b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Is the Grass Greener?

2/14/2006

 

Is the Grass Greener?

By now, you’ve all heard my mis-adventures in management. Come to think of it, MANY people have heard my stories. Of course, there’s almost an unending supply of them. I’ve even shared some of them on jobschmob.com (the latest one I posted was Will You Please Keep it Down? ).

A funny thing happened. Not funny “ha-ha”, but funny in an interesting way. As I perused the many stories posted by other disillusioned workers across the country(on jobschmob.com), I realized that working for idiot bosses and with idiot co-workers was actually the norm rather than the exception. I’ve seen this on various message boards and read plenty of articles that go on about micromanagement, bullies and your garden-variety Idiot Bosses.

So, looking back at my lengthy job search I have to wonder: Is the grass really greener on the other side?

Let’s take a look at some of the places I’ve interviewed at. One place surprised me by conducting a panel interview – which was okay – except that the head interviewer was a pompous weasel. Overall, I got a weird vibe and was very uncomfortable. This was a position that was recommended to me. I should have realized something was up when the person referring me warned me in advance about the head interviewer. Hmmm.

Then there was another similar position I interviewed for that I found out a colleague of mine got instead. Sure, I was disappointed but I got over it. Thing is, when I met up with this former colleague a month after he left, he seemed pretty unhappy with the job and the way things were run in that organization. Another “hmmm”.

Then the granddaddy of them played out until very recently. I was referred to another company for yet another similar position and hit it off beautifully with the person who would be my potential boss. All signs pointed to me getting this job. He even told me flat-out that he wanted me for it. THEN, I met his boss and things started going downhill. His boss was let go and the position I was going for went with him. But, I hadn’t given up hope because the gentleman I first interviewed with said that he may be able to convince the new management on the position. Okay. Then just last week I found out that this nice man is also being “let go” due to changes in management.

So really, who actually has it good in the workplace? Is there such a thing as having a “good” job? I would have to say that about 80% of the people I know in the workforce are unhappy with their work conditions. Does anybody have a great boss? Is there any way to escape the office politics that so often dictate the overall environment of the company?

You know, I’m not so sure that it exists. When you look at it that way you really need to ask yourself: why is it so important to flee to another job in hopes of finding it “better”? The only 2 valid reasons I can come up with are:

1 – moving into a higher position for more money

2 – the current job that you’re in is causing such mental and physical anguish that you truly need to leave out of fear for your health.

So, I no longer feel the urgency to look for any more jobs. There just isn’t going to be anything out there that answers enough of my needs to make me happy day-in and day-out. At least I know what to expect when I work for me. If I become disappointed in my standards, then it’s completely up to me to do something about it. And given my abilities, I can adapt and make something work. It’s difficult to leave that kind of happiness up to someone else. It doesn’t exist there.

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