We Are Going To Applebees

You know when you get the feeling that something isn't right, but you can't pinpoint what it is, and, in fact, every other sign is pointing to "completely and totally fine," and because you can't figure out why you feel that it's not right, you just go ahead and do it because if you keep harping on these "just not right" feelings you are going to drive yourself, your family, the lady in front of you in Pathmark, and the 7-11 guy who's ringing up the half and half crazy? 

You know that feeling?

Back in August I felt that way about my new job about 3 minutes after I decided to take it.  In fact, I felt that way before I even left my new boss' office after he had made the offer and I had accepted.  I sat there while he spoke about the position and my start date and my team members and my mind just wandered off into space and I thought, "This is a bad decision, Dana", but I had NO IDEA why I thought that.  So I took that thought and threw it in the back of my head, right next to "Join Weight Watchers" and "Stop spending your family's money at Kohls" and it stayed there for the next three weeks while I proceeded to resign from my old job and plan for my new job.

The reasons for leaving my old job were all there.  I know that leaving my old job was a good choice.  My new job offered more money, more affordable benefits, and was closer to my home, and those were the reasons why I left.  Those three things still exist.  So, during my last two weeks at my old job--the strange period where you've given notice, yet you still work there, yet your loyalty is now to your new job, but you haven't started yet--when this strange feeling kept popping in my head that this was a bad decision, I would just mentally go over my list for leaving, and check off that each and every item was still being addressed.  And then I would tell that stupid thought to just STFU and let me be proud that I was able to leave my comfort zone of idling in a workplace that was never going to let me move up, and that I was taking a leap to a new place where I knew no one and was making better for me and my family. 

I started my new job at 8:00 a.m. on September 13, 2010, and at 10:26 a.m. I texted my husband and said, "I don't think this job is going to work out." 

Truer words have never been texted before.

I'm not going to go into details, and I don't want to bad-mouth a place in which some of you know the name of, but let me just say that the people who run the place were not keen on treating women equally, and, as if that's not enough, the morals and values and general attitude of those people towards all of their employees is an abomination to human kind.  The middle class is not meant to be treated as pawns in a chess game of life being pushed, prodded, manipulated and taken advantage of because we need to work in order to take care of our family.

Shortly after beginning employment there, Greg and I launched what can only be referred to as An Epic Job Search in which he would search for open positions all day long while he was home and then I would apply to them all night long while he was at work.  For MONTHS I heard nothing from these places as I dutifully trudged daily to my job, daydreaming about when I would be granted an interview.  I would sit at my desk thinking about how it would feel to quit and get the chance to work again at a place where the people were friendly.  I would write this blog post in my head, figuring how much information I would let out, and what I should keep private.  Day in and day out, as my depression grew, my hope weaned, because no one was calling me back.

And then, I got a phone call!  And another!  And soon the interviews followed.  And in four months I took part in THIRTEEN interviews.  I went on five interviews for one position.  I was speaking to H.R. Reps, and Hiring Managers, and CEOs, and COOs, and CWTFOs--whoever, as they moved me forward in the process.  It was brutal.  I was told that it would take a few weeks for a decision to be made, sometimes a few months, or, my favorite, "We've decided to hold off on filling the position indefinitely".  I thought it proposterous how a place that found it necessary for me to interview FIVE TIMES with FIVE DIFFERENT PEOPLE could not be sure that the position was necessary in the FIRST PLACE. 

A month after starting at my new job a man named Tom began who's desk was near mine.  I watched him during his first days when his enthusiasm was high, and how it chipped away as the onion peels of our workplace opened up.  By day four we were giving each other looks every time more was revealed about the place.  By the beginning of his second week, shared eye rolls were in full effect.  A day or two later he told me that he had given notice, being offered a position at another company.  I was happy (and jealous) that he was getting out, and longingly stared at my monitor thinking, "Your time will come, Dana".  Two days into his two week notice, he was asked to leave and had a few minutes to clear his desk and go.  I listened as he picked up the phone, dialed his wife and said, "We are going to Applebees!" 

On that last day his whole demeanor was changed.  His mood, his attitude, as well.  He was a different guy. 

He was a person who had a cruddy job at a cruddy place and had found a new job at a promising place and he was going to have some time off and take his spouse out to Applebees! 

So it's with great pride and happiness that I inform you that today my demeanor is different, as is my mood and my attitude.  Interview number 13 was very lucky indeed. 




Anonymous said...

Woo hoo! Congrats! :)

Anonymous said...

you go girl, and don't you dare ever stop xoxo

Jeanne B said...

Good for you Dana! I've "been there, done that" with a place that treated employees horribly, after having worked at a different company that was in every way the opposite of the second.... I know the feeling of despair having to go there each day knowing you'll really never be satisfied. Move on, and never look back! You will succeed... of that I am sure! :o)

StaceFavoch said...

YAY! I'm so happy for you. Nobody deserves to be treated like that.

Get their mudslide...it's to die for. =]

Wendy said...

Congrats, Dana! I stayed at a job like that for SIX years after college - owned by a neurotic family who "ran" the company like an extension of their dysfunctional family. They were notorious for trying to force people to quit so that they could deny unemployment benefits - and doing what happened to your coworker, telling you to leave before your 2 weeks were up (and then trying to get away with not paying you for those 2 weeks). I am happy that you were able to escape and that you've found something better for yourself and your future :)