Jobs today—you’re lucky to have one, right?! So what if they work you to the ground? Just take a look at your unemployed pals and feel a bit of gratitude for all the 14+ hours a day you spend hauling dry cleaning, deciphering your boss’ cryptic directions to feed her diabetic pet poodle, coming home only to sleep next to your BlackBerry…etc. While we love good, hard work and climbing the career ladder, there’s some such thing as work/life balance here, ladies! One Staffer recently quit a nightmarish job. Here’s her story:
“I had interned with a company for a few summers during college and was offered a job there upon graduation. With the economy being what it was, I (not so) graciously accepted. I don’t believe in settling in any aspect of life, but sometimes you do what you have to do. This was by no means my dream job and not even in my desired field, but I was willing to take it, at least for a little while (at least I hoped!). I tried to make the best of the situation and take it with a grain of salt, justifying all of the hard times and unhappiness as experience and valuable in some regard.
This job was in the photography industry and I was reporting to an individual very high up who was literally married to her work. She had no outside relationships, no close family or friends; work was her everything. ‘Normal’ work hours may have meant 10-6, but she was attached to her BlackBerry and worked around the clock. She didn’t quite get why I, at an entry level position, wasn’t doing the same. Furthermore, because of the nature of the industry, I was often assigned to attend photo shoots with call times that were earlier than sunrise (literally). While I did a significant amount of ‘legitimate’ work, a lot of gofer work was also entailed, meaning I now know how to balance three+ trays from Starbucks in one trip (score!). There were definite perks to the job: meeting celebrities, going to cool locales, catering…but it wasn’t enough. I have a strong work ethic and would do whatever necessary to get things done, but my all never seemed good enough.
Those closest to me saw how much this was affecting me negatively. I had no motivation to do anything outside of work, and while it would be an exaggeration to say that my relationships suffered, I lost all energy to deal with what was going on around me. The situation went from bad to worse when one day, I just snapped. I’m not a crier, but I had to alter my breathing to not burst into hysterical tears in the office. This is when those around me, those who had made barely audible comments before, spoke loud and clear and told me I needed to do something.
While I wish I could have set up a meeting with my boss to talk it out, it had escalated so fast, that it just wasn’t possible. I ended up writing a long, heartfelt email. I didn’t refer to her as the Devil from The Devil Wears Prada as I may have liked, nor did I tell her every pent-up feeling, but I did say I could no longer work for her. I do feel that I learned a great deal both from her and the job, and that my time there was well spent. Even still, there are times when you need to do what’s right for you, try as you might to fight it.”
GIRL TALK TIME: Have you ever had a crazy job like this? Ever dealt with a diva, she-devil boss? Did you quit? How did you deal or how are you dealing? What are your secrets to having a great work/life balance? We need your advice!