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Sep 3, 2014

No regrets

I am writing this mere days after said I needed to take a break from blogging.
However, posting it is entirely a different beast.

I have been doing a lot of necessary soul searching. Both in my personal and professional life.

You know when you are starting to get burned out with something and what used to seem like rainbows and roses but now leaves a bit of a sour taste in your mouth?

I guess I am kind of experiencing that in my life. On all fronts.

I don't talk much about my career on this blog, and I don't plan to start, but I need to get a few feelings off my chest and what better way than to dump it on the internets.



See, our company is going through a massive amount of changes.
Most good.
My role has twisted and turned and dipped, dived...dodged. OK that may be a bit off kilter (Dodgeball, anyone?)
Let's just put it this way: I was the first hire in the new Chicago office for a company rapidly climbing it's way to the top of the software food chain. My hired role is that of Executive Assistant.
Although, when the company started out in Chicago, we were a mere five people.
Assistance was a bit of a joke so wearing multiple hats to fill all the (rather minute) roles at the time was fitting.
I literally did all the things.

You need someone to run Quickbooks and financial reports and create invoices and get paid?
I can do that.
You need that lightbulb changed out?
I can do that.
You need that wall repaired and painted?
I can do that.
You need help booking a hotel?
I can do that.
You need to create, design, and assemble a trade show booth?
I can do that.
You need me to ship a millionty boxes to said trade show and then work remotely with vendors to make sure everything runs smoothly?
I can do that.
You need me to design, order, address and mail 200 client holidays cards?
I can do that.
You need me to stock the bathrooms, order catering, greet potential clients and look professional?
I can do that.
You need me to go pick up your lunch/car/computer/walk your dog?
I can do that.

And the list can go on and on and on.

As the company has expanded, my role, among others, has become more specialized. We hired a Receptionist so now I don't have to do a bunch of mundane office tasks such as ordering pencils and answering phones. We hired a Marketing Assistant so now I don't have to worry about the 300 conferences we attend each year and logistics behind each one. We have a finance team in place and, as the last piece of the pie, I will be signing over my financial responsibilities sooner than later.

Which leaves me with the core of the reason I was hired; to be my boss's assistant.
And as important as I believe that role is, for some reason the lack of multiple hats is making me panic.
Like I won't have enough to do and therefore will have my role eliminated.

So I chatted with my boss about my concerns.
He is an eccentric fellow, but brilliant, so I happily let it slide. It is always an interesting conversation.

It sounds like my worries will be all in vain as there will be plenty to do as his role evolves and my role changes to fit to his needs.

And honestly, it kind of got me thinking about work in general.
Like.....I don't know why I get so hung up with the stress that comes with too much work and not enough time. I don't have that now and it sounds like I shouldn't have it later.
It's not what is important to me really.
This job doesn't define me in the slightest.
And when I wear myself down, I start to get cynical, and see all the cracks in the business foundation.
It also makes me exhausted and snippy and not so much fun to be around.
At the end of the week or during my review or whenever....the extra effort or lack there of makes no difference in how raises go or people's overall attitude with me.
People like being around me because I like being funny and try to lighten the mood as much as possible.
It's all so serious sometimes.
I have always had my hand in every aspect of this office and now that we have a real HR person that isn't the case anymore. I'm not overly thrilled with the route she is taking things and I am getting pissed because I am not the one to suggest changes as I don't have those credentials.
But what I really need to be doing is letting it slide because really....I can't MAKE her change her mind and what she thinks is best for this company. I can't MAKE her change her opinion and mind-set to work for the employee and empower us. It obviously isn't going to happen.
And I don't know why I care so much because it makes me so angry.
Of course I have voiced my opinion, as professionally as possible.
But I no longer speak for the employees.
I have to let go and go back to being happy. Happy to just be.
Happy to just have a job, not move mountains.

It got me thinking about the post-surgery recovery period after my HSG test.
I woke up and immediately started laughing because I had those huge mesh panties on and I was wondering who got the luxury of putting those babies on me...so I asked most people that walked past (I was probably still high from the Propofol). I just can't be serious about anything for too long.
The world will swallow you up that way.

.......and I have successfully gone off on a tangent.
But the thing is....it's not good to be so serious.
It's not healthy, in my opinion, to make the focus of your life something that means nothing in the end.
Work to me will always be a part of my life, even after kids, and even as I get older.
It keeps me sharp and I like adult conversation.
But no one cares how many late nights you put in.
No one that truly loves you and cares about you is going to say, "I love that you are always at the office."
No one is going to say a few words at your funeral and include the phrase, "She always put in extra hours at the office to kiss her bosses ass. What a great person indeed."

No.
What they are going to remember is how you treated people.
They are going to remember the time spent connecting with people outside of the office.
The memories you made. The events you participated in. The conversations.



This has been quite the post.
I'm sorry for dumping this out on everyone.
I never said I could hide my feelings well. It's probably the reason I'm not a class act negotiator at work. I feel too much.

I feel all the feelings and sometimes it's my downfall.
You know... like getting really angry and then crying because you're so angry?

Thanks for reading.

4 comments:

  1. When I worked at the bank my branch manager realized I was the type that could juggle many tasks at the same time so by the time I left to stay home I was doing 3 different jobs. I loved that! I loved being busy. And even w/ all of that I still had down time that I wanted to fill with more tasks. So to think of having those whittled down to what I felt was not enough/next to nothing would have totally freaked me out. Luckily you're like me and you aren't afraid to talk to the boss! Glad he was able to calm your fears.

    I bet you feel a bit of a relief getting all of this off your chest! Glad you can trust us! And for some reason reading this made me contact an online college to look into starting classes. I literally stopped reading midway, looked them up online and sent my contact info to them, then finished up your post. Thanks!

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  2. You do have such a way to bring laughter to those around you - that is one of your best traits!! I'd die to see you in an office setting, I bet you rock it on all levels and make people laugh while doing it.

    Glad you are back to writing, btw! I look forward to reading your posts!!

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  3. I'm so glad you're back! :) Your post hit home for me today, too. And you're totally right about the whole funeral thing. No one is going to mention our awesome work ethics!

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  4. I totally understand how you feel - I get that way at work sometimes so I try to just keep to myself. If there is an injustice or something is just wrong - I can't keep my voice down and thankfully, it usually comes out professionally, the words anyway - but my tone gets very serious very quick. I can't tell you how much I agree with that last quote from Buddha - definitely important to let things go gracefully. It's never easy but for your sanity, it's a must. Hope things get easier at work and worse comes to worse, spiffy up your resume and GTFO. No shame. Work environment should always be happy and moderately pleasant when it's stop being so - it may be your cue to bow out gracefully. Happy Hump Day Tia! -Iva

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