Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thoughts about work...

So, I did go back to work in the end. A different position than before - a little lower in the ranks, because there was no way I wanted to do what I'd done before. I have to get a few feelings out about work though - I think it's important that they get said.

The entire reason I started this blog was to plot and document my course while I changed my life. I guess I really didn't have to try to change - it was done for me by the things that had taken place before. "They" say people don't change, but I disagree, obviously - I think people can be changed enormously by events. I've changed, that's for sure.

The only shred of anger I have left is really, at the company I work for. Like many American (and worldwide) businesses, they've spent their time (especially in the recent past) trying to increase their profits as much as possible, and decreasing theft from the company without really changing the way they treat their employees. Managers at every level are given very small budgets to work with, for man-hours and pay, and it is demanded of them that they effect incredible changes with these tiny amounts of hours and pay, and that effecting these changes means they are worthy of being employed. If they don't, on the other hand, the blame is shoved down to the smallest manager possible and made theirs. "You didn't do what we wanted with negligible resources, therefore you are not worthy" is the subliminal motto.

Even when you work incredibly hard, their focus is not the people who work for them, but really, the profit. Even with grandiose claims that their employees come first, or that they serve their employees, it's not really true at all, because all around, I see people - real people - shoved into the dirt in a quest for greater profitability. It happens all the time, but the people who are in a position to fix that giant moral dirt mound are getting paid so much money, that they're blinded to it. It's so easy to overlook when someone is being treated wrongly or when someone who works for you is clearly completely overwhelmed and suffering, if you're getting paid twice what they are... It helps you sleep better at night to overlook what's going on, or to rationalize it when really, stuff like that, leads to stuff like this:

I worked my head off and my heart out for the company. I worked in a position where so many of my colleagues have resorted to excessive smoking, or excessive alcohol consumption just to deal with the stress of what they have to do on a daily basis. Even those who don't, have to often take multiple heart or blood pressure medications because the job they are doing is simply put, bad for their lives and their health. One of my colleagues actually told me that she would get hives sometimes, just thinking about going to work that day. That should tell you something right there.

I respect the colleagues I had when I was working in that position, because they are truly good human beings who are working in a job as dangerous as any I've ever known in terms of it's effect on health and family. The work is not worth it. It is a destroyer of family at the very least, and there is only so long you can keep saying "but they money is good and it helps my family survive" because really...it doesn't. I've seen men and women lose their wives, husbands and children over this job, and then all they get for the money is the ability to hire a good attorney and pay alimony, child support and afford a decent psychologist to help them try to survive emotionally.

There were times I'd get up at four in the morning and get home at 11pm. That is just insane. Nobody can survive that unless they're completely psychotic! Now, I hear you say "Yes, but I have and I'm fine" - but are you really? How balanced are you? Does your wife or husband respect you? Do you really know your children - are they happy or are they sitting on the balcony of your big house falling apart and smoking meth when you're not around? Do you have a family anymore? If you have a glamarous girlfriend or a handsome boyfriend, do you really know them or are they just arm candy... Don't you feel lonely, in the dark of the night when you're staying at some hotel again, underneath the luxury sheets when all you really wish is that someone would hold you and make you feel warm inside? Does your blood pressure medication really control all the symptoms, or does it just mask what's there? How do you feel when you have yet another panic attack in a public bathroom, or start wheezing from the smoke in the middle of a meeting? How do you feel, knowing that death is chasing you with swifter feet than most of the other people you know? Because you know, death is only two steps behind at all times. He's watching you like a vulture, with big bets staked on the fact that you are likely to fall down much sooner than another person.

My problem was the fact that due to my stress and crazy schedule at work, my body rejected it's own child. The most likely scenario is that I suddenly developed pre-eclampsia, raising my blood pressure over the top and simultaneously causing my massive and complete placental abruption. That, coupled with the enormous crazyness of my last two months at work which made it impossibel for my body to properly grow and prepare anymore, led to the death of my next generation. It almost killed me as well, but I add that as an afterthought because it doesn't matter - that doesn't matter - she mattered so much more than me. She was the future. I would have given my life for her without a second thought.

What I am trying to say, is that if a crazy situation doesn't kill you (and it probably will if you keep going), it might kill someone else. Is it worth it, really?

In the end of course, I do matter - H told a friend the second day after Josie died, that he wouldn't know what to do without me. That was nice, and I hope I've been able to live up to his expectations after the event, because really in the end, family is what matters. His expectations matter. He doesn't pay me any money at all, and he and the children are many times as important as work. His opinion of me as a moral human being, a kind person, matters more to me by a thousand times than the opinion of a corporate entity of my ability to make money at the expese of other human beings.

See I can do anything - anything at all - I just choose my life over my work nowadays, and the work I do is done because I can darn well do it, not to impress anyone. Ironically this is some of the best work I've ever done. Do I want a promotion? No, thank you, I don't - not until things change in favor of life, and not death. I will stay where I'm at, dealing with bills, yes, but able to go home every night to my family and hold them in my arms, spending every precious moment with them as if it could be my last, because you just never know...

1 comment:

Jay said...

I wanted to post a comment on my own post...lol.

It's been just over two months. I reckon I'm doing a good job at work (I don't get paid to sit around) but honestly, I am beginning to just loathe it. I am beginning to think it was a mistake to go back at all. The lead up to Josie's death is becoming clearer and clearer in my mind, and the things I had to do before she died for the company are materializing as horrifying facts - a new one every day. The truth is, had I not had that job, my daughter would still be alive. Working for the company at this stage is driving me up the wall - I question why I do it. I'm a good person and this work I think is blocking any further healing for me. Soon will come a time when I will have to make some choices and some plans, I think.