I’m Hitting Quit

I’m gonna quit.

Image Credit: The Darkside Detective: A Fumble In the Dark

This is talking about my job, by the way. Not right as this moment, not today, but soon. Possibly in the next couple of months and a hard plan to go at the latest by mid-year.

I know it may seem sudden especially during a global pandemic, but I’ve been at the job for more than 3 years now. In that time, I’ve only received one pay raise in my first year which was less than 2% of my total salary anyway. I couldn’t say anything about 2020, since everyone’s wages were frozen because we weren’t at a strong financial standpoint at the time. I also suffered a meltdown during that time since a lot of work was being thrown my way and I was stressed because I couldn’t exactly count on my senior/manager then to help me out a lot as he didn’t have the working knowledge of many things. I liked him as a person, but that year I also busted my ass off and got pleurisy which had me off work for over a week.

And nepotism. I’ve seen changes within my direct team and though I don’t have anything personally against anyone, I can see the favouritism playing out. The differential treatment which has led me to really reconsider my options. They say that you either try to sabotage, backstab or you just don’t really give a crap anymore when nepotism is detected in the workplace. I’m in the latter bucket. I admit that I’ve self-sabotaged a couple of times already, but I just don’t believe in playing the office politics game and stabbing other people in the back. I’m just not interested.

I don’t like to suck up to people and I never have. I especially, especially hate fakeness. I’m open to flattery, but even then that only works on me to a certain extent (this is why I could never work in sales). And another reason why I haven’t resorted to trying to make others look bad is because I haven’t had the real need to. In my case, we have a girl working in the team whose mother is very close friends with my boss. Judging from their interactions at work, I suspect she could even be her godmother. Anyway, we’ll call her Cookie. Now Cookie was your average graduate with very little work experience, but because of her ties with my boss, she didn’t have to undergo a formal interview process and her job was specifically created for her. It would be an understatement to say that she was lacking the skills needed for the type of work we do; she had to be shown the ropes and trained from scratch. Cookie’s been here for a couple of years now, but she’s already received a job title change that she was heavily hinting at but her skill level doesn’t truly match. Often, I’ll be asked to prepare things for her or teach her how to do it. At the end of the day, I don’t really have time to meet my own objectives at work because I’m busy doing someone else’s. Nor do I get any real thanks or recognition because they will see Cookie’s name mentioned instead of mine.

You see, I think of jobs like relationships. Some relationships are actually worse than being single; and some jobs are worse than being unemployed. I’ve learnt that you can wait and hope for people to change, but for some reason, no matter what you do, you’re just not good enough for them. You could be the best person in the world, but yet they’ll choose to treat you like a common possession. They won’t appreciate you. It’s a little bit like unrequited love. But the important thing is to recognise your own self-worth. That you have value that someone else will appreciate.

I do have value and I realize it, so I’m gonna quit. And I know someone else will see me for what I am worth too.

A thought, gratitude

Photo by Dzenina Lukac from Pexels

Remember that this is all temporary and will soon come to pass.

That’s what I’ve told myself during the times where I’ve dipped very low. I remember the times when I was an under and unemployed grad making less than minimum wage doing transcription work at home. I guess Amazon Mechanical Turk workers feel this too, even though it does provide opportunities for people to work. Low-paid work. Very low-paid work.

And now, here I find myself working from home again. Except now this is a public mandate and thank goodness, I’m definitely making more than minimum wage.

If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I am mostly a homebody that likes travel. Obviously now, international travel is out of the question but a confession here: I’ve never visited the South Island of New Zealand. Sure, I’ve been living here for close to 30 years (oh my) but I was always drawn to greener grass, over the seas. So now that I’m in this predicament, I might as well just roll with the punches.

The thing is, you will never learn to be grateful if you choose to keep on choosing to focus and chase after things that don’t matter. I believe that for the most part, happiness is a choice. I’m sure we all know someone who’s a miserly tightwad with more cash than the majority, yet chooses to not spend that money or give it away. I’m not here to tell you how to feel or how you should feel, since feelings are a natural physiological response to your circumstances. All I’m saying is, although we can’t change some things, there are at least a few things we can control.

It was actually really strange but I have to admit that paradoxically, most of my anxiety dissipated when news of the the pandemic broke out and that we would have to go into lockdown. It was almost as if all my previous experiences being so low and ridden with self-doubt played out worse in my mind. To me, I had already experienced something that I had perceived as much worse than what I am experiencing now. Don’t get me wrong, I am not downplaying the issue here. It is serious – people are losing their lives, jobs and other valuable things during this pandemic. All I am doing is giving my own personal view of where I stand and how I feel at these moments.

I guess it all boils down to one word in the end: gratitude. Even in times of darkness, there is still a glimmer of hope. You can choose to seek light. Or darkness. They cannot exist without each other and life-and-death situations really help put things into perspective. Suddenly those things that I used to worry about no longer phase me. My friends, family and health are at the forefront. They’ve always been important; yet now even more so. It’s hard not to be thankful for these kinds of things nowadays. After all, you only begin to realize that you should clutch harder onto your cloth just as the wind comes to take it away.

Final Destination: Home

So I took the wrong bus home the other day.

I was almost certain the bus driver had changed the route display after I got on. I finished later than usual from the office since I picked up a bit of work from my senior colleague to give to our boss that night. Amongst the interruptions to bus services, I rushed down to catch the next available bus.

I had this gut feeling that I probably should have gotten off at one of the earlier stops, since I could have caught a train home from there. But I didn’t.

So my heart sank a little further as I noticed we wouldn’t be stopping where I had intended to go, so I just got off the last stop. I knew where I was, but I was one suburb over from home.

Around me, there were middle-aged patrons sipping their coffee at the local cafĂ© and there was a small gas station across the road. I knew that I wasn’t too far from home, so I quickly Googled for any buses that were going back home. There was, but since I didn’t know where the actual stop was, I punched in the address into Google Maps for a street view. Right across the road, near the gas station.

As I was crossing the road back, I saw an elderly homeless man sleeping at the bus shelter. He looked like he was in a deep sleep and I didn’t really want to disturb him so I stood a little ways just outside.

ETA: 5 mins.

I saw the bus approaching, so I waved my arm a little. The bus stopped. I got on and the lovely bus driver responded with a friendly “hello” when I said “”hi”.

As I got off the bus, I said thank you to my driver and wished her a goodnight. She replied, “No worries, have a lovely night.”

Sometimes, you just have to trust that things are going to turn out okay. Sometimes you think you know where you’re going, but you really don’t. And sometimes, you have no idea where you’re supposed to be going at all.

You’ll work it out though.

After all, there are many paths that lead to the same destination.

Fires and Floods

Now I know I’m about two weeks late in writing this blog post, because I did aim to have at least one blog post published every week. Well, there’s no point on dwelling in the past and nobody’s getting any younger, so I’ll just have to procrastinate less and just do more. So this probably means that I’ll write posts and schedule them ahead of time.

And psst. I’m publishing this post by email!

Okay, so it’s nothing new and it’s been around for some time now but I thought I’d try out this feature.

So it’s been a very strange week for me, after acknowledging all the stress that has been mounting up in my life and coming back from vacation there was a huge fire at the building across the road from my office. And most of you that follow me on Twitter already know this, but now the building’s basement is flooded with water-damaged cars that belong to staff. The very thing that was used to extinguish the fire has become a problem itself.

So Jelly, what are you getting at exactly? I’m getting there, alright.

All I’m saying is that this fire started around lunchtime and reports say that it was probably due to a blowtorch being left on. The irony of the situation is that they used eco-friendly materials such as plywood and straw, along with bitumen (the same material that is used in tyres) which caused the fire to burn for a very long time and made it extremely hard to put out.

This was like me bottling things up and saying yes to everything, even when I didn’t think they were such good ideas. I became very apathetic towards a lot of things at work and didn’t see much point in doing anything anymore. And if you let something build up over time, things just get harder to deal with in the long run.

The day before that, my manager pulled me aside to have a chat about the letter I wrote her. Without divulging too much information, she shared some of unfortunate events that had taken place in her life and how they had affected her. She then said:

” You can’t change some things that happen around or to you, but it’s how we respond to it that matters.”

Because that’s all we can do. And as the smoke billowed from across the roof, my eyes were drawn to this meme printout on the window. “Keep Calm and Carry On.” That’s when everything made sense.

20191022 131638

Things don’t actually become easier as we grow older.

We become stronger.