What do you do when you realize that, not only are you not even close to being the hero of your own story, you're most likely the main problem?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
My current situation is this: I'm quitting my job. I'm not just quitting my job, I'm pretty much giving up what has been, until now, my chosen profession. At this job, I've consistently stepped up to take on more work when others have suddenly quit. I've done far, far more than my fair share, and been the focal point of criticism when pretty much anything goes wrong, including when it's not actually something I've done. I've had people yell in my face in the middle of the office over mistakes that weren't actually of my doing, and when it later came to light that I wasn't the one responsible, no apology has ever been given. When, yet again, another person quit, and I was volunteered to take over their responsibilities, I later found out that other's refused to work under me. Instead of actually being in charge of a team, I was instead told to do all of the work of leading the team, but that I wouldn't have any kind of say over anything. This has led to things like just this morning, walking into work with the person that's been put over me (and who volunteered me for this position) being told that someone on my team was out sick, and, with me (the person who would actually have to cover for the absent team member) standing right there, the other person was asked to take care of things.
Here's the thing: I've worked my ass off at this job. Sixty and seventy hour weeks for no extra pay over the forty hours in the contract. Even the person who volunteered me for this extra work, who I thought of as a friend, when I bring up events like being screamed at in the office, says things like "I wasn't there, so I don't know what happened," or "I don't know the other guy's side of the story."
In talking to my wife about the whole mess, I said that one of the things that really, deeply hurts about the whole situation is that not one person has said anything to me along the lines of "I wish you weren't leaving" or "It's too bad you're quitting." Her response was to say that I was acting like a child, and that there's no way I should feel I have a right to that kind of thing.
So, after all of that, I have absolutely no idea where to go from here. The thing that keeps bouncing around my head is that if you go through life thinking you're surrounded by people you think are assholes, it's most likely that you yourself are the asshole. And that, that would be me. I feel like I've just found out that, in this story, I'm the bad guy, and everyone will be much better off when I'm not in the story anymore. It's a pretty painful thing to realize, and as much as I really, really have tried to do the right things, and to be a good person, I know for a fact that I don't always, in fact rarely succeed at that.
What can I do? I'm not asking for validation, as much as I'm sure this sounds like it, and as much as I'd love to be told it's actually not my fault, I know that's not the truth of things. I'm not asking for people to make soothing statements and tell me that it's not me, when all signs point to me as the problem. What I am asking for is for sound advice on how to move forward, on how to deal with the fact that, as much as I have tried to be a part of the solution, I'm very much a part of, if not the source of, the trouble, not just at this job, but pretty much going back through most of my professional career. How the hell do I keep going when I'm struggling with the fact that, not only am I evidently the worst thing in the world to the people around me, but that I'm also pretty much the reason I'm miserable?