“It could always be worse.”
This is what I try to tell myself every day. Work has gone from stressful to just plain insanity. I’m talking fully-fledged batshit crazy here. Joseph (my boss) left. Ryan, our external network engineer, is acting lead, but with this huge void in the department, he’s constantly being challenged. More stress. We’ve had more and more benefits taken away from us. It’s affecting me, my health, my relationships. Our crappy medical insurance hasn’t been paying for much of anything, so I am still fighting with them over medical bills dating back the last year or so. More stress. Management has decided to discontinue company cell phones unless you’re one of the lucky few deemed “critical” — somehow IT is not among those. So that’s yet another cost coming out of my own pocket. More stress.
Oh, sure, they offer a small stipend if you qualify for the BYOD policy (which we all do), but it does not cover the cost of a single plan comparable to what I had. So I’m opting not to accept it and keeping my phone as personal alone. I made it known that since this phone is now my own personal device, it means I am no longer available at night or on the weekends. I’ve removed all company-related data from my phone, also including email, internal chat, vpn, and various apps related to my job.
My therapist has been stressing to me the importance of separating work and home life more and finding a balance, pretty much since I started seeing her, and this will help with that. But a small part of me fears reprisal from above if something happens. Guess I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.
The thing is, every time something happens, every time I feel less and less appreciated, and demoralized, I’d tell myself, “It could always be worse.” And ‘worse’ keeps happening. And happening. And happening.
We haven’t had raises in years. I know IT is not alone in this. Yet there are others who are prospering and taking company-paid trips to exotic locations (*cough* Sales *cough*). We’re not allowed to spend our budget. We can’t hire any more people, yet we’re already two people down, and upper management complains about us not getting enough done and/or getting things done fast enough.
We quite literally pulled a miracle out of our ass for the (Lotus) Notes to Office 365 migration. It went fairly smoothly with absolutely NO data loss. And I damned near killed myself doing it. This was a manual migration with me babysitting EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. MAILFILE. And I seriously do not want to ever do that again. EVER. Oh sure, I got a nice letter of “thanks” from the CEO (that someone else probably wrote) and a small “bonus” on a single paycheck (which the government took most of). But yeah, no, I don’t think anyone outside of IT (i.e. in management) truly appreciated what we pulled off … because the complaints have not stopped. In fact, they’ve become worse. And because Joseph is not here to act as a shield, things sometimes get personal. Certain c-level execs claim to know more than we do, and any advice we give is ignored. Yet if the thing goes wrong, IT is still to blame. There have been incidents that I can’t report to HR because I can’t trust that anything will be done about them. And heaven forbid we ever truly NEED something, as we’re an afterthought. This company does not care about its employees, and it shows.
Only a crazy person would stay in this environment willingly.
I was talking to Joseph recently, asking him how his new gig was going (he’s VERY happy!) and filling him in on some of the stuff going on at work and at home. (I don’t know if I ever mentioned this on here, but I know him from my MACESS days, so we go way back.) He said something to me that sparked a realization:
I am currently in an abusive relationship, and the abuser is my employer.
I mean, I know I have always complained on social media about one thing or another when it came to work, but for the first year or so of CEO’s rule, it was tolerable. I kept hoping things would improve. They didn’t. It wasn’t until about a year ago that matters started going south, and hard. When I’ve spoken with other colleagues, they’re shocked at how bad things have gotten because I always bragged on my employer and how much I loved this job and working here. I still love my job — I truly DO love what I do — but I question the stability of this company and the direction it’s heading. There’s no transparency whatsoever. I fear for my department. I fear for my own position. I fear the company won’t be around much longer … and worst of all, I fear that’s on purpose.
But what do I know? I’m just a peon. And it could always be worse, right?
Welcome to “worse” …