I have had my current job since the last week of March. It feels like I’ve had it since before I was born. Not only am I paid college-intern wages, but my job duties have changed at least twice. The menial tasks I conduct each day are not recognizable as the job I was hired to do (and actually enjoyed).
I am a writer (or at least that’s what my title is), but I no longer write anything. My job has gone from a low-level writing position to an even lower-level customer service position. I have the same supervisors and the same office. I have to sit in the same boring meetings every week, but my job has become something I hate.
I have a mental block when it comes to certain kinds of job duties. It seems that the easier my job should be, the more difficulty I will experience with it. After six years of trying to find employment with a living wage, I have had many awkward and anxiety-inducing experiences on the job. I get resentful when I get stuck in a position that I feel is beneath me, and over time I find it more and more difficult to do even basic job duties.
Four years ago, I had a customer service representative position in a call center. I learned then that I really should not have a job where I have to interact with the public, particularly in a service position. I am capable of many things, but I have a very difficult time exercising diplomacy when confronted with irrational people. There were a few occasions that I was rude to customers without even realizing it, and once my bosses made a huge production out of almost firing me. They put me in a room with every manager of every team and made me listen to a recording of the offending phone call. They then threatened to fire me, and like a pawn I begged them to spare my job. I was so desperate I begged and teared up over a $9.50/hour temp job with no benefits and no dignity.
Mind you, I was never rude to anyone who had an actual problem or to anyone who wasn’t insulting to begin with. I get defensive and I get very anxious when yelled at. I work well with coworkers, but I don’t work well with the public.
I find I get overstimulated when I have to deal with a constant stream of strangers, even if it’s just through e-mail. I do not feel this way when I see the same people every day, or even if I’m working with a small segment of the population. I get incredibly anxious with strangers in general. I become afraid that they will become angry, yell at me, and humiliate me. That fear isn’t out-of-the-blue; it’s deeply rooted in me as a result of my childhood and adolescence.
Once my job changed this time around, I lost complete interest. At first, I was experiencing a chronic brain fog
, possibly as a result of a change in thyroid medication. I was unable to remember what I was doing one minute to the next, and I was unable to concentrate or remember details about my new job duties. Also, I just didn’t care. I didn’t like it, it wasn’t the job I was hired for, and the pay sucked.
Now, I’m not some pampered princess. I’ve had some awful jobs and stuck with them for a while. I gave out food samples at a grocery store for months. I didn’t care about that, but I was able to do it. I was a receptionist in an office with a really abusive, bullying coworker (more about her later), and I put up with it for six months just because it was a job and that’s what I had to do. I suppose part of me is tired of simply “putting up with” horrible jobs that don’t pay my bills and make me feel worthless.
Today at work I was “talked to” about my recent performance. My mood is interfering with my work. I was confused about some things and made some mistakes that were based on things I knew to be true. It seems that they make our systems deliberately complicated, and week to week I am told contradicting information. It gets confusing and upsetting. I was told that I was not supposed to copy and paste text into a certain field, and I wasn’t supposed to send customers form letters anymore. Today I was told exactly the opposite. They change their mind constantly, and since I don’t care, it’s difficult to keep up with new policies.
My last long-term job had frequent changes, too, but they seemed to be more logical and management was pretty good at letting us know what was expected of us. Although I was laid off from that job, I know that I left there on good terms, I did my job well, and my managers thought I was a responsible worker. That’s the me I want to be, not this sad, sad, sap staring blankly at a computer screen all day.
After my meeting with my boss, I was fairly mopey. I didn’t even realize how mopey until my coworker IM’d me from two feet away to ask me how I was doing. He said that I appeared glum. When he asked me that, I burst into tears at my desk. Normally, I’m able to hide my tears a little better, but within a minute my eyes were bright red and I couldn’t really hide it. I wandered between the kitchen and bathroom, doing my best to avoid looking anyone in the eye.
It’s clear that my days at my job are numbered. My performance will probably not improve, and I’m sure I will be let go. I’ve been rejected from two more jobs this week and it’s only Monday. Not sure what else to do.