This is probably the most accurate presentation of how I feel in my current state.
I'm a bit breathless, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to do this - and although the "mainstream" bowl is real crowded... I blend in, and am pretty sure I'd just have to put in time and money to get anywhere... but what's the trade off?
So, further musings in my mind.
This is the result of what happens when you've done pretty much one kinda thing most of your life - then decide to yank on the e-brake to make a 180-turn.
I know and understand that I could have (and still could, who knows - this is all very new still, at this time, on this date) mellowed comfortably in misery - but it's a misery I knew... a misery I owned. Instead for some reason, I decided to wrestle against that and instead delve into the happiness (and sheer terror) of the unknown. All I know is this: I've wanted to be in VO since I was 4 years old - that was around the time I started to read.
I would read entire books in different voices, with the narrator and a whole cast of characters - but I had to do it in private - because my parents would admonish me for "trying to be weird" and my books were sometimes taken away. They considered what I was doing as "abnormal" and that if I couldn't read books "Properly" (ie: without 'being weird'), I wasn't allowed to have them.
Well... why would you *leave*? Comfort is great!
Yes, of course I've had this question. Many of my ex-coworkers just plain do not talk to me anymore... they don't understand why I would do something "SO CRAZY" as to leave something that I know.
My response was that it is not something I love. At which point they roll their eyes, in that "I know you're a total imbecile now" way, smile politely then say "Oh. okay. Have fun!"
Here's the honest-to-berries explanation:
The core of my being is to accomplish, to move forward and be satisfied with what I've done so that I can sleep at night and live out the rest of my short mortal life without regret.
My past (and I sincerely hope not...) and maybe my future (ugh) was in Insurance and Disability Management - a summary of this would be like Worker's comp Case Manager but not a Work related injury.
I did this job for nearly 10 years - and my final breaking point came when I realized that the following was becoming my daily "offering"
- Inability to move forward on important treatment because of an unsupportive employer or negligent manager
- Threats and frequent abuse from the clients because they had been told I, as a case manager was not to be trusted, usually by their union
- Humiliation and ruination from being lied about and being thrown under the bus by management for their own shortcomings
- Being denied promotion or increase in pay/subsidies because of aforementioned lies
- Unfinished work because of severe understaffing - which the Case Managers (ie: the ones who *do NOT* do the hiring) were somehow blamed for
Uh... well then... why isn't everyone else quitting?
Good question, me (DeVoice is definitely in my head).
This rolls back 'round to the comfort of misery. By the time I left where I was, almost every single employee was doing at least 4-5 hours of unpaid overtime *per day* - all of them too scared to speak up and say to the managers "this is not sustainable". Of course, as the layers pile on up the corporate ladder - you know what the people who DO have the power to make immediate changes see?
They see that work is getting done... and make the assumption that it's all getting done in the regular 8 hour work day... because NO ONE IS SAYING ANYTHING. So they happily continue to overload the employees. The direct managers know exactly what's going on, but all this free labour makes them look SO GOOD, so why would they say anything? What impetus do they have to make any changes?
That's right... they don't have a single reason to say a durned thing.
But wait... don't... don't they care about the well-being of their employees?
Oh. OMG... oh no no no.. that's a serious question? Oh... wait... uhm...let me compose myself here....
Okay - yeah, no. No they don't. It was made perfectly clear to me when I quit (at which point I was very transparent about WHY I was quitting - my physical/mental health was going to the boneyard!!) the manager was quite GLEEFUL that I was leaving, because she was anticipating being able to hire a new employee with a lower salary who would happily be overworked and abused to... you guessed it... stay in the comfort of misery.
Oh, that's just poppycock - not *everyone* was overworked!
Oh... no not *everyone* - just most of us. There were the scattered few (the proportion being about ... 10%) who were favoured by management so their work, and any overages they might have had were handled like this:
*they made the rest of us already doing overtime up the wazoo for our own work, finish THEIR WORK*
No. I'm not hyperbolizing. It was not an uncommon occurrence to get a notice stating "This person needs some help, so here are a bunch of tasks you have to do for them. Help the TEAM!!" - of course... nothing is mentioned about how the other 90% did not receive the same kind of support or back up.
There were the treasured few who were allowed to do minimal, shoddy, low quality work, and still get all the perks of being a "great employee" - like time off whenever they asked, approved vacation leave for whatever dates they wanted, approved Leave of Absence for no reason at all (ie: I feel like travelling... can I get a leave of absence? *APPROVED*) - and the rest of us just had to shut up and do their work.
Of course, this was all carefully managed... if it ever came to a point where the upper eschelons asked for feedback these few would be cherry picked to provide a GLOWING review of this manager (who, by the way had no idea what she was doing, and has no clue what anything is about).
So... gimme the ugly - why did you leave?
Alright - I try to be pretty resilient - it's not like I've ever been a teacher's pet or manager's pet, I've never been good at brown-nosing... so I'm used to being passed over for things like promotions or accolades. One thing a person can never compromise on though, is their health.
One day I woke up... and took a good, long hard look at what I was doing day to day. I realized that I had been diagnosed with clinical depression, and general anxiety disorder - which came with a nice healthy dose of insomnia and emotional instability.
The medications I had to take to deal with these issues were only increasing and I felt proportionally powerless to change anything. I had already tried talking to management, at which point I was shooed away and treated *even worse* because, hey no one likes to know they're doing something wrong.
My coworkers were of the mindset of "Just shut up and do what you're told - who cares if you work 14 hours a day and get paid for 8. You have a job!" - so that wasn't helping because 14 hours/day and getting paid for 8 is not sustainable for decades and decades.
So, in short, my health was deteriorating and not showing any signs of getting better - actually only worsening - the situation at work was getting worse by the moment, with the manager happily and without conscience lying to me, about me and penalizing me (pay, vacation, etc) for things that had happened directly because of the *managers* decisions.
Seeing as any efforts I made, any ideas I put forth and anything that knowingly came from me was immediately shot down and ignored - I knew I had no chance of getting promoted or transferred anywhere - in fact, I had asked to transfer to another department and was lied to about THAT - "You can't just do that on a whim, you know... there's SO MUCH paperwork to do and I don't think you can do that" (actual words from the 'genius' manager).
My only other option? Leave this life behind and go back to school. But really... what the heck could I do? Did I *really* want to spend time and money studying something I *kinda* liked? Something comfortable... but miserable?
I figured - if I'm going to take this leap, this jump, this first step on a journey of change - I might as well choose something that I would be delighted to do regardless of the money. Hence... here I am.
Still think I'm crazy?
**Oh, post edit note - no longer needing any medications and insomnia is nearly a thing of the past. Funny little 'coincidence'.