Working It Out


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.


2 responses »

  1. As a fellow co-worker Lynne, I can tell you that you are a pleasure to work with and to generally be around. Glad to hear things are better now than before because I love what we do!

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