I think I’ve probably babbled about this before, but I’m going to babble again. Look out.
For years, I worked in a really poisonous work environment. Suspicion, petty jealousy and gossip were rampant. I had only one trusted co-worker, and every once in a while I would just go into her office and sit and say “Shhh…I’m hiding”, just to get away. I used to put in earplugs, turn out my light, and lie down and take a nap on my lunch hour, just to get away from it. I was constantly looking over my shoulder and pulling daggers out of my back. Every morning I’d wake up wondering if I could possibly call in sick.
There was a huge organizational restructuring a few years ago. I still don’t know what criteria they used to decide who would be kept on and who would be let go. Many people lost their jobs. My friend and I were the only ones out of our office kept on. There were people with more experience than I let go, and people with less. Older workers, younger workers, highly educated people and highschool grads, it didn’t seem to make a difference.
Whatever yardstick the Powers That Be used in their decision making process, it worked. I find now that throughout the entire organization, there’s a more collaborative atmosphere, a higher level of dedication to our mandate, and just … nicer people, if that makes any sense. Kinder, gentler people. People who are truly respectful of our clientele, and are seriously dedicated to serving their needs.
You may recall a post I did a while ago about “Monsters”. That matter is still ongoing, still haunting me. It came to a head for me when I was visiting my brother a few weeks ago. My beloved little nephew leaped into my lap for some hugs, and I could barely touch him.
That’s when I decided: The Monster has to go.
I approached my Area Director and explained the situation to her, that this client had gotten inside my head, and was affecting my relationship with my family, and that I had a mental block about the file and didn’t feel like I was handling it effectively or fairly. This is the first time in fourteen years I have ever made a request to be relieved of a file, and I wasn’t sure how it would go over.
In the old regime, the response would have been “suck it up”, and co-workers would have been saying “hey, better you than me”. Really. I am not kidding.
This is not the old regime. She listened to my concerns, agreed with my position, and suggested I e-mail the Administrator. I did so, and the response was “I totally understand. I will handle it. Thanks.”
So, over the past couple of years, I have finally become what I’ve always wanted to be – one of those enviable cats who really loves their work. I’m surrounded by cooperation, collaboration, dedication, respect and even occasionally, laughter. My coworkers are a fantastic group of people, every single one of them. It is a pleasure to come to work every day.
This is how work is SUPPOSED to be.
Namaste, colleagues. You are the greatest.