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Long time coming.

The past two months have been a bit of a rollercoaster, both physically and emotionally. Since early May, I stopped training with my cousin and also haven’t been eating all too well, I’ve received news that I still have a material hormonal imbalance, I flew (for the first time in five years) to Vegas for a Bachelorette party, started playing softball again, got into a verbal argument at a volleyball match, I had a few rounds of physical anxiety, my boss had a baby, I took over the day-to-day trading operations at my firm, started stress eating, and most recently (between yesterday and today) my family has had issues with our next-door neighbors. It is a lot of stuff, I will try to make it all make sense.

Since January I trained with my cousin, who is a certified personal trainer. We stopped, temporarily, training in May because he was going on a trip and then that eventually became permanent because my work schedule became completely erratic and I couldn’t commit to specific times. As of result of not having my cousin and his sessions to motivate me and my new work schedule, I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit. I did however join a new gym and have at least been going once per week. I went today and I’m hoping to go more this week, but I haven’t been that great at being consistent. My diet has been pretty crappy as well as I’m basically stress eating at work, which I will explain later. Hopefully this is my week though, I need to get into a groove.

Midway through May I got the results back from a saliva test that I performed over the course of the month of April. The results were packaged and sent out to a lab in Washington State and my naturopathic doctor received the results. She called me up in the middle of the month and we scheduled an appointment. At that visit, she told me that I still have a progesterone shortage, otherwise known as estrogen dominance. I’ve been off of the pill for almost fifteen months now and I have gotten a lot better. My estrogen levels have normalized now, but my body has not been able to raise my progesterone levels naturally, which has thrown off my periods, caused PMS, and I also have been told that at my current level, I’d have a hard time conceiving a child and if I did conceive, I’d have a hard time carrying the pregnancy to term. Needless to say, I was speechless. I thought that my body has had enough time to heal on its own and regulate my hormones once more. However, that’s clearly not the case and not only that, but now I’m facing potential fertility issues. The good part is that I’m on a progesterone supplement program for the entire summer and hopefully that will help to raise my level.

In a short note, I went out to Las Vegas for a friend’s bachelorette party. This was a huge deal for me as I have not been on a plane in five years and more importantly than that, I wasn’t sure as to how I’d react to flying with my anxiety. I will admit that I took a 0.25 mg Xanax during takeoff on the flight there and home, but beyond that it was fine and I actually enjoyed myself on the airplanes. It sounds silly, but this was a big accomplishment for me.

At the beginning of June, softball started and I’m on a new team. All of the ladies are fantastic and I’m having a lot of fun. I still play volleyball as well but it hasn’t been all fun and games recently. I play on a co-ed team and there is one man on my team who is constantly trying to move me around and control my play simply because I’m female. Well eventually I became fed up with him and at a game a few weeks ago I called him out. He claimed that he was trying to help the team out and even tried to guilt me by saying that he respects women and his mother is dead. Really? I’m sorry your mother is dead but I don’t think that she has anything to do with volleyball. Case closed. We recently played together this past Thursday actually and barely spoke to each other, but that’s OK. We played well together on the court and that’s all that matters.

In the middle of June, I had major anxiety. I wasn’t sure if it was a side effect of the Xanax in my system, stress from work, or both. I’m thinking that it was a combination of both. I didn’t have a full-blown panic attack, thank God, but still, I did feel defeated that I reacted so badly to my thoughts.

Literally a few days after my mini-breakdown my boss gave birth to her son, which then put me in charge of the daily trading operations at my firm. Needless to say I was nervous then and I’m still a little nervous now. I’m two weeks into this experience and it’s been quite eye-opening. I’ve been able to prove to myself that I’m able to handle this job and it has also helped to spark a fire in me and reignite my interest in the stock market and finance in general. However with all of that positivity, I have started to stress eat. I visit the snack closet multiple times a day to help calm myself down when I get nervous at work. This is a terrible way to relieve stress and this week  is the week where I hope to stop this phenomenon.

Last but not least, the issues with the next door neighbors. They had an early Fourth of July party yesterday and didn’t invite my parents. It really hurt my mom’s feelings and made my dad angry. As a result, it made me livid. But on top of that, I felt physical symptoms of anger and anxiety. When I saw my neighbors, I felt my chest tighten and felt pain in my head. I wanted to go over there and start screaming at them. I felt awful for my parents. I always tried to be the bigger person and continue to say hi to them even though they have basically phased my parents out of the neighborhood social circle over the years. I never wanted to be the person who just straight up ignores people but at this point I feel as though it’d be best for my health and psyche to just ignore these people. I have slowly removed myself from them as I have unfriended them on Facebook (which I’m still trying to get rid of) and have limited my communication to just the next-door neighbors but now I’ve really had enough. I really can’t afford the stress anymore and this weekend was the last straw for me.

So that has been my last two months. Lots of good, productive things and a few bumps along the way. My focus right now is to continue healing and working on my health in addition to participating in activities that I like with people who like and respect me. One thing that I’ve learned in the past two months is that I cannot hide my feelings (like being nervous about work or mad at a teammate or neighbor). I have to feel what I feel, take the appropriate action(s), and move on.

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A Break.

I am off from work both today and tomorrow, therefore I have a four-day weekend. It’s much-needed especially after last week’s fiasco at work. I was the calmest today than I’ve been in months. It’s amazing how much stress and anxiety my job causes me. I didn’t feel the slightest bit of angst today, even though I basically ran around like a mad woman.

My boss tried to “make amends” (sort of) last Friday. She was obviously sheepish about what went down and barely made eye contact with me. She went on to explain how she was flustered and just wants things to go smoothly next time. Next time? I hope to God that there’s not a next time. Unless I get a new job within the next month or so there will probably be a next time. And if this happens again, I now know how I’m going to handle the situation. I am going to walk out of the office for a few minutes, compose myself, and then I’m getting my stuff and leaving for the day. Sitting around in my cube all day stewing was exhausting and made me physically ill.

Oddly enough I had a therapy appointment (I still go once per month just to keep myself in check, I haven’t had a panic attack since last summer) last Thursday night. I explained exactly what happened at work to the doctor and he told me that I was psychologically abused by my bosses and that a lot of what I experience at work is abuse. I was confused by that statement basically because I associate “abuse” with physicality. I also am conflicted as to whether or not that’s an overdramatized explanation of my bosses’ behaviors. I certainly identify their actions as being wrong and unwarranted, but I would really hate to say that it’s abuse considering that I know people who’ve gone through way worse than this at work. Either way, it felt great to get this off my chest with my doctor and just get his insights on the situation. I told him about my plans to leave this job and possibly move onto a brand new career; he agreed with my ideas and encouraged me to pursue them, which I found to be comforting.

Through these events, I’ve found my truth; I’ve figured out the right decision for me and my career. I can’t waste my time and my life with people who are simply bad people. I can’t stay at a place that doesn’t give two cents about me or my growth. I need to continue to work hard and be employed, making a living. But that doesn’t mean that I have to sit back and take crap from people as they dangle money in my face. There are other jobs out there; whether or not they’re in investments or a totally different venture, I will find a new job, a better job. One that allows me to grow and prosper both professionally and as a person. That’s my goal for 2012. This is my new focus and I will do my best to get there.

There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it’s not that obvious; in this case it didn’t hit me until I got home from work the day of the incident. Regardless of when you figure out what’s in front of you and find that glimmer of positivity, once you find it, you’re golden.

 

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Finally thinking outside the box.

I finally found a wonderful job that I believe I can excel in. The best part is that it has almost nothing to do with finance (minus payroll/budgeting) and everything to do with college kids and athletics/fitness.

I went to the human resources department website for my alma mater, where I received my MBA, to look for a job. I found an assistant marketing director job that deals with the school’s fitness and recreation programs. It requires thinking about new programs and events for the campus recreation center, in addition to some administration work, which would be great. I’ve really wanted to take on a leadership role, that’s always been a goal of mine.

I love sports and have recently gotten into diet and fitness more so now than I have my entire life. What a perfect opportunity for me.

I mentioned it to my parents, who are skeptical but happy that I found a particular direction that I might want to head towards professionally.

I’m confident that I can do this job. I spent an hour Sunday night writing a cover letter and adjusting my resume. I sent it electronically and got an e-mail receipt yesterday. Last night I mailed out a hard copy of both documents.

Wish me luck!

 

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When people make decisions for you… and potentially fire you.

Here’s the exact e-mail chain from this morning between my boyfriend and I about today’s high blood pressure-inducing day at work entitled “The saga of march 26th” (all parties are in caps with descriptions to protect their identities):

ME:

So, believe it or not – I woke up in a fine mood this morning and early! (TRAINER* cancelled training) I left the house at 8:30, which is UNHEARD OF AND was one of the first people in the office at 8:40. I got my super “needs to be done before the bell” stuff, and some of IMMEDIATE BOSS’s stuff done before 9am even. IMMEDIATE BOSS came in around 8:55. Around 9:10 BIGGER BOSS sends a list of a ton of TRADES to trade but we thought that was taking place this Friday based on some reports that I made back in feb of this year and August of 2011. Instead of discussing this LAST WEEK with us, BIGGER BOSS decides to be a lunatic right before the bell ON A MONDAY, which in turn made IMMEDIATE BOSS frantic, and therefore I got dumped on. BIGGER BOSS started yelling at me to trade instead of saying please, etc and called me by the wrong name and I’ve been here almost 4 years… Then IMMEDIATE BOSS decided to check the reports that I did BACK IN FEBRUARY AND AUGUST (so how the hell am I supposed to remember the thought process for them without looking at them) to make sure that trading was ok for today. She kept asking me why I did things the way that I did and I said “I’m not sure but I can take a look” and instead of calming down she started screaming about how they’re wrong when they weren’t.

IMMEDIATE BOSS was then going through my reports and yelling at me about how they’re wrong etc. mind you, I have several copies of each report which are saved down for many reasons and it turns out she wasn’t even looking at the right reports. Also I told her one report was only done up until August. She yelled at me about how it doesn’t matter in the morning and then later yelled at me that it needs to be updated. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde.  I walked out of her office rolling my eyes and FRIENDLY COWORKER was walking towards me. Then she texted me saying that IMMEDIATE BOSS was making faces (like bitchy ones) behind my back and I was doing the same thing and asked if there was tension: to which I replied with “she’s an asshole and she can go fuck herself”

Then she’s been yelling at me about how the reports need to be organized if “someone wants to go in the folder and see them”. Mind you (again) NO ONE IS EVER IN THAT FOLDER BUT ME AND MY SYSTEM WORKS JUST FINE FOR ME. The problem this morning was that she wouldn’t even let me speak and she kept going on and on therefore she was stuck in the wrong version of the files. She’s still being snide and a shithead so I’m not speaking to her for the rest of the day unless absolutely necessary.

Fuck IMMEDIATE BOSS. Fuck “the right thing”. Fuck CRAPPY “LAND THAT TIME FORGOT” COMPANY. I’m done.

The end. 🙂

Sent from my iPhone

BOYFRIEND:

ROTFL!

You’re nicer than me. I would have had a shit fit in that office and started screaming at her. Like legit, screaming.

Then again, people generally don’t speak to me like that. I think that it has something to do with me being the size of a Gorilla and my never-back-down personality.

Anyway, the bottom line is:

1. If she has a spec. for reports, report file naming, and report organization she either needs to spec it out herself or ask you to write a FAQ and then understand that FAQ. Her failure to do this is not your problem. You are not a mind reader.

2. She needs to understand that acting that way in a crisis is what causes ships to sink, airplanes to hit mountains, and people to die. Calmness is key.

3. BIGGER BOSS needs to discuss his trades beforehand. You guys should have some sort of daily informal huddle, if only to get the right hand into the habit of talking to the left hand.

4. Your firm should hire me as a consultant to un-fuck it and help it better leverage the talents of its human resources. I’ve seen more organized monkeyshit fights at the zoo

THEN RANDOM, END OF DAY E-MAIL FROM ME TO BOYFRIEND:

God how I would love to punch him in the face. [REFERRING TO A BAYER REPRESENTATIVE]

IMMEDIATE BOSS just left. She sucks.

Sent from my iPhone

BOYFRIEND RESPONSE

Who, DOUCHEY BAYER REP?

It’s OK. Soon you won’t have to see IMMEDIATE BOSS anymore.

ME AGAIN

Yes I hate Bayer.

AND I just cried in the bathroom with FRIENDLY COWORKER… Oy

Sent from my iPhone

 

If you were able to follow that, God bless you. Long story short, two of my bosses (yes, I’m one of those people with multiple bosses) were frantic this morning trying to figure something out. Then based on my analysis that I did (one last month and one back in August), they were going to confirm everything. Instead of being calm, they did every last-minute and hectic like they always do and my immediate boss went berserk. She yelled at me and barked orders at me all morning long. She told my friendly coworker (who is a good friend of mine), who in turn told me at the end of the day, that I was giving her attitude this morning, which wasn’t the case at all. In fact, I was getting very nervous when talking to my immediate boss and I just tried to help, which she didn’t want to hear and got very nasty with me. I tried to locate the correct analysis file, but she eventually just took things over herself. Needless to say the day was a complete wash and I cried at the end in the bathroom on my coworker’s shoulder. I had a bunch of pent-up frustration from being yelled at by both my immediate boss and her superior that I just had to let it out.

The past week at this place has continued to cement my decision to immediately look for a job. I can’t be hellbent on “doing the right thing” when no one does the right thing for me, and even worse than that, treats me like a dog on top of that.

Tomorrow will be interesting. Perhaps my login and password won’t work and I’ll be fired. Who knows…

 

 
 

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Doing for myself.

Tonight I had an appointment with a job recruiter in the city scheduled for 7pm. I cancelled it, mainly because I’ve been a bit busy in the last few days and I really have no desire to trek into New York City after work. It was to discuss some potential opportunities because I’ve finally decided that if a good position comes along, I’m going for it. Done and done. I can’t feel guilty for wanting to live my life anymore. Even though I’ve been preoccupied as of recently (mainly preoccupation of my own doing), I have finally allowed myself to think about my feelings. My honest to God feelings about where I am and where I’m headed in life.

In terms of where I am, I’m frustrated. I hate my job; I feel underutilized and completely demoralized in this position, which I’ve spoken about on this blog for a while now. I’ve always known this and yet I’ve been suppressing my feelings. I was so blinded by my raise in December and then I had the knowledge of my boss’ pregnancy. With all of that said, I thought that I could stay in this job for another year so that I would “do the right thing” and see her pregnancy out. To make sure that she is comfortable knowing that I can handle her job while she’s out and have one thing less to stress about.

I was told when I got my raise that my job was going to change and that I’d get more responsiblity. I believed that my employer was finally going to do right by me and teach me, help me grow, and look out for my best interests. As I’ve written in previous posts, I’ve had two separate discussions with my boss about how this new and improved outlook on my job never came to fruition; how it’s been month since my review in December and nothing has changed. Instead of receiving this in a constructive way, my boss decided to tell me why I am wrong and need to accept the job as is. Needless to say, that didn’t sit well with me and these issues haven’t stopped since then.

I had an issue with my boss two days ago. I work as a trader, yet I don’t have live feeds to the markets (i.e. platform such as Bloomberg financial). Since my boss is leaving for maternity leave and I have to handle all of the trading for our company, I suggested to her that I have a live feed on my computer. Eager enough, my boss agreed and had a conversation with her boss this past Monday. According to her boss, my getting a live feed “isn’t worth it” and I should just get my boss’ ID transferred to my computer until she starts working from home. Eventually a lightbulb went off in my boss’ head when she realized that she basically made it sound like I wasn’t worth it. She followed up telling me about how expensive IDs are and have one of the upper management members was thinking of getting rid of his (which was a lie). This made me ask a plethora of questions to myself such as: Why isn’t it worth it? How much work is my boss really going to be doing at home with a newborn? What if it can’t be transferred, how will I trade? Following these questions, I came to several conclusions. I don’t feel comfortable working in this environment and I know that if I screw up, they will be on my ass in a second flat. This company doesn’t care about my growth or well-being. I’m not worth a damn thing to them and at the end of the day, if they had to fire me, they’d do it without a second thought.

Yet here I am. Sitting in a cube day in, day out. Being a good worker, waiting for this pregnancy and maternity leave to end because I want to help out. I looked at my boss’ pregnancy in a personal way, with a woman’s perspective, understanding that motherhood and pregnancy are strenuous times in a woman’s life. For whatever reason I wanted to make it as easy for her on my end as I could. Maybe subconsciously I thought that by doing this, I’d be taken care of too in return by the company. On a basic level though, I believed that it was common decency.

But why did I care so much? I’ve been with this company for almost four years and I’ve basically been looked at like a benefit for my boss’ life the entire time. Not as an employee who is smart and can contribute to the greater good of the company. Nothing good besides getting a paycheck has come out of working here, yet something came over me in the beginning of this year that made me believe that things will change.

Truth is, things aren’t going to change.

After much thought though, I finally feel comfortable with the fact that I may have to leave this company high and dry if the right job comes along. I didn’t feel like this until now. I was scared of how people would judge me if I just got up and left them in a situation without a competent trader. But I can’t worry about that. There is no loyalty on their end and my run of loyalty to them has officially burned out. No one will take care of me but me.

 

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Planning my future with help from the past.

In my previous posts, the theme has been my professional life and my confusion in finding what I’d like to be doing with my life.

A had a bit of an ‘a-ha!’ moment this morning as I was getting ready for work. I was thinking about a dream that I had last night. In the dream, I was in my old freshman dorm building at college, sitting at a table with a bunch of familiar girls; some I actually were friends with in college, others I just saw around campus. We were talking about how our lives have been post-college and it seemed as though everyone was happy and prospering whereas I was prospering in a sense, but certainly not happy.

Back to reality – I was in the kitchen this morning eating breakfast thinking about my college experience and how I messed it up (Whole story is in post, Feeling Strangely Fine). I also thought about how I pursued my MBA as well. I realized that there’s a key point in both situations (and most situations since I’ve graduated from high school) – I have never given big decisions their due time and thought. It’s simple, somewhat obvious, and all too hard to swallow. How could I have gone through life for the past 10 years and not really think about what it is that I want?

With that said, I realized that I have a golden opportunity right here, right now. I am in a job that I know I’m not happy with, BUT it pays the bills (well, I might add) and I’m already self-committed (no contract, etc) to stay until at least September for my boss’ maternity leave. This gives me the perfect opportunity to really think about what I’d like to do with my life. I have six months at the very least to figure it out or at least find a few options that I would like. I have to stop procrastinating, slow down, and think.

There’s no good reason why I need to immediately leave my job. Why? So that I can go out, find a similar job or stay in this field and eventually become equally miserable as I am professionally now? Nah. I’ve decided today that those days are over. I’m going to continue where I am for now, collect my paycheck but at the same time, start myself out on the right path. I’m going to learn from my mistakes; they don’t define who I am. Today the real work begins. There’s going to have to be a lot of internal dialogue and research, but I have faith that this work will payoff in the future.

This realization has helped to give me so much more hope; the most hope that I’ve had in a while, in at least 2 years. Hope that I can transform my life into whatI’d like it to look like, not one formed by the thoughts and opinions of the ones around me. Not one formed on hasty decision-making.

 
 

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Feeling strangely fine.

I’m OK today. Tired, but alright. I went on Facebook today and a friend of a friend came up on my news feed. Her profile picture was a professional glamour shot of her in a bikini for a fitness magazine. Apparently she’s a model, certified personal trainer, former two-sport collegiate athlete, former pro beach volleyball player, NASA astronaut, Nobel prize winner… this list obviously stops right before the NASA astronaut part in reality. But in all seriousness, this girl (who’s close to my age) has done a lot of neat things in her life (some of which I’ve only dreamed of… pro volleyball player… but 5’7” is way too short for that unfortunately) plus her current work as a certified trainer (she has what seems to be a billion certificates ranging from nutrition to strength and conditioning to pre/post natal exercise) and a fitness/glamour model seems like a pretty cushy way to make a living.

As I read her “about me” paragraph and scanned her pictures I couldn’t help but get jealous of her. She’s doing what I’d love to be doing (the training, not the modeling, although I’m sure modeling is much more fun than my job) while I’m sitting in a cube doing data entry. Classic jealously and in a way, rightfully so. Then I got to thinking. She’s been training for almost ten years already, meaning that she got certified and started training heavy herself in her mid to late teens, which has eventually led to this stellar and fun career.

I started to think about what I was doing at that time. I was 16 (for argument’s sake), looking at colleges even though I had no desire to go to college but was pressured to go by my family (especially my mom as she was and still is a high school guidance counselor), playing volleyball for my high school and a club team (both of which made me extremely happy), taking a rigorous workload at a college prep high school, and sleeping on the weekends because I was exhausted (exhaustion has been a common theme in my life since high school). I had no idea as to what I wanted to do in life; I contemplated physical therapy, marine biology, financial analyst… the list went on, I just can’t remember that far back anymore. The point was that I had no clear direction back then and wound up picking a random university when I was 17 and still confused – I attended random university at the tender age of 18, transferred to another school, got depressed because I didn’t fit in, failed my classes, returned to random university, struggled to finish my accounting degree (semi-random, *I somewhat appreciate accounting, degree pick based on practicality, knowing that I’d need a job that made good money with all of the debt I would have incurred upon graduation), interned 30 hours a week at a hedge fund on top of that, graduated, and starting working at a hedge fund in Manhattan at the age of 21. I still had no idea if this is what I wanted to do with my life, but I didn’t mind it, plus it paid the bills and paid them well. I’m now 26, still working in investments (just in NJ now at a different firm) and I now know that I don’t like my job. I’m still not sure what it is that I want to do.

Reading all of that might sound negative but helping me think back to where I was when this girl was starting on her career path makes me feel better and not jealous anymore. Strange but true. I realize that I was young, pulled in many directions with many mouths in my ears. I just went along with what other people wanted for me. The path I went down wasn’t terrible (nothing life-threatening,etc.), it just wasn’t ideal for me in retrospect and that’s OK. I need to accept it because I cannot change it. It also has taught me a lesson – to slowdown and think. I haven’t slowed down yet, which is probably why I’m still questioning what I’d like to do with my life, but at least I have the time (staying at my current job until my boss’ maternity leave is over) to think. I have a few ideas in my head already, but more time and care need to be put into the thought process.

Now if only I can just slow down…

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Changing My Situation, Life's Goals

 

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