Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Things Fall Apart

I have shied away from talking about work since being reprimanded a few months ago. And even though I think that a) using a psuedonym instead of my real name, b) not saying the name of the agency I work for and c) not using people's real names most of the time isn't crossing any boundaries, apparently I am wrong. Censorship is a bitch, isn't it? But I can't not talk about how difficult work has been. Every time I sit down at my computer to tell you how I am, what is on my mind, work floats to the surface. I spend most of my waking hours there. The people I work with are dear to me. They are family to me. After almost 4 years, this is my home away from home. I can't not talk about it because it is really effecting me.

We have been through so much turmoil in the past year; it is a wonder more of us haven't bailed. Yesterday was my friend Amanda's last day. I was so lost in my head about other things that when I walked into her office and saw the box of her things at her feet, I had to immediately excuse myself and ran to the bathroom to gain some composure. The weight of being the last one standing pressed down on me. She leaves this week. Jules leaves next week. And others murmer about jumping ship too. It's all just too much.

As I reached around her big, pregnant belly to hug her, the tears filled my eyes. She has been my touchstone, my confidante, my comfort for the past few years. When all hell was breaking loose, we were together in our office trying to hold one another up. We've bitched and moaned and shared our lives. We have watched co-workers leave for better paying jobs, school or new locations. We've watched co-workers pack up their belongings in confusion and despair. We've been there. Together. And now, I feel alone.

Of course, there are other friends/co-workers there that I trust and adore. Saying this isn't to belittle the affection I have for them or their importance in my life. But Amanda and I . . . we are like war buddies. We lived through it together. We have tales to tell. We know without having to speak it. There is a hollow place left in her absence. No one can fill it.

As her friend, I am relieved she will be away from the stress of work and thrilled that she is weeks away from being a mom. She will be a fantastic mom. But as her co-worker, I am in mourning.

16 comments:

sue said...

I've been there, done that. It hurts a lot, doesn't it. After all, we spend more time at work than we do at home! (That's sad.)

Hugs to you and I hope you can still share lots of good talks after she leaves... and hopefully you will have someone else you can lean on at work. We all need someone.

Maybe you, too, need to be looking at broader horizons and new job prospects????

ocg said...

Oh, Sizz...

I am so envious that you have a family at work like that. I haven't experienced something like that... since I had my first job (urg) fourteen (oh god) years ago. It is a precious thing... I am sorry that you are losing those close to you...

::hugs::

OCG

gronce said...

I am so sad for you because I felt that way once. Only that one time.

I haven't had closeness in my professional environment since. I also haven't worked somewhere that bad since.

Paul said...

You've stayed strong this long, you'll be able to continue doing that. And when a decision pops up for you and you have to make it, you will.

Amanda said...

I'm sorry sizz. I understand how you feel.

Clink said...

Bummer Sizz. I understand the bonds that form when you're in a hellish situation. I love my job. I don't so much love the dictator who makes it not so fun. The coworkers are what gets me through...

Melissa said...

Like others that have posted I understand completely, I'm there now. My G leaves at the end of summer for law school and it's not going to be pretty. Like you, I'm proud and happy for her, but the loss of their daily presence, humor, strength... is overwhelming. Hang in there, Sizz, you can do this; but remember, if you don't want to, you can start over too.

Rabbit said...

I worked with a group of people once that all became my dear friends. We were truly like family. Then new management took over and everyone suddenly "resigned" or found their positions eliminated until I was the only one left.

I've done work for some of those friends here and there, but it's just not the same.

Nihilistic said...

I want to post about mine too Sizz! What are we gonna do??

Moonchild said...

It sucks when a good one leaves your office space.... why can't the fuckwits be the ones leaving. On Feb. 10th will be my 3rd year anniv of being a bill collector. Certainly not a choice I would have ever picked but the person who went thru the grueling 2wks of training with me quit before Xmas. I always thought I'd leave first. Still it's not the same without her nearby to chat with, bitch with and just smile with... hang in there.

Bill said...

As sue said, been there, done that. One of the problems with my current job is I'm at the exact opposite pole now - I work at home, alone and I am going squirrelly.

Which may explain why I leave so many comments on blogs. :-)

I have learned, however, that I have no control over the work situation. It will go where it goes and I'm not a factor in it, at least as far as the company goes. So I am much less invested in it now. However, it's difficult to have the same close relationships outside work simply because you don't get to invest the time. Work is where we live. Sad though that is.

Krisco said...

I so relate.

I once worked with the most incredible, competent, amazing group of people. And after delivering - and delivering - and management started really going downhill, they all started abandoning ship. Understandably. But it was sooooo depressing to go through it.

I'm with ya.

Gary said...

I have loved your library posts but I have great confidence that you have the talent to post on anything and make it interesting.

sandra said...

That's really hard. I remember when the mass exodus began...and continued...at an agency I worked for in Chicago. At some point, it just got depressing to be there.

May you win the lottery soon...

Anonymous said...

mourning - yes

i don't think i realized just how much i'd miss her until an hour before she left

jules

Neil said...

Sorry. After a while, workmates become an odd family -- some you like better than others. So, it's sad when one of the good ones leaves.