Not that bad

“Having a friend at work will make you hate your job less.”

-Anonymous

I was very excited when I had just joined my current workplace. I was eager to work in a new environment, learn new things and have a fresh new start in my career. My excitement died down within a week of joining this place. I came to know that the only colleague in my team was on his notice period and I would be left all alone in my team after he left the organization. I’m not an extrovert by nature but I’m not a fan of boredom either. For almost 3 months, my weekday routine consisted of going to office, working alone at my desk, eating lunch along while scrolling through my phone, desperately waiting for the clock to strike 6 pm so that I could leave the workplace.

Things changed when a new joiner entered our department. Although she was part of a different team, we bonded well as we both were new comers in the organization. I finally had someone to talk to in office and no longer had to eat lunch alone. She is 7 years younger to me and comes from a completely different socio-economic background. There were many things we didn’t connect on but still enjoyed each other’s presence in the office. I always felt lonely and extremely bored when she was on leave from office. This made me wonder how things would work out when she planned to leave the organization to pursue further studies.

The dreaded thought became a reality last year when she quit the organization. I didn’t notice much of a difference until the end of December as my visits to office were sporadic, about twice a week. My office visits became regular 2 weeks back however things don’t seem as bad as I anticipated it to be. The Universe perfectly timed the entry of a new person in my life in the form of an old office colleague who I’ve rediscovered recently. She joined a year later than us and we both report to the same boss without being part of the same team. We shared a formal relationship earlier and never interacted much with each other. Our socio-economic backgrounds, thought process and outlook towards life has a lot of similarities and that helped us bond easily over the last few weeks. She has a treasure trove of stories filled with life experiences and I enjoy listening to them during the lunch time. I look forward to spending more time with her and relax my mind after a mentally stressful time at work.

This experience made me realize that we gain absolutely NOTHING by being ANXIOUS about the future. I spent way more time than I should, dreading the day my other colleague would quit the office and leave me all alone. When the time actually arrived, I was able to cope up without feeling depressed or upset about it. The Universe has it’s way of filling up the empty spaces in our life at the right time! Makes me wonder when it’s time for me to meet “THE ONE” as I feel that’s one feeling/experience I’ve been deprived of all my life. I’m starting to sound like Ted Mosby from the show “How I Met Your Mother“. Well, IT IS WHAT IT IS! There are days when I don’t think about it at all and then there are days when the questions in my mind just won’t stop. I’m sure the Universe has the absolute best in store for me (doesn’t hurt to think positive right?) and wants me to wait for the right time. I can only pray and hope that the right time (and person) arrives soon!

What keeps you on your toes?

#96/100

“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.”

Bob Goff

Someone asked me this question today and it got me thinking for a long time. He meant it in a professional perspective but I couldn’t think of a sensible answer even after pondering over it for a while. Currently with my on going job profile, the thought of getting back home keeps me on my toes. Writing an article on my beloved blog keeps my mind busy. Thinking about the distance of my next long run makes me happy. Completing my work quickly so that I have time to catch up on a book or show gives me motivation to speed up. But nothing even remotely related to my profession or job keeps me on my toes.

When we spend more than half of each day for most part of our life on building a career, it’s very important to enjoy the process enough to think of upgrading our skills in it. We shouldn’t be thinking of different ways to get out of the office rut to really start living our life. I feel each day should be balanced with our work and every other thing that sparks joy in us. Each day has a role to play in building our personality and life, it doesn’t make sense to move forward in life in a robotic manner.

I have many areas to work on with respect to my profession and career that I am aware of. I also enjoy studying and learning new things. Yet, at work, I end up wasting my time waiting for the day to end. I really want to change this routine. My work and profession is the reason I have achieved most of my childhood goals. It has given me respect and financial independence which matters means a lot to me. It is payback time now. Time to stop taking my job for granted and work hard to give back to my job and profession in the best possible manner. It could be in the form of learning a new skill or task, dedicating a fixed time everyday to learn something new, check out opportunities for improvement, upskill and reskill wherever needed and strive hard to become the best version of me, at home and work. Every single day is beautiful, I wouldn’t want to neglect any day that makes up the beauty that is ‘life‘.

Ironical situation

#90/100

“Nothing is better than having a great friend to work with, so you can vent to each other to make the day go faster.”

-Anonymous

I am a shy and introverted person by nature. I have tried and engaged myself in limited social interactions throughout my life. I have a close knit group of friends who know me best and put up with my absence or lack of prompt replies. I am really grateful to them though it can get really annoying at times. I’m trying to be better at keeping in touch with my loved ones.

However, when it comes to my workplace, social isolation is my biggest fear. I start out slow as always, but end up making some great connections at work who teach me new things, motivate me to do better, make me laugh and in general help keep my happiness at a soaring high level at my workplace. I don’t have a team in my current organisation which means I had absolutely no one to talk when I started working at this place. The first 3 months were painfully slow and boring. I wouldn’t lie if I said that I used to count every single minute till the end of each and every day in office. Slowly I made few friends at office who made me lose track of time which was all I wanted at that time!

When I rejoined office after the lock down this year in June, I was worried because my closest office colleague hadn’t joined back. But I still had the colleagues who sat around my office bay area to keep me company. My colleague who sits across my desk has been a constant support throughout my running journey. He kept motivating me to sign up for a half marathon with him and it’s safe to give him all the credit for my first successful half marathon attempt this year.

Yesterday, I came to know that the entire bay across me have shifted their desks to a new location. To term this event heartbreaking is an understatement. I’ve been left all alone at my desk again. Life at this workplace has come a full circle for me as the situation has reverted exactly back to my initial period at this place. I have no one but my work to keep me company now. I know that I can visit them at their new location, but the situation is different than sharing the same office bay and having them around throughout the day.

This looks like the biggest sign from the Universe nudging me to make genuine efforts in finding a new job. I will try my best to overcome my anxiety related to situational changes and the accompanying procrastination so that I can find a job that makes me feel fulfilled and happy. It’s time to move on!

Can be better

#87/100

“I hope you do not let anyone else’s expectations direct the course of your life.” 

– Julianne Donaldson

In my previous organization, we were given a lot of work and there was never a moment to spare. The attrition rate was very high which practically forced us to be on our toes, learn different skills and grasp new work in a short period of time. The first few months were a blur, I never understood what I did at work. Slowly things made sense and by the time I left the organization, I was solving issues that I always admired my seniors for doing. In one of my review meetings, I was praised by the senior management for my quality of work which was better than was expected. The expectation there was basic, do the work allotted to you accurately and avoid making errors. Any work done beyond this expectation was applauded like handling a team well or completing work well within the deadline even with a low staff count.

Things changed (for the worse) when I joined my current organization. Firstly, I am part of the cost function here (I don’t make money for the organization) in a team filled with sales professionals and traders, hence looked down upon. No one says that directly but one can sense it from other people’s behavior or the general work environment. Secondly, I don’t get any feedback on my work from the only person whose opinion matters, my boss! I started with zero expectations (visibly excited to learn new things from scratch) which fizzled out in a month when the person who taught me work left the organization. I realized that I am on my own from now onwards without anyone in my team. I tried understanding my boss’s expectations but he was always vague in his communication. My boss who is 30 years my senior, has a very old school mentality of learning at work. Instead of giving more work, he expects me to ask him if he has any work. He wishes that I interact with every one in my vicinity and learn about their job. That’s how he wants me to learn everything about everything.

I tried doing it in the beginning. I probably didn’t give my best attempt as this way of learning was against my personality. I am a shy and introverted person, it takes immense mental strength for me to ask someone a normal query. I keep thinking that I’m disturbing the person or might not get a satisfactory response. This is not a new thing, I’ve never asked any queries to my teachers from school to college, I always tried finding my own answers. But this was the prime expectation from my boss and I had no clue how to live up to it. I kept shrugging it to off to a point that every single unsatisfactory response from my boss makes me feel that he HATES me! It’s really nerve wracking to end each work day on an unsettled note truly believing that I’ve disappointed my boss. He doesn’t say anything to me on my face but gives sarcastic replies at times proving my suspicion right.

I know I’m not going to be around working for this person all my life. This phase is temporary. It’s just that every single day at work becomes a burden when you feel unwelcome and somewhat hated. Oh yes, he has never really appreciated any of my work till now, it’s been around 2.5 years that I’ve joined this workplace. He compares people’s achievements to his own and feels that the present generation doesn’t work hard enough. You guessed it right, he is a ‘baby boomer’. His work ethic and knowledge is admirable, he earned it all on his own. When you have done so much in life, it becomes difficult to appreciate anything that’s less than yours. That’s where empathy comes into place. You lived a different life, it’s unfair to have unnecessarily high expectations from the present generation and mock them for not doing better. Everyone is doing the best they can.

This is one of the main reasons on having terrible Monday blues and dreading the end of each vacation. I don’t wish to go back to being burdened under the painfully heavy weight of my boss’s expectations. The only way out is to do my best and enjoy what I do. My sanity and happiness is always a priority and anything that goes against it doesn’t have a place in my life.

Change is the only constant

#83/100

“It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

– George Eliot

I was talking to my colleague today and ending up learning a lot of things from him in what started off as a casual discussion. There has been a lot of changes in my office recently. The colleague I was talking to is a sales professional who handles a clientele belonging to a particular sector in the industry. The changes I was talking about relates to shuffling of these sectors and the client base in the process. While other sales team handle sectors and clientele that have been part of the organisation since a long time, my colleague used to handle a sector that was newly introduced in our department. He along with his teammate were responsible in setting up the sector from scratch and building the client base.

I asked him if he was upset that his sector was taken away or if he had any apprehensions about the change. His answer just blew me away. He said, “Not even a bit. I would have had a regret had I not been able to give my 100% to my work. I sowed the seeds, watered the plant diligently and was blessed enough to enjoy the fruit of my labour. Now, I seek a change in the routine, a new challenge, a new adventure.!” He also asked me if I see myself working in the same organisation 6 months down the line, although my reply is a glaring NO, I chose not to comment. If you cannot see yourself working in the same place even for the next 6 months, what is the point of being so attached to the work you do? I was astounded by the clarity and ease in his replies.

I still remember my attitude towards work in my previous organisation. The attrition rate was very high causing a lot of team shuffles and changes in work profile. I dreaded it every single time. I was too comfortable with my daily routine and couldn’t bring myself to test my skills in a new and challenging environment. Basically, I had zero confidence in my ability. I have outgrown this phase however still haven’t been able to develop a thick skin to any big change in life like my incredible colleague. He did tell me it takes time and patience, all I can do is work on it consistently.

That is all I can do. Work on my skills consistently, learn whatever I wish to learn, be attentive in the present moment, do what makes me happy, make time for myself and celebrate my life. I might not be able to predict any big changes in my life but I can be prepared by striving to be the best version of myself, each day, every day!

Seven hours

#2/100

These seven hours have had a huge impact on my life. It’s the amount of time I am forced to spend commuting to and fro from my office. Why you ask? To satisfy the egos of few humans who are most certainly dead inside and seek weird pleasure by harassing those who help them run their business. Shouldn’t they be grateful? Of course yes! Do they lack empathy? A resounding yes! What’s making them do this? Primitive way of thinking which allows them to take selfish decisions and ruin the life of people who are the reason for their existence in the first place.

Even if I somehow get used to these seven hours that have made me lose my peace of mind, how do I deal with a person I’ve lost all respect for? I was made to feel like a nobody, unappreciated for my efforts and sincerity, thrown to the pits of doom with no return. What irks me further is the complete disregard towards the unsafe situation of the world outside and mental health condition of those who are dealing with it. How do you slowly destroy a person? Ignore their existence, make them do things which will crush their purpose and shatter their soul.

Is there a point of return from the very depths of doomsville? I believe there is! It’s the ladder of hope but there’s a catch! You need to build it slowly and steadily by sowing seeds of belief, faith, love and trust. Hope for a new you, faith in the process, belief in your inner superpower, love for thyself in it’s glorious mess and trust that you can make it.

When you have been let down multiple times, it’s time to pack and snap the fragile strand that’s holding the rope together. Look at your palm, it’s grazed from holding the rope so tight. It’s time to let go.

Life is simple, we do tend to complicate it. Happiness is a much better choice but somehow difficult to embrace. How do humans find negative banter easy to conform to? Does negativity present a more realistic picture than happiness?

I completely dislike how I feel when I’m down and about. Happiness makes me strong and indestructible. Life’s reality only lies in the next second, everything else is an illusion. Negative emotions are always about the next hour, day, year or life which makes them a bag full of crap!

These seven hours have given me a perspective, led me to the true face of the devil, made me realize what doesn’t confirm to my inner personality and helped me experience emotions that have absolutely no place in my life. I choose happiness now and always. I stand up for myself and will break all chains to keep myself sane, happy and content.

I deserve to be happy, I am happy!