I had my first day at my new job yesterday. It went really well. I think I will be just fine at it.
I only get a 15 minute break per shift, so that means packing the smallest possible meal when I have to work through a meal time. But it’s manageable.
I had a handful of rough days worrying. First about meals. Now that I have the experience of having eaten one meal in my 15 minute break, it seems like a non-issue. But mostly I had been worried about scheduling. Or more specifically, asking for what I need in terms of my schedule, from someone I don’t know.
I have a history of working for power-crazy bosses. Not all of them. I have had plenty of kind, considerate, honorable employers. But I have also had a lot of bosses who liked to demonstrate their position as the person in charge of my money.
And I historically, I have let them.
I am the person in charge of my money. I always have been. But I lived for many years as if it were not the case. And I was easy to manipulate, because I was a people-pleaser who thought her job was to make the boss happy. I thought that I didn’t deserve money for less than that.
It turns out that all that time, my job was my job. And the boss being happy was not in my control.
I do my best. I am committed to integrity. But my best isn’t going to make everyone happy. And I need to live with that.
So right, scheduling. I was hired with the understanding that I could not work after 4 pm on Thursdays. But I got my schedule and I was immediately scheduled for Thursday night. And I was so upset.
So the “Good Girl” in me wanted to just accept it and work Thursday night, so that she didn’t have to be humiliated by making requests on her first day. And that fear of humiliation made me angry. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was even more anxious than usual.
And there is another part of it. I spent most of my life alone. And that meant that my choices had limited reach. But now I’m in a relationship. So money is not mine anymore. It’s ours. In the past, if I felt uncomfortable with the way I was being treated in a job, it was my right to walk away. But now walking away from a job would at least require a conversation with my boyfriend.
But Thankfully, I was at least present enough to know that I didn’t know what was going to happen. (Being sober helps in that way.) I knew enough to know that I needed to take care of this one step at a time and not get ahead of myself.
So I walked in on my first day and I did my best. I also made my requests. And my boss was great. He told me he never got my availability schedule, so he didn’t know about my Thursday nights. He rescheduled me that day. He even accommodated another request, that I specifically told him was not a necessity, but would be nice since I had planned something before I got the job. In other words, he’s a good boss and also a nice guy.
I was worried and upset because of history. Because I didn’t know what to expect, and I was afraid of getting the worst of what I have gotten before. But it’s also about confronting the worst of myself. The doormat. The Good Girl. The martyr. It’s scary to go head to head with those aspects of my personality. I was that way because I got something out of it. And even though I get more out of being honest and straightforward and taking care of myself, the fear of losing something by not being obliging can still be intense.
But now I have another reference point for self-care, where it worked out perfectly in the end. So it turns out that history does not always repeat itself.