Work is Like an Abusive Marriage.

It’s no secret that right now I strongly dislike my job. I currently work for a large company (I won’t say who – but if you live in Australia you would have heard of them) and my position is split between three of their departments.


Firstly – split positions don’t work. Before I started, I never saw a job description, I just had a vague outline of the work. No one had ever sat down and worked out what each department needed of me, or how it would be communicated to me, how long any of it would take me… all things that are usually fairly critical to a new position working smoothly.


Working in a large company there are many layers of managers. People like following their chains of managment and waiting for answers and making sure not to push for answers in case their manager gets offended. I find it to be quite a culture of fear. Which I find frustrating from my personal position and sad on behalf of these people trapped in this culture.


Things escalated recently with regards to one part of my job. One manager decided to ignore all the heads up they were given for about three weeks and so my direct boss had to step in.


The end result of this was escalated this morning when I saw something that riled me up to no end. It was basically a person I don’t report to (but who I do some work for) wanting to micro-manage my time. Possibly needless to say, I don’t respond to micro-managment. I find it childish & it makes me feel untrusted. Plus I’m a fairly independent person, so it riles me up even more from that perspective.


There is a person I refer to as ‘the annoying one’ (mostly because in my head I call him many other things but I decided to train myself to call him that so that if anything slips out when I’m peeved, it’s not too rude). The annoying one was incorrectly hired for his role, to start. That makes it all much, much harder.


But I’m getting off topic. Monday morning I was peeved. I was eating breafkast while starting my work day and I saw something. It made me so angry. I felt my breakfast churning in my stomach right away. I have never felt something affect me so instantly and profoundly.


I took a screenshot of the ‘offending’ thing and emailed it to my boss. When he was off the phone, we started talking about it. The short answer was that he had pushed these things as high up through his managers as he could. He “couldn’t” do any more. I said that I was really, really sick of it all right now. He said he didn’t want me to leave – he liked me being here, they’ve invested a lot in me and that it would take a lot of time to train someone to replace me.


I agreed with most of it. There were no lies in what he had said, technically. I was still annoyed though. In my head, I was screaming “Well if you want me here, why don’t you give me an answer!? Why haven’t you manage to clarify that I’m not here in a technical role?! Why didn’t you pay me for the technical work that got thrown on me for months?!”


Something about the words he said sounded like they should have been familiar to me. And then, about an hour later, it hit me. What my boss said to me reminded me of every article I’ve ever read about being in an abusive relationship. The “I don’t want you to leave” comments, the way they are said… it is the closest I have ever heard to “Don’t leave me,  I won’t hit you anymore”. Only in this case it’s “Don’t leave, it’ll inconvenience me so we’ll find another temporary solution that will work for two weeks until this blows up again”.


Now, I’m not trying to make a mockery of domestic violence here. That is not my intention in ANY way, shape or form. I am saying that because of educational articles on domestic violence, I recongnised a specific corporate behaviour as being toxic.


So, I am currently in this environment that I now realise is particularly toxic. I know that the continuation of this is depenedent on me accepting it – that I don’t rock the boat, question things or otherwise force people to own up to their lack of action.


What am I doing from here? Well, unfortuantely for the time being my husband & I rely on my job for our bills & rent. As I’ve posted previously, the past year or so hasn’t been the kindest to us and we’re still playing catch-up in many ways. I can’t just quit. I would love to tell them they’re not worth working for, walk out the building and never return.


I am still working on my businesses. I have total faith in myself that I will be successful in them. However, I also know that they will take time to get to the level at which I am comfortable living solely on them. I have my own limits and requirements before I am happy for my businesses to be my sole income.


Going forwards, I want the knowledge that this is an unhealthy working relationship to empower me. The last few weeks have been really hard for me. I’ve been crying – and not at the time of the month you’d expect that to happen. That’s when I know it’s a real problem! Knowledge that this is unhealthy will allow me to adjust my expectations of people’s behaviour at work. I have high standards. These will serve me well when I’m working for myself full time.


But for now I an employee full time and an business person part time. And the difference between my expectations and peoples actions in my ‘full time life’ are causing me conflict and distress. I don’t want to lower my expections, but it is currently serving me no purpose to be upset at other people not living up to my expectations. I don’t expect this will be easy. But now I know, I can work on it.


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