I’m sort of glad it’s taken me a while to write about this; I don’t think my heart could take it had I attempted to write sooner. There’s been a lot going on the past few months (Gramma passing away in November, Mabbers passing away in January, etc.) and I’ve just felt like my heart is constantly grieving these days, so I couldn’t write about it as it was going on.
On January 31st, I left my job–my home and my Work Family for the last 7.4 years. It was such a tough decision to make, but I felt that it needed to be done 🙁 .
I had so much guilt; not only did we have events coming up (the Health Fair, Taste McAllen, a reception etc.), but I felt like I was going to let our boss, the CEO, down.
I remember what a relief it was back when I was hired on September 9, 2010. I was right smack in the middle of my divorce and I was desperately trying to get on my feet since I was starting all over, from scratch. Work was my distraction from the heart-wrenching custody battle over the kids. A distraction from the drama that followed after Jorge and I got together. All the tasks and new projects kept my mind busy.
All the drama, court dates, the time that the ex-mother-in-law stole Alaethia from the school–my bosses were so understanding. Any time off I needed; any time I needed to just run off because the kids were sick, they were incredibly understanding.
I was comfortable. I only had to worry about going in at 8:00am sharp on Monday for our Monday Morning Meeting. Our Boss was so lenient with our time. I would sashay into the office around 8:15am every day, sometimes 8:20am depending on the traffic after dropping off the girls or dropping off the boys 1 hour away.
Then there was the time that my bosses and co-workers all banded together to help me when Dad passed away and I was broke and doing the arrangements completely on my own. This was a huge one for me. I didn’t know how to repay them, or if I’ll ever be able to. They became even closer family to me that year, in 2013.
But then, just half a year ago, came the under-appreciation. I know most administrative assistants feel unappreciated, but that’s just something I wasn’t okay with anymore. I worked my butt off. I allowed way more than was humanly possible to be placed on my plate and I excelled with flying colors. I was stressed out 24/7. Just to be thanked with sub-par evaluations at the end of the year? And although they say it’s not all about the money when you love your job and I DID love my job: I realized that I was severely under-paid for the amount of work and the type of work I did.
The first time I really felt upset and walked-all-over was after Taste McAllen 2017. I wrote about how upset I was and I just couldn’t get over the anger and resentment. I felt depressed. I dreaded waking up and having to go into work, and it wasn’t the first time that happened. It would happen every-so-often when a certain someone made me the subject of her drama, or others’ drama and made me feel like people didn’t like me, or someone was out to get me and it was always bullshit (trust me, I asked). But this had nothing to do with that. This had to do with me valuing my work ethic and dedication, even if nobody else was going to. So shortly after, I updated my resume after 7 years of not touching it, made an account on Indeed.com and started looking for other jobs. I started off with 2 applications. Then I got 2 “We regret to inform you…” letters and that lit a fire under me to submit more applications. Out of all the ones I filled out since April 2017, I had one interview by October (with the fire department), and that was it. And shortly after I received yet another pity letter that the position had been filled and so I stopped filling out applications.
Then in early November, a friend/co-worker tips me off about a job. It’s at an agency I had already applied to once before recently, but I wasn’t called for that position and never heard anything about it. So I nervously apply and cross my fingers.
Work had gotten crazy again, what with the Health Fair going on, and the holidays werent helping with the tardiness of trying to fill up booths. And I was once again comfortable. Something about the holidays and our Christmas party just filled me with renewed affection for my Work Family and I couldn’t bare leaving them. Yet somehow, as I sat with Sandra, Sarah and Bob and we laughed the night away, deep down, I had this feeling that it would be the last Christmas Party I would take a group photo with the crew 🙁 .
I don’t hear anything from the last agency I applied to for about 2 months, and then suddenly, they call and I have an interview. Only 3 friends at my office knew I had one.
The day comes around, January 10th, and I arrive to the office I’m interviewing at. I’m a nervous wreck as I’m signing in. They lead me into a room with green carpeting and a desk with a desktop computer. My first tasks are writing a letter and creating an elaborate Excel document. I get through the letter quickly, but because I can’t remember how the hell to match descriptions to the sections on my pie chart :roll:, I take an eternity. I was so nervous, I felt a lump form in my throat from the nerves. I couldn’t believe this was happening!! I even re-do the entire pie chart from scratch and I still can’t remember! At least I got the formulas correct?!
Next is the interview. I’m once again interviewed by 3 people (the only other time I was interviewed in my life by more than 1 person was when I was interviewed by the firefighters a few months before). They ask all these questions and I try to answer to the best of my ability. I feel like I could have answered some better, but I know I excelled at others. When I’m done, I thank everyone for their time. For the next few days I feel like my stomach drops every time I think about it. I keep thinking, “What if they call me?” And then–even worse–, “But what if they don’t??” I’d be devastated! But then I’d be sad to leave my Work Fam! And would I be able to drop the girls off on time at school to make it to work by 7:50a.m.?? EVERY DAY?? It was such a battle in my head every. single. day.
The kids would be with the other parents the weekend following my interview–the weekend of Jorge’s birthday–so we took a weekend trip to the beach together. He felt overworked, too, and he most definitely deserved a break (that’s an understatement). We both did. It was just the thing I needed to stop stressing about work events, to soothe the sting of missing Mabbers (yes, that was still affecting me) and to stop wondering about the interview and if I got the job. On the final day of our trip, I get a call that I’m being considered. I felt like I was going to throw up from the nerves!!
I went about my week, waiting on pins and needles and they finally called on the 24th from HR that I was chosen! I GOT THE JOB!!!
Now came the hard, gut-wrenching job of telling my bosses 😥 . That was so hard to do. And the cherry on top of my guilt sundae was that I wasn’t even giving a 2-week notice! I was only able to give 1 week!
I couldn’t even tell our Boss Boss the actual reasons for my decision to move on from the organization when he asked as I sat across from him. I wanted to spew it all out; the reasons whizzing around in my head like an airplane banner the moment he asked why, but all I could muster was, “I…just needed a change…” And then I got emotional and cried and gave him a hug. Blanca said I should have gotten it all out, but I told her, even after everything, I couldn’t say anything ill about anyone. Still, she was super happy for me. Her future husband is now my new boss 😀 !
I told Gerry and Jorge, who were in the office next door, and I bawled like a baby. Sobs and everything. But they both said they were happy for me. I was going to miss them so much 😥 .
My Boss was in shock, to say the least lol. When I walked in to his office and said, “Heyyy,” he turned slowly, looked at me strangely and said, “What do you want?!” 😆 He already had a feeling. I didn’t mention anything about my hurt feelings from months before, but I did hint about my evaluations. He said it was the opposite, that I went above and beyond, which made me raise an eyebrow but I left it alone. I just wish he’d said so on paper 🙄 . But after our long talk, he congratulated me.
I went around telling everyone in the next few days, each time bawling my eyes out. (So embarrassing.)
Nancy said, “You were a bright light around here. The Chamber will be darker without you.” Cue the waterworks. We hugged and I thanked her for taking a chance on me 7.4 years ago; she was my first supervisor, the one who hired me as a temp back then.
Even Tom, who was one of the newest employees was so kind and said, “You’ve made it a joy to come to work every day.”
Michelle and I had a good cry on my last day. She was my first true, good friend there when I started in 2010. We went everywhere together those first couple of years.
Jan and I kept sharing our future plans and how we’d miss each other. We were both kinda over being walked all over, to be honest.
Bob yelled, “Don’t goooo,” from his office as I walked down the hall on my last day lol.
Leading up to my departure I took photos of paintings, the hallways, my desk area…because I’m a sentimental weirdo and I was going to miss my 2nd home 😥 .
You can see my post-its from the girls and Eenan and Jaylen when they would visit. I had so much stuff to pack it required 2 boxes lol.
Beto suggested we all have lunch together before I leave. Maritza and Blanca sent out the email for everyone to RSVP. I tell you, they are all too good to me.
Gerry and Blanca treated me, and Maritza picked up the most awesome Italian Cream cake. We all chit-chatted and then my boss clinked his fork on his water glass and made a speech. I didn’t hear half of it because I was bawling but he said I was great at everything I did and I was the spirit of the Chamber ?. I couldn’t even say the speech I had planned because I was crying. Hence the reason my face was nice and rosy in the next photo.
My Boss suggested a group photo and I’m glad he did. Love these people!
I felt like the day just went by so fast. Sarah is the interim assistant taking my place and I literally had 2 hours to “train” her! So I told her to text me for whatever. I went around saying bye to everyone, and bawling in the process, but lots of people had already left 🙁 . I had an appointment to cut my hair at Curl Up and Dye, so I had to rush out, too. I’d be starting at the new place the next day–no break at all–and as broken as my heart was, I was as ready as I was going to be!