Tag: #corporateamerica

The New Workplace

This week at work, we had some changes in leadership, including our CEO and other high-level executives. As a result in a departmental meeting, this talk of what will happen to remote working under our new leadership began circulating. It seems to be ever present in people’s minds. Our leader mentioned that our old CEO hated remote work and would have rather we all be back in the office. Our new CEO didn’t even live in the same city as the region he was representing, so there was talk that he may be more flexible at keeping remote work in place. I sat in the meeting, wondering to myself, “Why is this even a point of discussion three years into a global pandemic?”

The amount of gaslighting going on these days by Corporate America is insane. We are anchoring results against the pre-pandemic world. We talk about going back into the office as “getting back to the way things were”. It makes me want to scream, “What have you witnessed in the past three years that makes you think that ANYTHING or ANYONE is the same as before the start of the pandemic?” There is no getting back to the way things were. Like it or not, we are all forever changed as a result of living through this moment in history.

Across the globe, we watched over 6 million of our fellow humans die from this disease. A lot of us are either experiencing or bearing witness to the devastating health effects of long COVID as a result of having had this and actually survived. I was fortunate enough not to lose a close family member or friend during this time, but I know plenty of people who did. For those of us with children, it was an exhausting daily task of calculating the risk of whether or not to take your child out into the world, deciding to put them in daycare, etc. because even though there was a global pandemic, we were still expected to show up and do our jobs. At my company, and my ex-husband’s company, we operated completely remotely for over a year and guess what? Those companies did not significantly suffer having a remote workforce.

For me personally, the pandemic shifted a lot of my own personal values. Pre-pandemic, I was overly concerned with my own career track. I had often felt “behind” at progressing up the corporate ladder and was overextending myself to try to make strides to get promoted, etc. Now? I could honestly give a shit less about the “corporate ladder”. It’s all bullshit. I am no longer interested in participating in capitalism the way I once did before. Now I am interested in doing a good job for my own personal integrity and also I want flexibility to attend my daughter’s events, pick her up early to do something to go make memories, or not be exhausted at the end of the day that I don’t have the energy or inclination to pursue some of my own hobbies and interests. I learned a very emotional yet important lesson during this time: you do not know when your time is up. I want to savor the moments, both individually and with my because I will never get that time. My dad used to talk about making memories with us, and his words echo on repeat in my head.

I am waiting for employers to catch up and finally realize this is the new workplace. Workers globally no longer care about sacrificing their mental health and time with family and friends to help the company earn ridiculous profits. As for me, I will be sure to take time to make memories with my kiddo.

Parents: You are On Your Own!

Parents: You are On Your Own!

This is what I do not understand about this country at all. Alleged pro-lifers (you are just pro-birthers really) scream and shout about saving a child’s life! Don’t let harm come to an innocent! But there is no support system in place in this godforsaken country AFTER you give birth to support you as a parent. None. You are on your own 100% of the time, and any support you do find, you will pay through the damn nose for.

Both my ex and I work in Corporate America, and even though the pandemic rages on, most corporations have discontinued any kind of pandemic support. Neither of us has any paid sick time if one of us or our daughter gets sick. Well, guess what happened last week? Our daughter tested positive for Covid. While thankfully she appears to have had a mild case, my ex had to eat the daycare money he had already pre-paid for the week ($300+), while simultaneously trying to work with a kid at home. While his boss was flexible, if you are not a parent, you cannot possibly understand how completely and utterly exhausting this is. Trying to still get shit done with a kid at home is next to impossible. But still, you try because you do not have the time or ability to take off from work. The work will be piling up if you ARE fortunate enough to have the paid time to take off. Add to that trying not to get sick FROM her as a result, and that only adds to the anxiety. I do recognize our privilege here in that we even CAN stay home with our child; many, MANY parents in this country do not even have this option available to them.

Since we live in a city with no family, we have no built-in support structure in place. No grandparents or other relatives to be able to help out with our kid in times like these. His only support system is me and I am his. Today is technically day #8 and she is STILL testing positive on an antigen test. I want to do the right thing, in case she still is contagious, by keeping her home with me today. I would feel horrible intentionally exposing other children at our daycare. Again, I recognize my privilege as a lot of parents cannot even do this, even if they really wanted to. So that means she is home with me today.

Last week, I felt completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of work that was on my plate. Having her home with me does not help that feeling of overwhelm. In fact, my boss wrote back to ask if there was anything she could help with and my snarky reply was: Can you help with the impending mental breakdown? As you can imagine, she hasn’t replied. How do you even reply to that? Even though I was one million percent serious, there is little to no help she can offer me, because I work in a technical field that she does not have any skills. Again, whatever I cannot get done in terms of work will be piling up and waiting for me. It doesn’t go away. The workload, the overwhelm, the worry, the constant struggle to be everything to everyone all the time…it doesn’t go away ever as a parent. This feeling that if you are kicking ass in your career that somehow means you are neglecting your duties as a mother or vice versa. This persistent feeling of failing in at least one major area of your life at all times.

I sit at my work laptop, attempting to tackle the pile of work, and being unable to summon the energy or focus needed to get started right now. In all reality, with my mental health right now, I could stand to take about a month off of work….but I can’t because almost no one in this country can afford to take unpaid leave of any kind, even if they desperately need it. I feel almost panicky, since I know whatever gets put aside today will just be added to the pile for tomorrow. This cycle of feeling buried, with no support or relief in sight, is so very depressing. I fucking hate this country so much at times.