Yesterday, I had a severe case of short-timer’s flu. This attitude had me complaining to my coworkers about how poorly I thought the transition was being handled. Sorry to have dumped that on you, but thank you for listening. Apparently, I needed to vent some of my fears.
I know I am not alone in my madness. I’ve watched others leave for other jobs or to retire, and at the end most of them complained until you just wanted them to pack up their crabby ass and go home. I’m sure my coworkers wished the same thing yesterday.
I don’t know if it seems more prevalent now or I am just noticing it more, but people leaving their jobs seem to be much crabbier now. I had to dissect my own feelings to see my take on this attitude.
My reasons for leaving are simple: I am at the age where retirement is possible, and my circumstances allow this. My Sweetie and I want to have some fun. However, underneath that lies a whole soup of emotions. I no longer care about my work.
I’ve been in this phase of my career for 18-plus years. I created most of my job and helped establish the department. It was tough work, but we had a good group and made it fun. The department grew, and with it the workload. I grew tired of the same routine. In more recent years, management chose to use inferior technology. They went cheap and thought it would be the answer to collaboration. Au contraire, everything became difficult and takes three times as long to process. Half the time, you can’t even find your document. The attitude is that “you will use this”. I believe this contributes to a huge portion of the bad attitude. I know it does for me. The inefficiency creates stress, coupled with the get-it-done-yesterday pressure.
I would not give up technology, because there have been many gains. The cost has been the loss of emotional connections, which contrary to popular belief, are not made strictly with social media. I sit in meetings with people who are busily typing crap into their laptops or pads, and probably aren’t really listening to what is being said. Does anyone ever read those notes? This lack of connection is so widespread that it has become acceptable to say anything, even on national television. When demeaning statements about a dead person are blown all over social media, it gives people “permission” to say any damn thing they please. Where are our manners and what has happened to our sensitivity?
I could go on and on about this, but I want to keep the focus on the workplace. This age of bad attitude has infiltrated the places where we derive our sense of accomplishment and financial support. I realized that after yesterday’s rant, that it wasn’t just yesterday. Venting has become commonplace. Demands create stress. Stress creates frustration and we take it out on each other. We think that as professionals we should keep your mouths shut and put up with it in fear that we would lose this security. I have taught my staff that “if you don’t vent, you blow” and we keep those vent sessions sacred, unless there is something that does require intervention or action. Yesterday was my turn.
I’ve been using vacation time lately and getting a taste of what my changing circumstances will look like. I WANT IT. The freedom to do things of my choosing and on my schedule is rejuvenating. Being away from the stress has me feeling physically renewed. Going into work had me feeling trapped and this little frisson of fear attached to my monkey brain and said, “you are never going to get to leave, too many people need what you know”. Uh-oh. Now reality says that’s ridiculous. You are not in jail. You are not handcuffed. You do not have to stay. But I think you get the idea.
Feeling trapped is just an illusion created by your ego to keep you from making a decision. We might not even know that it is fear. My coworkers expressed their need of me, gratefully so, but it activates my character traits of feeling responsible and caretaking. Then I get hooked into a pattern of doing too much for others and to little for me. All work and no play makes Lorrie a crabby woman.
It all comes back to disinfecting my attitude. Even if my heart tugs otherwise, I must set appropriate boundaries for myself. I need to teach others how to do things for themselves, which is very empowering for them. I need to say no to requests that do not serve either of us. I need to avoid any discussion of failure, while acknowledging that this is a transition time – even for me. Life moves on, even if we are afraid to flow with it. I am ready to move on, filled with hopes, dreams and desires for this next chapter. And to those I am, I hate to use the words – leaving behind, I hope that you also have dreams and desires that you will pursue.