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Woman Down! (The End of an Era)

My last days of work before burning out



Working my ass off


I had been working my ass off for little or no recognition for months now, well years really, but the last few months had been very intense. I had been working on a project to develop an automated workflow tool to digitalise our processes.

We had launched the workflow tool in October and it was now July. Work was unfortunately still reluctant to give up on paper and excel tables and trust the automated system. This meant processing everything twice. On top of that, procurement had increased immensely at the end of the previous year, which meant even more work for me!


Zero recognition


So there as the extra workload and there was double the processing and the real problem? There was zero recognition for all the work I was putting in.


Sacrificing my health


I had many a breakdown at work, exhausted, dizzy, crying, confused, feeling overwhelmed and wondering why nothing was getting any better. Why was nobody taking note of how I was feeling? Why was nobody making any changes to help me? Why was nobody recognising that I was sacrificing my health for the sake of work?


It came to a head when promised help was withdrawn at the last minute, the minute when I needed it the most. It was as if someone removed the floor from under me and I fell into a deep dark hole. Woman Down!


Doing the right thing


As I always tried to “do all the right things and everything right,” I tried once again to communicate to the powers that be, that this was not sustainable, I needed help, support and needed to change the way work was done in order to regain and sustain my health.


Unfortunately the only answer I received was criticism.


I was being kicked while I was down


It was probably the downest I have ever been in my life. I was asking for a help up and what I got was kicked. All my hard work, blood, sweat and tears completely dismissed. I was shocked. SHOCKED!


That was the last time I set foot in my place of work. This time it was so clear in my mind that my place of work was in fact toxic. It was making me ill. I was running out of defences, coping strategies, strength, resources, equanimity, mental health and physical well-being. All diminished. I had been asking for help for a long time and when it came to the crunch, I was not treated kindly, gently or with the respect I deserved.


The End of an Era


Twenty months later, without setting foot back in the place, I quit that job. (HURRAH!!!) I am free of that shit and it feels great. I now have new energy, the experience and expertise to look to my future with delight, courage and confidence. In those twenty months I learned the biggest and most meaningful lessons of my life! It has been quite a ride and has certainly re-connected me with joy, the most I have felt in a long time.

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