Today, I am grateful for the gift of reality meeting retrospection.
I think we can all claim moments when we've looked back and romanticised the way things were. We know in our heart, things were shit, but (because we can), we like to remember the good stuff, and when the going gets messy or hard in our current affairs, we spend (waste?) time lamenting the good ole days. I often do the opposite. I look back on a certain situation and remember the crap stuff - but I can find myself wondering, was it really all THAT bad?
You may recall I took leave from my day job back in February. I revisited today. Our team was throwing a morning tea, bidding farewell to a good friend off in maternity leave (we were recruited in the same intake), making it a perfect time to come in and say hi (call centre work means it's almost impossible to have everyone off the phone, available to chat at the same time - morning teas enable this perfectly).
While technically still on the books until the end of this month, it was also queried casually as to my plans... were I resigning today? If so, paperwork could be prepared. No pressure either way. Lucy and I spent three hours saying hi and without exception, every single person shared with me that, no only had things not improved, the pressure and expectation was worse than it had ever been. I had never seen such low morale. I had a brief interlude with a person in senior management, someone I have always had an easy going, friendly rapport with - but this exchange was anything but. After they had exited the room, I was left feeling unworthy, unappreciated, unwanted. All that in less than five minutes. Extraordinary.
To be amidst that energy on a daily basis, for a third of a day, gosh. I would say I don't know how my colleagues do it, but I know too well the lure and holding power of the golden handcuffs. So I do know how they do it. They put up with it because they are paying their mortgages that much faster, maintaining a slightly better lifestyle and let's not forget - they actually HAVE a job. Not so easy to come across, if you believe the unemployment statistics.
A thought struck me today, does management (and it wasn't just this one person, I felt the same superior, holier-than-thou, hierarchical energies from the usual suspects in just the brief time I was there) treat people this way because they are unlikely to leave? Because the money is so good? It was mentioned at one point during my five years there, that we are paid "exceptionally well", for what is essentially telephone customer service. It felt like a kick in the teeth then and it still feels unappreciative when I think of it now.
So, reality meets retrospection in a very conclusive way.
Conclusive in that I signed those resignation papers today. Never to return in a professional capacity - although the personal drop-in requests were numerous (what's the protocol there? Has anyone ever done a drop-in to a previous place of work? Not sure..). The very last person I said goodbye to, as I was handing back my visitors pass had tears in her eyes. She told me my sunshine would be missed so much. It really struck me that some kind of darkness really had descended over this workplace. I felt so sad for so many people I considered good friends.
It was the perfect note to leave on. Her love went a long way in lightening the bitter taste that was determined to linger. I will always be grateful to M for that.
In other news, the crocheted blanket for A was gifted today. Yay!
She loved. And it fit over her 'nana' knees perfectly.
Today really was the end of an era.