When Stuck in a Miserable Job….
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.
Sometimes, you have to wonder why a Higher Being would allow you to stay in a miserable, soul-sucking job. Or even in a moderately satisfying job that still doesnâ€™t fulfill your lifeâ€™s purpose.
A year ago, I was offered my pick of any local position in my career field, but I chose a quiet, somewhat boring staff job because it meant virtually no weekday or extended travel, and that was best for my single mom-hood. Itâ€™s been a comfortable place to work, if not terribly exciting. I could have picked a much more prestigious position but I put my familyâ€™s needs first, realizing that as long as I choose â€œno-travelâ€ jobs, my chances of another promotion are nil. And thatâ€™s okay because so many other fulfilling activities are part of my life and not attached to my job.
But today, I understood why I am in this job, in this office. Not because of the teaching, advising, researching aspects-and heavens, no, not because of my talents for a being a good reviewer-Iâ€™m not anal enough to be as good an anal-yst as I think I should be!
Today, I had a long talk with a colleague-personal issues…it always is-and I knew, without a doubt, that the reason Iâ€™m in this office was to have that conversation. By being there, I had something to give her emotionally and spiritually. In exchange, without knowing it, she gave me insight into the thought processes of someone important to me. We gave each other a blessing today.
Iâ€™ve had this exact moment in previous jobs, too. Often someone Iâ€™ve taken under my wing and given a new perspective. There are productive, happy people in the workforce because I was there at the right time-put into a spot I didnâ€™t want to be in -but something I said or did helped a light bulb come on so that they stopped whatever behavior was bad for them. And lest you think I take full credit for their little turnarounds, I fully understand that I was just the conduit-and that I got something back from the exchange that was just as good for me, too.
Not every job ended so positively. Iâ€™ve been in offices from Hell, but the opportunities for change have been there, taken or not. In the only office Iâ€™ve ever worked in that I truly hated, I left with a major reprioritization of my life plan.
The supervisor who made me miserable? I still have her email where she promised that if I would do her work for her for one whole year while she got her Masterâ€™s Degree (I already had mine), she would get me promoted. She had a terrible habit of bailing out of work with an email at 12:55 to me and to 50 other people, including all the bosses, telling me to give a briefing about something I had never heard of…at 1:00. She had a really bad habit of claiming credit and shifting blame and I was her opportunity to change her [evil] ways. I left the job, got promoted without her help, and watched her implode a few months later when she blamed the wrong person-someone with a lot more rank than Iâ€™d had. But we both got something out of that experience, whether we knew it or not at the time. And I got promoted without any help from her.
As I left for lunch today, I ran into someone I worked with years ago. We reminisced a little before she asked if I remembered a heartfelt chat we had about her penchant for alcohol and why she needed to self-medicate.
â€œYou were a real blessing to me,â€ she said. â€œIâ€™d been praying for help and the Lord used you to kick my rear end. I got my life back in order because of something you told me.â€
I never would have guessed. All these years, and Iâ€™d never heard this. At the time, I was in the office from Hell, dealing with Satanâ€™s little sister for a supervisor.
It makes me wonder, for all these people in jobs where they donâ€™t want to beâ€”or even ones where they do want to beâ€”do people realize what a silent blessing they so often are?