It’s 9:12am as I start this post. It’s a Thursday, which is one of my work days. I work twenty-four hours a week. This was my agreement when I went back to work, and i’s what I’m comfortable with.
It’s not that way lately. My boss at my annual review in March made the comment that three days a week is now the equivalent of 30-35 hours a week. I’m not ok with that, and his boss and his boss are with me on the twenty-four hours thing.
So far this week, I worked my eight hours on Monday, nine and three quarters on Tuesday, and I had three hours of conference calls on my day off. They were spread throughout the day, which meant that it was exceedingly hard to run the errands and get the things done that I need to, let alone spend time with the wee ones. I had no Fourth of July holiday last week but worked as normal instead. Per my log, I’ve already worked enough hours as of yesterday to cover this week and next week, with a couple to spare.
And yet, I have this feeling eating at me that people think I’m not doing enough. That they might “catch” me during this seventeen minues that I “should” be working. Logically, I know I won’t get in trouble if I don’t answer my phone or email because I’m not logged in. Logically, I know I have and I am going above and beyond the time and effort that is required of me — down to not taking lunch breaks because I’m busy working and often in meetings.
But I’m still paranoid that it’s not enough. I still feel like I’m trying to get away with something because I’m not logged in ninteen minutes into the official workday.
I’ll ignore the fact that my boss frequently doesn’t make it in until 9:30. Who cares that the people in the office will spend an hour or more a day gossiping and doing their own personal things instead of working. Who cares that the entire office checks out on Friday afternoons. Who cares that there is a strong contingent of people who come in at nine on the dot, take an hour or more for lunch, and then leave at five on the dot — putting in seven hour days.
I’m paranoid that I’m not seen as doing exactly what I need to do. And this means that everything at home suffers, from the dinners that I don’t have time to always prepare to the gym workouts I miss to the playdates I have to cancel.
Needless to say, this paranoia — which my boss feeds — is driving me close to the edge. I have a deal with myself right now that I’ll quit working once the school year starts, just to get me through the next two months. After that (if I don’t quit), I’ll tell myself that I’ll stay until the end of the year to make sure I use up my vacation, which I haven’t done in the three years since I started back part time.
It’s not healthy, and I know I’m not happy. How do you justify quitting your job in this economy though?
9:25am. I really need to go log in and start work now.