“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” – Seneca
It is crazy how things change from one day to the next, so the best thing to do is to embrace whatever is happening at the moment, be it good or bad. If something good is happening then jump in head first, take a bath in it, enjoy it to the fullest. If something bad is happening, look for the lesson in it, brace yourself, learn the lesson and move on. Everything passes. Everything leaves a mark and a memory.
Work has been difficult lately. Or is it me? I guess my hormones are out of whack as I have been on the verge of crying at work every day last week and so far today again. I thought that by now I was immune to this industry, to these men that lack manners and think they are Gods.
Two days in a row I walk into work and in the kitchen a mouse has just been caught on a glue trap. The mouse could have been removed before I got here but my male co-workers either were too scared or thought it was funny to see me scream and run away.
I realize it is not an employee’s job to catch mice but what happened to men being a gentleman, being strong and coming to a lady’s rescue? The mouse was only removed much later when a braver/nicer co-worker arrived. By the way the super of the building is useless. He goes out of his way to be difficult.
This is a hard industry. Hard on women, hard on minorities. I have been in it for over 20 years, often immune to the antics, but it still stings. But the other side of the coin is that it affords me a good life. It affords me the ability of helping my family, which is something that is extremely important to me.
The brokers want to do whatever they want ignoring guidelines set up for a reason. Requests go ignored. Not only that, the language and behavior are at an all-time low. It is locker room behavior everyday here. Nothing is said to me or about me (as far as I know), but still I am within earshot of the crude remarks. I feel caught in the middle. I am both one of the employees and also one of the bosses/partners. If I complain to the big boss he will take my side but I don’t want to be like the tattletale sister, and in the end nothing really changes.
At this moment I feel like a complainer playing the victim. There are no victims here (or anywhere really). I fell into this industry by accident. After 5 years I had had enough of it and quit. Then I realized that it was something I was good at and it also paid well. I was back after a year.
The mice incidents happened and it made me feel completely powerless and dependent on men to rescue me. I tried mustering all the courage in the world to get it myself but I couldn’t do it. I hate depending on people. These episodes made me furious and more aware of their behavior.
I guess it is easy to grow immune to things, until an event highlights it and brings it to the surface.
I just want a little more kindness and respect. I guess my office is just a microcosm of the world at large. We need more kindness in the world. We need more people helping people. We need more people being aware of the feelings of others. We need more respect, more manners, more compassion.
We are not alone, so let’s stop behaving as if our needs are the only ones that count.
I don’t believe in complaining, I don’t believe in playing the victim. So please forgive me for digressing and going on and on. I believe in changing whatever is threatening one’s happiness. But I also believe in being practical and realistic. It is a juggling act.
So I alternate among:
- Telling them exactly what I think (That they have no manners, that certain behavior is not acceptable, etc) to which some will say sorry while others will try to justify the behavior.
- Crying out of frustration (of course I don’t let them see it, but I wear my heart on the sleeve so they know how I feel). It lets my emotions out but I feel worse later realizing that crying makes me feel even more powerless.
- Ignoring and trying not to let it affect me. It often works. I tune them out, they are meaningless to me.
- Plotting my escape (which is pie in the sky at this point), but it is fun to dream of doing something completely different.
One thing I am totally incapable of doing is retaliating. A broker gets me mad one day and I tell myself that next time they need something I won’t be so quick to help, or next time I will accidentally forget to reimburse them for their expense report. Instead I continue the same way, jumping up any time they need something. I will always err on the side of helping and treating people how I want to be treated.
So I continue on, reminding myself that at the end of the day I do have a great job with many perks and great pay. No one tells me what to do, and the not so strict environment is not all that bad. No job is perfect and it is not my whole life just a part of it. I guess I have a love-hate relationship with my job.
In the end this is not a complaint, just a mere observation. I am grateful for my job. I feel blessed for having it.
A mouse made me write this!
“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou