Thank god for Poland.
Work had been killing me the past four weeks. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, my working relationship with my line manager had spiraled downward so far and so fast it made me dizzy. I mean, it was really bad. We were arguing every other day and I would be brought to tears every other day over something or other. It came to a head last week during a very honest staff appraisal that made it clear to me that we have very different perceptions of reality and very different memories of history. I couldn’t help but cry afterwards in the office washroom, at which point I realised this dysfunctional relationship was ruining my mental and emotional health, and I decided the toll wasn’t worth the gain and would not come back next year.
Then came Poland.
Well, technically, then came my sister first, who level-headedly reasoned with me without telling me the answer. She is my go-to confidante when I have serious work problems. Being slightly removed from the situation allows her to assess it clearly and present me with rational and logical options.
Then came Poland, which reminded me – again – that I have the best colleagues on this green earth. Having very open discussions with them about the situation with my manager, the organisation and work was so needed. I’d apparently kept a lot of my hurt to myself – which no doubt made it worse – and it was a relief to be able to confide in people I trust and respect so much. It was a relief to discover I wasn’t the only one with these problems. It was also a relief to strategise potential solutions out of this mess.
We stayed in one apartment and it was a little like being home. It was a little like having family. I drew – and continue to draw – from the support and strength of these wonderful people and I feel slightly more empowered and less a victim than before. The organisational discussion actually overlapped very much with the content discussion, and with that I feel energised and inspired and ready for change – ready to take initiative and really own my work, rather than doing the work of others.
Things are changing – for the better! THINGS WILL GET BETTER. The next year is in my own hands. What have I got to lose? It’s time to go bold and go out on limbs and test the waters and any other metaphors that come to mind.
Thank god for out-of-office trips. Thank god for Poland.
OT: Energy mix is important to how energy efficient/sufficient to be. Poland relies heavily on coal. My colleague half-jokingly chastised me for boiling 1.5 litres of water that I didn’t use all of – especially because it used dirty electricity. The greenhouse gas emissions per litre of water boiled and not used was high because dirty coal generates a lot of the country’s electricity. That was a bit of a lightbulb moment for me…
First winds of change – Oct 2012 – post-Folkecenter