I come in peace.
Or just to write, really. I’m hoping that this brief respite from work encourages me to get some professional writing done. Because goodness knows that projects need to get done and my motivation is pretty low at the moment.
Work morale has been pretty terrible all around, to be quite honest. From being left off of emails that have to do with work that I’m doing to being chastised in a meeting over someone finding an errant comma in a first-draft review, I’m pretty weary over my boss’ way of engaging me. When I got here, I wanted so badly to do well. I was enthusiastic, I tried to participate, and I wanted to prove myself. I wanted to do good work, bring in money for a good cause; I wanted to be a part of a solid, high-performing team.
But my boss has been skeptical since day one, something I struggled to admit until recently. From the time I began until now, I’ve been slighted in many ways. I’ve also experienced outright condescension. She vacillates between not paying attention to me at all to getting into my business when she damn well feels like it. I feel like everything I do has to be perfect the first time around—there is no room for error or improvement even though that’s a central tenant of being a writer: everyone can improve. I have been flat-out told that I am not a good writer.
I sometimes wonder why I am still here if I am that bad.
My colleagues don’t agree with the assessment, but it has affected my morale and my ability to produce work. I find myself frozen, suffering from the greatest case of work writer’s block I’ve ever had. I eke out work at the slowest pace I’ve ever experienced—I’m embarrassed by it and I am struggling to overcome it. From microaggression to outright aggression, my boss’s attitude has paralyzed me. I desperately want to prove that she’s wrong about me, but I shoot myself in the foot by not producing simply because I wonder why I should. My writing is awful—why would anyone want to read it?
The thing is, I know it’s not. I know I’m a compelling and persuasive writer. I always have been. My boss tells me that science writing is my weakness—the more seasoned writers on my team will tell you it’s my greatest strength. There’s this: she’s full of it and people tell me that. But they also tell me to simply ignore her and we all know that’s nearly impossible to do when that negative person if your boss.
It is incredibly frustrating and demoralizing to have your greatest talent be denigrated.
On the day I started last year, I started alongside a woman who would become a close friend. She, too, is a creative professional—she’s seasoned and extremely talented. However, my boss would not let her take risks or even design a simple invitation because she feared that any slight deviation from the norm would … I’m not sure what it would do. My friend endured as much as she could, but after nearly two years of being delegated tasks that were not in line with her profession, she left. This week, she began a new job with an old employer of hers, one that will know how to fully utilize her talents.
There was a fundamental lack of trust in her. There is a fundamental lack of trust in me. I don’t understand why, but it is this lack of trust that chased her away and leaves me frozen professionally.
It makes me miss my event planning days, where I had to hustle and simply act. The thought of finding a new job makes me weary, particularly since this job is in the DC suburb in which I live and we have Dubya in a nearby daycare. Upsetting the apple cart would be hard … and I worry that my performance here would make it very difficult to get a job elsewhere.
Except. My husband is interviewing for a job that would be elsewhere.
And elsewhere is home.
Perhaps that’s the solution to my DC job woes — no more jobs in DC. Maybe it’s time to go home for a little while.
Only time will tell. I’ll update when I have more news.