HEALTHYASHLEY
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The Review

Friday, April 01, 2011

It finally happened this morning. It wasn't horrible and it wasn't good. No, I didn't get fired, they never had any intention of firing me. Pretty much they feel that the last 6 months I have been really negative and not making as much of an effort as I was when I started. They feel that pretty much they have done nothing wrong and I don't take enough initiative or have good follow through. That I am the one isolating myself because I talk too much and people don't like me. Apparently they have had numerous complaints about me talking too much. No, they did not have any documentation of said complaints. The positives where that they like me and think that I am very intelligent, capable, and have a very good grasp of the field. They pretty much feel that my insecurity and lack of confidence is the cause of all my work issues. They want me to work more every single day than the 10 hours I already work if I have to and I have to say that isn't sitting well with me. That and I don't dress professionally enough for clients. That made me furious. I make almost nothing and can't live on what I make. With how fast I am losing weight I just can not buy new professional clothing every weekend. Consignment shops in Boston are a joke. That might work if you are smaller but not still a plus size and the stuff is almost as expensive as new clothes at some of those stores.
They asked if I still wanted me job because they don't want me to leave. When the male owner left he asked me if I was coming back on Monday and I laughed and I could tell by the look on his face he was serious. I am not that type of person. I meant it when I said I did want to try to make it work but as the day has worn on I am starting to think this is not the job for me. I am exhausted and can barely get in my workouts as it is. I do not want to live to work. I want a normal job and have a personal life. They expect me to be a workaholic. They actually said those exact words. I already am, how much more can I give without it being detrimental to me and my health? I am at that point now.
I still have to talk to A about the whole thing and see what thinks. Ultimately the decision is mine and he will support me but we discuss all big decisions like this. I am going to think about this all weekend and make an ultimate decision of keep trying or move on. If I move on I am going to leave sales entirely. I just need to do some soul searching regarding what is good for me and what I want.
Dinner last night was interesting. The food was FABULOUS. I had wild boar with housemade fresh pasta and we all shared a bunch of starters like pork rillettes, charcuterie, chicken livers in pastry, lamb tartare (my favorite), and fried artichokes with aioli. I couldn't finish my dinner. We were all food people and very critical and it was a fun evening. 4 Wine pairings, a martini and too much food led to me not feeling well today. That is more than I drink in a month. What was the most interesting was that socially I realized how much goes into being successful in business. This kind of BS corporate hobnobbing. The air kissing and socializing. I surprised myself with how good I am at it and it was the first time I felt like I fit in. That I can swing with the rich and refined. I felt like I looked really really good and men were staring at me like crazy. A shocking amount. It was the first time I felt like I wasn't the fat girl anymore. I was the hot girl and it is exciting and terrifying all at once. When people stare it is disarming even when it is with approval. This is something I will have to learn to adjust to over time. I need to stop feeling like it is vain and shallow to know I am beautiful and to feel good about that. To be proud of all I have done to get here and know that I will continue to look better each and every day.
I think the ambivalence I have been feeling about my diet this week is a form of self sabotage and it has been very sneaky. It came right in and made me stop caring and I didn't even see it coming. The difference is now I am much more in tune with my day to day habits and caught onto it sooner. This whole experience with my job would in the past have been derailing but now I will not let that happen. I will continue to fight even if it means quitting my job to find balance. They want me to be strong and self confident. They have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. It is on.
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  • GOIN4GR8
    You took these words right out of my mouth:

    "I am starting to think this is not the job for me. I am exhausted and can barely get in my workouts as it is. I do not want to live to work. I want a normal job and have a personal life. They expect me to be a workaholic. They actually said those exact words. I already am, how much more can I give without it being detrimental to me and my health? I am at that point now."

    I've been fighting this battle in my mind for close to 2 years now at my job. What I'd really love is time to start up my own thing right NOW, while I still have a paycheck and benefits, so that by the time I'm really ready to quit, I have my other thing already rolling. Trouble is, I'm so mentally exhausted when I get out of work that it's hard to do anything at all. So ... I continue on daily, wearing the "golden handcuffs" and trying to sock away some money so that if I ever do actually get fired (which in my case is more apt to happen because my skills have become obsolete--I'm a computer programmer--than because I'm not performing adequately), I can be happy about it knowing I now have time to focus on something that I *really* want to do.

    Sounds like you're heading in the exact right direction to me! It's both scary and VERY exciting. Believe in yourself, work hard, and it'll happen--I'm sure of that. You've proven over and over what a strong, introspective person you are.

    I'm watching with great interest and cheering you on!
    3208 days ago
  • PATJOONWW
    Good luck with your decision!
    emoticon
    3211 days ago
  • SMOCKON
    Let me just say from 35+ years of work experience, things will not get better at this place. The tension you've felt from waiting for a review will pass and the bosses will be happy for a couple of months, but then it will start all over again. I can also say from experience that most jobs will take and take and take--as many hours as you give them. You have to set your own limits.

    I totally agree with the other Sparkler who said this is a good example of not knowing how to conduct a proper review.
    3211 days ago
  • WOMANCHEF
    I'm glad you didn't get the sack. It seems like you are stepping out in the right direction. Good for you!
    3212 days ago
  • MILTONS_MAMA
    Being a workaholic on purpose sounds unhealthy.. Work on your business plan, Ash! And getting your resume out sounds like a good idea too. A lot of people would love to have you working for them, you just have to get the word out.
    3214 days ago
  • COOKWITHME65
    A little late in reading your blogs Ashley. It's now monday am and I'm dying to see what you have decided. 2 more of your blogs to read. Maybe they will reveal an answer!
    3214 days ago
  • NANHBH
    Ash,

    I have always said that an employer cannot pay me enough to be frustrated on a daily basis. I applaud you for doing the soul-searching to decide if this job is for you. You have got so much to offer to an employer -- or perhaps to start your own business. You ROCK, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
    emoticon
    Nancy

    PS - I just read EMMANYC's post. Great advice for all of us! Thanks, EMMANYC.
    3215 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 6:13:57 PM
  • EMMANYC
    Ashley - It is really rough to work in a soul-sucking negative work environment. What they said to you was hurtful, and when the comments are combined with the delay in which they delivered it, it must be particularly frustrating. I think you're doing the right thing to consider your options.

    That said, one thing I'd suggest that you consider doing - after you've let a little time pass so that you can get over the anger and hurt - is to do your own dispassionate assessment of your work but from several different perspectives: yours, your bosses', your coworkers, your clients, and your suppliers/business partners. Essentially, what you're going to try to do is a somewhat imaginary 360 review of your own work. It might go something like this:

    - If you don't already have one, write a job description that identifies responsibilities (what you're supposed to do and deliver) and the attributes that a person who does the job well should possess. It doesn't need to be exhaustive, but maybe list 4-5 responsibilities and 4-5 attributes.

    - Do a self-assessment against this job description. What did you do well this year? What are the things you need to work on? What are your strengths? What are the areas you think should be developed? Maybe consider doing an online personality assessment like Myers-Briggs or something similar, which can give you some insight into your working style.

    - Take the weird, quasi-psycho feedback you got from your bosses and do two things. 1) Try to imagine how they are perceiving your work (and why). Don't judge them - just try to put yourself in their shoes. What is motivating them/pushing their buttons? 2) See if there might be any tiny grains of truth in what they said - at least in the sense that a disinterested third party watching you work and watching them might have said something similar (less exaggerated, but similar). 3) If there are any tiny grains of truth in what they said, are these items you're willing to work on (either in terms of improving their perception of your work or in terms of the actual substance? If these are big issues for them and you don't believe you can or should address these points, then you have your answer about whether you want to continue working there.

    - Collect some feedback from a few coworkers, clients and suppliers/partners you trust. Prepare 3-5 questions you'd like to ask them. Tell them that you're working on enhancing your skills and performance and would appreciate their feedback. For example, your questions could be along the lines of: a) Describe the qualities/work habits of a person you like working with (i.e., question for coworkers and suppliers/partners) or of a person who provides services to you (for your clients). b) Against that standard, what do you think I do well? What do you think I can improve on? Do you have any suggestions for me in terms of how I can build on my strengths or address areas you think I should work on?

    That dialogue with others is very likely to give you a lot of positive reinforcement, which will dissipate some of the bad feelings you have about the snarky bosses' review. The process also likely will give you a few ideas for areas where you can strengthen your skills, and that will help you boost your confidence and get better at what you do. Overall, the process will help give you control over your career - and that should help reduce the stress, even if you there are some critical elements that surface.

    Good luck - and remember that we're here to support you.
    3215 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/3/2011 2:12:08 PM
  • ERIN4771
    ahh...the sandwich theory review...hate these..the you are so good at this, but not at this, but yet you are at this, and not this...you walk away not knowing what the h*ll just happened...mostly it's people not knowing how to conduct a review, proven by lack of documentation usually...the expectation that you will give up your life, for a job is ridiculous...there has to be a balance, and sadly a lot of bosses don't get that concept...ultimately you have to do what's right for you, and remember, your job is not who you are, just like your weight or the number on the scale isn't a definition if yourself either...dream big my friend, you are definitely capable of great things!!
    3215 days ago
  • REBECCAMA
    Well I just saw your status update and came in here to see what was going on. It sounds like this could be a mixed blessing. Good luck with whatever you decide.
    3215 days ago
  • CYD1057
    Corporate mind games. This reminds me of a review I was once given - they said I was poorest at all the things I performed best. There were points where I knew I was weak and they told me I performed these very, very well. Huh? Crazy-making at its best. Then I found out they did this to most of the employees. Same as you - no documentation of the negatives. There must be a manual out there for strategies managers use to conduct reviews to avoid giving raises. They have a plan, don't kid yourself. They know they are pushing you to the limit, particularly if you are already working impossible hours and they want more. They know they have no grounds for firing you, by the sound of it, and don't want to pay unemployment by laying you off. The comment "are you coming back on Monday?" speaks volumes. Remember: You know you have what it takes to be successful. You know how to behave and are comfortable with the cream of the crop clients. You have made LOTS of connections at this job. Let those connections help you get what you want. Be careful about saying too much to those connections as you plan your exit. Extract as much information as you need before leaving. Bide your time and go on your own terms. Keep us posted!!
    3215 days ago
  • CINDERELLA_MAN
    I agree, this doesn't sound like a good job and in the end not worth it no matter how they promise you if you just jump through their hoops you'll be successful. It sounds like you know what you gotta do, and have the confidence to do it. emoticon
    3216 days ago
  • CIRANDELLA
    It's obviously not the job you'll remember with satisfaction... Good thing you've given the whole picture an honest and thorough appraisal. Their gripes sound bogus, trite, and vague, so more than anything, I question what's passing as genuine "leadership" there. The fault lies not with you.
    3216 days ago
  • EMMANYC
    LIVIN2LOV1 - I'm curious about what you mean by saying that you "can't stand workaholics". What is a workaholic to you, and what does it matter how someone else lives his or her life? I work 55-60+ hours a week. My job is very stressful in some respects (e.g., high profile, time-pressured etc) but I love what I do. I feel fulfillled in my work, I work with great people (the people I manage and the people who manage me) who all work as hard as I do, support me, recognize my hard work and laugh with me every day no matter how rough the job is. I don't have kids, so there's no issue of my work hours affecting them. My husband's hours are shorter than mine, but he's doing a master's degree so it's a challenge to spend quality time together but we manage it. Does this lifestyle make me a workaholic? I certainly work hard and my work is a lot of who I am, but it's a positive element, not a negative one.

    I also grew up in a family where my dad worked very long hours - only 9-5 at the office but then he worked at home in the evenings and on the weekends. And you know, he was an amazing, loving father who was present in our lives and set a good example, even if he did work 60 hours a week. He was also an active member in the church and took care of his mother in our home as she lived through a recurrence of her cancer. And my mom worked, too, and sometimes went to school, full time.

    My sister used to work 50+ hours per week as an ICU nurse while raising a lovely daughter and while her husband ran their farm. In her spare time, she trained horses.

    Are all of my family members workaholics? We all have worked (or worked and gone to school at the same time) for more than 40 hours a week. Can you "not stand us"? What have we done wrong?
    3216 days ago
  • LUCKYDOGFARM
    Ashley, this is Great, sort of.....
    have you taken the time to figure out 1) how many hours you work a week 2) how that equates in to what you get paid, IF you were paid by the hour?
    there are TONS of hourly jobs available. Especially for someone as motivated and experienced as you are. Even if you just went to work at McDonalds, you would make at least minimum wage and they would provide your clothes!

    It is so wonderful that you are finally able to appreciate your beauty and that others are seeing it too. if you don't treat yourself as a beauty, it makes it hard for anyone else too!


    3216 days ago
  • LIVIN2LOVE1
    Follow your heart.

    Personally, I can't stand workaholics. I'm a mother of 3 and a wife and I know that they are the constant source of goodness in my life... not my job. I see so many people put their job first but claim to spend "quality" time with their families. Folks, it's just not possible. Your kids need you. I know you don't have children but it seems you are so unhappy in your job, yet so happy with your life. Your job seems to be holding you back. I wish you the best in whatever decision you make.
    3216 days ago
  • CHANGE188
    I'm glad they finally had the stupid review! They were making me crazy and it's none of my business! Whatever you do, don't do anything rash. I completely agree with you that you don't want work to be your life. A lot of people I work with are workaholics, the company eats it up. They say they're all about work/life balance but at the end of the day they glorify the people sending out emails at 11pm on a Saturday, the workaholics don't get anything out of it at the end of the day except recognition- they don't get promoted and they don't get raises.

    I think you should cut back your hours to 8-9 a day, dedicate the time you need for working out and the rest of the time formulating your plan of escape.

    Be bold and dream big! We're rooting for you!
    3216 days ago
  • SKINNYINMYHEAD
    Thinking of you... my comment is this.. think about it.. all of it... give it true consideration... weight it.. measure it.. examine it from all sides.. after that, discard the parts your think are crap... and learn from the others... make your decision.. and move on...

    Annie
    3216 days ago
  • RIGBY31
    ALOFA509 had an interesting comment... if you ever started your own business you'd kick their booty. Maybe not a bad idea? Necessity is the mother of invention. Dream big, girl.
    emoticon
    3216 days ago
  • DBFBILLY
    I'm sorry this is going on for you..you are doing the righ thing, think about it and do what is best for YOU...if they are expecting you to be a workaholic..this may not be for you..and you know what? i'm tired of hearing employers tell the employees they don't have enough self-confidence..i think it is a cop-out on facing somethings that need to be faced or changed on thier end, and they just don't want to do it, for whatever reason.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.. emoticon
    3216 days ago
  • KATHLOW
    I hope you come to a decisison that you can get behind a 100%. And yaya on looking good and hobknobbing with the best of them!


    3217 days ago
  • ALOFA0509
    Gaawwdddd. They are Fkin Pathetic!! your boss is soo jealous of you. She has to try and break your spirit, your confidence.. She pushed all the right buttons with those comments, praying that you retreat into some hole, and blame yourself for such behavior.. B.S.- she need's you to feel inferior becuz if you ever wanted to start this kind of biz you'd kick their @ss..

    -- I had to step a side, and do some shadow boxing cuz your boss get's me fired up!!!LMAO---

    Always cheering 4U girl emoticon

    Hugs,
    Alofa
    3217 days ago
  • CSERF09
    I wish you luck in your decision making this weekend. I've always felt that I needed to enjoy the work I did. I graduated from college with a BA in English Education. Yet I've never been a teacher. I realized when I did my student teaching that it wasn't the job for me. So I found other work that made me happy and I've never regreted it.

    Good Luck!! emoticon
    3217 days ago
  • 2BEHEALTHYAGAIN
    Whatever your decision, it must be of benefit to YOU and no one else. One thing I learned in life was to NEVER hold on to a job and take a bunch of sh** because "we need the money". If that's the only reason to stay, that's no reason. Best of luck with your decision--try not to let it ruin your weekend.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3217 days ago
  • TISHA80
    It sounds like they are giving you mixed messages. They say they don't want you to leave, but they treat you terribly and expect you to work all the time. Is it possible they want you to quit so that you can't get unemployment? If they really do want to keep you, they have a funny way of showing it. No one should be expected to be a workaholic. I can't believe they actually told you that. Regardless of whether they really want you there or not, you should do what you feel is best for yourself. Your health and happiness are far more important than a job. Best wishes!
    emoticon
    3217 days ago
  • SDJOLLY
    Whatever your decision, I wish the very best for you. You deserve to be happy.
    3217 days ago
  • MADEMCHE
    I hope that you make a decision this weekend that benefits you and A. I agree with you so much that there is so much more to life than work. And people that don't recognize that are unhealthy. it took me long time to realize that, but it is true. You work crazy hard and any one asking you to do more is nuts. I am so happy for you that you have so ontop of your own habits that you can catch things that might derail you.

    Just want you to be happy and somewhere that appreciates how amazing you are!

    Love you!
    3217 days ago
  • LILDIESEL426
    This was an awesome post. What is great is that you didn't let the negativity break you. It's never fun to be put down, or to be criticized. In the end you just have to pick yourself up, no matter how tough that might be.

    I'm from Boston originally, so I understand how finances can be pinched considering how pricey things are out there! If you need to look professional, but need a cost effective way to do it, shoot on over to Filene's Basement. Believe it or not, the close are not bad there, and it is easy to revamp your wardrobe without emptying your pockets completely.

    Who knows, you may indeed be better off without this position. Sales is definitely a promising career field, but it has it's challenges as you have come to experience. Do you have any background outside of sales? It may help to explore that realm to see what is out there. Depending on what your educational background is along with the accumulated experience at your present employer, you may even be able to look into marketing/sales based positions with larger companies that take more care of their employees.

    You will find your way soon enough. It's instances like this that lead you to push harder and succeed in the future. You will get there, and all of this will become an afterthought. Everyone here has your back!
    3217 days ago
  • TIME4AMY
    I hope the road you choose leads you to happiness, my friend! You deserve it...
    emoticon
    3217 days ago
  • OJIBWEEQUAY
    wow how obnoxious were some of those comments eh? dress attire, confidence, talk to much? You think hard and the answer will come! emoticon emoticon
    3217 days ago
  • IMIN2GENES
    Glad to hear your dinner went so well! I'm also glad to see how determined you are. I hate to say it, especially given the state of the economy, but it sounds like it's time for you to move on to something that fuels you not exhausts you.

    Good luck with your soul searching this weekend. It sounds like you're in a good frame to do it. You're strong, confident and able. Don't forget it!

    Chris emoticon
    3217 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/1/2011 9:09:15 PM
  • REDDIRTRUNNER
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    You simply deserve SOOOOOOO much better!! You have been on this journey of discovery and now that you are diving in deeper, your dreams are coming forward because they CAN. You can do this girl! Can't wait to hear what you decide!
    3217 days ago
  • IBSHAUN
    Wow, it does sound like you have a lot to think about this weekend. I cannot believe they would ask you, even consider asking you to work more than 10 hours a day and to become a workaholic. What is wrong with those people? Ultimately you have to decide the pros and cons and then decide what is best for you - but you already know that. My 2 cents? Put your resume together and start making plans to find an employer who appreciates your value. That doesn't mean bail out on them (not that leaving wouldn't be the right answer either... 'cause I'm not so sure I'd go back...) but it means you are better than they realize and you will find a better job.
    3217 days ago
  • ECONLADY
    Could there be jealousy about your weight loss?
    3217 days ago
  • GINA180847
    Cripes, way to make a person feel inadequate! What ever you decide will be interesting for your future. Imagine coming right out and saying you should be a workaholic. I am floored! Sounds like you are not letting it get to you too much though I don't know how you can avoid that. I once told I was "oficious" I had never heard of the word before and had to look it up in the dictionary. That job was soon in the toilet.
    3217 days ago
  • PELESJEWEL
    emoticon Eerie...I had a similar 1:1 today too and confidence came up...
    3217 days ago
  • SLIMTHICK2
    Good that you are up for the challenge, hope you think through the decision to leave or not and that you come up with the best decision that will ultimately benefit you. All the best.
    3217 days ago
  • REDHEADMOM2U
    Hugs to you!

    3217 days ago
  • REDHEADMOM2U
    Hugs to you!

    3217 days ago
  • GIANTMICROBE
    They actually said they expect you to be a workaholic. Wow. Just wow. That is BS of the highest order. And what's in it for you exactly?????
    3217 days ago
  • HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE
    I'm sure you'll come to a decision that's best for you and your lifestyle. The dinner sounds amazing!
    3217 days ago
  • KAMAPERRY
    (((((((((((Ashley))))))))))) wow. You do have a big decision. You have to do what is right for you. I can't beleive they expect all of that. Glad you enjoyed the dinner!! Remember, you ARE beautiful, inside and out! emoticon
    3217 days ago
  • MELISSAT123
    Sorry that they said that to you. If you're putting in 10 hours day and making almost nothing then you're right, it's probably time for you to move on. In the end you have a great head on your shoulders and you'll make the right decision.
    3217 days ago
  • AARONSGIRL420
    I love the fighting spirit of this blog. Go get them, take them on and show them what you are made of. They will miss you when you are gone (if that is your choice) and realize what fools they are.

    The male boss was right to look concerned. They have no clue who they are dealing with :)
    3217 days ago
  • KERSTIN814
    I think with your special skills you should not have a problem finding a job in some aspect of the food and entertainment industry. Maybe they do want you out but they don't want to have to pay you unemployment by firing you so they will make it so miserable you will leave on your own?? Of course if you can tough it out, you will have some way to support yourself until you find a job.
    3217 days ago
  • GRACEISENUF
    I would not want to be a workaholic either....life is way too short.

    Hoping it all works out and your "stress load" is lightened real soon Ashley. I also hope you have some fun this weekend.

    emoticon
    3217 days ago
  • RAD062010
    Wow.... I feel for ya. They want what they want and they, of course, expect you to do it for next to nothing with a smile on your face.

    Keep positive, do NOT let this derail you... (but look for another job), I am not feeling that you are appreciated where you are.

    Best of Luck to you!
    3217 days ago
  • RAD062010
    Wow.... I feel for ya. They want what they want and they, of course, expect you to do it for next to nothing with a smile on your face.

    Keep positive, do NOT let this derail you... (but look for another job), I am not feeling that you are appreciated where you are.

    Best of Luck to you!
    3217 days ago
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