Thursday, April 26, 2007


You know how they say "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone"? Usually that refers to taking something good in your life for granted and only appreciating it once you've lost it and can't get it back. I was just reflecting the other day that it could also apply to really, really crappy things in your life that sort of creep up on you gradually. You only realize that they're crappy later on.

I am referring specifically to my last job. I knew for a while that I wasn't very happy there, but it wasn't that bad. I just got used to the way things were. Some of you know a little about it, as I did a couple of posts recently about my decision to quit the job and my efforts to find a new (better) one.

I work in the field of ophthalmology, so (obviously) I work in doctor's offices. For doctors. No offense to any doctors who may be reading this (ha ha), but they are a strange lot. They are all different, but they are all strange. Unfortunately, some of them are also assholes - kind of, well, exactly like my former boss.

I had gradually grown so accustomed to long stressful days, revolving door turnover at the workplace, borderline unethical practices, and a boss I detested, that I didn't realize how miserable I was. My poor husband realized it - he was subjected to me coming home in a bad mood almost every day.

When I finally decided it was time to move on, it was actually a little hard to leave the place I had worked at for a year and a half. Even though I hated it. Weird huh?

Anyway, after a few weeks at my new job, I realized that I really appreciated a lot of things about this job. It started to dawn on me how good I had it at this new place. Naturally, the next thing to cross my mind was how bad it was at the old place. As I reminisced a little, I found myself to be horrified at some of the bullshit I tolerated.

Of course at that time, I needed the job, was making enough to make ends meet (barely) and there was no way I could afford to quit without having another job lined up. And I had no time to look for other jobs as I was always working and couldn't afford to take time off. Anyway, I remembered a place that I had been in contact with when I was looking for a job here a couple years ago. I decided to call them and see if they had an opening and if so, see if they would hire me.

Turns out I called at just the right time, got the job, hence quit my hated one. My husband commented recently that it was nice to have me come home in a good mood. That got me thinking.

Point is, a lot of us "settle" into situations where we are unhappy, but they get bad so gradually that we don't really realize it, and by the time we do, we feel pretty comfortable (read: afraid to change) so we decide, "well, it's not that bad." We also don't realize how much this unhappiness shows to those around us. I was pretty bitchy for a while there, but now I am back to my old, laid-back self. Unfortunately, it didn't dawn on me until I had already gotten out of the bad situation.

Take some time to look around and evaluate where you are and what you do. You don't want to spend years and years miserable without noticing it until it's too late.




Peter said...

Some very wise advice there Christina.

Duke_of_Earle said...

Yeah. You may not remember, but when I was "downsized" from my last job (in 1985!) I was devastated. I thought the world had come to an end. I felt violated, and especially I felt stupid because I hadn't seen it coming.

Less than a week later, however, I awoke one morning and realized how great it felt NOT to have to go to that old job. It had become a source of stress, and I really disliked many aspects of it. But those negatives had come on slowly over a long period of time (I was there for 11 years) and just stayed beneath the surface.

So yes, I can relate. You don't realize what you've got until you lose it. Good AND bad!


Anonymous said...

Christina, it takes a wise person to realize the things you posted and a wiser person to admit it. It's much too easy to just forget, like it never happened. Your Mom and Dad raised a sharp daughter.

robotJAM said...

Well said Christina, there's nothing worse than being in a job you can't stand.

I've been there three times and was very happy when I was made redundant/sacked on each occasion.

11 years Duke !! In that time I am on my 8th job now, every company I work for strangely goes bust.

A change IS as good as a rest though.

Merle said...

Hi Christina ~~ Glad that you are so much happier in your new job. Funny when we think of that saying "you don't know what you've got till you lose it" we usually asscoiate it with Good things. So you have alerted us to Bad things affecting us similarily
Thanks for your comments, glad you liked "Would you walk by?" Thanks also for the reassurance about the cataract op. Take care, Love, Merle.

Zinnia said...

Being in a job you hate makes you totally miserable.

Love that Beach Baby pic on the side!

Jack K. said...

Great post.

Great advice.

Make every day a great one.

Think only about what you want and it will come to you in good time.

Margaret said...

I had never thought of it in that light, how very true it is. We do seem to try to make light of bad situations at times don't we. What complex beings we are.
Cheers Margaret

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