Daily Life

Starred Woes* A New Hope(lessness?)

I’m deeply grateful to my employer for many years of employment and, perhaps most importantly, guiding me and our family through the COVID-19 pandemic and the gut-wrenching fears it sometimes brought with it, which can be easy to forget now, many years down the track.

But my Company has also made me an absolute wreck because it has sanctioned a reign of terror and harassment for the past few years that has deeply eroded by sense of well-being, confidence and savings.

Part of the problem is that I am almost inextricably linked to my employer courtesy of having caused very public problems a couple of decades ago that make the simple task of changing jobs a Herculean one for me, as my experience has showed.

I knew I was on shaky ground in 2021 when my employer suddenly announced that our division, already seeing dwindling profits before the pandemic, would be “transferred” en masse to another company better able to handle online options, but we would for all intents and purposes remain the same company to the rest of the outside world, keeping the original company name, email addresses, clients, etc. We were promised that employment terms would be “almost exactly the same.” At no stage was there ever any mention of formally leaving the company’s employment until the day contracts were sent out with severance payment and the demand the papers be signed and returned the following day. I was already suspicious because the apparently net savvy company we were being “transferred” to had not updated its website since 2015.

My troubles then were compounded because we had somewhat amazingly secured a mortgage, which was a complete surprise as I had gone bankrupt in the past and we did not expect it. We needed the mortgage to find a home that would make monthly payments cheaper as we had been forced to rent, which was basically just throwing away money to rich people. So, because of this, I signed the contracts immediately.

Precisely six months later, the exact time needed to invalidate any prior obligations the employer had to maintain previous contract requirement, the division was suddenly “transferred” back the original employer, but the contract terms offered were abysmal….30% slash in basic wage, previous overtime payments abolished in return for “assumed overtime” (=unpaid 40 hours of overtime each month), end of allowances, halving of paid leave and worsening of conditions to accumulate and use this time, and downward ad infinitum.

Added to this came the reign of terror. An adversarial management streak had already been evident by this stage as the flow of company information through to rank-and-file workers dwindled to a trickle and the previously near-impeccable employee turnover rate rapidly spiraled downward.

I’d been putting out my feelers in the job market and getting my fingers burned severely, which had been my experience before almost miraculously falling into this position in the first place. It was a situation that would linger for many years, literally hundreds of failed job applications, routine pay cuts and daily abuse….and remains the situation now. It has had a severe impact on my mental state and I had to take the month off in February because I was suicidal, which isn’t great because I’ve got a case history of trying to take my own life (and I even failed at that, so can you imagine how it feels to be a failure at failing?)

A young business operator I greatly admire through social media interaction completely ripped my heart out a couple of weeks ago in a tweet about successful sales when they posted the following tweet. It hurt too much to realize that I have next-to-no self-love (or perhaps more likely, so much of it that I am absolutely deluded and lacking a sense of reality).

Anyway, a couple of lucky breaks came this week. Positions that had previously rejected my applications may not have completely closed the door after all. I’m too stupid to not get excited at the prospect of new hope, despite dozens of failed interviews dating back from weeks ago to decades past. I’m trying terribly unsuccessfully to keep myself grounded and be realistic about my chances, but I have to admit I’m getting good vibes about what lays ahead.

Bush rosemary has been a bit of an unsung star in the garden this spring! She deserves more credit than I have given for putting on the show that she has with the long-blooming purple flowers a daily delight over the past few weeks

Well, I hadn’t expected this post to turn out how it did. I was just trying to cobble together a few paragraphs to go with photos of the beautiful spring garden I got to greet with the daylight this morning as I prepare for more kangaroo paw deliveries. The scatterbrained nature of the post is kinda on brand, though. And when it comes to the crunch, I am still very grateful for what my employer has given me, even the rough times, which I hope will help to shape me into being a better, more compassionate person who devotes more time to the concerns and needs of others, and giving them the respect that they deserve.