Coming to an end

Because I’m avoiding packing, I figured now, during my last few days here, I would take the time to reflect on my experience in Arizona.

I came out here for the sole purpose of a job. I didn’t know anything about Arizona except for heat, desert, and cacti. Boy was I sheltered. Coming from the east coast, Florida was the place for retirees. I never knew Arizona was a snow-bird, golfing state. I love the dry heat (no frizzy hair) and moutains. I’m a huge scenery person and I love seeing the palm trees, sunshine and mountains. One of my regrets is not hiking one of the mountains out here but I overcame plenty of other obstacles or “mountains” during my time here.

Some people may come out here for the weather but I did not. I’m a people person, and while I met some great and some not so great people at work, I failed to meet people outside of work. I commend any person who moves to a new city and creates an entire life outside of their job. I believe that was one of the downsides of my experience out here. I was so consumed and wrapped up in work that I couldn’t get away because work was where my friends were. Living alone didn’t help much and I’m not the type to go to a bar by myself but hey at least my neighbors were nice.

Some of the not so nice people that I’ve met, cough Ursula cough cough, have showed me that no matter what, I need to remain positive. During my extreme boredness at work these past couple if day, I’ve observed her and I’ve concluded she is just an unhappy person but I don’t feel bad for her. I believe happiness is a choice and there are many reasons to be happy. However, some people sabotage their own happiness for attention, pity, affection, etc. No matter how much I hated work or my job or being so far away from family or having no friends, I always tried to remain positive and happy. I can thank my close support system for not letting me choose to be miserable or unhappy. Just remember, there’s always a silver lining to a bad situation and if there isn’t, make one.

For my friends at work, especially my sister-from-another-mister, I thank you and appreciate you. You put up with my moods, vents, smiles, and so much more. I cannot thank you enough for helping my get through this experience. However, I feel like you never got to know the real down to earth, happy go lucky me because I just hated life at work. I hope I made an good impression on you as a positive person, despite the negative situation. I also cannot thank my parents enough. They were my sanity during this experience. Distance really made me not only appreciate them more but maybe-possibly-kinda-ish love them more? You all and even Ursula have taught me something whether it was about “the office” and its politics, policies, and pros (and cons), enlighten me on west coast culture, or just a new lesson or experience.

Among those lessons, I’ve learned that the people that you work with play a MAJOR role in whether you like your work or not. I’ve learned about professionalism, how to handle certain situations such as conflict, and how to balance work and home, all of which I will continue to build and grow. I’ve also learned that I value honesty, communication, consistency, and structure in a company. I’ve learned some of what I like and what I don’t like when it comes to a job and workplace, that I can be independent and not live within driving distance of my parents, and no matter what, to be true to yourself. I’m removing myself from a toxic environment for my own happiness and growth.

The biggest thing I’m taking away from this experience is (as corny and cliche as it is), “believe in yourself.” I felt like this experience was a constant battle to see if I could be broken and beat down. I mustered my confidence, found an outlet (my writing), and leaned on friends and family, and got through this “battle.” I believed in my talents and took pride in my work and no one, not even Ursula, can take that away from me. There will always be people trying to tear you down but the big word in that phrase is “trying.” Never let them win. Stand up and believe in yourself.

That’s why in the long run, I know I’ve won.

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What do you do all day?

That same question has angered, overwhelmed, confused, and upset me, all at the same time. I haven’t written in a long time because I’ve been focused on other opportunities but adding job hunting to my already crazy corporate world has taken a big toll on me.

I’ve been experiencing the emotional roller coaster of job hunting. You know, getting your hopes up after a phone interview then not hearing for 2 weeks, then finally contacting them to get an email reply that says they have found a “candidate that better fits their qualifications and has more experience.” Dagger.

Add in the fact that work has been emotionally draining, a death in the family that I cannot be there for because flights cost an arm, a leg, some DNA, hair extensions, and feeling friendless, I’m pretty much one post away from pulling a coach and quitting on the spot (but I know I’d never have the guts to do it).

The most recent work drama actually occurred at a happy hour. I was catching up with a coworker and coach (whom I haven’t seen since she quit). It started out as normal girl talk and drinks until my coworker said “Oh I meant to tell you somethings about work…”

Long story short, basically people at work have been questioning what I do all day, why I’m at the company, why the company has spent thousands of dollars on video and Mac equipment and I’ve only made 2 videos, complaining of me being quiet during meetings, why I ask for help (from IT) when I’m supposed to be some expert know-it-all fresh from college and I should know how to do those things, etc.

Needless to say it was not the happiest of hours. I was hurt, angry, discouraged, disappointed, broken, and needed a massive refill of my margarita. Hearing my good friend say these things that people who do not even know me have said, really solidified the fact that I do not fit in with my current company. Clearly other people do not have guts to tell people things to their face but have really big opinions. I can break down each of these complaints and pose an argument…

1. What do I do all day? Honestly, any tasks that Ursula has given me has been completed. However, I find myself a lot of the time looking for things to keep myself busy because Ursula does not give me tasks everyday. She also has not provided guidance to me since I’ve started so taking my own initiative in an industry and company that I know nothing about is what I’ve been doing. I am fully prepared to give anyone a list of tasks I’ve done in the past, such as the newsletter, social media management, flyers and brochures, birthday cards, and more.

2. I want direction. I’ve had a video marketing proposal done since October that no one has seen before because it, along with our marketing proposal, never happened. I have ideas for videos but I need direction and collaboration. This is supposed to be a team effort, not just me so that my friend, is why there have been only 2 videos. So until we starting collaborating, the video equipment and my proposal will probably remain still.

3. People have said I’m too quiet and do not say a thing in meetings, which I have talked about in previous posts because I was upset about this fact. But, yes that is true, I am quiet during meetings because I have no idea what they are talking about. If I was included on emails prior to the meeting, I would be more involved. I am quiet because I am trying to learn about whatever the subject that they are speaking of and have failed to inform me on. My quietness is not defiance, it is listening, try it.

4.  I never came into the job saying “I was a video expert” or “I am a know-it-all.” I just graduated college, I am an expert beer bonger and hangover healer. You assumed that I was an expert at these new media aspects because Ursula does not know how to do any of them. I came in with the attitude that I want to learn as much as I can so when you want to teach me, please do so because I will be ready to listen. I think these complainers have been listening to Ursula talk behind my back and giving people false impressions of me.

5. One of the IT (yes Information Technology) guys has been complaining about why I ask him for help. I ask him for help when it comes to editing photographs and signatures. I do not have Photoshop on my computer, despite my attempts to get it, so I cannot edit photographs. I do not know how one edits signatures but I am willing to learn so please sensei teach me before you complain about me.

I apologize for the vent and slightly bitchy tone of voice but I cannot stand having my work ethic questioned by 1. people who do not know the situation 2. people who do not know me (yes that’s my inner Bon Qui Qui) 3. people who have no idea what they are talking about. I should not have to come into work wondering who is watching me or having justify myself to everyone.

I feel like work is this mind game where I am being watched and have to read people’s minds to find out what the right thing to do is. I already feel like I can’t be myself, now I can never do any thing right because I’m constantly being beat down. Let’s just say my “Can’t keep me down” playlist has been playing on repeat. Also, I really should make a “Stay positive” drinking game because if I took a shot every time someone told me to do that, I’m be drunk all the time.

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Happy hump day y’all!

I hope everyone is having fabulous week so far. Mine was full of silent treatments, tears, and passive aggressive. Rereading that sentence, my week sounds like a PMSing woman who is one hormone away from clearing out the Ben and Jerry’s shelf at 711. Anyway, the topic I want to discuss has fueled and become a part of the silent treatments and the passive aggressive behavior. It’s email. Email is the corporate version of texting.

2.8 million emails are sent every second. Email has become the lone form of commutation of my department due to one person on my team giving the rest of us the silent treatment. The three of us must resort to email to communicate with one another. If I could post some of the emails that I have seen during my 5 months at the company, you’d think my last post (Those are fights words) was just about the emails.

The silent treatment team member, we’ll just call her Mutey Mute (I hope you all recognize my semi-Honey Boo Boo reference), replies to my emails but she makes a point to avoid and not answer our other team member’s emails, we’ll call her Glitzy. Say hello to delivery and read receipts! The blatant avoidance and passive aggressiveness is all a part of the piss contest that is my department. When Mutey Mute does reply to Glitzy, it inlcudes a whole bunch of attiude followed by a smiley face emoticon, ya know just to make it all just peachy.

Here poses my question: Email is all about interpretation, so how do you know when and how to answer an email to someone who is all about the silent treatment and passive aggressive behavior?

What I’ve found is that with corporate email comes a whole bunch of etiquette rules. If these rules are not followed, problems develop. I’ve noticed that the sassy and rude behavior follows over to face-to-face interaction. All in all, email mirrors face-to-face interaction and if that interaction is unpleasant, welp here comes full out war.

The battle tactic, I mean advice, that I follow is just answer all emails that pertain to projects I am working, or have worked on, answer professionally, and always be polite. I just want to stay out of the drama and all of us get along, then unicorns and CareBears will helps us develop our marketing proposal. Funny story, our marketing proposal is due tomorrow and we have not yet communicated about it. That’ll be Friday’s post.

Anyway, email is not the place to handle corporate conflicts. My department has deeper issues beyond email but my point of this is that use email for good and not evil! I’d rather avoid a problem then solve it so avoid misinterpretation and miscommunication, be straightforward but courteous. When it comes to answering emails, if I don’t have a professional response or do not have the proper answer, I do not response or I follow up with someone who can answer the question. Email is trackable so have documentation that proves that you tried to help and did your best.

Have a wonderful rest of the week and please pray for our marketing meeting tomorrow, which takes place at approximately 1:30 Arizona time.

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Those are fighting words.

So on this Wednesday that felt like a Monday, I knew I was walking into high tensions. I have two bosses, the marketing director and the marketing coach. The three of us are working to build a marketing department for the company, who has never had a department in its five years. The power struggle (or the piss contest as I call it) between the coach and director would make for a great reality TV show – maybe the Real Marketers of Scottsdale or True Life: The battle of the bosses. 

Per usual, tensions ran high during our soft-touch meeting. I have strong feelings about the situation, hence why I’m not liking the Real World. During the confrontation, I was called upon to speak my feelings and I completely choked. I act all tough outside of work but when put on the spot, I completely bomb. I had so many things running through my head that I WANTED to say, but I could not because they were not “professional” or “appropriate.”

So I pose this question, how can one express their frustrations and feelings while keeping a professional and calm demeanor?

The coach and I are close. We developed this relationship because we have similar work ethics and creative ideas. She tells me to remain confident and come from a place of honesty. She wants me to stand my ground and not let others intimidate me. Another employee told me to keep a low profile and keep my head down. 

As I continue my journey in the Real World, I’ve decided I need to work on professional confrontation. My goal or solution is to combine both pieces of advice and stay away from the drama but when I’m brought into it, I need to professionally speak my mind, which it hard when a cuss word is every other word. 

I found this awesome article about preparing for confrontation. If I’m always prepared, how can I fail? However, preparing involves sorting through my feelings and thoughts instead of just expressing them via curse words or the stank eye. I’m also determined to use as many “I messages” as I can. My sixth grade guidance counselor would be oh so proud. 

Putting months of frustrations, feelings, fights and any other F words into just one confrontation is going to be hard but hopefully beneficial in the long run. Whenever this confrontation happens, I plan on video taping it and sending it to Dr. Drew. Until then, any suggestions, ideas, curse words in foreign languages, and encouragement are welcomed. 

 

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