I remember on my 5th wedding anniversary, when my husband treated it as an after-thought, I felt very unvalued.
Gentleman Jack reminds me often how valuable I am to him. This weekend, for instance, when he emotionally expressed that I was as precious and rare as the oxblood lily that appears in his yard every fall.
I understand that much of these feelings and expressions of value must concur with my love language. Otherwise, I may not recognize them. Thankfully, I hear Jack loud and clear!
Unfortunately, one of those "telling moments" happened at work recently.
I work for a really small company of 10 people. We have a lot of fun and are very much like a family. Just as with family, however, people do get their feelings hurt, fights are fought, some get along better than others, decisions are taken personally.
It has been quite a new experience for me these past 3 1/2 years. Prior to this job and a few part time jobs while I was a stay-at-home mom, I only worked for extremely large corporations. I wasn't used to this.
When I started working here, I'd only been separated from my ex-husband for 6 months. I was feeling very undesirable, lost and unvalued. I NEEDED a job and this one seemed perfect for me at the time.
*Like attracts like.*
I KNOW that my job is a valuable position. I understand that no one else does what I do. I realize that I am making a difference.
I'm not feeling it from everyone else though. There are a few, who realize the contribution I make. Others... not so much.
Like, for instance, the person who decided that everyone in the company PLUS their spouses PLUS the older teenage children of these employees would get an upgraded 4G phone. And I, sadly, wasn't even offered one.
As a matter of fact, I was told well over a year ago, to get my own plan and get off the company's phone plan because they were cutting back and I didn't use my phone for much business use anyway. So, I went on a really cheap plan with a really cheap phone.
This, my friends, was like a kick in the head.
I don't really have a job title. I do.... well.... everything. When they told me I'd 'wear many hats', they weren't kidding.
The guys jokingly refer to me as their 'office wife'.
I take care of them. I even take care of the other female in the office. It is almost like being married. Some appreciate it. Others take it for granted.
And lately I've been feeling uninspired.
They're asking for more. Always asking for more. Without any more compensation. Without any more respect. Without any more value.
I've been going along with it, all this time. The girl they hired is different than who I am now, though. I'm starting to resent it. Starting to resist wanting to work there anymore, despite the lenient hours, fun happy hours, silly days and good things I like about my job. I'm feeling undervalued and taken advantage of.
As my Gentleman pointed out to me recently: Unless you vehemently say 'no', silence or any other non-answer always means 'yes'.
I suppose, just as with my marriage, I have a choice here:
- I can say no, much more often. I can begin to put down boundaries and learn to see MY OWN VALUE in my job and what I provide to this company. I can get angry, decide that I want to face these issues and show them my worth.
- Or I can simply find another job with the things I love about my current one PLUS added value and compensation.
Divorce is a little more devastating than leaving a company. Just sayin'...
"In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way."