Anyone who's known me for a long time knows there is a certain sport that I used to be pretty much obsessed with. I would watch it and record it and watch it again and again. That sport is figure skating. I remember a routine that Scott Hamilton skated to a song called "Everything Old is New Again." Lately, this song has popped into my head at random times.
You see, for me, something old has become very new again.
This last Monday, I went back to work. However, I did not go back to work at the job I've been at for the last 5 years. I instead returned to the job I worked before that! Same position and everything.
Things have been less than great at work.... well, all year. I even interviewed for several other positions this year (stopped interviewing once I became really pregnant). Pretty much, no matter what happened at work, I was blamed for it. I give someone paperwork and tell them to process it (their main job responsibility) and they forget and put it in a drawer at their desk? My fault. I take TEN MINUTES off of work to go to the doctor? Practically a crime. I call in one day with double pneumonia? Oh my goodness.... what a wimp! Why didn't I just work?
Two weeks before I had Nathaniel, there was an incident on a Friday. It was bad. I left my desk and went to the bathroom because I was crying. After 10 minutes, I composed myself enough to go back to my desk. Except, I hadn't. I left again and sat in a stairwell sobbing for another 15 minutes. What did I do wrong this time? I hadn't put a note in the computer. Oh wait, no. It would be an intern who didn't do that. An intern who didn't report to me. An intern who didn't report to me who was assigned a task that wasn't even in an area I was supposed to still help with. So pretty much something that I wasn't supposed to be involved with at all wasn't done perfectly by two people who aren't me. Yes, clearly that is all my fault. By all means, please berate me.
There were so many other incidents. This is just one of about 25 I could list. My reaction was probably the most emotional, but by that point, I'd had enough. I was pregnant, had pre-eclampsia, and was being treated like garbage after almost 5 years on the job. The disrespect I was enduring, the lies I was being told, I trained who had almost no experience or licenses being paid as much or more than me, etc. At one point, dealing with my boss was making me so nervous that if I got to work early and saw he was there, I would sit in my car until 2-3 minutes before I HAD to be in so I wouldn't have to deal with him any more than absolutely necessary. Looking back, it was like an abusive relationship. Big blow-ups followed by extra kindness followed by being put down and berated for the smallest thing. Cycle, rinse, repeat.
That weekend, we made a decision. We talked about it with my parents and came to a decision. I was quitting Monday. I would offer to give two weeks with the understanding that I would be off as needed for doctor appointments, but hope he didn't take the two weeks notice. And I was done missing doctor appointments that I needed because of work (at one point I went 7 weeks between pre-natal appointments because he got so upset when I went. Even though I used my lunch break and just missed an additional 10-15 minutes unpaid). I felt about our decision, though it was of course scary to be quitting a job without something else lined up. But God spoke the song "Oceans" by Hillsong United to me. I prayed for peace.
Monday came. I didn't do it. I had my reasons - if I could stick it out for that week, the next week my boss would be out of town. Then I could conceivably say I was out for maternity leave (as that would be August 1st and I was already having problems). Then if I found a new job before I needed to return to work, great. If I didn't? I'd go back until I could. John was a little disappointed that I'd decided not to quit, but he understood at the same time.
That weekend though, I started looking for jobs again. I figured I was close enough to baby time (though I had no idea I was as close as I ended up being!) that I could potentially start the interview process, be up front about things, and by the time hiring decisions were made, I would be ready or almost ready to return to work. I mean, I only took 3 weeks off after Jeremiah was born. So clearly, I could do this.
While I was searching, one job on indeed.com popped up in particular.... but the listing was kind of old. I think it was 25 days old at that point? It was for the job I left on September 11, 2009. Same company. Same position. And this is a company with 7 people total, so it's not like working at General Motors where the same position at the same company could be something totally different. I left on good terms. I always liked my boss. So I thought "Eh? Maybe?" In the 5 years I had been gone, they had contacted me twice to see if I was interested in returning. So it's not like I thought my former boss hated me. So with a few clicks, my resume' was submitted.
I still have a friend who works there. I was going to e-mail her and be like "So, put in a good word for me?" Before I had a chance that next week, she messaged me wanting the scoop. So I gave it to her.
Long story short, eventually I talked to my former boss and the person who was helping with the hiring for that position (I say long story short because there were many missed attempts due to unexpected hospitalizations, etc.). Not only was I offered the job with a salary match to my current job, but they gave me two weeks maternity leave BEFORE I EVEN STARTED. So my start date there was September 1st but I didn't have to be in the office until September 15th! And the hours are better.
Leaving my old job was nerve wracking. As bad as some things were, there was a lot of good as well. I have friends I cherish there. I had clients I absolutely love that I will miss working with. But today when I was stuck in traffic and running 3 minutes late and I started panicking only to remember "There is no need to panic. You're not going to get screamed at. You're no longer dealing with _____________" I knew that I had made the right decision.
Moral of the story - leave jobs on good terms. ;)