The random ramblings of a perpetual procrastinator. These are the life & times of a nursing home CNA navigating the ups & downs of living with someone who's living with a disability. A sometimes amusing, sometimes bittersweet look at my journey into real adulthood.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Is the devil you know really better than the one you don't?

I haven't been posting a lot lately because I am an emotional trainwreck.  I have a self-diagnosed case of some hybrid mix of OCD & Social Anxiety Disorder, with a dash of know, for flavor.  The stress of finishing out my time at my current job & the new beginning looming on the horizon are getting the best of me.  Rather than continuing to be a lump on my sofa, I'm trying to deal with my feelings.  My hope is that putting them out there is what I need.

Here's the situation....

Shortly after DJ & I started dating I was offered a promotion at my job.  Up until that point I didn't think I had anything to be proud of.  I squandered my potential by not going to college, I couldn't manage to have a successful relationship, I couldn't move beyond the stupid mistakes I made when I was younger & I didn't feel at all good about myself.  However, I had my job.  I poured all my energy into it & put it on a pedestool.  It was the thing in my life.  I couldn't tell you what my hobbies were, because I didn't do anything other than work.  It was a monster I created.

When I was offered the promotion, DJ told me to be very cautious.  As an unbiased 3rd party, he didn't think that it was as great as I was envisioning.  (It turns out he was right, but don't tell him that!)  He was worried that I would be used & abused...& I absolutely was.  The promotion was to a salary position, & I had to work overtime the first week - and probably every week after that.

I am in charge of Quality Control & Training.  I trained all the new employees, as well as mainted existing/developed new training manuals & everything that went along with them (testing, worksheets, follow-up sessions, etc).  This means I'm at the mercy of an employee's schedule.  If they only work nights & weekends, that's when they have to be trained.  

In addition to that, I perform monthly evaluations on a radmon sampling of everyone's calls.  The total number of calls evaluated is based on the number of skills an agent has.  Since the company I work for does everything cheaply, we're very understaffed & everyone is trained in just about every area.  That makes for some very lengthy evaluations.

But that's not all...

I also:  maintain the system that records all the calls, organize a monthly meeting to discuss evaluation scores & identify opportunities for more training,  publish almost all Call Center emails, & am direct supervisor to 7 agents.  My direct reports are a mix of full & part time employees.  I'm responsible to handle all their personnel issues, from schedule requests to disciplinary issues.  The full time agents are easy to deal with, but getting together with the part timers means staying late at the end of the day a few nights a week.

All those extra nights & weekends I work don't get me off the hook.  I'm still part of a weekend rotation with the other managers & supervisors.  Every fifth weekend is my weekend on duty.  I work 9-3 on Saturday & am on call for the rest of the weekend.  The icing on the cake is, when I work on Saturday (whether for training or because I'm on duty) I don't get a day of during the week.  If it's my Saturday on duty I get to leave at 1:00 on Friday theory - but it usually doesn't pan out because I'm behind in my regular work.

Christmas is definitely the worst time of year.  We hire full & part time employees in October & November.  So on top of all my regular responsibilities, I have to teach a four session training course twice a day in both October & November.  During this holiday season I built up so many extra hours that I was able to take four days off in January.

The schedule is definitely the worst part of the job.  Although the fact that I wasn't being compensated for the extra hours was a huge problem, that wasn't the only issue.  I didn't start out in this position.  When I started, I was just another cattle in a cubicle answering the phones.  After about 2 1/2 years, I took the QC/training position.  At that time, there was a manager in charge of QC/training.  I was her assistant.  My job was supposed to be to perform the evaluations each month.  I fell in love with training, & quickly inhereted that responsibility as well.  It was managable because I had no one reporting to me & my manager did all the background stuff.

I loved that position.  I thoroughly enjoyed the work I did, & I had a great relationship with my boss.  But that is something that also changed when I got promoted.  Last year one of the managers left.  My boss took her position.  I was promoted - to my current job, with all her extra responsibilities.  Essentially, I was one person expected to do the job two people had done up until that point.

While my head was still spinning from the change, the great relationship I had with my former boss quickly deteriorated.  Even though I really liked her, she is a mega-bitch.  That never got directed at me until I made the switch from working for her to working with her.  Nothing I have done in the last year has been right.  She would always do things different & (of course!) better.  It seems to me that when she took a new position, she forgot what it was like to be in the old one.  I get that business is business, & I should have just developed a thick skin, but I'm not that person.  I am emotional by nature, & I don't want to change that.  She made the job so uncomfortable for me. 

That, coupled with all the extra work for virtually no extra money finally woke me up.  I had fought DJ for so long about getting a new job.  I told him this was such a great company, & the people were so loyal.  But I was finally in a situation where I allowed myself to ask the hard question...

What the fuck are you thinking?

How have they been "loyal" to me?  Everything they did for me was deserved ten times over.  Why should I have virtually no personal life for this company, especially when I wasn't being fairly paid?  The proverbial bump on the head made me realize that the work I was doing isn't even remotely important in the grand scheme of things, & that's not what I want my life to be about.

So, I found a new job in a new field, & I've got BIG plans!  I want to be a comfort to people when they need it, & I'm starting a job that will allow me to do just that.  As silly as it may sound, I think that, in my own way, I'm making my mark on the world. 

I should be over the moon about the new phase in my life...but lately, I'm not feeling that way.  Instead I'm still working my fingers to the bone at a job I'm leaving in a week.  I've worked four out of the last five weekends, stayed late several times & am still getting treated like a red-headed step child.  I'm so sick of it that I could SCREAM!!!!  I'm not sad about leaving anymore, I just want it to be over.

And it will be over soon - very, very soon.  However, that causes another issue:  my terror about my new job.  What if I can't handle it?  What if I'm not good at it?  What if I can't learn fast enough?  I've toyed with the idea of entering the nursing field since I graduated from high school, & until now I've always talked myself out of it.  I told myself for all these years that I'm far too emotional to work in nursing. 

The gross stuff doesn't bother me.  Poop is poop, whether it's yours or someone else's.  It's the emotional aspect that scares ms.  I finally convinced myself that if someone I loved was in a nursing home, I'm exactly the kind of person I'd want taking care of them.  Emotional is good, right?  But what if I'm being nieve?  What if this job requires an impenetrable skin that I clearly don't have?

And now we've come full circle - to the self-diagnosed (yet to be officially named) OCD/anxiety/depression monkey on my back.  Logically, I know that the stress is probably what's keeping the emotional roller coaster I'm on moving.  However, I'm having a really hard time convinsing my inner sensy of that.

I'm a mess, & that's the long & short of it.  I've dug myself out of every hole I've ever been in, & I hoping this situation turns out the same way.  Because if it doesn't, I'm totally fucked.


  1. Change is always hard. It sounds like you're going from an "over-worked, under-valued" type job to one where you'll be able to live a more normal life and still make your mark on this world. And that sounds like a great thing! I totally understand being anxious about the new job ... but it sounds like you're a great person who is competent when it come to the work-world, so give yourself a chance, girl!! :)

    And also... Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  2. Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

    Best wishes to you as you begin this new career! I always try to leave a job better than I started it. Everybody wants to feel appreciated, so your feelings of not being treated that way are normal. I always tell myself to "take the high road" and not act or treat others the way they are. Sounds like you are confident and posed to take on this new challenge! And we need people in this world who want to help people.. Thanks for being one of those women!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    P.S. Go enter my baking giveaway!

  3. Holy Moley you are SO right we DO have a lot in common! I self diagnose too! I am convinced I have IBS(TMI?) lol and periodic ulcers. ANywhoodle woman this job sounds craaazy! Glad you are leaving! I was exhausted just reading your job description! You will be fine at the new job it will be refreshing to start at a new place and be appreciated. BTW I work with elderly and I love it! We have a few grumpy ones but the rest are a delight =D Following now!