Tomorrow is my last day at my current job. I’ve been working with the same group of people for the last four years. Five is my norm. In a work environment, I’m an easy going person. I try hard to keep all my professional relationships short and sweet. I attempt to be friendly and helpful, but nothing more than superficial niceties. After a while, it seems, people want to share their deep dark secrets and they expect it to be reciprocated. Not happening.
I don’t care about their political views. I don’t care about their religious preferences. I don’t care if they prefer dogs or cats or which way they hang their toilet paper. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about them. I do. Overall, they seem like perfectly lovely people. I hope they’re happy and that life treats them well.
If they do their job and allow me to do mine, we’re good. That’s all I need.
Unfortunately, it’s rarely good enough for others. People expect you to share parts of your life that really aren’t anyone’s business, but your own. It frustrates the shit out of me. If I avoid their nosy questions, then I’m standoffish. If I let it all hang out, then it gets messy.
I’ve made that mistake in the past and I don’t intend to make it again. Instead, I do my job and get out. When people start to get too close, I move on.
It’s only been four years, but I’ve waited too long. My boss is upset that I’m leaving. Upset might be an understatement. I’ve dealt with tears and/or the silent treatment ever since I gave notice. My boss has used the phrase ‘I can’t believe you’d do this to me’ several times.
Let’s see, I did my job to the best of my ability for four years. I looked for and found another position. Once it was confirmed that I was the chosen candidate – I gave notice. I’ve wrapped up all the lose ends, written instructions for any processes that I created and transferred all my files. What exactly have I done that is unbelievable?
It’s a job not a marriage. I didn’t take a vow of servitude. I gave forty hours of my time each week in exchange for forty hours worth of pay. I didn’t even take a job with a competitor. The position I took is complimentary and in no way adversarial to my workmates or the organization.
And yet, I feel guilty. I feel like I did something wrong. Like my inability to blend in with my coworkers, to share my deep dark secrets with colleagues is my failing. Right?
After losing a host of friends, once they learned about my books and sexual proclivities, I’ve learned to be a private person. I’m tired of friends and family running in the opposite direction or throwing women’s rights in my face, or using the word submissive like it’s something to be ashamed of, or looking at My Love like he’s some sort of abusive asshole. I’ve learned to keep my private life – private. But I haven’t learned how to do it and remain one of the girls.
In truth – I’m proud of my life. I’m proud of my marriage. I’m proud of my books. I’m proud of the work I do at my day job. I’m not proud, however, that I hurt my boss. If I’d been successful in keeping my job completely professional then ‘hurt’ wouldn’t have been on the radar. ‘Hurt’ isn’t a word that should be associated with work. I failed in that regard.
On Monday, the clock starts over. I get another chance to learn from my mistakes and hopefully I get it right this time.