(This has been sitting on my drafts for the past 4 months. Decided to work on it again and post it. This is pretty long. Read at your own risk.)
Edit: Na click ko bigla yung publish at nagpanic ako kasi pinag-iisipan ko pa kung ipopost ko nga ‘to! Pero, yaena! Tadhana na yung nagdecide. Haha.
For the past few months, I have been trying to make my way through this little career break that I have decided to bring myself in. I had officially quitted my job last January 31. I was just originally planning to take a month-long break. You know, just to really clear my head before I try to start with something new. My former job was physically and mentally exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job. But let’s be honest here, what kind of job is not stressful? I whined a lot to my family and friends but I really loved my job. I loved serving people and seeing them leave the office satisfied. For a while, I actually even enjoyed facing irate clients and end up gaining their trust by being able to meet their demands. Such a great feeling. I loved being friends with some of the clients and the spontaneity of everything. You would never know what you would experience everyday so it never really got boring. I loved the monthly and quarterly meetings (Honest!) I had some of the world’s loveliest coworkers. I loved working at the site. I loved talking to people at the site. I actually really loved my job.
So why did I quit?
My coworkers and I jokingly talked about quitting ever since our first week on our job. You can’t blame us. Who wouldn’t get startled when it’s just your first day and you already witnessed your coworkers getting yelled at and get insulted to the very core of their being before your very eyes and knowing that that’s what’s in store in your future? But as much as we talked about quitting, deep inside, we all knew that we weren’t really going to do it.
But the jokes of quitting started to become a lot more serious after my first year on my job. It’s weird but things were actually going quite well for us. We were slowly stabilizing and normalizing the amount of complaints we receive. We were hitting targets. We were definitely enjoying our team. We feel like we were getting the groove right. But all of a sudden there had been a drastic change in the organization which deeply affected me and our department. I was now suddenly lost. I didn’t know what to do. And it seemed like the company didn’t know what to do with me also. For months I had been going back and forth to four different areas without a proper job description. They told me they had plans and that I had to wait up. Clear the backjobs left by our dissolved department, assist the other departments in transitioning for they will now take up the job that our department formerly does and to wait until further noticed.
I waited for seven months.
Seven months of feeling useless. Seven months of feeling like a ghost employee. I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that one bit. Whenever we had meetings and we had to introduce ourselves, I felt ridiculous introducing myself every time because I didn’t belong to a team. I could not even explain what I do without earning a few chuckles here and there.
I felt like I was a joke.
Please. I actually talked about it with my boss but yep. I had to wait. They said they have a plan but I had to wait. And I didn’t feel like waiting anymore. I have wasted so much time. I decided to quit.
Just when I have decided to actually send my resignation letter, things took a different turn when I received a call from another department’s head and I was once again deployed to another area. And it’s weird but I liked it. I had two bosses but it was okay. Because it felt like I now belonged to a team. I was actually talking to clients again. I was going to the site again. I was making friends with the people on site. I was joining monthly meetings again and I was actually making weekly reports again. And I liked that. I genuinely liked that. And I thought life was going well. But I guess I thought wrong.
Because as much as I loved the daily grind, the onslaught of insults we receive on a daily basis can really take its toll. Some people can easily get used to it. Some people can actually just shrug it off and not take everything they hear from the clients to heart. I thought I could get used to it. And I actually thought I was getting used to it because I actually lasted for more than a year as a Customer Care Engineer but I guess I didn’t and I couldn’t get used to it. I don’t know what changed. I was used to receiving complaints before. It was an everyday thing. But during my first year of work, everything seemed bearable. Like I could laugh it off after getting this massive degradation from clients. I mean I am an engineer. But I surely didn’t feel like one everytime clients talk me down. But it was bearable. I didn’t know what changed.
Suddenly I was finding myself dreading my everyday life. I was dreading waking up in the morning and getting ready because that would mean having to face irate clients again. I dread walking into the office knowing that clients are just bidding their time to ring my phone and complain. I dread answering my phone when an unknown number comes to the screen because it’s most definitely a client. I dread when the clock strikes 6 in the evening because that meant another day of unfinished commitments and too many houses I was not able to inspect. I dread sleeping because I don’t want it to be morning again.
There would be days when I would wake up and start crying. I realized something was very wrong when one Wednesday, after attending the Novena/Mass in the morning before work, I couldn’t bring myself to go to work. I had thirty minutes before office hours start and I just walked and walked around until I found myself in another church. And then I cried. And then I prayed. More like just really mumbled and complained to God about how I was not liking what I was doing anymore. I was already 30 minutes late for work when I texted my boss and our head that I couldn’t report to work as I was feeling sick. And then I took another long walk and ended up in another church where I cried again. And this time I prayed the rosary. I went home and told my parents that I was feeling sick. I didn’t tell them that I did not actually went to work. I couldn’t tell them I had a breakdown.
That was the first.
The second was worst. I literally cried the moment I woke up. I was crying while I was taking a bath. I was crying while I was getting dressed. I was basically a mess while trying to do my eyebrows when I decided that I couldn’t go to work like that. I would probably just cry in the office. So I decided to be honest with my head explaining to him why I couldn’t go to work albeit thru text. I told him I was a sobbing mess and that I think I was having a breakdown.
I think that was the day that really became the turning point. I decided then that I couldn’t stay anymore. It was not healthy anymore. I thought my episodes during College was bad enough (I cried in the middle of class because of stress, in front of a teacher mind you). But the ones I had experienced because of work was way worse. I would wake up in the middle of the night and I find it hard to breathe because my heart would be pounding so much. I get little panic attacks in the office and I would hide in the restroom until it pass. I have never felt so sorry for myself in my entire life. Like seriously sorry that at that point in time I didn’t mind dying. Not that I wanted to kill myself. I just wanted to feel nothing. Like I wouldn’t mind getting into a car accident or stuff.
Now, I’m onto my seventh month of being unemployed. I’m trying to look for jobs but I guess my work experience was not that valuable to other companies because as they say: “Not Suitable”. Imagine working for two years with all of your heart, giving everything you’ve got, unpaid overtime works (do the extra mile as if I’m not doing that from the start), answering client calls on Sundays or even at 10 in the evening, being threatened by a gun, being told on Christmas time that you are “walang kwentang kausap” ; then you’ll realize it was all for nothing. *sighs*
I don’t know why I’m posting this but it’s the first time that I am actually being honest about the reasons why I left. When friends and family or random “usyusero” asks why I left my job I just always say that it was stressful. Being depressed and getting panic attacks is not something I can easily talk to anyone. I fear judgment. Like my reasons for getting panic attacks were not valid. But for someone who have always been anxious facing people and is always conscious about how other people perceive you, being in my shoes was really hard. But maybe I needed to do this to completely let go. Cause honestly I’m still stuck in the past. And I’m working my way out of it.
Maybe seven is my thing. Maybe I’ll find a job after seven months. The way my waiting before ended at 7 months.