The last month of my life has been surreal and frantic in equal parts. Honestly, it has been one of the most destructive experiences of my life so far, and I feel as though I have weathered a storm as I come out the other end of it.
Surprisingly the root of this terrible month has not been in my personal life, but in my professional life. Maybe most people would not find this surprising, but I never thought that I would allow my life to be so influenced by my profession that it could cause me the level of personal hurt that I have recently experienced. It’s actually difficult for me to write down the “what happened” here, as truthfully I don’t know all of it, but I’ll give it a shot.
The simplest way to state it is to say that I have been with my company for three years, and in the last few months one of our newest employees has waged such a war of hate against me that I’ve found it impossible to withstand. Naturally, she was hired in by a manager who is a personal friend of hers, and therefore she is untouchable within the workplace. I have never been privy to understanding why she took such an immediate dislike to me, and really it doesn’t matter, but the last month has really made it apparent the depth of her poison within our company.
More hurtful than her attack is the reluctance of the company to do anything about it. Even when she has launched into very public personal attacks on me, the stance of our management has been that workplace bullying is in the eye of the beholder: that it says more that a person allows themselves to feel bullied than it does about the person bullying. I’m sorry, but that’s one hell of a lot of bullshit right there.
Anyway, after weeks of seriously feeling like I was losing my mind I took decisive action in the only way that I could – I applied for another job. This morning I received my formal job offer from that company, and I couldn’t be more excited about joining their team. I actually ended up having to challenge my personal values about work, compensation, and personal balance, and I feel as though I passed the high standard that I set for myself.
Reflecting back on these recent events I feel sad that I was put through this experience, but mostly I am sad that a company I thought I would stay with for many, many years turned out to not be the company that I believed it was. I am sad that I was so deceived, and I am sorry that I lost respect for people I had genuinely cared about. However, I am proud of myself for coming out the other end on my terms, and I’m excited for the new step forward in my life.
I think if I had to identify the one thing that surprised me about this whole experience, it would be my choice to leave. I always believed that I would fight injustice, or stand up to the wrongdoer in these situations, but I didn’t. What I learned was that I had assigned too much feeling to this workplace family, and that really fighting it was just going to be an exhausting process that would only weaken me.
Right now I have two weeks off (paid) before I start my new position, and I’m going to use it to reflect on my life and restore my emotional hard drive.