oops, so i do it again… (g2)

I have been, for lack of a better word, so immersed into the bullshit of life that the last month has been the last real breath I’ve been able to take since my last entry.

I did move. We looked at places on a Friday in 2018, settled on a place and signed paperwork on a Saturday. Moved in one shot on Sunday and I started work that Monday, sore and tired.

I opened a po box in the location I was gunning for so people would stop asking me if I was in the area. I managed to nail a job at the headquarters of a company that offers a service I feel should be criminalized in a beautiful building with fabulous amenities and a pay level lower than I asked or wanted.

Within a week, I was asked to interview at a building that looked like it should be cleaned by a team with hazmat gear. They were a disorganized mess, the accounting department alone was run by two people with no accounting experience… for the last four years.

However, they were willing to meet my asking price. I didn’t have much hope in the interview, so I was my very blunt and candid self. Apparently, that worked in my favor and they made an offer.

I had a boss that only said nice things about me to other people, like I was a damn bargain and should be making more (cool, do that?). It reminded me a lot of my ex. What is the problem with people telling people their value to them, even casually? One of my co-workers, on the other hand, compared me to Ghost in the Shell to another co-worker who was upset they could not match my pace. I didn’t understand the reference, but the image is apparently representative of what they thought of my working speed. I shared this with a former boss who laughed and just said “omg, that’s so you!”

I ended up with at least 6-9 different bosses over the course of the next two years. The team of eight I started with originally, was down to three by this past February. I’d been working twelve hour days and most weekends and still being told, or at least insinuated, I was not doing enough by corporate. All of us were. We explained the problems, laid out possible solutions and were promptly ignored.

Management, such that it was, professionally met. What I mean is that from the start of the day until the end (of course, they left on time for the most part), they systematically migrated from one meeting to the next, every single day, to run their mouths and spend no time taking action on the things they discussed. If a meeting takes longer than 15 minutes and there is more than 2 a week, its too many.

The only time they were not in a meeting, they embraced what I called the #notme movement. It’s fascinating how much effort someone can expend on trying to explain how something is not their problem to fix.

Sadly, there is now more management than there were people to do the work. The layoffs started the latter half of 2019 and I was hit with it on Valentine’s Day. Two days after signing off on a house. Our first. It kind of made the celebration stale.

My team and I came in during Christmases, etc. on salary, to deal with the things no one else was dealing with, to get them done, with or without a boss telling us to do so. I got to meet some epic people who tried to make gold bricks out of bullshit in spite of the terrible, terrible place we were working.

I ran into one lady who was laid off before me. Up until that point, I was absolutely sure she had some serious personality disorder: paranoia, bipolar, schizophrenia… one or a combo. Not one day working with her was a simple conversation ever simple. Instead of handling the thing requested of her, where she was the only one to go to, there were usually at least four subsequent responses explaining why she was not going to do it, and what procedures should be followed instead. I usually figured out how to do it myself or went over her head rather than deal with her.

But a couple months after she was laid off and working elsewhere, I ran into her at a restaurant around dinner and found her tranquil… and almost charming? She explained that she never realized how bad the place was until her doctor told her she didn’t need to take her blood pressure medication anymore. She said the place was more toxic to her emotionally, mentally and physically than she ever realized and she was mad at herself for not getting out a lot sooner.

I realized it fosters that paranoia when a former co-worker got in touch to tell me later, to tell me not to trust another former co-worker because “they talk.” Both individuals have their own reasons for fearing being let go themselves, neither are in management but they don’t know one another very well. The one doing the accusing finally tells me that another individual “experimented” by feeding some info to see if it cycled and it did.

I asked my former co-worker if they truly believed that no one else could have overheard or come to a similar albeit incorrect conclusion? Of course they had to admit it was possible.

I advised them to not let the toxicity of the place take over their common sense because those not on the managerial level needed to stick together. The person I knew would only ever disclose something they were allowed to and only if they truly believed it would serve the greater good.

I will say I didn’t take it as personally devastating as I did the last time around. I could barely muster a reaction. But of course, in some fashion, it is personal and you wonder… is it me? I was deemed less valuable than the several billions I saved the company? Really? How does that make any kind of sense?

My logical mind understands that the last job hurt because I was being used as a scapegoat for managerial incompetence, but it still hurts. And this will be the third layoff for me, all for different reasons, in a row. No matter how much it has nothing to do with you, its always personal. Despite my best efforts, my small peanuts were worth more than the incredible feats I managed to pull off and all the personal time I put in. Not even a damn thank you?

In this case, I was a quick figure to plug into the profit margin by a CFO who was terrified of it being found how bad they were doing at turning the branches around and getting them profitable. The same CFO who mentally whipped one of the finest co-workers I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with so bad, they became physically ill, then left.

However, that fine co-worker ensured that all of their notes and backup material were completely nuked well past the abilities of IT to be able to recover before they did… along with a lot of data proving a lot of the shady shit the company was doing to hide bad financials.

That wasn’t even a mic drop. That was a single finger salute without turning around as they walk out the door and light a match. They still haven’t recovered from losing them.

If I could ever wish that karma was real and fair, it would be now. I hope they lose those good people to better places. I hope they lose everything.

I sincerely hope this is the worst place I ever have to work. I have never seen gross negligence in action to this degree in all facets and departments and still somehow manage to stay open. When even the HR Manager violates company policy in their first month and there is no repercussions, its certainly a bad sign.

They too paid a month and I got all the vacation I never got an opportunity to take in exchange for signing what is essentially a gag order. Spawn and I try to enjoy the process of getting moved in and nesting in our new realm. My refund had already been earmarked for furniture and house stuff, and I kept it that way.

Spawn got to paint and decorate their room for the first time in their life. I’m happy, but also sad as hell that it took so long for me to be able to provide that experience. I can only call them “child” for a pitiful few years left and they just now got a space to call their own in a home of their own.

I thought surely I would be employed within a month or two. Then the plague occurred of course. I have tried to enjoy the time rather than stress it as I did last. I’m doing all that I can, even filling out bullshit surveys for a pittance or signing up to hear court cases while applying to anything remotely interesting and claiming unemployment. The market is so scarce though, I’ve been contacted by six different recruiting agencies all for the exact same position.

Doing lyft or uber would be a great idea, if it didn’t require me to be exposed to people. I would honestly do data entry for minimum wage for the medical community at this point, just for something to keep my hands busier and get people processed for whatever it is they need.

That fine former coworker of mine and I check in on one another and share resources and links from time to time. They are expecting their first child, and I’m truly thrilled for them and hope they get an amazing job that gives them all they deserve. I aspire to be as well organized as they when I grow up. As long as I can still have toys.

For those still working, I hear a lot of fear. When you work for a company that gives absolutely zero fucks about their human element, the only thing they care about is making the numbers and its terrifying and discouraging for those having to deal with it.

It is sad, that even now, the government is having to intervene to enforce common fucking sense. Well, that is of course, when the government itself is practicing common fucking sense, at least. Like not having mass gatherings to explain to the public, not to have mass gatherings.

In the back of my mind, I wonder if the timing of the layoff has in some way protected me and my family from the virus going around. I’m not exactly the most interactive on my best day, but now?

I hope through this, a lot of companies embrace telecommuting from now on. There is a lot of work I could do from home in my field. I don’t do anything that requires babysitting, just output. I have never quite understood why so many companies believe that people are incapable of working from home and actually… working. As though they must be checked in on to make sure they aren’t just perusing YouTube.

Granted, I know some people have trouble with it. My personal experience has always been that I’m more interrupted at work and constantly thwarted from getting stuff done than I have ever experienced being at home. My kid at two understood “not right now, I’m in the middle of something” better than the adults I was working with. But then, most of my college degree was done online with a toddler and full-time job. You manage, or you fail.

My thoughts were always of the ilk, if I can prove my output is higher not being there, maybe they will rethink the whole 8-5 bullshit. It’s never occurred, of course, but its nice to hope.

How are you working through these times? Or are you? Company been supportive, or nah?

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