Working to save our souls

Recently, Beth, Martha and Elizabeth have made the big jump from office life to stay-at-home parenting. I applaud them all, since I believe that the phrase "soul sucking" may have applied to some aspects of their professional lives. I've never had the ovum to quit a job without another one lined up. I've never been able to tell myself that my abilities being underused, that the subtle digs from bosses or co-workers about my worth were enough to walk away from a bi-monthly direct deposit and paid health insurance. Sometime I wish I could. I had a soul sucking job once. When I left for my first maternity leave, I had a job that split my time between being an accounting clerk and being a secretary/receptionist. I came back to a lateral transfer into a position so unpopular that the temp agency we contracted with refused to fill it anymore. The only saving grace was that I got to continue being stationed at the front desk for half of the day, even if I had to bring work from my new department with me while I handled the switchboard. My new department was small, just two staff people other than me reported to the director. The director (we'll call him "A")was habitually late, did not think highly of women, doused himself with half a bottle of cologne at a time (possible to cover the times when he didn't have time to shower,) and like to drop names. Because our department was able to operate independently of the remainder of the organization (our program was sort of an add-on, not really part of the organization's main business function,) A did not see the need for our department to have network access, or the same version of the software that everyone else had (we had WordPerfect 6.0 while everyone on the network had recently upgraded to 8.0) His was the only computer in the department with email and Internet access. If his printer ran out of toner, he would tell me to call IT to replace it, and stand over my desk until I did. When I needed to type a letter for him to send to a prospective client, he would pull copies of old letters we had sent, crossing out what he wanted to delete and cutting sentences that he wanted to use from other letters, stapling the strips to the edges of the copy. Those things made him annoying. The other women I worked with were as annoyed, if not more so, as I was. D was the senior person on staff, and she kept the department running despite A's ineptitude. C did mainly data entry work, and was too shy to cross A. About 8 months after I started working for A, I started looking for a new job. D had also started looking around the same time, although we hadn't discussed with each other that it was time to move on. One of our functions included needing to send out checks to employees at our client companies. The fees charged to our client companies were based in part on what was sent out. If we did not recieve payment of the invoices we sent, A would tell us to hold the checks. If an employee called to ask about not having received a check, A instructed us to tell them the check date, but we were not allowed to say that the check was being held. If they called again, he would sometimes allow us to pull the check and send it. We had a branch office in another state. Some of our clients worked with the branch office. One of the non-paying clients was worked with the staff in the branch office. Toward the end of my tenure at this job, I got a very angry call from the manager at the branch office because of complaints about employees not receving checks. I explained why the checks had not been sent out, and how D and I had spoken to A about the complaint calls. D and I were tired of being told to lie, so we wouldn't do it any more. A few days later, everything hit the fan and upper management blasted A for the held checks and the lies to clients. A claimed that he had never told D or me to lie about anything. D and I were each called into the VP's office and asked a number of questions to determine what was going on in the department. After a good deal of fact finding, head honchos determined just how much of an A-hole my boss A really was. The following Tuesday morning, I got a call from the company with whom I had interviewed a few weeks before. They offered me the position, which was approximately $4,000 more per year than I made working for A, required a shorter work week, more vacation time, and better health insurance. A had not shown up for work my the time I left for the front desk that day, so I took great pleasure in dropping my resignation memo on his chair and hand delivering a copy to our HR department. That afternoon, D got offered the job she had interviewed for a few days before the branch manager had called me. She told A she was leaving as she handed her resignation to him a soon as he walked in the door the following morning. That was six years ago today.


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Who's Who

    Hubby- aka DH My husband since 1995. He is the head of the band department at a college prep school, and dabbles as a wanna-be pop star.

    The Princess- aka DD. Third grader at the local parochial school. Loves butterlies, sparkly things, the color purple and has recently developed a crush on one of the twins from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody". Is ready for her teenage years, having already perfected her exasperated sigh and dramatic eye-roll.

    Hoss- aka DS1. Kindergartener and resident spirited child. His aunt likes to call him "the evil genius" because of his penchant for letting a lack of intellectual stimulation lead him into mischief. Likes trucks, sports, building things and burping. His current favorite word is "underwear."

    Lil Joe- aka DS2. Born in 2003. Doesn't say much we can understand, but has mastered the important stuff ("eat!", "Wash hands!", "Want chocolate ones!", "Hockey game!") Likes to push buttons, much to the consternation of whoever is trying to watch a DVD. Firmly refuses to use the potty, despite evidence that he is physically ready to be out of diapers, indicating a level of stubborn that eclipses even that of his parents and siblings.

    Me? I'm the Mama. That's all you need to know.

    Wanna contact me?
    Send me an email.