Stuck in the Torture Chamber

It’s been a s****y week at work. You don’t know how much more of this f*****g crap you can take.

You’ve been giving it your best. You know you’ve been doing that. But your best is just never enough.

Your company just won’t give you enough hours/compensation to accomplish everything that is expected of you.

How, in forty hours, with a limited team, are you supposed to crank out one million “widgets” [replace widgets with various metrics, productions, content, sales, patches, code commits]? This is NOT. HUMANLY. POSSIBLE. This system doesn’t work. Who invented this insanity? And how did I get pulled into this?, you wonder. How did I even end up here?

Your company is treating you like a soulless engine, without the capability of human “error” or “weakness”, or limitations. Your leaders expect “optimum” (hint: unrealistic) fuel efficiency.

And what can you do? If you want to keep that paycheck coming in, and maintain a solid resume and LinkedIn profile, then you may not see leaving as an option.

Depending on the approachability, flexibility, and power of your boss(es), you may not see changing or influencing your current environment as an option, either. Maybe you’ve already tried, and were met with opposition or even personal or professional attacks, suggesting that “Perhaps you’re not up for the stress this job entails”.

You’ve had it. How can they be so out-of-touch as to expect you – or your team – to give beyond the humanly possible? How can they expect you to make bricks without straw?

Maybe you’ve been accused of being “slow” when you’re really just conscientious (more so than the rest of your team). Yet your boss stresses the importance of accuracy, so you can’t sacrifice that to speed things up. (Yet…somehow, the rest of your team seems to get off the hook for low accuracy more easily than you. Ugh.)

My words of encouragement for you:

If you’re doing the best you can, and seeking feedback, then relax. You’re giving it everything you’ve got. And that is enough.

If you’re conscientious and that is “slowing you down”, be encouraged. You’re the kind of employee whom many companies and teams would welcome.

And if you’re that diligent and serious about your work, you probably also have what it takes to start (or collaboratively start) a business.

Bottom-line: Rest assured that for people like you, there are plans to fall back on. This job is not “it”.

If this situation doesn’t work out – whether it’s you or your boss who reaches that conclusion first – it’s not because something’s wrong with you. You’ve given this place your all – as much as anyone could have given. You’ve gone the extra mile.

But the economy sucks. Companies are employing fewer “engines” and squeezing all they can out of the ones they “acquire”. It’s not your fault for being human. It’s not your fault that you gave it your best and your best still wasn’t enough.

I know the thought/possibility/reality of losing your job can be unsettling, and potentially embarrassing if things actually do fall through. But you are no less an amazing person for it.

You are stronger, because of what you’ve been through.

And you’ll take the shards left from the collapse of this hideous dungeon that engulfed you, and reforge them into something beautiful. Something that fits you – your personality, your skills, your passions and interests – so much better than that prison cell ever did. I believe in you.

It might take a while. It might take some more falls, setbacks, scrapes, and scratches before you find something that “fits” and “works”. Don’t lose heart. This is the point where many people give up. Where they lose all hope, accept that they’re “a failure”, and stop caring about life.

It’s perfectly OK to be where you are right now. But it’s not okay to assume that you’re “doomed” to be a “failure” forever.

Life is a series of sprints, stumbles, and scrapes. But the only person who is a “failure” is the one who never tries to get back up and run. Where – or in what direction – you run almost doesn’t matter (okay, as long as it’s not something illegal or wrong or completely irresponsible…you know what those things are. 😉 ).

Try new things. Get messy. Get embarrassed. Travel uncharted territory. Jump into situations where nobody understands you, or why on earth you’re trying “that thing”. Keep at it. Keep rocking that s**t. I think you’re wonderful. ❤ 👊

But even if you decide to stay in the dungeon a little longer, I’m proud of you. It takes some colossal strength and guts to stay in a place like that. Just…get a therapist/counselor, or have a team of family and friends who can help you maintain your sanity, ‘K?

And don’t get stuck there, if you can help it! Keep looking around and planning/preparing for something else. You can only swim in insanity for so long, before it seeps into your pores and begins to become you (…or you become it???).

Martin Luther King, Jr. quote disappointment-hope

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

❤ Kate

See also: Just Another Work Day

© 2017 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

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