Photo Credit @Joanna Kosinska
I hated my job. Management hated me. My supervisor and the head of the HR department had been targeting me the day I spoke out against their ridiculous policies. Afterwards I gained the respect of some, I lost the respect of others. What mattered the most to me was that I spoke my truth. And if it wasn’t the truth, management wouldn’t have been so shook.
Every morning I got up early to exercise, prepare my breakfast and lunch, and drive through traffic. There were days where I was in a rush. I would ask myself, “Am I truly excited about where I’m going?” Of course the answer was no. I thought about my husband and our son. I was doing this for them.
I was called “hostile” and “awkward.” I was told to be positive in a work environment that awarded ignorance and laziness. No one in their right mind wakes up in the morning thinking “I get to go to work where I’m undervalued and underappreciated! Yay!”
Too often I sat at my desk in my little cubicle between phone calls reading inspirational messages on my phone. I would read about the lives of entrepreneurial women who made changes, and made some real money.
Sure I was getting a paycheck. But as soon as that became the only thing that mattered, I wasn’t passionate about what I was doing. I felt like I was being undermined because of my willingness to speak up against authority figures, my tenacity, my fortitude, my joy for living life. I told myself that as soon as my business would take off, I could happily walk away from this job. One day.
Day one: I walked off. Day one was yesterday, August 8th, 2019. A Thursday. Thursdays are usually uneventful. “Friday eve.” That day became the start of a new life for me.
I was called in about the dress code policy but I knew it was more than that. I was being picked on for everything that I did. Scrutinized like mad. The new director wanted to send me home for the day. I offered to have my husband bring me leggings and was told that as long as I made the phone call in front of them in the room, it was OK.
One: I have the right to privacy. Two: fuck them. I normally don’t use language on this blog because I want to show it to my son someday. Well, at that moment Mommy couldn’t find any better word to use. I worked my ass off. I brought in numbers, results, bonus-worthy shit. All for recognition in the form of an email: “Keep up the great work!” From people who knew nothing about the content of my work. People with fancy titles who walked around ego-tripping and asserting dominance to make up for their sorry egos.
So, yeah. I said fuck you. To the HR guy, my supervisor, my director. I marched through the office one last time dropping as many f-bombs as I could. It was cathartic. I had never been so scared in my life. But my heart needed this moment. My soul was rejoicing.
My director stormed over to my cubicle as I was gathering my things. I took everything that I could but I knew forgot some things. The breast milk that I had pumped that morning. The office notepad with my doodles. I happily gave him my clock-in-clock-out card and got my ass out of that hell hole.
In my car I wanted to break down into tears. I did. I had not expected Thursday to go that way. Tomorrow was payday! Plus I felt that I missed out on saying a proper goodbye to the coworkers whom I actually liked. But venting with them was no longer enough. I knew I had reached a point where I had run out of patience. Being in that building was toxic. As I drove away, a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. I would never have to go back there. I was finally free.
Best of all, my husband loved my act of courage. He had been begging for me to stay at home for months. What was I afraid of? Letting him have financial control over me? All he wanted was what was best for our baby which turned to be best for me as well. We high-fived, hugged, and went to the mall.
Slowly my freedom began to sink in. Waking up this morning with my son in my arms confirmed that I had made the right decision. I didn’t go out as graceful as I had hoped but that place didn’t deserve any more of my respect. Today I woke up on the other side of fear. Now my life can truly begin.