Wednesday, March 21, 2012
How To Tell if Your Last Job Was Terrible
I am on break right now, which is both good and dangerous. Going to Nebraska kept me busy, and preparing for the arrival of the twins does as well, but today for the first time in months, my mind had time to stretch out and reflect on where I was at this time last year. I remember it all too well. My father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. My family's cat of twenty years was dying. I lived 1500 miles from my wife in a wretched podunk town. My job was making me crazy with despair and paranoia. A year on, things have improved. My father is cancer free, my wife and I are living together and about to have twins, and my new employer in New York City treats me really well. I no longer wake up in the morning in fear of what awful things await me in the coming day. My happiness today almost seems miraculous, and now I awake each morning feeling as if I must be one of the luckiest people alive. Despite these positive changes, the painful memories of the past bite hard, especially a year to the month after my life might have reached its most hopeless trough.
On my old blog of several years, which I had to discontinue due to being outed by a false, backstabing friend at my old job, I wrote the following musings on how to judge whether one's last job was truly terrible. They are as true now as they were then.
I know I said before that I wouldn't discuss my former job, but the weeks since I have escaped have highlighted the true nature of its awfulness. There's also the fact that some people I care about are still in the wretched clutches of my former employer, and I feel their pain acutely. So, without further ado, you know your last job was terrible when:
You have nightmares about your old job that are especially scary because the nightmare scenario is not much worse than reality. (This actually happened to me the night I arrived in New Jersey.)
You are filled with a great deal of anxiety about your next job, and worry that all the nice people you interviewed with may in fact be backstabbing hyenas.
Before taking this job you did not care about office politics and generally trusted your co-workers. After leaving this job you have vowed to trust no one in your new workplace.
Before taking this job you abhorred gossip and thought that everyone at work could get along. Now you hang on every rumor and secretly hope that some of your former colleagues are denied tenure or are publicly disgraced.
Your mind is clouded by thoughts of vengeance for the first time in your life.