I Think I Hate My Job
Hate is a strong word. I don’t like to use it. To me it’s admitting defeat, like it was just too much effort to try to find the good side and I had no choice but to just give up. I have only ever admitted to hating two things: that girl in high school who made it her personal mission to snag any boy I showed any sort of interest in, and celebrities who are famous for being famous. It is not a word I use lightly, so for me to say I hate my job is not just a side effect of a bad day.
I think I actually hate it.
I started to suspect I might be in trouble during that 24 hour project I had in January and February. I talked myself out of it, making the convincing argument that it’s easy to resent anything that makes you set an alarm for 3AM and that it was a short-term problem. The project finished, we went on our honeymoon, I got infinitely happier, and everything was peachy.
But it didn’t stay peachy. It didn’t even half stay peachy. My first day back at work from the vacation I stepped back into the 24 hour project (they “found” samples they “forgot about”), and instead of the normal chaos I had to start with cleaning up the mess that was made when they tried to prep without me there. It’s been a mountain of crud ever since. I’ve had impossible deadlines, ridiculous requests (4 methods in 4 days, 2 of which I’ve never seen before and take 2 days to prep? really?), and since the new group leader finally took over the chemistry side of the building has been a disaster (which we routinely have to try to fix while he goes home for the day). In the middle of all of it, they fired one of the chemists for no real reason, so our already understaffed group is now being crushed trying to keep up with our normal tasks as well as covering all of his. None of which anyone was trained on (you’d think management would consider that before offing someone).
Morale is at an unbelievable low. No one is happy. No one can even fake happy. We have all banded together to support each other, but our unity is very much an “us against them” mentality. It’s a toxic place to be. To maintain myself at work, I’ve had to all but forfeit maintaining myself outside of work. When I come home, I’m not a functioning adult. I’m exhausted. I’m angry. I’m stretched to my limits. I have a constant urge to cry that is getting increasingly difficult to push to the side. And just when it couldn’t really get much more difficult, we got a new round of 24 hour samples in. And they’re ones we expect failures on, effectively doubling my workload.
I think I hate my job.
Mostly because I hate myself since starting it.
I’m not me anymore. Geoff misses me. I miss me. I tried to turn to baking, something I really enjoy, to pull me out of this pit, and even that has started to feel more like a task than a hobby. Sewing projects are just more work. I haven’t touched the Xbox in weeks, simply because sitting down to relax feels like a waste of time with all of the other things that need to be done. I’m past the point of being able to reason with these feelings, saying that it’s temporary, saying that Fermi spoiled me and that to expect any other job to be remotely like that was a fantasy, or even saying that this is what all “real” jobs must look like and obviously I’m just being a pansy.
This can’t be normal.
I’ve only been here 7 months. I should not already be so burned out that I have to convince myself to come into work every day. Not just to get out of bed, but actually to come into work. How many mornings have I stood at my car door, holding my keys, willing myself to get in and to ignore the voice in my head that insists “you don’t have to go, you can just go back inside and read a book, bake some cookies, plant some flowers, you really don’t have to do this to yourself”?
It’s reasonable to suggest that things will get better, but whether or not I am able to hold out that long is another question. Many of the things that are dragging me/us down are things that existed as problems long before I arrived, and they have only spiraled further into the darkness of chaos. If management has yet to recognize these issues as legitimate issues that need addressing, when will they? Things could turn around in a few months, or by the end of the year, or maybe not until I have long since crossed the threshold to crazy-town. How long can I hold on waiting for the change that needs to happen to turn this toxic environment back into a productive group that may not necessarily love their job but at least like it enough to show up on a regular basis without having to bargain with themselves?
I don’t think I’m going to hold on much longer. The more tightly I hold onto hope here, the less strength I have to hope for myself, and I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t stay.
For my sake. For Geoff’s sake. I can’t stay.
Maybe I’m giving up. I can’t really tell anymore. But it is very clear that I am not happy here, to the point that it is dragging Geoff down too. I’ve started looking for another place to go. Hopefully I can find something that will be a good fit. Or at least a reasonable fit with slightly more regular hours. Like daylight. Let’s start with daylight hours.