As an author, the last thing I want is Real Life intruding while I struggle to create Fantasy Life in a novel. But, that's the thing about Real Life...it's real and you have little control of it sometimes and it tends to intrude when you least expect it.
Back at the beginning of the year I mentioned how 2008 was the Year of the Fire Rat. That chaos, both good and bad, would reign supreme. And it has! In spades! With two plus months to go before the end of the year, it doesn't seem to be slowing down one bit either.
Same week I found out my good friend Vaunda was gone, I had to make a very tough decision on a personal level regarding where I work. Despite years of being there, getting rather close to a number of individuals there, and knowing the mess which would occur if I left, (our numbers dwindled down so far there was very little coverage in duties) I had no choice but to resign.
In a five week period the introduction of one person caused such utter chaos and madness, I had to bail. It is a very sad thing to have a place where you have enjoyed working and have good rappor and where every one worked very hard and the atmosphere was good and then have to watch it all go down the toilet, and there not being a darn thing you can do about it. (Well, I tried to do something but it backfired - naive fool that I can be - but I at least tried.)
We all have stressful moments in our lives where we are shoved into corners and forced to make tough decisions. I've gotten to watch a handful of people have to try to deal with the same situation and due to circumstances or who they are all take different routes to deal and/or put up with it. Mine may have been one of the more extreme ones, but it was on my terms not the troublemaker's. It was probably one of the hardest days of my life. Yet weirdo that I am, I didn't let anyone in on what I was about to do, and worked my buns off to get as much of my work done as possible before I left. The emotional rollercoaster I was on trying to decide on whether to go ahead and take that final step was hard enough to make without letting anyone know I was thinking about it. Not that, in the end, I believe anyone was surprised by the decision. Yet it was a very very hard one to make.
My family supported me 100% though, ragardless of whichever way I decided to go. And trying to be smart for once, we did budgets and calculations to make sure we could survive doing without the income for the duration it would take to find another job. The situation was way over the top to even consider looking while still working. In 20+ years out in the work force I'd never run across a situation like this. Not all my friends had the support or means to get out though.
I switched stressing about work to stressing about getting a job, but still the load lightened so much it was bliss in comparison. I slept 12 plus hours everyday for the first week. For me, sleeping more than 8 when I have no time I have to be up by is a miracle. That's how emotionally and physically messed up the situation had made me. I wouldn't wish this type of thing on anyone.
Of course a couple of weeks after I'd gone, some of the more aloof powers that be got a clue that a lot of stuff was not being covered with me not there. They tried to woo me back to work as a consultant but the first time I flat out refused. No way was I going to go back there and work with the individual at fault for the misery of so many people. Just the thought of it had wrung me out. It's amazing how much damage something can cause to one's phyche. (Only good thing about it is that as a writer, any experience can be used and milked later - once you can push it to the side that is. :P) Second time they called, they pretty much made me an offer I couldn't refuse and put it in writing I would not have to deal with my main issue for leaving in the first place. Still feeling guilty about the position I left everyone else in, I said yes.
Though I am now an outsider, I can't help but still care about all the people I know there. Things have not improved. Moral is at an all time low. Lots of stuff fell through the cracks and people are at their wits end in some cases. Yet those in power still have no clue. Currently working like mad to catch up and find out all that has been dropped and fill in holes on processes for another job there that was crushed before they figured out what the person did. (It's amazing how some people can come into a place with their minds already made up on what you do, and truly have no idea at all. Then they act surprised when stuff is not getting then when you're not there. Well duh!)
I got lucky and have a new job lined up for when the contract is over at the end of the month. Some of my friends are not so lucky, still stuck in their corner with no place to go. I'll be praying for them and hooking them up however I can. Worse, I've made a couple of new friends, poor unsuspecting people thrust into this mess with minimal information. Busting buns to give them as much info as I can so they can fill the vacuum which will once more appear when I am gone, but it's a crap shoot. Will be praying for them too!
I'm a paranoid, pessimistic, worrier, but I hope to hey this works out for them all. I really do! If you are a believer of any kind, please send some good thoughts and rays of sunshine their way. I would really appreciate it!