Not so many years ago, I had a "great job" working for a software company. I had a competitive salary, good benefits, and bonuses when we had done well that quarter. I got along well with my boss and co-workers. Sometimes I traveled. Otherwise I worked from my home office.
My job had evolved to be mostly handling disgruntled clients. When I answered the telephone, when I opened my e-mails, when I checked voicemail – I knew what most of them would be.
I continued on this way for about 3 1/2 years. I enjoyed occasionally being the hero, but over time, with more and more clients with more and more problems, and with less and less money at my disposal to address those problems, I found myself less able to be the hero.
More often I was a punching bag. I was frequently upbraided, yelled at, cursed at – even physically threatened on a couple of occasions.
I came to really hate beginning my work day. But like a good soldier, I hunkered down and kept at it.
I think most of us get caught up in our situations, our jobs, our lives, and begin to believe "That’s just how it is," that there’s not another reality available to us. So I plodded on day after day, sucking it up.
The company I worked for had been bought. My boss called to tell me that she had been ordered to make some personnel cuts. I was senior, so she was giving me a choice: Did I want to take a severance package, or did I want to stay on as part of a smaller, leaner department.
I asked what the severance package was. My boss said she thought she could get me 6 months salary and benefits. I… Read more…