If this were any other challenge I would say “Two weeks in, two weeks to go!” or “Halfway there!” to motivate myself to the end. However, this challenge is to make myself more positive for the long run, not just for thirty days. So I’ll say “Two weeks in!” and leave it at that.
This week I’ve realized that there comes a time in every situation where the best option is to walk away. It is impossible to be a genuine person while trying to be positive 100% of the time. Sometimes, life just generally sucks. And that is okay.
You cannot control and you are not responsible for other people’s actions or feelings. However, you are responsible and you can control your own actions and feelings in response.
Sometimes it is best to just remove yourself from the situation. If you cannot show yourself as positive, or if you cannot respond in the way that you want to, that means you need time to process. You need time to understand what and why something happened the way that it did.
For the past two weeks, I’ve had a temporary supervisor. He and I never have really got along very well, but it has never been hostile or overly negative. To be honest we’ve just avoided each other in the past. And it worked.
Now that he is my (temporary) supervisor I’ve had to go to him more often, and we’ve been in more situations where I must communicate with him, and him with me. He is the type of person that needs to exert his dominance, to tell you that he is the supervisor, instead of show it through leadership. In fact, I think he is one that believes manager and leader are synonymous.
The microaggressions over the past two weeks just added up and by Friday, I couldn’t handle them anymore. I walked into work for the first time in two-years thinking about the security of my job and questioning my ability to even do my work. He wasn’t even in the office that day and I still took sick leave after a couple hours into the day.
I went home. I left the office, I left the scene, and I left the negativity.
I couldn’t handle the complacency that the other managers have to deal with his regular abuses of power. I couldn’t handle even to just sit in my cubicle and do my work. I let it get to me and I wasn’t being a team player.
Playing the Victim Card
I have to admit, on Friday I definitely played the victim card. I had the mentality of “why me?” and kept adding to my depression with similar statements, “I hate this job,” and “why does he do this?” etc.
But this does nothing to solve the actual, underlying problem. Additionally, if you voice these thoughts it does nothing but add a negative bubble around you so that whenever someone comes to talk to you about anything, inside or outside the office, everything you say is tainted with a negative and bitter (yet subtle) aftertaste. In the end, this becomes a snowball effect of negativity cumulating in the office.
I recognized that I was playing this card. I figured it out when my coworkers would say something slightly negative about my supervisor or the job in general and I would just lay into it about how unhappy the place is, and how unhappy I was. Hearing these words come out of my mouth and not being able to calm down, I knew it was time for a break. A mental and physical break.
It wasn’t until Saturday evening when I finally fully understood the situation. I was sitting in my favorite bar with my favorite person (shoutout to Mazdak, the hubby), and I was mulling everything over while listening to live music and sipping a great beer. I looked at Mazdak and just said “You know what, I’m not going to let this get to me anymore. I’m not going to be complacent. I am going to use this as a motivator. I’m letting him make me miserable. I’m putting all the negative aspects of the job onto his actions and behaving as if he is the only thing that is wrong with work. Nope. I’m going to survive this and I’m going to be even better afterward. I am putting the unhappiness of my current position at work on him. I need to shape up and take my career into my own hands.”
At the end of the day, I love my job, but it is not my career or dream job. I’ve known this since I started the position, however, I’ve gotten busy with life and have settled into the job. I’m good at it, and it isn’t really that hard. But these small problems that come up, or people that want to get in the way of your success, it all hurts and stings more when it is at a job that you don’t want to stay at forever.
I had to walk away from the situation to understand all of this. And now it is Monday. I’m ready to go back to work, put a smile on my face and greet everyone with their name and a “Happy Monday.” I’m ready to take my career into my own hands and to work towards the career that will make me satisfied and happy. I will use this as a motivator to get to where I want to be and to not just settle with my current situation. I will recognize that this is a negative situation and that it sucks, but it is not forever.
The most important thing: I will learn from this situation.
It will pass, just like everything else, and in the long run, I will learn more from how to work with him than how to work with great supervisors. I will learn more about which battles to fight and which are just not important enough to get worked up over. The most important thing: I will learn, all of this.
Let me know if you are going along with me in this battle to become more positive at work, what have you noticed? What have you done?
Thanks for reading!