I went back to work on Monday.

By Wednesday, I’d come down with some cold/flu from hell.   Psychosomatic sign that I am sick of this place and it’s time to get out?  I think so.

Since Monday, I’d been inundated with questions from people who had apparently been told I’d been out on “vacation” (read one way, respecting my privacy, read another way, can’t bother to be honest and spend time giving people real information) and so now I had to decide how to answer.  (I said I wasn’t really out on vacation, I was taking care of some personal and family things, but everyone’d lived, and how could I help them.)

I’d also met with the new-ish store manager who I’ve had a rough start with because of his inaccessability & how he defines my role versus how I do, and then he asked for a follow-up to flesh that conversation out on Tuesday.  My regional boss showed up, unbeknownst to me.  When I asked to what I owed the pleasure, suspecting, she made a face which was clearly “he didn’t tell you.”  Not her fault– and I suppose the conversation was more productive with her there than not, and I tried to listen and tried to be fair, but what I took away, feelings-wise from the meeting, was that no one was going to explicitly apologize for failing to notice that I’d had a shitty go of it so far and had been undermined & isolated & overworked in a number of ways, and no one was going to acknowledge that with the new store manager, I had in fact told him about some storms that were brewing, but he just wasn’t paying attention.  There was also a portion of the meeting about paperwork some of my files were missing, and that while, noted, a lot of it was due to my predecessor, I needed to immediately undertake a massive audit of all of my files and fix it.

There was no acknowledgment of anything I’d done right.  No asking about how I was actually doing.  And the commitments to give me “support” for things I need to offload are things people have said they’d give me support for before– and then didn’t.  I don’t know if I trust or believe this new store manager, especially when he can’t even acknowledge that he had a role in messing things up and now he has to fix them from his end.

I felt sandbagged by my coordinator being there, even though she was being friendly & sharing stuff about her own personal stuff that has been a lot for her to deal with, but in feeling vulnerable and anxious and paranoid right now, I feel like I weigh that “I have all this personal shit in my life” against what she said in the meeting about always being able to call her and come up questioning– can I, really?  Does she really mean it?  And even if she does, will she deliver?  I have called her or emailed her in the past and not been able to get through– or she’s pushed me off– and now I feel like I don’t know if she’s to be relied upon.

During the same sandbagging meeting the store manager mentioned that one of the team managers had complained about an email I’d sent them and her misinterpreting my tone.  I’d known there was something wrong with her reaction because she didn’t answer but at the time, frankly, I was losing my mind, but this team manager has a habit of avoiding conflict and is someone I used to be friendly with and no longer am, for various reasons having to do with actions on her part that have made it clear to me that whether she intended her actions to be read that way or not, she didn’t want me messing around with her hiring, and she went over my head to the old boss and had me cut out of the equation– and no one bothered to tell me, I just had to figure it out on my own.

I did have a conversation with this team manager where I did my best to say that I thought she was very good at her job & I wished others in the building were more like her, and then– that I was sorry that my tone/manner/affect had made her wary of approaching me and that I wished things were different and that I hoped in the future she would know I wanted to hear feedback, good or bad, from her directly.  But I also told her, because at this point I just am done being 100% diplomatic (and these kids they promote need to learn the outcome of their activities have ramifications) that I was hurt by the fact that she went over my head twice now, and that things had festered so long without my knowing what the heck was wrong, and that now I wasn’t sure if I could trust her or resume a friendship with her, like she said she wanted to do at one point in the conversation.  She was confused by that and I said– you gave my boss negative job feedback, twice, and did it because you couldn’t talk with me, and it’s my job to be approachable.  That means I’ve failed, and so my job is in danger.  She got this shocked look on her face like oh, she hadn’t thought about that.

It doesn’t matter that the brick & mortar team members were all saying they missed me– because they’ll never tell that to the store manager, and it’ll only become a complaint once I quit.

At this point I am exhausted, fed up, feeling profoundly disrespected & undervalued, feeling unnoticed by the people who have the power to make a difference in my career, and pretty certain that all the words about support are just that– words.  When it comes time to backing it up, I think the usual distractions– sales, sales, sales, are going to take precedence, and in the end, I’ll be left to muddle through on my own.  I don’t trust the store manager or my regional boss to be timely or responsive, and I don’t trust my “colleagues” to be able to pay any attention outside the spheres of their own jobs.  I feel like I have to make the efforts they’ve asked, that they’ll go nowhere, and that I’ll get even more angry and bitter than I already am.

Maybe I should have taken that third week off.  Maybe it would have been worse if I had.  Maybe I’m feeling this way because it’s time to add in more Lexapro.  Maybe they’ll step up to their promises.  Somehow, though, I think I’m going to be polishing my resume pretty soon.  I’m beyond disappointed, in them, but more in myself, for being silly enough to hope that the vision statements everyone runs around giving lip service to actually meant something, rather than just treating it like a regular job and leaving my heart out of the deal.


1 thought on “Psychosomatic

  1. Dawn

    Don’t be disappointed in yourself–after all, the store you started in (IIRC) was a nice place and some places do retain their positive vibe even after being open for a while even though some–even in the same chain–don’t. While being cautious is not a bad thing, there is never any shame to hope for the good stuff and try something new in search of it.

    Your new therapist is more responsive to you, right? Talk it over at your next session before jumping (although I am a firm believer in “if the thought of going to work spoils your day 5 minutes after your feet hit the floor EVERY DAY even when you wake up cheery and rested and feelin’ wonderful, start checking the job ads”). Just me, offering a little cautious advice… 😉


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