Non-Book Stuff #2: Work Struggles

Once in a while, I’d like to depart from the usual book talks. While it composes a major lart of my life, I’m (we’re) something else too. I started Non-Book Stuff posts a couple of months ago and it took a while to have a sequel. Here, I’ll babble about all my interests, aversions, and drama that are totally isolated from books.

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Let’s talk about WORK STRUGGLES


Have you ever had the worst days in your life happening consecutively? I did.

I’ve been working in the same company for 2 years now. Technically, it’s the first real job I’ve ever taken and I’d never felt more adult when I landed a job. My job involves going to and from places – inspecting food safety-related stuff – and this professional enjoyer/ travel junkie in me couldn’t find anything as perfect.

But lately, I’m no longer feeling as happy as I once did and my job isn’t making things easy for me to stay. The symptoms are showing and I’d like to ask what you guys who underwent the same thing did to remedy the pain.


1. My boss is the most forgetful, self-seeking, irrational ass there is. She’s a manager, not a leader which speaks all the difference. I won’t take it against her personally and won’t consider her the most horrible person but workwise, I can’t scrape any goodness out of the pot.

Do you have a boss who happened to be like this/ somewhat like this? How do you deal with it?


2. Work environment is marked with occasional brewing storms. I’ve never involved myself in any brawls, heated rows, nasty discussions, or whatever but when you’re surrounded by people who are a frequenter in such, it’s as good as involvement. My level of cortisol would no doubt be found accumulating in my bloodstream. Nobody aims to age prematurely!

Is shutting one’s ears against all work issues a good remedy?


3. Just when I thought I have completely acclimatized to the people, the painful realization hit me that I was utterly wrong. I have friends and they’re a bunch of good souls, one of the reasons why I’m staying. Sometimes, it’s just a natural thing for other people to extinguish the oxygen out of your cells without them doing anything directly ghastly to you. The fight for attention is intense; everyone refuses to go down the pedestal; gossip and trashtalking are a culture; insecurities are religion. I thought about withdrawing my consciousness away from these atrocities but they seem to simply beg everyone’s attention. Again, involvement can’t be helped.

How do you deal with nasty co-workers if total retreat proved to be ineffective?


4. 2 years and I’m stuck in a doldrum. I’ve reached my comfort zone and now I’m eating my time away in stagnancy. There’s nothing to learn, much to waste. Whatever knowledge I had left from the academe dwindled like a dying candle. I’m slowly witnessing the stark truth of work life repetitions and I’m abhorring myself for allowing myself to be engulfed by the norms.

Some say if promotion can’t be possible at the moment, resort to lateral position change. How do you know this is the better solution than departure? How do you not think so much about doing the same job over and over?


5. I dreaded the day when my sole motivation to go to work is salary. Alas, the dreadful arrived. I won’t embrace this without hypocrisy because let’s face it, paycheck is a necessity. I’m grateful for it. It’s what sustained my book buying and other worldly caprices after all. But at the end of the day, I hunger for more. My book cases and closets are piled up with stuff but my brain doesn’t grow, my self-fulfillment distant from its bourne. Bottomline: I’m not a happy camper.

What drives you to work? Is money not a healthy driving factor?


Current state: I’m like an old canned good shelved on the darkest spot, sour stuff slowly building up inside, counting down the days to its expiry.

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19 comments

  1. I’m sorry you seem to be having a gloomy time at work. It is true that salary is a poor excuse for a motivation, even if it pays the bills. Intrinsic motivation, as behaviourists say, is what keeps us going.
    You are not alone with the boss thing. I used to work in a government-owned hospital and my boss happened to be a doctor with an Angelina Jolie reputation in our field. Her word was the law, doesn’t even meet with the staff nor cares about what’s going on in the department, and she always thinking about ways to earn more money. For seven years I worked under her, and we couldn’t even complain to the higher ups because she can ruin us and we won’t be able to find work elsewhere. It was terrible and I felt helpless and frustrated by my lack of power to change anything, but I was also too scared to say anything.
    My only consolation was the rest of my colleagues were like my second family. We stand united despite petty arguments or misunderstandings. I guess I was lucky in that aspect, I was not expose to that ugly culture of envy and backstabbing in the workplace.
    Anyway, reading your post makes me think that the stagnancy is what’s making you restless. I think it’s important that we find something that will challenge us. Have you tried taking a break from work for a little bit? A vacation to pursue something you always wanted to do, like traveling somewhere? A bit of soul searching away from your boss and your co-workers? It might help clear your head and help you decide if you were just stressed out or you need to find a new job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for these kind words! I can’t say the right words to show my gratitude with all these comforting words.
      That’s exactly how my boss was like though I don’t think she can do the same thing as how your boss could about ruining us and disabling us to find another job. That’s terrible and heartless of her. Did you transfer to another work already? I’m thinking the next bad move my boss makes, it’ll definitely be her last on me.
      Absolutely. Colleagues at work sometimes are what keep us still there and I’m glad you found solace from them. In my case, we’re divided. There are some who I can consider for keeps and other who are totally the opposite.
      Also, thanks for your advices on these horrible rants. I’ll be taking an out-of-the-country trip next week and hopefully, the break from that suffocating work environment will be, if not the ultimate resolution, a time for me think all things out. As of now, my plan is to just wait until Christmas to get my 13th month paycheck then I’m off. With the course of how things are going now, that’s so far the most definite. Thanks for listening! 😀

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      • I’m so sorry, I’m so terrible with keeping up to date with comments, I was only able to read your reply today! Argh! XD You are so welcome *hugs* oh and yes, I left my job but not because of her. I migrated to the UK with my son because my husband lives there, so now here we are. I still talk with my friends from the hospital and they keep me up to date with her crazy antics. At first I didn’t believe that her reach on our professional lives could stretch that far, but the longer I stayed the more I understood :p How are you though? I hope things are work have changed for the better!

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      • No need to apologize, dear!
        Ahh I’m glad you’re no longer working for her (and free from her unwanted “threats” on your career) and you’re living a happy life with your family now. To burn our time away on such work situation is awful.
        I’m doing better with a concrete plan. I’m just waiting for Dec for me to deliver a proper resignation (the holidays require money!). Again, thanks! Your concern means a lot 🙂

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  2. I feel your pain. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any solutions to these struggles either. Salary is the only reason I go to work as well. And you hit the nail on the head when you said “gossiping and trashtalking are a culture.” Sometimes I’m blown away by the nasty things people will say about each other. I try to be neutral but that has only resulted in me being ostracized. I hope we can both find more fulfilling jobs in the near future!

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  3. Oh my, I’m so sorry to hear this, Trisha!

    I’m not sure if I mentioned this in any of my blog posts before but my part time job is actually doing nails (like manicures, pedicures, nail designs, gel nails, etc) professionally. I got my license during high school when I was fifteen, which is the age they allow you to apply and go to school to get your license in my state, but I actually worked without a license even before then since I practically grew up in a salon having several salon owners in my family. During the two years (I was 13) prior to being able to get a license, I met a lot of unsympathetic people towards my family circumstances of working without a license. But understandably so, since it was technically illegal. But I guess from my perspective, especially at the time, it had to be done since my dad had a hard time supporting our family (it was just us two) growing up, so instead of viewing that two years being something illegal it was like an unsaid family obligation that I needed to do. Some people viewed it as child labor (which it wasn’t since I volunteered to help him out; my dad is the kindest guy that could have every raised me, I can’t even imagine these accusations ever being true); other people used obscenities about our family. So I guess, that time period of my life, me and my dad went through a tough time during our “careers” if you will.

    Anyway, everything is okay now. My dad has finally retired and kinda sorta passed the business on to me even though I’m in univ studying for another profession. So even now, after school and on weekends, I still work (after all I spend so much money on books albeit most of the time it is bargain shopping, haha). Although after getting my license, I continued to experience some strange situations. I’ve had my share of nasty coworkers, but it’s definitely not as bad as how other people have it since my dad owns the business. Also, I was still really young when I got my license so a lot of coworkers and customers never really trusted me even though I had been working for years before and understood the business because of my dad. It’s terrible to see the age discrimination (or any type of discrimination in general for that matter) in our society and how a human can belittle another so shamelessly. For example, one time a lady told me at the very end of a pedicure that she absolutely hated my work. Of course, the customer is always right so I did my best insisting she shared with me what she found was wrong or inadequate so I could fix it. She ended up not even telling me what was wrong (other than I was too young to work, even though at the time I had 3 years of experience and had already gotten my license) and left with having just gotten a full pedicure for free. And if you’ve had a pedicure before, it usually takes an hour to get it done. So basically I spent an hour of work making no money. Because of those instances during that time, I often went home, after school and work, feeling so miserable. Now, I can look at all that and not think as bitterly, but that doesn’t make that time period any easier.

    The point of me sharing all of this is not to complain (or actually I was ranting quite a bit, huh?) but to just say I kind of understand what you’re going through. Obviously we went through different struggles, equally as bad in weight, and are talking about two completely different professions, but I can say that it was/is a suck-y time period. I hope you overcome this and that your work improves, Trisha! If not, do what you think will make you happy! And I hate to see you down; I’m always free to talk (I know it may not seem like it, but I really am)! 🙂 Hope you have an amazing weekend!

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    • So sorry for the terrible word vomit; there must be so many typos and errors in this… I guess reading your post about having a hard time at work kind of sparked a monster in me. XD By the way, I like these personal, non-book posts, Trisha! 🙂

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    • Thank you, Summer! Believe me, this story you shared isn’t a rant at all.

      I think you’re brave and smart and amazing for helping in your family business. You’re juggling pharmacy, managing salon, blogging, and all the things that go on in your life. It’s just so inspiring! It’s horrible that other people judge you about working as a child when they exactly have no idea about the situation. Instead of regarding you as someone mature enough to understand the family business and take part in the responsibility, they viewed it otherwise. I guess it’s just a culture for people to discriminate based on what they see without ever having to look deeper.

      I can totally relate about you not getting paid for an hour of work. I was an ESL (English as Second Language) tutor for Japanese students back in college and sometimes, when they felt like becoming moody or when I had a little argument with them, they end up giving me a low evaluation which is as good as an equivalent to a monetary penalty. It’s unfair because like what you experienced, I never knew what their prime reason was for getting unsatisfied. Because of this, I swore never to look for a job that involves customer service though it’s seemingly impossible since everything in the world is about trade and business and giving people the best of what they paid for.

      It might seem terrible to say I’m not just the lone person in this broken boat but believe me, I’m grateful to learn from your experience. As of now, I’m waiting for the end of the year to escape this environment so I can get a proper certificate of employment enough for me to have good credentials for my next job. Maybe work in the academe or a research institute. I hope you’ll get your dream job after college too, Summer. And if you are stuck in another struggle or feel like looking for someone to talk to, consider me always available. Again, thanks a lot! 😀

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      • I kind of felt embarrassed after sharing that comment. But thank you for understanding, Trisha! And your situation as a tutor sounds awful. I thought evaluations were simply for feedback to help you guys know what you needed to maintain or improve on. It’s totally unfair to deduct your pay. Evaluations are so subjective!! Sigh. But yes, even though experiencing these things in life aren’t ideal, I’m glad that we can learn and become stronger if not better individuals. I’m also so relieved to hear of your future plans. As long as you’re happy that is what matters most. And working at a research institution sounds like it’d be very fun. From what I know of you through blogging, I can see you enjoying that environment. (That probably didn’t make that much sense since I don’t really know know you.) But yeah, as long as your happy! And thank you, Trisha! I wish the same for you. Dream job, stability (because although having fun is important so is getting paid), and future aspirations to be fulfilled. We got this! 😀 And thank you, the support in the blogosphere is unreal. 🙂

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      • No worries! This is one thing I like about blogging. You can practically talk about anything without people you knew ever judging you. And of course, I’m always thankful for these uplifting messages from bloggers like you (I know how busy pharmacy students are bc I have friends who once were but it’s just so nice of you to spare time for this despite your hectic schedule).

        Well, technically we don’t get automatic salary deductions on bad evaluations (only on rare cases if it gets worse) but rather suspensions/ limits on lessons which equal to having no pay for a while. But you’re right! Evaluations are subjective so it’s hardly fair.

        And yes, we got this! The idea of landing on a dream job might seem Utopic but I’m hoping we’ll get there. I will get a proper escape plan and you will make your dad proud after college and we can conquer these struggles.

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  4. I’m so sorry for how things are going at your job. I have to agree with many of the people commenting here, there are no easy solutions, and these are problems that can be found almost everywhere at every work place. My advice to you is to either think about a career change to something that isn’t stagnant and will motivate you on a daily basis, or else get involved in a hobby that you love after work hours where you can be creative and learn and grow. I wish I could give better advice, but there really is no easy solution. I give you a *virtual hug*.

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    • Aww thank you so much Rawls E! You just don’t know how much these words meant to me.
      I was warned about being engulfed by these unhealthy work systems and I hate myself for going with the flow.
      I will heed that advice of yours about finding a hobby after work hours. It looks like a good remedy for corporate stress. Thank you! I hope you’re doing well at whatever work you’re involved in – composing literary stuff or your personal job *virtual hug*

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