Normally Monday would be the day to dread. We look forward to Friday because it is the furthest away from Monday in the working week. But I didn’t completely fall for that narrative today. I had my monthly appraisal booked in with my manager, which my ego was looking forward to because I knew there would be more good feedback than bad. I’d been getting on well with her lately, and if last month’s praise was anything to go by it would be the same today. We sat down for a coffee outside when the time came and, for an hour, she surprised me with even more praise than before. Basically, she couldn’t have been happier with my performance in the past month. Such professional approval stroked my ego, of course. It was like the social approval I hadn’t been getting, all piled into one hour. The needy part of me claimed surprise at it all, but really, I knew I’d been doing my job well, I’d always known it. The only problem is that I haven’t made any friends there (which my manager didn’t mention at all, well why would she?)
Part of the appraisal process involves setting goals for the next month and looking at one’s career path in the bank. Since I couldn’t exactly be honest and say that I’m planning to leave by next year, I had to go along with this part of the discussion and make out that I’m enjoying it so much I want to stay. Having just been given a heap of praise, it was much easier to appear happy in my job than it would have been otherwise. For a minute or two I may even have considered changing my plans again and staying. It would be easier to let myself become indispensable to them in the coming months, than go through the trial of admitting to them that I wanted to leave all along, and then extricating myself without any damage. I know it would be easier, but it would also be more painful, because it would be dishonest. For a start, I’ve told everyone in AA that I’m planning to leave the job now. In the interim period before I leave the job I can learn to tolerate it, even enjoy aspects of it. It doesn’t mean I have to stay forever out of politeness.
It was good to have a day that wasn’t awful, a day where I didn’t hate everyone. There were no miracles – I still haven’t connected with anyone apart from the two people I already talk to. But I was more ok with that than I have been before.
The constant churning resentment make the passing hours in the office so painful, it’s really unnecessary. Not spending all my time in bitter resentment doesn’t have to mean that I accept all the problems as my fault, or that I think the place is ok and I can stay there permanently. I can still choose to leave in a few months and get through the rest of the time with a more tolerant attitude. Until I hand my notice in, it will be awkward having to act as if I really plan to stay for the long term, as it was at the last job when I had to keep my plans a secret for many months. It was a bitter realisation finding out that I’m going to go through the same thing again. But I can still make this time easier for myself, by using the tools I’ve always had at my disposal to dissolve anger and fear and rage. This doesn’t have to be the worst experience of my life.