Finish Strong?

 As always, I'm still trying to carve a path for myself at this job. I have a good idea of what I'm missing, but I don't know if it's achievable. And if it's not, I don't know how to cope so that I can get off this emotional rollercoaster.

It took me 4 years to leave Call Center #1 because it turns out I do know myself really, really well. But I followed the advice of strangers on the internet - I started investing, I started tracking my expenses, and I believed that I could and SHOULD earn more. So I job-hopped. 

At Job #3, I'm royally confused and it's been a year of just being in this inflammatory reactive state. I know my body is going to just crash at some point, but I can't seem to find the way off this ride.

What is true:

- The job I was hired to do is ending at the end of this year

- I need to stay employed, preferably at this level of compensation (or higher) for at least 2 more years to reach my FIRE goal, all other things considered

Starting there, the default is just to stay and manage for the next 2 years. Well first get through this year, 2021. Then get to March 2022 to get the 2021 bonus. Then get through 2022, then stay till March 2023 to get the 2022 bonus.  That's my trajectory right now.

I am fairly confident, if I stay open and flexible, my boss will keep me around for the next 2 years. 

How to manage my relationship with my boss:

Some things I'd like to change - my open adoration and admiration for her; the need to get her in my corner; the need to rise to the top of some imaginary list; feeling that personal closeness; praising her

I want to be better at trusting her process and her leadership. Trusting her priorities. Waiting for her to decide next steps instead of feeling pressured to "best" someone. 

How to manage my relationship with my co-workers:

Some things I'd like to change - somehow I feel like I'm crossing over into tattletale territory; I perceive them as not being high achievers; they don't question anything; and just kind of go with the flow; they don't clean up messes; they go to meetings they don't have any business going to and don't contribute or that takes away from their time doing work; I feel like I'm left doing a lot of cleanup stuff proactively; in my mind I'm the ONLY ONE trying to take our team to the next level when I know that can't be true

Ultimately, I'm going to keep trying to keep my head down.  It hasn't worked for 11 months, but somehow I still have to keep trying. What choice do I have? I'm just running myself ragged. 

I think what's kind of got me in a funk is our monthly check-in tomorrow. Do I bring up the salary email? Part of me wants to so she can say no to my face and that will turn the relationship a little sour and maybe I'll be more inclined to work only 40 hours/week.

But then a day like yesterday happens and I imagine us running the call center together and it's the best darn program ever! And that makes me happy.

But then a day like today happens and I'm confused and feel a little powerless and lost in the shuffle and I want to leave. 

Since the lows are riskier to me than the highs are beneficial, I have to focus on minimizing the lows.  The Call Center takeover is such a long game and I'm not a patient person. So if I use my rational brain, minimizing the lows is the right next move for me and mental health. 

I do want to finish as strong as I can, but I think I did. It's not quite June, but I gave it 11 good months of my all. 

Feeling on the Outs and Alone... Again

 So in a little bit of rebellion, I attempted to award my co-workers a recognition award that came with like 5,000 points. My boss just said no, essentially. 

I feel like a kid again when I'm being reprimanded or told No.

It makes me hateful.

And I spiral.

I hate getting things wrong. 

Why can't I just follow the rules?

My VERY Big Thank You

Now that the busy part of the training is over - i.e. no more 18 hour days x 5 weeks - I literally don't know what to do with myself.

I had a whole Sunday to myself.

Obviously I spent an hour or two making a checklist of work items. And it was only after 9a. Then I took a shower (first one this year!). Then I went to get my hair washed. Woot!

It was barely 12 o'clock after these big feats, so I made a pit stop at a Thai place I saw on the way to the beauty salon. 

In 90 minutes, I spent a little over $80. And I didn't even blink. 

I think lately, I've been having this fear of churning all this time for money that the stock market is going to crash and I never got a chance to really spend my money.

My last 5 weeks of headdown-edness, I was pretty free with spending on convenience foods. I didn't really want the Thai food as I also want to get my freezer cleaned out for my next round of stock up, but here we are. 

I realized what happens when I have too much free time. I start yearning for human connection. 

I sent out a few group emails wishing people a Happy Mother's Day. Including one current co-worker and my boss. 

Too many feels. 

I baked some rolls. I keep forgetting how to bake them. I have to remember with yeast rolls to bake them hard. I don't like when they can squish back into dough. It's so hard to digest!

I should just stick to 30 minutes. 

The little moths are still here. I've killed dozens and the rest just die on their own. I can't figure out how they are getting in. 

I can't believe I finished the training. It's so funny because when it was happening I had such big feelings about my boss and this job. Now that the hard part is over, I don't feel as convicted. Feelings are so tricky that way. 

I just need a trajectory with this job. It can't just be making it to FIRE. Or can it? For my own mental stability, I need some focus and structure. Every new task or project or interaction, I have to make a decision on how to approach it. That's a lot of mental acrobatics and that's just approaching the task. 

I was less disappointed after the HUGE task of delivering this training because this time I knew to expect nothing more than a BIG thank you. Ha. 

I didn't feel like doing any personal finance tasks today. 

What's my plan here?  Just keep rolling with it until FIRE? Just keep my head down? Give the 120%? Give my all?

Do I have any goals? 

I did finally decide to let go and let my manager lead her team as she see fits. I found myself wanting to out my teammates but I realized a) that's not my job and b) I was assuming my manager couldn't discover this for herself. If she is as wonderful, and smart, and admirable and astute as I make her out to be in my head then I wasn't giving her enough credit.  If our team truly is underperforming, then she would see that for herself. 

Which means as I feared that I'm not really overperforming. I'm putting in a lot of effort and hours and it's not that impactful. I'm actually churning for my own benefit. That is just becoming clearer and clearer everyday. 

My manager knows her team best. The things I do that require a lot of effort are just the wrong things. They are things that earn Thank Yous not income, promotions, or raises. 

So it takes me back to - what is my end goal here?

If I'm just a cog in the wheel, then why am I churning so hard?  Honestly I think it's because I have nothing else to do. Also, I like being better than other people. There's just a really competitive part of me that gets stirred up sometimes.

I find someone or something as a target and I try to surpass it. Where there is misalignment is that what matters to me is not what actually matters to a large corporation like my company.

Fast turnaround time, doing things well, making improvements. Those things haven't generated any income for our team. 

Even the knowledge articles I've been diligently working my way through, my manager pretty much was like... they've been in a bad way for awhile, so what difference does it make. 

What my teammates do better is not responding to every command. Maybe they've already paid their dues. It's like when I was a waitress.  The old staff gave me a table that didn't tip. They warned me, but I was determined to make a difference. Nope, no tip. 

I guess I just don't know yet what the no tip table is. I'm just on this hamster wheel hoping one of my 100 units of effort hits a target. That is ineffective. 

What is making me cry today?

 The last week or so, I find myself lightly crying for different things. Sometimes it's the grief. When I hear a sweet maternal story. 

When I'm frustrated. When I'm sad. When I'm overwhelmed.

Tears are falling now and it's a combination of feelings. 

I think in this particular moment, it's knowing all the blood, sweat, and tears I've put into the last 5 weeks won't matter. I know in a few more tomorrows it'll be as though it didn't even happen.

What triggered this?

My boss asking me if I was out and about today? I'm like what?! You think that's it. I just deliver the training and it's a free day. That just rang loudly for me because I already suspected she thought the effort for this training was just plucking the slides from the shared folder and reviewing them live. W-O-W.

I remember crying and feeling that vomitous sinking feeling two weekends ago when I thought I wouldn't finish but I literally could not come up with another practice scenario or new thought. And I just had to keep trying. I would rest every few minutes because I couldn't focus and that would just make the sinking feeling even worse. 

I'm sure I'll get a BIG THANK YOU, and then it's just on to the next thing. 

I don't want to say it's bonus day all over again, but it kind of is. 

Now that the old dinosaur is back on our team I need to be better about just flying under the radar.

I had a couple of small wins my first year here. I mean they were big wins to me but it's just so easily minimized because there's always the next big thing. 

I wish I had kept my professional standard in emails because now I'm hearing gossip about another director's emails. Mine aren't casual, but I've definitely let a few go out with typos and didn't double check.

I already knew when I do what others do I get different outcomes. 

I don't know why I keep trying. You can clearly get away with doing less in this job, but somehow I don't (do less). 

I think having tried to casually reach out to Call Center #1 and #2 and no one was really trying to snap me back hurts a little. And then my latest run in with MI. I had a timed writing test and I literally could only form 4 sentences. So that's out. I am proud of myself for not filling out the application. It'll be easier to re-write history later. Of course part of me is still holding out hope that they'll reach out. But that just prolongs the rejection.

Everytime I hear my boss say "[my buddy] and I"... meaning her and her and right hand girl, I just get so mad. Honestly what is her contribution? 

Then I shared some slides with a co-worker. Asked him not to distribute and he shared with my boss and his old boss and I got some unwarranted feedback. That made me feel bad. 

I'm just ready to do something else. 

It's hard to look forward to FIRE because everyone is saying the market is due for a crash soon. Literally all my eggs are in that basket.  Basically this is the year though. I gave this one to corona.

I'm living on a fraction of my salary. And I hope to reach my financial goals, but I think to help ease the pain of what the future stock market might bring, I'll ease up the miserly savings in 2022. To something pre-COVID levels. I'll actually have to buy stuff anyway, but I really wanted to take advantage of COVID. So there's that.

I am glad I kept my cushion eventhough "all the things" advise against keeping that much cash. But a) that was never going to be my life. I don't have a lot of other resources to fall back on at this point. And work always feels like my last day. 

Anyway, moan, moan, groan, groan. 

I think  just need to hang on and see this year through and whatever happens happens on the job front.

I heard a story once about the soldiers who essentially died from heartbreak because they kept praying for the war to be over by Thanskgiving, then Christmas, then..the next thing. That's me - I keep thinking this next job or job opportunity will take me out of my misery. 

If I just keep churning, eventually I'll find my way out of this job. And then I get disappointed because I can taste the freedom. And then after the MI debacle of yesterday, I realize I'm still stuck. 

And that makes me sad. 

I tried to leave. I tried to speak up. I tried to stay silent.

Of the three, I can try harder with staying silent. Trying to leave hurt. Speaking up just hurts and it's a lot of pain with minimal gain and lot of hurt.

Staying silent is the best of the three. Just got to hold it in until the next day. 

Someone has already taken the glory. Literally, I did all this work and My Buddy is still the right hand man.

Why do I need this woman to prize me so badly? I don't think that's the right word - but what'd I tell you - I can't make any more thoughts. 

No news was just no news

 So I was feeling a little empowered when I got an interview offer 1 day after applying. After being rejected, well, you know where I am.

Maybe that's where my sour mood started.

That and this monstrous task my boss tasked me with. I hit a wall this weekend where I just felt sick to my stomach and completely unmotivated to do this job let alone this task. 

Yet somehow, I can't seem to will myself to apply elsewhere. The MI team said I would be the type of candidate they would want to apply, not the same to me as the type of candidate they would hire.

I just don't feel overwhelmingly positive that they will hire me. What I haven't told anyone I work with is I've already applied for an MI job with my company 4 times prior to joining. Obviously, they didn't choose me.

And as I was scripting yet a 3rd 200-slide deck, that same vomitous feeling that I get when writing research papers returned. And in my mind, that's what working in MI would really be like. But part of me thinks... I doubt it. I secretly think some of those MI roles might be pretty cushy. 

So mostly, I'm not applying because I've already been rejected 4 times and to add that to actually spending my days writing research papers. No thanks. 

My boss used "as we discussed" with me. I find that incredibly passive aggressive. Well, just aggressive. It just has such a negative connotation to me. Like I'm being reprimanded. And then it feels like a co-worker essentially told on me during a conversation we were having. And then my manager, in my mind, reprimanded me about it. But really I'm thinking, if the call center isn't medical information, then what the heck are we doing. 

Then in a conversation yesterday, she commented how another co-worker seems to work like 24 hours a day. And I'm thinking.. and me? Granted she didn't say...unlike you, but I implied it in my mind. 

And this is after the weekend where I was essentially working through tears. Like those darn Knowledge articles, I don't think she appreciates the sheer volume of effort required for me to get the trainings ready. I literally was like I can't come up with any more scenarios or review questions. Like my brain was out of creative juices. 

I put a lot into training Week 1. And the agents complained. And they're still complaining. So I feel like I almost have to present content in anticipation of feedback. And that's stressful. It's like teaching to the test, you know.

My money journey wasn't particularly motivating. 

I just don't know what to do. Do I eat the celery or the minestrone soup. Ugh, both things I despise but in desperate hunger would be really yummy, I'm sure. 

I don't know how to emotionally manage this job. 

Oh did I tell you I asked for a raise.

But as I look around the team outside of my manager's direct reports, a lot of people are putting in a lot of hours.  So that feels like a bust.

I just don't know what level to perform at or what attitude to take with this team. 

I do feel stuck, which isn't great. 

I do want to move on, which isn't great. 

It's just easier to suffer than to want something more. 

But yes to be reminded that you're on the outs hurts. 

And just to continue my self-destruction, I was sent a survey to review my manager.... I put some times in the what can they improve on section and sent it to her an hour or so ago.