We had been in Kauai for 3 hours when it happened. My husband told me he had cheated on me, didn’t love me anymore and we were getting divorced.
He left me homeless, jobless, carless and in the middle of a full-time college semester. Along with a few hundred dollars cash & thousands in student loan debt he had put in my name. I was 24.
I rented a room from friends, struggling with severe complex PTSD. And I hustled like crazy to create a semi-livable income. After working as a nanny, I landed an office job.
Working for a small company, I quickly moved up from secretary to office manager/bookkeeper/digital marketer and everything in between. Company revenue quadrupled, new divisions of the company were added and new people got hired.
By day, I worked 8–12 hours in the office. By night, I studied digital marketing and moonlight as a virtual assistant.
Eventually, the workload at my day job became too much. With promises of partnership & management making my eyes hella starry, I quit my side hustles to focus on growing the company.
All of that came to a screeching halt one day when the owner fired me. The reasoning was that I was no longer up to the company’s standard. Working in an at-will state didn’t require any warnings, feedback or further communication about the situation.
This is a horrible situation to be thrown into, yes.
However, I am certain this will become the best thing that has ever happened to me.
It didn’t feel like this at first. And if you look at my financial situation, it isn’t such a great thing right now.
During this job, my health plummeted. I had multiple fevers a week. Every bug that passed through hit me hard. I often worked sick and my employer continued to dangle the unobtainable carrot of health insurance ahead of me, despite it being more than a year past the 90 days stated in my contract.
And yet, none of my huge accomplishments were enough. None of my personal sacrifices pleased the capricious gods. They often seemed to enjoy complaining about how my barely livable hourly wage strapped their budget.
Whatever, we’ll leave potent retribution up to a Higher Power. I do hope it/they have plans that top even my elaborate justice wishes.
The whole thing left me heaped with guilt for not being good enough. That lasted until I read George J. Ziogas’s wonderful article, You Don’t Have To Work In A Toxic Workplace Full Of Assholes this morning.
My former workplace hit every single toxic point.
What a relief! The problem was not me, despite the near-constant upper management protestations to the contrary.
I’m free now. Healing my mind & body from the abuses subjected to it.
A job that slowly destroys you is never worth it.
Stop letting them turn up the heat slowly on your kettle, little frog. Soon, you will be boiled.
Besides, what kind of situation are you enabling by working there?
This is your sign, my friend.
Perhaps it’s time to quietly begin interviewing for another job.
Perhaps it’s connecting with a company that you’d be proud to work with.
Perhaps it’s working on your side hustle, building skills to do it full time.
Whatever it is, take action. Take a small step. Take it right now.
Thank you for reading! What’s your worst workplace experience? How did you get out of it? If you’re still there, challenge yourself to get the hell out.