done, without telling anyone what he was doing. (I was making a deliberate point not to do that, because it felt like a style that wasn’t great long-term for a healthy office.)
point 3. it was made clear to me that a lot of the reason this is happening now is probably because at the end of August, I go off probational new hire status. Therefore, even if they fired me now, unemployment benefits would be a drawn out battle and not a guarantee.
point 4. I don’t want to be here badly enough to stay where people have made it clear they don’t want me. That said, I’m frightened of unemployment again.
So...I came in the next day, tried once more to initiate a convo with my supervisor about what I would need from her in order to meet these standards (again, clear expectations!) Again, she kind of shut me down.
I finally resigned, but asked to stay till the end of the month, in order to get as much money in my pocket as possible and also to be able to job hunt more easily. She was fine with it and instantly became way nicer to me than she had been in weeks. I signed an hr form with my end date that day.
THEN the next day, I came in, and she pulled me aside and tried to get me to move up my final day. I said essentially (in polite, office language) “fuck you, no way.” I called HR for a confidential meeting. They were nice, and seemed kind of shocked by my side of the story, but basically couldn’t offer much.
This week started off with a massive IBS episode. (No doubt triggered by severe anxiety...) I actually couldn’t go into work at all Mon/Tues because I couldn’t keep food in my system. By Wed I was feeling better, but all week I’ve been sitting in the office as everyone jokes and talks about what a love-y supportive family they all are. Then coincidently (and WEIRDLY) the mother of my predecessor showed up. Apparently she’s friends with the executive director? Everyone in the office couldn’t stop talking about how much they miss her son, which made feel even more like shit...
We also had a senior staff meeting on Friday, where the Director, with ZERO advance notice to me, announced to everyone that “pulpo has an announcement she needs to make.” I was pissed as fuck, because I was still debating what I was going to tell people about why I was going, and it was all very awkward. I ended up straight up lying and saying I was going on to another position, which I resent doing. But I couldn’t come up with another graceful reason off the top of my head.
I dunno guys...these next few weeks are gonna be interminable.
I’m staying through the month because , a. money, b. easier job searching and c. pride but I’m slightly worried about myself.
For one thing, my stomach still isn’t fully back to normal and I don’t want it degenerate again.
On a mental health level, I’ve had this really good, clarifying anger going for about a week or so. It’s been good fuel for going in every day and saying fuck them. On the other hand, I’m really bad at anger. I don’t naturally hold on it for very long.
But if I’m not angry about this, then I just start to get really sad. It’s 100% irrational, but I can’t shake the feeling that starts to creep in, that I’ve somehow failed here...
I like angry me. I like this version of myself that says: I’ve wasted way too much of my life being insecure and overly concerned about people’s opinions about me and it’s time to start not giving a fuck.
I just need to figure out how to maintain this for a month, because I can already feel myself sliding dangerously close to “insecure and depressed.”
Anyway, this has been your regularly scheduled pulpo life update. If you made it to the end, have a cookie.
(Gluten-free, sugar-free and nut-free. Also cookie free. It’s really just the thought of a cookie, passed to you electronically over the internet, but I hope you appreciate the gesture.)