Thursday, May 8, 2008

Am I the only crazy person here?

I assume most people reading this blog have jobs, or had jobs, or expect to have jobs in the future.

I plan to keep my job and this blog separate, but I still want to be able to talk about the absurdities that befall people on the job.

What about the job situation that gets weird on you? C'mon, you can admit it - you've been there. Strange decisions come down from on high; people get rewarded for behaving badly; the performance you thought was terrible gains high praise....You look around you and realize that other people don't share your opinion, so you begin to doubt your own instincts - you end up thinking the very people you think are dishonest, insane, or unethical, or unhinged must be normal people, because everyone else likes and admires them.

Am I right? Have you all been there least once?

The one mitigating factor about this phenomenon is as soon as you get out of the situation, you realize that you were totally NOT crazy. Once you're out of there, people confide and reveal their own misgivings, which they previously kept private because - just like you, they thought they were the only dissenters.

Although I've experienced this, in many ways I'm lucky, because I worked as a free-lancer for a long time. when things get difficult, I am quick to bail out, leaving no hard feelings. The guiltless bail out has cost me a lot in retirement benefits, but it's worth it in mental health. The only thing I'd do differently would be to have a more proactive approach to 401K plans.

In the last 10 or so years, I've worked in what are considered "permanent" jobs, but I tend to continue my free-lance mind-set.

I have friends, though, who lock themselves into The Job From Hell. The way they see it, they got the job on their merits, dammit, and they won't give the evil boss/co-worker/client who makes their lives Hell the satisfaction of seeing them leave - even it if means a better job for a better employer with better pay and a promotion. They will stay for decades in a job that makes them miserable, just to make their point.

My current job is a pretty good one, with good co-workers and a fair and ethical boss. But - every job has its moments of "Uh oh. This is getting weird." Mine is going through a funny transistion right now - we're experiencing the dreaded "Reorganization". How it will play out is unknown.

So how about you guys? Has this whole "am I the only crazy person here?" experience ever happened to you?

Or am I the only crazy person here?

I realize this is opening it up for some long stories. That's OK - I got some long stories of my own. Part of the problem with this is that we have these long stories bottled up inside of us, and no one to tell them to. We can share them here - and we won't tell anybody else!

1 comment:

KathyR said...

Oh, yes.

It has been a long time since I had a real job.

But your description of the one-two punch of high praise for mediocre performance and rewards for bad behavior really rang a bell with me. Oy. The stories.

And it wasn't long after those episodes that I made a demand for a huge pay raise and promotion. I was picking a fight, I admit it. But I should have won on both points. Instead, I got one (more money) and not the other (the partnership I deserved). I didn't stay in Crazy Land much longer. And, yes, I burned out my 401K there, too.

I landed on my feet four months later, partnered up with two partners from the old firm. Two guys that I had known and loved for many years. So there.