Thursday, July 7, 2016

8.324 Don't Get Emotionally Involved

"Don't get emotionally involved." I learned from a young age to never get emotionally involved when it comes to the workplace. It was my first few days working in retail when a coworker asked me if I liked my job. I smiled with a yes which prompted a sympathetic smile and the words, "You're still very young and new, which explains why you like the job." Thereafter, it seemed as though every single person who asked me that question gave me a very similar response. What was it that they knew that I didn't know? What was I missing here? All I felt and knew at the time, was that we were all in this together- as a team. I looked forward to selling merchandise to make money for the company. I felt like I was a part of something bigger.

It took only a few weeks in when it all started to make sense. I started to understand that it wasn't so much teamwork, but more of a competition- employee vs management. The more you do, the more they expect from you. The harder you work, the more they take advantage of you. It went from exerting energy to prioritizing what tasks were worth the energy. In a world where greed and profit rises above the needs of the employees, it should come to no surprise that employees would have to do things (or not do things) to survive somehow.

At my current workplace, I thought it would be different. It's a family owned business and we are working directly with the owners. My coworkers at the time were fairly new as well, they had only started some weeks/months before me. We seemed to all care for the welfare of the company. We actually worked as a team and had the same mindset to try to make the business succeed.

It felt different this time. And so, I got myself emotionally involved. I cared, my coworkers cared, and management seemed to care. But then... a few months in and we started to get the same exact picture I've known all too well.

I had a recent heart-to-heart conversation with one of my coworkers who's nonchalant attitude is something to be admired. After listening to my troubles, she gave me a puzzled look and asked me why I was so emotionally involved. It was at that moment that I felt like someone shook me awake. I woke up to the same question: why are you emotionally involved? It was a lesson I thought I had engrained in myself, but apparently thought was safe to put away.

I thought I could grow with this company but now I'm not so sure. Yesterday we found out abruptly that one of my coworkers quit. I wasn't surprised as they had promised her a position but fell through when it came to giving her the actual job title and raise. The day before she had left midday claiming she had an upset stomach, but when she came to say goodbye, I could read it in her eyes that it wasn't her stomach giving her trouble but something else. I'm sorry she had to go through with what she did, but if I were in her shoes, I wouldn't have quit the way she did.

In this day and age, you have to be smart. You can not take things personally when it comes to business. Unless the job is giving you emotional distress or is detrimental to your health or well-being (or if you can afford to) don't quit on the spot. Quitting makes no difference to the company. It won't change anything except the fact that you no longer have a job. They can always find another, and they will always manage to survive somehow. Take for example my last job. It came to a point where I felt like I was being used so much that I wanted to quit everyday I went to work. But one of the main reasons I stayed was because it paid more than retail and it was a full-time job which I needed to pay off my student loans. After I accomplished that, it was a major relief for me- I felt free to quit anytime. But still that wasn't enough to make me leave on the spot. People would ask me why I was still working there, but those people were not in my shoes. I needed to be wise and secure myself financially. I've been told many times by people to never quit until you find yourself another gig. You need to have a Plan A and B and be smart about it. After all, quitting only ever really affects you; it does little damage to any company.

As bad as my last job was, if it wasn't for it, I wouldn't have met the people whom helped shaped the person I am today. No matter how shitty it gets, there is always a silver lining, you just have to stay long enough to find it. Make the best of it and get what you need out of it before you leave. Timing is everything. That's my best advice to anyone thinking of quitting.

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On." -Robert Frost


KimWen said...

I see Fiancé ...... So CONGRATS Natalie!!!!!!!!

mizzsandychau said...

gosh i can relate to these awful feelings at work. being a corporate slave isn't any better. I'm being used all the time and it's not like i can just say no, and i'm doing a lot more work than people getting higher pays than i am. There's gossip everyday and competition between co-workers are just awful. work politics...urghhhh

hey wait...FIANCE?! Whoaaaa what did we miss!? CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That's so exciting!!!!

Natalie said...

Thank you girls!! :D