Posts Tagged ‘work stress’

Priority #1? Happiness.

About 5 months ago I couldn’t have told you anything that I can tell you now. Right now I can tell you that I’m going to grad school and getting my Masters. I can tell you that I love my job. I can tell you that I can’t wait to be a teacher. I can honestly say I feel stress, oh, only about 10% of the time. Overall, I am a rather happy, satisfied and optimistic person.

About 5 months ago I could have told you that I hated my job. I had no idea where my future was going. I was confused. I was depressed. I was stressed 80% of the time. Why the huge difference you ask? Well let me rewind…

About 5 months ago I was working at a well known corporation, who has a great reputation, and is doing fairly well for our times. I was psyched when I got offered this position and couldn’t wait to begin my new career. I had originally gone to school for business because I had rather big (and rather shallow) goals for myself. I wanted to be a boss. I wanted to manage because it was my way or the highway (I’m a tad bossy, says my husband). And the worse part of my dream? I wanted to make lots of molla. I wanted to make the greens. I had a brief stint after my first 2 years of college and was playing with the idea of teaching instead, but quickly talked myself out of it. Teachers don’t make any money. Pfth! See? I told you my goals were shallow. Anyways, getting this job was perfect to me. I had high hopes. I was planning on working my way up the corporate ladder and stay with this company for many years in the foreseen future. I was getting a nice paycheck, fabulous benefits, and felt respected.  Finally I had my “grown up job.” This high was quickly deflated when I actually started working.

Working consisted of sitting at my “desk” (aka cubicle), pretending I was busy, kissing ass, following a million procedures-doing a million of them wrong-then fixing them to fit regulations before I got written up, making phone calls after phone calls, and emailing half of the day. It also consisted of meetings with my manager on a daily basis that I seriously had no idea how it was contributing to really any results. Don’t get me wrong…I wasn’t hating on my job because I was failing at it. I was doing great. Top numbers, great results, happy clients, the whole nine yards. However, doing “great” had it’s tolls. Everyday I would come home completely worn out, irritated, stressed and worried about the next day. How was I going to perform tomorrow? Where and how was I going to get my day’s numbers? Who am I meeting with? How many meetings do I have? I wanted to pull my hair out every single night. My poor husband had to listen to me bitch and rant until bedtime, and even then, it didn’t stop. I was loosing sleep from laying there awake with my mind racing about going to work the next morning. I even called my parents and told them, and I never do that. Admit defeat to my father? Yeah right. So this must have been bad!

Then in the morning after my fabulous nights sleep filled with nightmares about work, I would put on my suit…and wanted to shoot myself. It gets worse. I am not exaggerating (and I swear on my future baby’s life) that when I reached the street my office was on, I wanted to throw up. I had to swallow chunks back. ( I know, TMI, sorry.) Not only throw up but possibly get into a car accident so that I could miss work. Oh how wonderful would it be if someone crashed into me? I bet I could get a couple weeks off! I would even find myself cursing and whining all the way into the office like a child even though there was no one there to listen to me.

Each day I’d greet my work bestie and cubicle neighbor R, and give him the look. The look that says “Please kill me. Or punch me. Or anything to put me out of my misery.” I love R. He was one of the only reasons why I didn’t get suicidal. We would email each other back and forth during the day with smiley faces and dumb jokes to lighten up hell.

“R, do you feel like we are living ‘Office Space?” I asked him one day.
“YES. Everyday!”
I only nodded. We didn’t need to tell each other about our miseries…we both already knew them. Finally it hit me I couldn’t do this anymore. Life is way too short for this BS!
“R, I don’t want to do this anymore.”
“Me neither, but what are we going to do?” R shrugged. Get the F out of here is what we’re going to do! I thought.
“Shit. I don’t even really like what I’m doing much less the company. I don’t even really like people!” I started thinking out loud. “I like kids. Damn it. I should have been a teacher.” Long pause. “I think I’m going to do something about it.”
“Like what?” R was half encouraging and half thinking I was looney tunes.
“Hmm. I don’t know yet. I’ll tell you when I know.” And I instantly went to my desk to do some “work.” My work? I went online to search up new jobs. I cruised the internet and started reading about graduate schools, different programs, and careers that are looking’ good in the future. I think I did this for a week. (Shh. I know. Bad bad employee.)

I seriously felt like I was having a quarter life crisis. After getting my undergrad done, my resume built up, my “dream job”…was this all that was left? Was this it? I enlisted the help, advice and opinions of all around me and came to a conclusion.

“R, I’m going back to school, and I’m going to teach kids!” I proclaimed to R the day I made up my mind. I was happier than ever. I was getting out of that place once in for all.
“Seriously?!” Yes he totally thought I was nuts. I was a business major. A former manager. A current private sector employee. What the hell was this person doing about to change her life?
“Yeah. I’m not happy. And I’m not going to stay unhappy forever.” I was sure. I already knew the things I would be loosing…my awesome benefit packages, my fat paychecks, my cute business cards…but really, enough was enough. I wasn’t going to make the mistake of going through the rest of my life wishing I had done something else. So that was that. I quit shortly after, on the spot (to boot!) and have never been happier.

I got judged immediately from what feels like thousands of people.
“Are you sure? But you are such a business woman!” – My mother.
“What are you thinking? Quitting a good job in this economy?” -From my lovely brother in law. Gag.
“You want to start over?”
“You know you’re not going to be getting paid as much.” – My (former) boss! Hah.
“This is sort of a hard time to be making such rash decisions.”
Blah blah blah. Life is too short to be unhappy people. Money, yes we need it, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t rule us. Happiness on the other hand I wouldn’t mind being ruled over. So I stuck to my guns and left. I’m now happily watching kids, making more money, happily a student once more, and prepared to finally do what I’ve always wanted. Money no longer looks like the best option to me, and even though I spent years studying the art of running a business, and how to direct people I don’t see any of that time as a waste. I will someday run a classroom and direct children, so in the end all my education was worth it.

To my bestie R…he’s still there today biting his nails and working his little tush off. His numbers are now the best in the office and he’s getting his well deserved recognition. But I still hope he ends up finding what he really wants and ends up happy. Like me. 🙂

Good night and here’s to a happy tomorrow!

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