Have you ever worked some place where racism, sexism, and homophobic behavior were tolerated? I have. You would be shocked at some of the things I have heard. It’s bad when you work some place and the only news channel that is playing ALL day is FOX News…one-sided news. It‘s bad when the minorities found it uncomfortable to sit in the breaks areas because all that playing was FOX News on EVERY TV EVERYDAY. At some point you would think that someone would change the channel or complain. No. No one, not even me, raised a stink about it.
I didn’t want to put my job at risk. It was like I knew my place, without someone even verbally telling me.
It was the type of environment where upper and lower management did not care whether other employees made off colored comments verbally or by email. The tone in which men took with women were disrespectful. The woman’s viewpoint was not valued as much as a man’s. You’re probably thinking…“l would have said something!!” Well, I did. The outcome was that l was just taking things out of context or I was being too sensitive…yeah.
Working day in and out in these toxic environments made me sick…literally sick. My body got to the point where it couldn‘t shake a common cold or sinus infection. It would just linger for extra days. Over the course of four years I‘ve had two fibroid removal surgeries….stress was my trigger point. Least to say, they came back this year…..due to stress. It’s easy to say to yourself, “Don’t stress out.” “Take it easy.” “Take deep breaths.” But when the environment is so toxic, it’s easier said than done.
“Why am I continuing to let these other people control my happiness? Why am I choosing to let these people control my life?"
So when I turned 40, I had an awakening moment. I thought, “Why am I continuing to let these other people control my happiness? Why am I choosing to let these people control my life?” The answer was simple…because I let them. The years and months leading up to my 40th birthday, a change inside me was going on. I knew God was dealing with me. It just so happened that 40 was the light-bulb moment for me.
I chose to start caring for me FIRST. I put everyone else second. My job was dead last. I started to get up early and go to work earlier. I ONLY put in my eight hours and went home. The days of voluntarily staying late and working weekends came to an abrupt end. Based off my last yearly evaluation, I had enough. Those long days and weekends I worked were “not enough”; it didn‘t meet his standards, according to him. (This is another topic I will discuss next Friday.) I decided I am going to start caring for my one temple that God gave me. I started getting off early so I could play with my dog (my son); going to Pilates; taking evening walks with my dog; and going to the library to work on my content for starters. I started putting more effort into my brand and company.
You know what? I feel better! I am still in the process of developing new habits and life changes but I actually feel lighter; like a weight has been lifted off me. I quit caring what those people at work thought about me. Obviously they didn’t care one way or the other. If I died tomorrow, they would have my job posted in the same day.
YOU are more important than that company you work for.
If you work in a toxic work environment, remember to take care of the one body you were given. You only have one shot at this thing called life. Spend every day like it was your last. Don‘t wait until you get fatally ill to realize life is precious. Some companies only care about the bottom line. You are just a line item on an expense sheet.
If you are costing “them” too much money they can find ways to remove you. YOU are more important than that company you work for. Your FAMILY is more important that that company you work for. Create more time for your family. Your family will be around when that company is not. Children, spouses, and/or family will value your TIME over money. Memories are what stick with you when money runs out. The valuable time cannot be replaced.