Nine Fucking Hours, Five Fucking Days

Since I started working at the age of 15, I’ve left work in tears once. Technically I’d already left work. I don’t believe in crying at work, so it was only after I got in the car and Graham asked me about my day that I lost it, and he sat there in horrified silence because a) I don’t cry often and b) I am not the kind of person who cries about work of all things. I tend to get angry before I get sad, and am more likely to lash out and vent about the things that bother me rather than have complete emotional breakdowns. Anger is far more productive for me, and also I am a really ugly crier.

I remember why I started crying. At the time, I was working for a woman who I would now kindly describe as “mercurial.” Mercurial is a great word, and it means both quick-witted and volatile. My boss was a brilliant woman who accomplished a shockingly large amount of important shit at a very young age. She could also be kind of psychotic, and when the mood descended upon her, it was usually without warning and like being led into a trap. She could be cold hard business for the first minute and then, suddenly, she’d turn vicious. I have never before or since had my ass reamed like that, and for such an illegitimate reason. Later, she apologized for having gone so insane on me, although I know this was less about her coming to her senses and more about the intervention of a co-worker who was grumpy and profane but also fair and wonderful, and who my boss saw as a kind of father figure and was therefore Someone To Be Listened To. Me crying was actually the result of several months of my boss’ outbursts. My self-confidence had eroded to the point of me breaking down in snotty, messy tears in the passenger seat of my car when my boyfriend asked me a simple question about my day. While I can handle being reprimanded sometimes and for good reason, I find it difficult to manage a situation where the odds of punishment are entirely unpredictable and usually unwarranted. Still, though, like I said, my boss was a brilliant woman and I realized completely, even then, that she had trouble communicating to me (who was essentially taking over her job while she attempted to run her own company from 2,000 miles away) what was so clear in her own head. I was actually a little relieved when she announced my layoff, because it meant that I could wake up for the first time in six months without wondering if I’d be facing down psychosis again.

Again, I haven’t cried about work since then. However, I did come damn close today, because even though I didn’t get screamed at by a cruel harpy for being an incompetent boob trying to sabotage a company, it’s really hard to be treated like shit for nine fucking hours, five fucking days a week.

I requested a meeting with my boss about a month ago to address the issues that have driven me to everyday occurrences of heartburn, headaches, teeth-grinding, and carpal tunnel symptoms so bad that I can’t hold a beer in my right hand anymore. For almost a month she has ignored my request, and predictably, the issues have gotten worse. I’ve said before that it’s not the job. It’s a few people in the department who make the job harder, and her baffling treatment of them above all others that makes it literally painful to show up at work each day. While my previous boss once made me cry for the entire drive home, the day in-day out bullshit of my current job and my boss’ allowance – no, encouragement! – of it makes this job the worst one I have ever had.

Now, I’m hardly qualified to or interested in being a manager, but I still think that I have some basic knowledge of how to treat the people who work for you. So hey, if you guys are managers, here’s the deal: don’t ignore your employees’ accomplishments. Don’t favor those who accomplish nothing. Don’t conduct inappropriate friendships with your favored employees over Facebook. Don’t take away holidays off, especially from the employees who have already worked enough of them. Don’t ignore it when your employees are unhappy, or blame it on them, or treat them like shit because you’re unwilling to work on your very evident problems. Don’t be assholes, okay? Please?

Tonight, I’m going to watch the world DVD premiere of The Black Hole, a Syfy original movie starring Judd Nelson, Kristy Swanson, and our good friend David M. Walk. Adrian and Angelica got it on Amazon for a penny. It actually cost more to ship than to buy on its own. I plan on drinking wine while I’m there, because for me, while beer is for celebration and vodka is for stupid drunkenness to the point of vomiting (ahem, last Sunday night), wine (and time with my friends) is for decompressing from those nine fucking hours, five fucking days a week where it’s made very clear to me that while she’s not screaming, my boss still dislikes me to the extent of her negligible ability.

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About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
This entry was posted in I Just Can't, Paychecks Are Important, Sads. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Nine Fucking Hours, Five Fucking Days

  1. My friend (and probably wedding photographer) worked on that movie, and my friend Adam had a speaking part!

  2. Oh, and I’m sorry your job is driving you cray. Let’s get drunk together soon. (And maybe liveblog another movie? Let’s liveblog The Crush. I’ll bring my laptop and we can just IM through the whole thing.)

  3. Karisma says:

    I am a little late with my comment here but it has been on my mind because I myself have been in almost the exact situation and I felt your pain. Sometimes a bad job can be used as a spring board into a new experience that will leave you happy at the end of the day. The pay might not be what you are looking for at first but who can put a dollar amount on sanity at days end and really being happy in your job. I say fire the boss and move on..its not worth the headache or hassle.

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