I've often wondered why I've stayed at my job for as long as I have - it can be a stressful and very toxic environment. Now, don't get me wrong, it has it's perks. My bosses pay me well, think that family comes first, and for the most part, treat me like family (good and bad). But, just like anywhere else, it has its moments of conflict.
Since my husband left, I have noticed a major change in who I am. I know returning to church has been the main reason for that and today it became extremely obvious to me how much I have changed. You see, today I let something pass by. I let go of my anger and irritation at a co-worker and told him that I wanted to move on. I got put into a situation yesterday that I didn't want to be in. I put myself there because I was trying to help another co-worker find a solution to his problem. Without getting into any details, this person blamed me for something that he was responsible for and accused me of trying to get him "in trouble" (yes, we are both adults!) in my quest for a solution - saying this to me based on complete assumption only. This accusation was sent in a mass email that went out to several people after the office had closed. I was so angry last night that I must have written and re-written 5 emails in response that I was going to send to everyone. I did the same on my Facebook account, wrote and re-wrote negative comments and public complaints about this co-worker even though I can't stand it when other people do the same.
But I never hit send.
I never posted to Facebook.
Day two and here I am at work. I came in this morning planning on not engaging with this co-worker at all. Planning on being positive and moving beyond - which lasted all of 3 hours. It took 3 hours for him to say something to me that almost pushed me off the deep end. In trying to help him, because he told me he was busy, I screened a call for him and tried to get the caller the answer to their questions. I was told by my co-worker to stay out of calls for that department as I don't know what I'm doing, in what I knew was meant to be a demeaning tone - yes, there is a history of prior conflict.
I've never been one to bite my tongue, but I did and somehow managed to make it back to my office before I started complaining about him to another co-worker - and that is when I took my breath. That is when I realized I needed to stop this "nothing" before it turned into something. I went to my co-workers desk and decided to talk to him. I told my co-worker that I did not want to be angry and did not want to fight and the most unthinkable thing happened.
He gave me a hug
And an apology.
It felt good and it felt right
And my day couldn't have gone any better after that.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
What in the world was I thinking?
I had another job lined up, one that was closer to home, with less stress and less responsibility.
Yet I stayed.
December, 2010 I tried to quit my job. I tried to quit after months of enduring some of the worse stress I've ever managed to endure. Things had gotten so stressful for me at work, that I would go to the bathroom at work just to cry. I would come home from work and completely ignore my kids, unless it was to yell at them. It got so bad that my doctor put me on two medications to help me manage to get through the day.
Yet I stayed.
My boss seemed shocked that I wanted to leave, though she had to have known it was coming. It was obvious that I was fed up with everyone. She asked me to reconsider and even offered me more money to stay. And I did.
I can't say that the money didn't factor into my staying, but it was more than that. It was that she actually wanted me to stay. It gave me confirmation that I was doing my job and that I was a valued employee, something I was questioning.
The following month after deciding to stay, I started attending church - something I never thought I'd do again (a long story for another day). But, there was Gordon that day at the coffee shop, probably the forth or fifth preacher to have asked me to come to his church and the timing couldn't have been better - I was finally ready for it. I came to fully embrace my Christianity and it has shown at work. My co-workers have noticed this change in me too.
And that is why I stayed...or so I guess. They have seen changes in me and some have even asked questions that have started meaningful conversations. Some teasing from a co-worker about my new "Christian cult" followed by reactions from myself that have shown me the strength I have in my faith. Feeling the joy of not letting my anger overtake me and turning the other cheek only to have it be followed by an apology and a hug by the offender. Opportunities to discuss with co-workers the importance of forgiving (though I am definitely not perfect here) and having them listen without them feeling like I am lecturing, judging, or preaching to them. And I've had the pleasure of seeing relationships slowly repairing themselves following forgiving.
I feel blessed that God has given my a chance to see all his grace working around me. I am so grateful that God gave me this place, this real life, uncontrolled workplace, to grow my faith even stronger.
Graceful: Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday