Don’t Burst My Bubble

Photo found here.

Sometimes I think that if I could just wear earplugs to work, everything would work out so much better. If I could just block out all the negativity, whether it be from someone who is just unhappy that they won’t get to attend the parent-teacher night, or someone for whom the weather is just always wrong, my workplace (all workplaces?) is just full of negative people that wear me down.

I like my job. I love helping people, I love having a job that I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, makes a difference in the quality of people’s lives. Even if I don’t personally see those people, it does make a difference. I work crazy hours. Long hours. In conditions that most people in my profession never have to deal with. I don’t mind.

Enter upper management. Management who doesn’t give a flying *bleep* about helping people, but only cares about keeping the cash flow running and not losing money. Okay. I understand that, helping people or not, we have to make money to live on. No, duh. However, when every. single. thing. wrong with the company is due to the average Joe Employee’s laziness and stupidity as opposed to management being on occasion lazy assholes who haven’t done the job for 15 years or more…and Joe Employee is consistently exhausted, away from home, and working in difficult circumstances…um, hello?

About two weeks I attended a meeting for all our company supervisors, in which we were basically told all of the above. All the problems? Our fault. Because we weren’t up to snuff, we didn’t want the company to succeed, we obviously weren’t doing our jobs well enough and so we needed to get “on the bus.” Or “we have 14 too many employees. If you’re not on the bus…well.” Get thrown under the bus.

Ever since that meeting I’ve felt down, disheartened, and just utterly, utterly exhausted. I know I do my best. And, not to play my own horn, but my best is pretty good, in my field. Yet there’s still no support from management, no positive reinforcement, no personal responsibility. Everything is pass the buck. You never hear from management unless you’ve done something wrong. When I interviewed for supervisor 4 months ago, our department manager didn’t even know who I was. Not because I’d never done well, but because I’d never done badly enough to be brought to her attention.

Is it just me, or is something wrong with that picture?

I feel like my bubble’s been popped. I realize I can’t change everyone’s outlook. I certainly can’t re-educate my managers and department heads about POSITIVE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES (grrrrr). But before the meeting, I did a pretty good job of keeping myself insulated from the negativity. People have commented frequently that “You’re such a happy person…you actually seem to like your job.” Well, I do. I just don’t deal well with bullshit, and now it’s sucked all the joy and fun right out of me. Work feels like…well, work. Before it felt like an adventure.

I need my bubble back. Not so I can pretend problems aren’t there, but so I don’t suffocate on the toxic air.


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